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Community Collab: How do you de-stress?

Posted by on Sep 30, 2016 in community collab, coping, featured, self care | 0 comments

Some days, we just need a little help to de-stress. Oh, what am I saying?! Every day we need to work to de-stress! So this week, our community collab post includes tons of things y’all love to use to de-stress. Personally, I like a hot bath, a lake view, some classic sci-fi, a little bourbon or some hot tea, some nice hand lotion, a great playlist, or meditation. Here’s what you offered (I got a lot of ideas!): Move a muscle, change a thought. Oh, and dogs. Sunshine and bare feet on the grass. If I can’t get out of bed then it’s binge-watching anything good. Cannabis, hot tubs, music. The beach. Salt air. Sun not necessary. It cleanses my soul. Something so large and powerful. I feel closer to God. I have to admit – today requires a Xanax. Hot tea & some chocolate, liberally apply a cat to my lap with my feet elevated and watch some distracting tv/movie or read. If I can’t sit, then some favorite music to move around to as much as I’m able that day. Hugs my critters. Watch a documentary (new info takes my mind off of what is making me antsy). Crafts. I have a chaise lounge in my backyard and I love sitting in it with a book or magazine. First go-to: fill the tub with sea salt and a few drops lavender essential oil, turn off the lights, candles, candles and candles and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I also love doing meditation or just listening to my iPod and a good book at Montreal’s Botanical Garden, literally a few minutes walk or 1 bus stop away on low spoon days. Epsom salts bath, then some restorative yoga. Unless it’s a really bad day and I can’t get in and out of the bath, let alone up and down off the mat. Those days it’s funny shows on Netflix or something. The Big Bang Theory is my happy place. It allows me to forget the pain for a half hour. I also enjoy guided meditations on YouTube. They are a huge help. On good days taking our kitty for a walk in the nature trail nearby. Being in the woods always restores my spirits. Meds, nap and read. Sitting under a shade tree looking out over any body of water. Taking a nap with my puppies! A nice long, hot bath and some gentle yoga usually help me destress! Even with this achy body, stretching is like meditation to...

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Whatever You CAN Do is Enough.

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in acceptance, coping, featured, friends and family, guest author, inspiration, resilience, self care | 11 comments

This post was guest-written by ChronicBabe Catherine Richardson.   I spent the first three years of my life with chronic illness completely unaware that I even had a chronic illness. I had daily symptoms and I even had a diagnosis, but a chronic illness? Sick? No. I wondered why it seemed like I had a harder time doing life than everyone around me, and I pushed myself too hard and stretched myself too thin in an effort to try and make up for that, but it never even crossed my mind that what I was dealing with was a chronic illness. After I got so sick that my whole life fell apart, chronic illness was still a really tricky concept to wrap my head around. It seemed horribly misplaced when used to describe me, but once I knew what I was working with I was able to start to reassemble my life accordingly. Four years later, chronic illness is my normal, and along with it have come other words and terms that I never imagined would be part of my life, words like hospital, feeding tube, central line, wheelchair and disability. Nothing about any of this has been easy, but that transition from the before to the after of realizing I had a chronic illness was also when other words and terms such as self-care, management, advocate, chronic illness community and acceptance became part of my life. These words are what have allowed me to cope with the scarier ones. My heart aches for that earlier version of myself because even though she was in better physical health than I am now, she so was burdened by the feeling that this was something she had to overcome and if she couldn’t make herself better it would be her fault. If I could go back in time I know exactly what I would tell her. It’s the same thing I tell myself so often when I’m worried about not being able to keep up. It’s what I tell myself every time I wonder if my brave face is going to be brave enough, every time I feel torn between what I think I should be able to do and what I realistically can do, and every time I try not to get my hopes up too high because I never know what my body will throw at me from one day to the next, even from one hour to the next. It’s also what I told my friend a few weeks ago when she used every ounce of energy she could muster up to attend a wedding yet she still wasn’t sure if it would be enough to carry her...

