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Don’t take this personally, but… #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in ChronicBabe Basics, featured, friends and family, relationships, resilience | 0 comments

It is very easy to take the criticism of others personally. Trust me: As a public person, I receive a lot of criticism, so I’m continually learning how to NOT take it personally. In today’s video, I share a few things that help me keep my distance from the opinions of others: *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: How have you shrugged off rude comments from others? How do you stop yourself from taking things personally? Share your experience in the comments below. Want more #AWAPwednesday? Check out our #AWAPwednesday video playlist, which has more than 100 videos packed with practical advice, lots of humor, and bloopers. Lots of 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! (Loose) Transcript: No offense, but… (insert something offensive) Don’t take this personally, but… (insert something definitely personal) It’s not a big deal but… (insert something that’s a big deal) Step one of learning how to not take things personally: earplugs as soon as you hear those warning phrases! (off-screen: Alix: Don’t take this personally, but…)   Hi! I’m Jenni Grover Prokopy of ChronicBabe.com and today is AWAP Wednesday (that stands for As Well As Possible). Each week, I offer you my personal 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? It is very easy to take the criticism of others personally. Trust me: As a public person, I receive a lot of criticism, so I’m continually learning how to NOT take it personally. Here are a few things that help me keep my distance from the opinions of others: They’ve got baggage Every person who criticizes you has their own baggage, their own history, which impacts how they behave. It can be challenging, but maintaining some perspective on their background can help you shirk off their critique. For example: Let’s say one of your friends is really harshing on how you talk to your significant other. Yes, it stings! But: She’s going through a divorce, so she’s probably projecting her own frustrations or fears, unintentionally. So perhaps instead of letting her criticism stick with you, you can try to release it, knowing it’s not about you. It’s not about you Speaking of “it’s not about you,” we often interpret things other people say as being aimed at us, when in fact, it has nothing to do with us. For example: Let’s say you’re at the doctor’s office and the nurse puts you on the scale. “I see you’ve...

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I Am Sew Supportive

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in acceptance, community collab, coping, Creativity, featured, inspiration, practicalities, resilience | 3 comments

Post written by ChronicBabe Tracy Mooney   About a year and a half ago, I was talking to one of my sewing buddies on the phone. We both have autoimmune disorders and we were discussing the ways in which we set up our sewing rooms to accommodate our bad health days.   She said something like “It is unbelievable what we are willing to do just to keep sewing!”   I countered with “But we have already given up so much! Why would we give up something that brings us so much joy???”   As a senior editor for the quilting magazine Generation Q, I travel to buyer’s conventions like Quilt Market and VDTA/SDTA. I found myself often saying to manufacturers “You know, you can market this to people in wheelchairs, people with tremors, and people with arthritis.” Somewhere in these moments is where it became my unconscious mission to help our community keep sewing.   I realized the importance of continuing to do the things we love when faced with chronic illness. Being diagnosed with an incurable disease and facing chronic pain on the daily is incredibly difficult to process. It is so easy to fall into depression. It is so easy to give up hope.   Perhaps you sew, or love something else. Perhaps you are a runner, build models, paint, dance, garden, love woodworking, or car restoration – it doesn’t matter what your hobby is – it just matters that you keep doing it.   For me, I look for ways and products that help sewing enthusiasts modify the way they sew. This can be special glasses that help them see better, guides that fit on their machines to help keep the fabric steady, or even managing break time with ice breaks to minimize pain. What can you do to modify your favorite hobby ChronicBabe-style?   Recently, a friend of mine was experiencing a flare and found that she couldn’t join her running club. She was worried that she was missing out on social time with her friends and that they would move on without her. I suggested she look at other ways to participate. So she contacted the organizer and found they needed help setting up drinking stations. She was thrilled. She could still visit with her buds even if she couldn’t run because of a flare.   Some of my readers love quilting, but when they are in a flare don’t have the energy or physical stamina to sew. One creative ChronicBabe said she would stroke and refold her fabric collection. Another said she would sort and choose fabrics for her next project.     Be creative! Think outside the box! What is it...

