How to survive the winters if you have cystic fibrosis

I woke up and I felt heaviness in my breath and sudden pain in my lungs. But lived for 6 winters in Delhi Ncr, now I feel like it’s safe to say I’ve learned a thing or two about how to make it through the cold months in (mostly) one piece.  Having Cystic Fibrosis means being susceptible to getting every cold/cough/flu/etc. that comes within arms reach, and living in a place that has a cold winter but more of pollution because of our festival Diwali, which has been falling during winters since some time now and  it can often be hard to not get sick at some point.  

The last few days here in delhi Ncr, the weather has been brutal, to say the least.  And even after all the years of equally brutal winters I’m still never really ready for it.  These are just some suggestions of things I’ve found to be helpful while I try to stay warm, happy, and out of the hospital.

From a place like kashmir where the temperature goes in minus degrees in winters, people ask me why do I cover up so much in winters or why do I feel so cold. Well, I cant go on making them count that what and all problems do I have but i just smile and say, just like that. And I love getting dressed like this. 🙂

  1. Stay Warm: Invest in really warm clothes.10355626_754174691315679_42968178769259948_o

Doest matter what people might say after they see you layered so much but hey, cmon, just stay warm and don’t bother what others say. you can wear high neck t-shirts or may be sweat shirts or wear a scarf around your neck to keep your chest warm all the time. Infant I wear hooded jackets which keeps my ears and head warm too. wear socks all the time even when you are home. That also prevents us from catching cold. Once my feet get cold I know I’m not going to be able to warm up on my own, because it usually means my core is also cold, and once that’s cold there’s no turning back

b. Get out and get moving:


Though we always feel the easies way to escape cold is to stay indoors but you might have heard of “stir crazy” and “cabin fever”, trust me they are in real. Get out of your house. Wear your mask, take your hot beverage in a flask or sipper and go for a walk. Stretch your body. Do quick and easy moving exercises and keep your blood running and warm. You might even want to enrol yourself for some exercise sessions like yoga, pilates or any other form of exercise. Last winter I enrolled myself in gym for steam and sauna. And yes, it did help a lot.

c. Eat and drink well.


I always find that it helps to eat a little bit more in the winter. I always end up putting on some weight during the cold months, I think my body senses that it needs a little extra insulation. Stuff in piranhas, cheese, buttered stuff, dry fruits or whatever you want. We don’t have to worry about putting on weight as we have a tendency of being underweight. So take an advantage. In the winter I don’t always remember to eat fruits and vegetables. As eating a cold apple or carrot just doesn’t appeal to me when it’s cold out, as opposed to in the summer when it’s warm.  Drink hot beverages like hot chocolate, green tea, honey lemon tea, ginger tea, milk with turmeric and ghee. Keep yourselves hydrated. Avoid refrigerated stuff.


d. Dont miss on your meds.


Do your treatments as often as possible. This may sound so simple, but it’s amazing how much an extra treatment or two a day makes me feel.  I am lucky enough to be working from home for the time being and have found ways to plan my day around getting in three or sometimes four treatments (inhalers, nebulization, steams and if needed oxygen supply or injections). But those who have to go out and do not have a choice, please carry your nebulizer and inhalers with you.

Address it ASAP:

Tackle colds right away.  A week and a half ago I felt that familiar ache in my lungs, followed by the shortness of breath and deep painful cough.  We all have our tell tale signs when we know we are getting sick.  In the winter especially I have found that if I don’t tackle colds right away they will only get worse.  At the first sign that my “cold” wasn’t going to go away on it’s own, and was in fact getting worse, I let my doctor know and he prescribed an oral antibiotic.  I’m just about done the second week of it and I’m feeling almost 70% again.  And if you do get to that point where you know you can’t get better on your own, be ready to accept the idea of being admitted into the hospital.  No one likes going into the hospital, but telling yourself for weeks or months that you can get rid of it on your own, when you can feel it slowly taking over, is only going to make it worse in the long run.  Work hard to stay healthy, but also listen to what your body needs.


Rest well & A good massage is always helpful:

Sleep has a huge impact on how well we can face a day, not getting sleep means the negative wind chill is going to ruin your day the second it hits your face.  People with CF especially need that extra rest so their bodies can rejuvenate and be ready for all that it demands of them the next day.  The other thing I love about sleeping in the winter is I get to be warm for 8 hours.  Getting out of bed in the morning and back into the cold air is the hard part.  

These are few tips we can keep in mind and please do share if you have any remedies or any tips and tricks to ease the winter for people like us. Happy to talk and share.

Almighty bless us all.





AroubaKabir04 View All →

:-) A seeking one.
By profession, a Wellness Coach for Physical and Mental Health, Certified Yoga and Pilates Therapist, Grand Master in Meditation, Traveller and a Blogger

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