Getting Through This

Posted by: 
Tiffany McDaniel

When the pandemic started, I did not know much about Covid or how serious it was, all I knew was that it is something I did not want to get. After learning more about it I was nervous about what it could do to a person like me with cystic fibrosis. Watching the news reports and listening to the radio added to my fear and worry of contracting the virus. Being out of work and living alone heightened my anxiety towards this virus, if it were not for my emotional support animal Peanut Butter being by my side and taking my mind off the fears of Covid I would have lost it.

As minutes turned into hours turned into days you start to lose yourself in anxiety from the fear of the pandemic. It feels like being trapped in an alternate reality where normal interactions with your friends, your colleagues and co-workers have completely changed. Now going out means following these new rules of wearing masks, social distancing, constant sanitizing and it seems like the world that we know is falling apart. For me, just going to the grocery store was such a tedious task, always making sure that I had gloves a mask and copious amounts of hand sanitizer just to buy eggs and milk. It was more stressful than it needed to be.

I felt myself getting so anxious day by day slowly turning into depression and I knew I needed to do something to keep my mind off the things that I could not change. To help with my anxiety I started focusing on my self-care. I started with not watching the news as much as it was better for me not to hear so much of the negative and just focus on positive happy thoughts. I would take time out of the day and just meditate and focus on the things that were positive in my life. Participating in the Strolo U program really helped with my anxiety. I would attend a class every day, and it took my mind off the craziness going on in the outside world. Focusing on waking up on time for the virtual yoga class or preparing for my cooking class redirected my mind and I felt myself calming down and being able to handle my mental health so much better.

The best coping mechanism that I used during the pandemic were multiple things, exercise, meditation and constant communication with my family where a few things that really help me get through this pandemic. While exercising the main thing I would focus on was my breathing. Nothing else mattered just breathing and finishing the class are my goals. It helps keep me grounded. Also meditating to clear my mind really worked for me. Caring for Peanut took my mind off myself, with our long walks and his constant need for play I was not able to think about anything else. 

Now that we are still in the pandemic, I feel a lot less stressed by it all. I still worry about possibly getting sick and I still take all precautions before leaving my home, but I am not scared anymore. We are all going through this together. The best thing you can do for yourself to stay sane is to keep busy with things that make you happy and give you joy. Stay safe and stay well.


Help Others Live STRONGER and LONGER- 




Tiffany McDaniel is 32 years old with Cystic Fibrosis. She resides in New York. She stays active by doing yoga and dancing. She is a newly appointed CFLF Board member. Tiffany has a passion for helping people in her community. She has her degree in American Sign Language. 





***Views expressed in the CFLF Blog are those of the bloggers themselves and not necessarily of the Cystic Fibrosis Lifestyle Foundation*** 

***Please speak with your physician before making any changes to your CF management***


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