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When Life Knocks You Down, Get Up! Get On Up (AWAP Wednesday)

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in coping, depression, featured, inspiration, self care | 10 comments

Today’s AWAP Wednesday video is all about cultivating resilience—the ability to stay strong in the face of, or bounce back from, adversity. This is a skill every ChronicBabe MUST nurture. Watch today’s video, in which I share some of my favorite ways to keep my resilience strong, and some tips for YOU to build your own inner strength: *AWAP = As Well As Possible Also: James Brown does the song way better than me. I mean, obviously. Now it’s your turn: What lifts your spirits on a big bad day? I wanna know! Join the conversation in the comments below, share your experience and ask for advice from our community. Want to watch more videos like this? Check out our AWAP Wednesday video playlist, which has more than eight hours of guidance, advice, and bloopers. Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email. Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches! (Rough) transcript: Get up, get on up. Get up, get on up. Girl, I’m singing to YOU today because it’s time for you to get UP. Get up! Get on up… Hi! I’m Jenni Prokopy of ChronicBabe.com and today is AWAP Wednesday (that stands for As Well As Possible). Each week, I offer you my favorite tips and techniques to help you craft an incredible life beyond illness. Yes! I know you can. Subscribe to the ChronicBabe YouTube channel today to make sure you never miss another video, OK? We all have down days. And us sick chicks? Well, we have more down days than most people. I live with depression, and I have some REALLY down days. And it’s hard to get back up after a major depressive episode, or a good old-fashioned fibromyalgia flare-up. Today, I want to share some of my favorite tips for getting back up when life knocks you down. Sing Along Playlists are my life, babes. I listen to music all day, and playlists help set the tone. I use Spotify, but you can also use Pandora, Apple Music or any of a number of free and paid services to create playlists. My playlists help me approach a day with renewed energy. Or they help me calm down when I’m super-anxious or agitated. They remind me that I’m surrounded by people who love me. And they help me feel more connected with the world. Want to hear some of my favorite uplifting tunes? Head to Spotify—my username is ChronicBabe, natch—and you can subscribe to my ChronicBabe playlist. Picture Show Pictures also stimulate my mind and help me get back to my happy place. So I’ve created a few slideshows on my computer of things I love, like the shores of Lake...

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How to Survive the Holidays with Chronic Illness: A Community Collection

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in coping, depression, featured, holidays, practicalities | 8 comments

Howdy! Today is AWAP Wednesday, and with Thanksgiving landing on top of us (in the U.S., anyway) TOMORROW, I wanted to offer you a bunch of resources on coping with the holidays. So instead of a video this week, below are a bunch of lovely resources from around the Interwebs. Why did I call this a community collection? I’ll be adding to this list periodically through the end of the year, so if you find a resource I should add, please mention it in the comments. We can create better resources as a community. Some light reading to get you started: Kim at Grace is Sufficient (Finding Hope and Purpose After Diagnosis) has created a lovely round-up (including moi) of chronic illness experts and bloggers, who share their favorite survival holiday tips. Thirsty? And here’s how to make Nutella hot chocolate. My pal Jeri just posted a piece on surviving the holidays when you have MS (this advice TOTALLY applies to many other illnesses, too!). Practical practical practical tips abound in this WebMD piece on holiday stress and chronic illness. Don’t pass up my 25 ways to manage holiday stress. This article on how to talk with loved ones about chronic illness during the holidays is still relevant a year later.. Here is some info on holiday stress and depression. …and then here are six tips for finding joy in the holiday season. Ali at A New Kind of Normal has some great practical tips for us when it comes to surviving the holiday season. And as holiday gifts come rolling in, don’t forget these 24 ways to say thank you. So how about you, babe? How do you make the holiday season merry and bright, even if you’re a total sicko? I would LOVE to hear your ideas so jump into the comments below and share your...

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AWAP Wednesday: Sacred Practices Revisited

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in ChronicBabe Basics, coping, depression, featured, practicalities, resilience, self care | 3 comments

Today’s AWAP Wednesday* video answers a question from a fellow ChronicBabe. She wrote, essentially, that despite knowing that she needs to bathe daily, she has lost motivation to do so. I think there are three main reasons we, as ChronicBabes, sometimes falter in our self care. In today’s video, I examine the three reasons… and offer some guidance on how to use our “sacred practices” to get back on track. Check out the video now: Now it’s your turn: What are YOUR sacred practices? How do you take steps to make sure your self care game is strong? I’d love it if you shared your story in the comments below this video’s post. We have AWESOME conversations every day at the site and I would LOVE for you to be part of the community! Did you like this video? Please “like” it on YouTube or Facebook and share it with your friends through social media. Want to watch more videos like this? Check out our AWAP Wednesday video playlist, which has more than five and a half hours of guidance, advice, and bloopers. Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email. Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches! *AWAP = As Well As Possible A (rough) transcript: Today’s AWAP Wednesday* video answers a question from a fellow ChronicBabe, about an issue that I think many of us ChronicBabes face. She wrote, essentially, that despite knowing that she needs to bathe daily, she has lost motivation to do so. I think there are three main reasons we, as ChronicBabes, sometimes falter in our self care. First, I want to say that I totally know what it means to falter in our self care, to not want to take care of yourself. Maybe some people watching this video won’t understand, but I think a lot of us DO understand what it’s like to know that we should take a few extra steps to take care of ourselves, and then not taking those steps and not really quite knowing why. This is something I experience in my own life, and that I know a lot of you experience too, so I’m going to take a run at identifying some of the reasons why. Depression and chronic illness self care One of the primary causes of this behavior — where we choose not to take care of ourselves — is depression. It’s really common for those of us with illness to also have depression, and that’s a really understandable situation. The thing about depression is that it keeps us from taking good care of ourselves. But once we can get into a good rhythm of taking care of ourselves, it...

