Mental Health

Unresolved stress can aggravate people living with a disease like pulmonary fibrosis, and affect those who care for them.

Coping strategies are what we think and do to adjust to our new lives, so that we can regain our quality of life, reduce discomfort and rebuild our sense of self-worth.

Coping Strategies

Your family, friends and colleagues; your health care team; and the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (CPFF), are ready and willing to help you.

Remember you are not alone 

Your family, friends, colleagues, health care team, and the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (CPFF), are ready and willing to help you. Ask for, and accept, support. Most of you will be diagnosed by a respiratory specialist who can refer you, and your caregiver, to mental health professionals to help you live your best life with PF.

Connect with others who have similar experiences

Sometimes, no one knows better what you are going through, than some one who has been where you are now. CPFF support groups take place across the country, both virtually (during the pandemic) and in person. You’ll learn from expert speakers and from one another. Caregivers are also welcome and some groups have meetings just for them.

Learn about your health condition

Learn all you can about your health condition, your medications and equipment, from reliable sources, such as your health care team and recommended websites, like this one. Be sure explore our resource library.

Work with a mental health professional to get help with changing negative thinking to a realistic mindset.

Work with a mental health professional to get help with changing negative thinking to a realistic mindset.

Instead of saying “No, I just can’t do that. It’s too hard. Say: “I’ve done things just as hard before. I can do this.”

Avoid predictably stressful situations

Learn to set healthy boundaries on your time, energy and space. You don’t have to do everything you used to, or those things that cause you stress.

Avoid predictably stressful situations

Create a support system and connect with them.

Build your team with a dietician
Build your team with your family doctor
Build your team with a family member or friend
Build your team with a nurse.
Build your team and you are at the centre.
Build your team with a mental health professional
Build your team with a rehab specialist
Build your team with a support group.
Build your team with a respirologist

Your family, friends and health care team are also there to help. Let them. Keep in touch with people, by phone, online or in person. Help someone else. It just feels good to connect with others. Volunteer or take up a new activity.

Organize and manage your time and energy

Set SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. For example: This week I will practice my breathing exercises for five minutes each day after lunch.


Take good care of yourself. Self care is NOT selfish. Exercise, good nutrition, and sleep are the cornerstones of feeling better.

 Taking care of yourself is different for everyone. Whatever you choose, self-care activities help you feel calm, connected to something or someone and in control.

Self-care is a way for you to invest time in meeting your own needs. It is intentional and will boost production of your feel-good hormones, or the hormones of happiness”: oxytocin, dopamine, endorphin and serotonin.

More on Mental Health

Breathless for change

Naomi Matsushita’s journey with PF

Naomi Matsushita of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has interstitial pneumonia, one of the 200 types of pulmonary fibrosis (PF), as well as anti-synthetase syndrome, an auto-immune condition. This is her story.

Kamara Tayo-Jones, MSW, RSW

Coping with Loss & Change

In this webinar, Kamara Tayo-Jones discusses coping strategies for loss and change. Tayo-Jones is a Social Work Therapist at the Wellness Institute in Manitoba, holds a Master of Social Work degree and is a registered social worker with the Manitoba College of Social Workers.
Managing Anxiety During Covid 19

Managing anxiety during COVID-19 

Karen Beaton, a registered nurse and certified respiratory educator, shares tips on how to cope with feelings of anxiety while keeping your lungs and overall health safe during the pandemic.

Read Next…

Coping with loss and change

This article in the October 2021 issue of the CPFF newsletter Hope Breathes Here, offers highlights from the video of the same name, with tips on coping strategies from Kamara Tayo-Jones, Social Work Therapist.

Read More