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What do you do when you feel like it’s the worst day ever and you want to give up?

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 in acceptance, ChronicBabe Basics, classic post, coping, fears, featured, resilience, self care | 5 comments

Special note: This is classic post appeared in 2012 on the original ChronicBabe site. And it’s an example of “getting back to the basics” we’ll be doing in the September 2016 Secret Club. Join us!   I’ve had them, and I bet you have, too: Those days when everything feels way too hard, like every small task is Herculean, like the world is out to get you, like nothing on Earth will ever be right again. The days when you feel like giving up. The days when you think it might just be easier to quit work, go on disability, and stop caring about your career. The days when you want to tell everyone you know to eff off. The days when you want to throw your purse in the car and just drive off into the sunset. The days when you want to kick your doctor in the nuts. The days when you feel utterly alone. The days when no one—not your nephew, your husband, your girlfriend, your daughter—can make you laugh, because there’s not a damn funny thing in the universe. The days that feel like a horror movie. The days when you turn out the lights, curl up under the covers, and sob yourself to sleep. The days when you Google your conditions endlessly, hoping someone has come up with a magic fix. The days when you feel like it’s not worth trying anymore. The days when you just don’t care. The days when you feel like it’s not worth it. The days when you feel like giving up. Yup, I’ve had those. You might be surprised by how often I hear this question: Maybe YOU haven’t felt this way, but how am I supposed to cope on the days when I want to give up? Oh, ladies. If you think I’ve never wanted to give up, you’ve got me all wrong. I’ve had plenty of those days, and I’m sure in my life I’ll have at least a few more. Even the most kickass ChronicBabe has moments of self-doubt and exhaustion and frustration. It just comes with the territory. So what do you do when you want to give up? First: Don’t. Next: Come here. Notice that there’s not just a website, but an entire community of women who have walked in your shoes. So you may not have someone holding your hand physically, but you’ve got thousands of women who can support you during your time of need. Then: Watch this 5-minute video of Bjork singing “It’s Not Up To You,” a song I find immensely comforting. The lyrics include this perfect bit: “If you wake up, and the day feels broken, just lean into...

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5 Reasons Why Leaving My Job and Working From Home Was The Best Decision I Ever Made

Posted by on Aug 15, 2016 in acceptance, career, coping, Creativity, featured, guest author, inspiration, pain, practicalities, resilience, self care, Work | 1 comment

This post was guest-written by Jennifer Kain Kilgore. Find her at her blog, Wear, Tear, & Care here. Hi! My name is Jen, and I’m a 29-year-old attorney, editor, writer, and patient advocate. I have spinal fractures from two car accidents that required two cervical fusions. The jury’s out on whether I’ll need more surgery. I worked in an office for three and a half years after law school. At that point I was dealing with the fallout from my first car accident, which happened in 2004 and decimated my thoracic spine. Law school happened, and then my job, and then… another accident. That second accident became a barrier to a normal life. Eventually I decided to leave my job and work from home. Here are the reasons why it was the best decision I ever made. My health comes first now. I was living the dream: I had a legal job that started at 8 am, ended around 6 pm, had great coworkers, and allowed for a life. My bosses were cool. During my second year, however, I had another car accident. The moment the pain set in, I knew I’d eventually have to leave the traditional workforce. In the year before I left I suffered from increasing pain (which caused repeated vomiting and a hernia), insomnia, loss of control of my hands, limping, muscle spasms, and loss of my ability to focus. In the end, it wasn’t worth it. Now, I telecommute from a recliner. I schedule my day around doctors’ appointments. I work a schedule that flows with when I’m feeling best. Before, there wasn’t time in the day to work on my health, so it controlled me. I am much happier.  The “What should I do?” questions wore down my family –  especially my husband. I steered every conversation in that direction because I wanted someone to say, “No, you can’t work.” I wanted someone to make that impossibly hard decision for me. My husband begged me to think about my health while I thought about finances. How could I leave without a backup plan? What if I made the wrong decision? So I did what is generally inadvisable. I started a side-hustle, working on sites like and to create a cushion for when I made the jump. I don’t know how I did that, because the level of pain at that point was inhuman. I think it’s because I knew that leaving was inevitable. Now, having the weight of that decision off my chest feels unbelievable. I can breathe. I can think. And with that, I can work. I’m not paralyzed. My body doesn’t rebel. The longer I stayed in the office, the more my body fought....