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How to look really good even if you feel really bad #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in ChronicBabe Basics, coping, featured, resilience, self care | 2 comments

  Being a ChronicBabe often means we have to make sacrifices—and that can mean we spend more time managing our symptoms and less time primping and practicing good self-care. No more! I dare you to look good. I know you can. Here are my six favorite tips for looking good even when you feel really bad. It will boost your mood, sugar—promise. *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: How about you: How do you preserve your self-care routine even if you’re flaring up? Share your experience in the comments below. Want more #AWAPwednesday? Check out our #AWAPwednesday video playlist, which has more than 100 videos packed with practical advice, lots of humor, and bloopers. Lots of 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! (Loose) Transcript: My throat is scratchy, my fibro is flaring, and I definitely did not get enough sleep… But I look amazing. And I feel amazing, in part, because I look amazing. Today, I’m going to help you look fabulous, too. Hi! I’m Jenni Grover Prokopy of ChronicBabe.com and today is AWAP Wednesday (that stands for As Well As Possible). Each week, I offer you my personal 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?   All of us have days when we feel like crud, even non-ChronicBabes. But you’ve heard the phrase “fake it til you make it,” right? There’s real truth there, my loves. There are six things I do on crummy days that help me to feel gorgeous, which lifts my mood and helps me project an air of confidence and does wonders for my self-esteem. Here we go: Wash my face Even if I don’t have the time or energy to take a full shower, I wash my face and moisturize. Always. Put on mascara Some of you don’t wear makeup, and that’s cool, but some of us do. My little eyelashes are blonde, so when I don’t have mascara on, my eyes look really tired. So a quick coat of mascara does wonders. Put on real clothes As ChronicBabes, many of us spend most of our lives in PJs. Trust me–I loooove a good PJ pant. But on really crummy days when I want to feel beautiful in spite of my symptoms, I wave buh-bye to PJ pants and throw on a cute dress. It’s an easy way to feel “put together” in just one quick change. Drink water This is so simple and may...

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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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Choose Happy

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in acceptance, community collab, coping, featured, guest author, inspiration, resilience | 1 comment

Post written by ChronicBabe Tracy Mooney   It’s been three and a half years. Three and a half years since my diagnosis, trying to learn the limits of my body, and to learn the new “normal.”   And yet, in those three and a half years I still haven’t figured it all out. At least five days a week I still find myself wondering aloud why am I so tired? as if this is not my life. As if I don’t feel like this every day. This is my life, just as it is the life of every other person living with autoimmune disease.   At first I tried to fight it. I thought if I just did everything right I would get better. So I made changes to my diet, I drank water, I exercised regularly, I slept. And still my disease continued.   I tried taking herbs. I thought somehow there would be a magical combination of herbal tea that would somehow make me well. Then I realized that boosting my immune system just “boosted” my messed up immune system. Silly me! My immune system is broken.   I tried restricting my diet even more. I thought, there must be something I’m eating that my body is allergic to. If I just juice enough, or cut out sugar and dairy, or eat enough salad, I will get well!   When nothing made any difference at all, it slowly started to sink in. THIS IS MY NORMAL.   I am always going to be tired. I’m always going to be hurting. I am always going to be fighting swollen fingers and swollen joints. I am always going to feel like I’m thirsty. I’m always going to feel like I’ve got sand in my eyes. I’m always going to have to balance what I do every day so that I have enough energy for the things I really want to do.   For me, the lesson is about taking care of myself and learning to be kind to myself when I can’t do as much as I used to be able to do. This experience is about learning.   Each day I make choices, moment to moment. I make choices that help me feel better. I choose to rest. I choose not to engage with people or situations that stress me out. I choose not to take things personally.   I choose to do something that makes me happy, like sewing. I choose to listen to music that lifts my mood and makes me want to dance. I choose to use some essential oils in my space that help me relax or energize me or simply to make me...

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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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