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AWAP Wednesday: How to Survive the Holidays (Guest Post with Tons of Resources)

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in caregivers, coping, featured, guest author, holidays, pain | 2 comments

Hi friends! Please welcome Shannon (she just uses a first name…such a rock star like Prince or Björk!) as our guest blogger this week. She’s a longtime friend of ChronicBabe who is a fantastic blogger in her own right; check her out at Nip Pain in the Bud & Let Your Soul Blossom. Today, Shannon offers her top resources on surviving the holidays. I thought I’d let her take over AWAP Wednesday today, as we’re all in a holiday rush — so she’s helping me out, and helping us ALL out with tons of great ideas. Without further ado, read on… Let’s start with something crucially important for us all: Holiday Rx Safety: Protect Your Loved Ones by Safeguarding Your Medications by Shannon (Shannon recommends reading this piece, too, for even more complete information.) Also: The ChronicBabe Freebies section has PDFs full of resources on handling holiday stress, saying thank you gracefully, handling naysayers, answering the question “how are you” with honesty and thoughtfulness, and much more. Explore — they’re all free! Maintaining Balance During the Holidays Surviving the Holidays when You’re Chronically Ill by Toni Bernhard, J.D. Christmas is Coming… Be Flexible & Adaptable by Jan Sadler Making Happy Changes in Your Holidays by Marie Hartwell-Walker, ED.D. The Ultimate Guide for Surviving the Holidays with Fibromyalgia and CFS/ME and Chronic Health Issues by Jacynthe Sonne Simplifying the Holidays by Marie Hartwell-Walker, ED.D. Surviving the Holidays When You’re in Pain by Ken Taylor 3 Holiday Warning Bells of Stress by Sue Ingebretson Chronic Illness and the Holidays: Experts describe strategies to let people with chronic illness enjoy the holidays by Louise Chang, M.D. Coping with Isolation, Loneliness and Depression During the Holidays  Holiday Depression by Tracy Rydzy, M.S.W., L.S.W. How to Ease the Pain of Isolation During the Holidays by Toni Bernhard, J.D. Depression, Winter, and the Holiday Season by Diana Lee Beating the Holiday Blues by Maud Purcell, L.C.S.W., C.E.A.P. Coping With Loneliness During the Holidays by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. Emotional Survival Guide for the Holidays: Experts explain some simple methods for driving away the holiday blues by Denise Mann Planning Tips to Prevent Holiday Chaos Take Your Time at Christmas by Jan Sadler Surviving the Holidays: Give yourself the G.I.F.T. of a stress-free holiday by Karen Lee Richards 10 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress by Karen Lee Richards Strategies for Special Events by Bruce Campbell Tame Your Holiday Fibro Frenzy by Sue Ingebretson 6 Tips for Making Holiday Plans Go Smoothly by Kerrie Smyres Dealing with the Expectations or Judgments of Others Reduce Holiday Stress by Educating Others About Your Health by Toni Bernhard, J.D. 6 Ways to Handle Holiday Controllers, Critics and Coaches by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T. Rudolph meets Dr. Seuss: ‘Be Who You Are’ by Shannon Helpful Gift Tips The (Re)Cycle of Giving by Shannon Holiday Travel...

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AWAP Wednesday: How Do I Handle Unwanted Advice?

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in caregivers, coping, featured, friends and family, relationships | 29 comments

Your Aunt Sally wants to help you find a “real” doctor who will “cure” your rheumatoid arthritis. Your friend Reggie seems to think a vegan gluten-free paleo diet is just what you need to feel better, and he’s pretty insistent. Your co-worker Pam keeps bringing up your anxiety during staff meetings because she believes that talk therapy helps…and she seems to consider herself your therapist. Sound familiar? I bet it does! In fact, I would bet you money there’s not a single one of us ChronicBabes who hasn’t been insulted by someone with well-meaning intention who gives crap advice. So, what to do when faced with unwanted, unsolicited advice? Check out today’s video, in which I describe a pretty simple conversational model for handling conversations with folks who give unsolicited advice: Now it’s your turn: How have you handled conversations about “cures” and “salves” and “crazy unsolicited advice?” What works for you, and what has flopped? 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. – 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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