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Tips for being a Chronic Explorer Gal on the Go

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 in Creativity, featured, guest author, inspiration, practicalities, resilience, self care | 4 comments

This post is guest written by ChronicBabe Michelle R.   Hi ChronicBabes! I’m Michelle. I’m currently attending school in Stockholm to multitask on my dreams of going back to school and living in Europe. I also have an autoimmune disease called ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura if you feel sassy), in addition to Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Living abroad with health challenges can be annoying, but it hasn’t stopped me from exploring my new surroundings.   I travel when possible, and it usually turns out to be solo. Being a “sick” single gal on the go is tricky, but often more rewarding. I found that with extra planning, trips by myself are possible! Each journey I discover something new about managing my health, and here are some self-care tricks and practical tips I’ve learned so far.   Shyness is nice! (eh, sorta) The Smiths song “Ask” has some of my favorite advice: “Shyness is nice, and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to.” When I need help or advice I buck up and just ask someone. This is essential for me despite feeling anxious to do so. Asking around has also led to making new friends or getting some tips that make the journey more enjoyable.   “Just in case” Case Stranded at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere in a country where you don’t speak the language is not a fun place to be. I make sure to carry extra water, snacks, meds (don’t forget the Rx if you have it), tiny first aid kit, and extra charger until I can get somewhere where I can get something to eat/directions. I’m hopeful, but I try and anticipate any sticky situations.       Self Aid Bonuses I also carry some supplemental bonuses that help with anxiety or just well-being in general. This could include pedialyte packets, headphones for calming podcasts or music, and scented oil when I need more zen. The headphones/music helps especially when I know I’m going to be in crowded, unfamiliar areas that might trigger anxiety, such as a subway or major tourist spot where everyone’s loud and slapping me in the face with their selfie sticks. It’s happened more than once.   Sit! It sounds obvious but sometimes I forget to just sit and take a breather! It’s amazing how you can turn anything into a seating arrangement. Window sills, curbs, concrete street barriers. Anything. Most recently in Rome while trying to find shade outside the colosseum I found some tiny space around the base of an ancient pillar ruin to sit on. If you need a rest but there’s no actual seating – give MacGyver a...

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QOTW: What’s in your ear buds?

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in community collab, coping, Creativity, featured, guest author, humor, inspiration, self care | 2 comments

We asked, you answered! This week our Question Of The Week was “What’s your favorite podcast that gets you through the week?” Here are some new podcasts for you to listen to, suggested by our ChronicBabe community: 2 Dope Queens Dedra suggested the WNYC podcast “2 Dope Queens.” I recently began listening to it and it’s an amazing commute podcast as it’s essentially a live comedy show with some of the funniest people in NYC. Listen to it here.   Adventures in Roommating Thanks Brianna for this suggestion! “Adventures in Rommating” follows two roommates living together in LA who talk about love, life, and film. Listen to it here.   Lore Fran suggested Aaron Manke’s podcast, “Lore,” and I’m totally with her! It’s a wonderfully skin crawly podcast that details true scary stories. Listen to it here.   Welcome to Night Vale Thanks Sabrina for this cult podcast classic. The podcast gives updates on the ficitonal small desert town of Night Vale. Listen to it here.   99% Invisible Kerry-Ann suggested this popular podcast that won the Webby award this year for best podcast. “99% Invisible” is about the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world. Listen to it here.   Still Untitled the Adam Savage Project Amy Graves (read her contributor article here!) suggested this podcast where Adam Savage, Norm and Will discuss all topics from Adam’s life to hot-button issues within the maker community. Listen to it here.   History of English Vikki, “language geek,” suggested this podcast that is covering the history of the English language, starting at the beginning. The podcast is barely into Middle Ages, so follow it as it progresses to our modern-day English! Listen to it here.   Can I Pet Your Dog? Thank you Anne for introducing us to this podcast for unashamed dog lovers. The podcast includes segments liked “Dogs We Met This Week,” “Cool Dog Tech,” “Mutt Minute,” “Cool Dog Tech,” and “Dog News.” Listen to it here.   Stuff You Should Know My favorite podcast will always be “Stuff You Should Know” from HowStuffWorks.com. It’s a podcast hosted by Josh and Chuck where they cover everything you would ever want to know, from SuperBalls to LSD to cats to poop (a lot of us can really learn a lot from that one!) to Lizzie Borden to animal imprinting. Truly everything! Give it a listen here.   Do you have any favorite podcasts we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!   This post was written by Alix Kramer, ChronicBabe intern and proud ChronicBabe....

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QOTW: What’s your favorite self-care practice?

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in community collab, coping, Creativity, featured, guest author, humor, inspiration, practicalities, self care | 6 comments

ChronicBabes need to take some time to indulge in self care and self love. This week we asked you What’s your favorite self-care practice? Here are some of our favorite responses:   Painting our Nails Here’s Jenni with her nail polish: And a gorgeous showing from Katie S.   Face Masks My guilty pleasure is face masks…every day. CVS sells some really great bottles of face mask stuff for cheap and the 4 bottles I have have lasted me for 3 years! Here I am wearing the avocado mask. According to CVS they are just $4 a pop! My favorites are the avocado and the blue one (dead sea minerals). Peep them here. Reading a good book Mary Beth L. likes to read with her little dachshund next to her! Mary Beth I think we’d all like to know the name of the book you’re reading your adorable puppy. Other great ideas An epsom salt bath Spending time outside Bike rides Adult coloring books (This coloring book is hilarious and highly recommended by me if you’re going through a break up.)   Do you have any other great ways to practice radical self care? Let us know in the comments!   Post written by Alix Kramer, ChronicBabe intern and proud...