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AWAP Wednesday: Invisible Illness Week & Suicide Awareness

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in coping, depression, featured, suicide | 20 comments

We’re in the middle of Invisible Illness Week, an annual event that educates and inspires folks about our experience. It’s also National Suicide Prevention Day… and because those of us with chronic illness experience extremely high suicide rates, I thought I’d mix things up today. Check out today’s video, with a brief, silly and love-filled message from me to you: Now it’s your turn: Share this with someone you love. Share it with someone you know needs help. And if you care to, share your story in the comments below this video’s post. We have AWESOME conversations every day at the site and I would LOVE for you to be part of the community! Did you like this video? Please “like” it on YouTube or Facebook and share it with your friends through social media. Want to watch more videos like this? Check out our AWAP Wednesday video playlist, which has more than four hours of guidance, advice, and bloopers. Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email. Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches! *AWAP = As Well As...

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AWAP Wednesday: The Suicide Edition.

Posted by on Jul 23, 2014 in caregivers, depression, featured, friends and family, suicide | 59 comments

It’s been a rough couple days here at ChronicBabe HQ. I lost a family member to suicide this week, and it’s shaken me to the core. Why did she do it? Why didn’t she accept help long before this week? Why didn’t anyone take her previous attempts seriously? Why am I so mad and sad at the same time? Why do I empathize with her and also fear that feeling? I’m all mixed up. Unfortunately, suicide is quite common among those with chronic physical and mental illnesses, as well as chronic pain. Some research has claimed that 10% of suicides are committed by people with chronic illness or pain. A study published in JAMA agrees, citing back pain as an even stronger motivator of suicidal ideation. In light of this week’s experience and these statistics, I am foregoing my usual AWAP Wednesday video and instead posting a ton of resources on suicide. I hope you can understand why. Please join me in sending light and love to all who contemplate or commit suicide, and to their friends, families and other loved ones, who are left behind with so many questions. And please, please y’all – let’s leave judgment at the door. Last but not least: I’m sure I’ve left off some amazing resources. Please add any you wish in the comments below. Resources: For those who are considering suicide, and their loved ones To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) – a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. National Suicide Prevention Hotline – a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Suicide Hotlines organized by state – just what it sounds like. 2-1-1.org – created by United Way, this site provides free and confidential resources on health care, housing, counseling and more. Veterans Crisis Line – connects Veterans in crisis (and their friends and families) with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs employees through a confidential, toll-free hotline, online chat or text. I Am Alive – an online crisis network, 100% of whose volunteers are trained and certified in crisis intervention. Thinking…About Suicide – a Christian faith-based organization offering a platform for those contemplating suicide, as well as survivors, to talk about their feelings. Kevin Briggs, Golden Gate guardian, TED Talk – a message for families of those who are contemplating suicide, from someone who has helped many. Suicide: The warning signs Suicide Awareness Voices of Education – this site offers this concise list of things to watch out for, plus a ton of other resources. WebMD – this tried-and-true healthcare site has its own take on the signs to watch...

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AWAP Wednesday: How do you stop throwing pity parties?

Posted by on May 21, 2014 in acceptance, coping, depression, featured | 26 comments

Hi babes! Today’s question comes from a fellow ChronicBabe, who is really struggling with her multiple illnesses. She asks: “I have probably the stupidest subject but I’ll ask you anyway. I was diagnosed with Lupus, fibro depression and extreme anxiety. I became disabled very quickly in 1990 at the age of 18. Why am I still not able to accept that this is the way I have to live with these chronic illnesses? I’m always and still asking WHY ME? It’s been so long that I’ve been sick and I just want to be a normal wife, mother, daughter and friend. I can’t seem to come to terms that this is my life and I have to deal with it and stop this pity party I keep throwing myself” Babe, I hear you. Being sick sucks. It makes sense that you would ask “why me?” What we’re talking about here is acceptance. You haven’t accepted it yet, so you’re stuck in the questioning phase still – which means you can’t get to the “living as well as possible” phase. Acceptance is not giving up, or giving in. It’s getting real. And it’s time for you to get real with your chronic illness. Check out today’s AWAP Wednesday video: Now it’s your turn: How do you stop throwing pity parties? Share your story (and your favorite tips for avoiding the pity parties!) in the comments below this video’s post. We have AWESOME conversations every day at the site and I would LOVE for you to be part of the community! Did you like this video? Please “like” it on YouTube or Facebook and share it with your friends through social media. Want to watch more videos like this? Check out our AWAP Wednesday video playlist, which has more than three hours of guidance, advice, and bloopers. Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email. Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches! *AWAP = As Well As Possible Rough* video transcript: Hi babes! Today’s question comes from a fellow ChronicBabe, who sent me a really heartfelt question, one I can relate to – and I bet you can, too. She asks: “I have probably the stupidest subject but I’ll ask you anyway. I was diagnosed with Lupus, fibro depression and extreme anxiety. I became disabled very quickly in 1990 at the age of 18. Why am I still not able to accept that this is the way I have to live with these chronic illnesses? I’m always and still asking WHY ME? It’s been so long that I’ve been sick and I just want to be a normal wife, mother, daughter and friend. I can’t seem to come to terms that this is...

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WE’RE NOT DOCS!

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

Every Babe needs to find her own path for achieving optimal wellness. While we do tons to help guide you, it’s up to each of you to make well-informed choices and live with the consequences. ChronicBabe.com assumes no liability or responsibility for stuff that goes wrong.

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Take what you like from this space, and leave the rest. Use what you learn to make your life better. Be responsible for your own choices. And please don’t sue us. XO!

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