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Volunteer Advocate
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How to Balance it all

We know “work-life” balance is a hot topic these days, but it is not often enough that chronic illness gets put in the mix. Between managing your CF, work, school, friends, family, and resting; how do you make time for extracurricular activities or hobbies? Seems daunting? Our community shares their best tips for balancing it all:

  • “It is all about scheduling. Make sure you are filling your schedule with the important items first. Fitness and recreation are key to your treatment regime. They reduce stress and anxiety which helps with inflammation. Treatments are only helpful if your mental/emotional state is in a place that wants you to succeed and purpose for living a healthy long life.” – Rob Burtch
  • “As a person who does many activities and has two jobs, I try as much as I can to fit everything in a day, but sometimes, I have to go to sleep late or wake up early to do everything I want to do in a day. For my treatments, I usually multi-task and do them while doing my homework.” – Emma Fontaine
  • “Balancing CF care with everything else in life is probably one of the biggest challenges for me. Having a regular routine really helps, because I can schedule time to do “extra” things when I don’t have treatments or appointments. Being flexible is super important too.” – Terra Stephenson
  • “Treatments and CF related obligations always come first. That’s always how it’s been in my life, even when I was growing up. Sometimes extracurricular activities have to be missed in order to fit in the things I need to do for my health. I always try to explain the situation to coaches, dance teachers, or bosses. I’m lucky that I haven’t had anyone not understand that my CF obligations come first.” – Mackenzie Norris
  • “The art of balancing treatment with other obligations, extracurricular activities, enjoying life, is a fine and ever evolving art/challenge indeed. Prioritizing is key, constantly be questioning yourself; what IS most important in my life? Where do I have to put my energy? Where do I wish to put my energy? Can these two answers align? Then, what will be most taxing on or draining of my energy? How do I feel today? What obligations or events do I need energy for, tomorrow? Working out timing/scheduling…What can I realistically fit in? What can I say no to? Etc. As health and energy have declined, this process has become more important, detailed and almost continuous! However, it helps me evaluate what is most important in my life, who is most important, what is worth my time and energy, and ultimately… make the most of life, in every way, almost every day!” – Erin Sullivan
  • “When I was younger – and CF hadn’t impacted me as much as it does today – treatments were the last thing on my mind. As I’ve gotten older, treatments have had to move to the top of my priority list. It was always my health, then school, then everything else. I make sure to take time for my friends and living life, but at the end of the day it always comes back to doing the right things to keep myself as healthy as I can.” – Meaghan Macrury

Have insights you would also like to share? To be quoted in our blog please contact Terra at tgillespie@cysticfibrosis.ca