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How I Maintain My Happy

Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 in acceptance, coping, Creativity, featured, guest author, inspiration, pain, resilience | 10 comments

Post written by ChronicBabe Amy Graves   In the Beginning… I’ve dealt with different types of chronic pain for as long as I can remember. I was diagnosed with migraines and seizures at the age of three; this meant that at an early age I had to learn how to manage pain. I trained myself to go to bed as soon as I felt a migraine coming. I learned what my triggers were for seizures and attempted to avoid them. I was lucky in that I still had a mostly normal childhood. Then, in 2004, I injured my left arm. As a result of that injury I was diagnosed in 2007 with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Through three years and 13 doctors, I kept telling myself someone will figure this out. The pain will be cured and I will go back to normal. But the diagnosis brought with it the realization I would have to live in pain every day for the rest of my life.   The Realization that Sparked a Change My diagnosis left me depressed. How could I live with constant burning pain? My pain levels started increasing and the feeling of hopelessness was completely consuming. Then one day I was on the phone with my mom. I realized I had become a negative person – like her. I looked at her life, and I didn’t want to go down the same path. So I made a deliberate decision to reform my attitude. I altered my focus so finding the positive became a daily practice. This change in thought was not easy. It took at least a year before I was able to see the positive without having to stop and ask myself what is the silver lining? This does not mean I was – or am – happy all the time. When I lost the ability to work 20 hours a week I had to focus on the positive outcomes. I trained myself to look at the positives rather than focusing on the negatives, like losing money.   My Secret The key to me maintaining my happy is allowing myself to have bad days. I have days where I cry or get mad at the world. At the end of the day, I know it won’t solve my problems, but I feel better. You will exhaust yourself trying to be positive all the time. No one else can expect you to be happy all the time, either. When I have to deal with a problem, I let myself feel the necessary emotions, whether it be anger, sadness, or even fear. Once I am done, I sit back and analyze the situation. I focus on...

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Community Collab: What’s in Your Bag?

Posted by on Jul 8, 2016 in community collab, Creativity, featured, guest author, practicalities, self care | 3 comments

Hey babes! This week’s QOTW was “What’s one thing you never leave home without?” We had a bunch of great answers and an especially funny one (that you’ll have to scroll to the bottom to see!)   Some of the most common answers included: Phone, with pill timers! Hair ties ChapStick Inhaler Credit cards and drivers license (note the license info) Kleenex And of course pills of every shape and size And: keys, wallet, planner, pain gel, water Our favorite answer comes from Ann U. She says: “I think we should list what we WISH we carried! My list is a string bikini, a thermos of piña coladas, George Clooney’s phone number & keys to my Maserati.” All graphics made by Alix Kramer, ChronicBabe intern and proud...

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Community Collab: What’s Your Favorite Feel-Good TV Show

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016 in community collab, coping, Creativity, featured, friends and family, guest author, inspiration, self care | 2 comments

Hey babes! We had a ton of amazing suggestions for our Question of the Week about your favorite feel-good TV show. Here’s a list of all your favorites, along with some awesome quotes. Save this as a reference for the next time you’re feeling down! Multiple Mentions Some of the shows were hella appreciated by the community. The Golden Girls The Golden Girls was by far the winner with five separate mentions as favorite feel-good TV show. The Golden Girls is a sitcom about four older, single women living in Miami. The show, and the women featured, have remained iconic for decades. Great Quote: “The older you get, the better you get. Unless you’re a banana.” Frasier Frasier tied for second place with three separate mentions. Frasier is a Cheers successor about psychiatrist Frasier Crane, who gets into all types of situations in Seattle with his father (with whom he shares an apartment), his father’s physical care assistant, his brother, and Eddie the dog. Great Quote: “You know what? Copernicus called and you are NOT the center of the universe!” The Big Bang Theory The Big Bang Theory tied with Frasier for second place with three separate mentions. The Big Bang Theory follows best friends and physicists Leonard and Sheldon and their friends Howard and Rajesh as they try to interact with Penny, Leonard, and Sheldon’s pretty neighbor. The show is still on air. Great Quote: “Scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes lizard, lizard poisons Spock, Spock smashes scissors, scissors decapitates lizard, lizard eats paper, paper disproves Spock, Spock vaporizes rock, and, as it always has, rock crushes scissors.” Gilmore Girls Gilmore Girls also had two mentions. Gilmore Girls is a drama that focuses on the relationship between single mom Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter, Rory. Great Quote: “It’s all any of us wants: to find a nice person to hang out with ’til we drop dead. Not a lot to ask!” Parks and Rec Parks and Recreation also had two mentions. Parks and Rec follows Leslie Knope, superstar woman and deputy director of the Parks and Recreation Department in Pawnee, Indiana. It’s a laugh-out-loud show that follows the antics of the office employees: Ron Swanson, April Ludgate, Andy Dwyer, Tom Haverford, Ann Perkins, and Ben Wyatt, to name a few. Great Quote: “We have a couple of house rules though. You can’t use the front door; you have to climb in through the back window. No personal phone conversations. If you ever speak to me in Spanish, please use the formal ‘usted.’ And no electricity after 6:00 PM. A couple more rules: if you ever watch a sad movie, you have to wear mascara so we can see whether or not you’ve been crying. There’s no noise allowed on Mondays. And no...

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Info posted here should not be considered medical advice; it's not intended to replace consultation with physicians or other health care providers. 

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