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QOTW: What’s in your drink?

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016 in community collab, Creativity, featured, guest author, inspiration, self care | 3 comments

This week we asked for your favorite cocktail and mocktail recipes and you gave us some amazing ideas to try! Here are some great summer cocktail and mocktails.   Homemade Lemonade Thanks Upala for this crazy awesome recipe! You need:  The juice of 1 large orange The juice of 2 lemons The juice of 3 limes Spring or filtered water Approx. 3/4 cup of cane sugar (or white sugar, honey, agave if you prefer) To make: Boil a little water first in the teapot and let it cool a bit Mix in the fruit juices Dissolve in sugar and add more sugar until you achieve desired sweetness Add garnishes: orange, lemon, lime slices, fresh mint leaves, muddled mint, etc. Chill or add ice If you’re in the mood Add tequila and a splash of orange liqueur OR some light rum Make it bubbly with some seltzer water   Lemon Drop Cocktail Thanks Tonya for this super easy recipe! For 2 drinks, mix: 3 Meyer lemons 4-5 oz. vodka simple syrup   Fake Outs Thanks Tracy for these great ideas! If you want a mocktail that looks like a cocktail here are some ideas: For a “fake” cranberry + vodka: cranberry juice and diet Gingerale! For a “fake” gin + tonic: seltzer with a lime! (I’ve heard from my cousin that this one works well.)   Espresso Martini Thanks Gemma for this pick-me-up cocktail! Mix (vigorously): 50 ml vodka 35 ml coffee liqueur 1 shot of espresso Ice   Summer Delight Thank you Genevieve for this delightfully simple recipe. Mix: Raspberry lemonade Peach vodka Yum!   Fancy Water Peggysue gives a lot of great infusion ideas for water. Mix any fruit (except bananas) in water or sparkling water. You can add spices based off your taste. Carry around in a mason jar! Cantaloupe and mush melon are great for hotter weather. I’ve been really into infusing my water lately and my favorites are strawberry with fizzy water; lemon, lime, and orange in still water; and grapefruit and rosemary in still water!   What’s in your drink, babes? Any other great mocktail or cocktail ideas for the summer? Have you tried any of these drinks yourself? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!   Post written by Alix Kramer, ChronicBabe intern and proud...

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Fashion Inspiration

Posted by on Aug 11, 2016 in Creativity, featured, guest author, inspiration, self care | 0 comments

So you’ve watched yesterday’s How To Rock Your Look #AWAPwednesday video and you’re feeling inspired to get inspired! Step one of vamping up your look is drawing inspiration from fashion bloggers, people whose literal jobs are to look fabulous. Follow the advice of the AWAP video closely and don’t start to feel stuck, though. Remember: you do not need to spend lots of money and change your physical appearance to look like these fashion inspirations. They are just here to help you get an idea of what looks you’d like to emulate!   First thing’s first If you don’t know what Bloglovin’ is, don’t worry, most people don’t. But basically Bloglovin’ is like twitter for blogs. You follow a bunch of fashion bloggers that you love and every time they post it pops up on your Bloglovin’ feed. It’s a great way to make sure you don’t miss anything new.   (A really fun sidenote: Bloglovin’ isn’t just for fashion blogs, even though that’s one of its primary uses. You can also follow Jenni there by typing in ChronicBabe in the search bar!)   As soon as you start your Bloglovin’ account I would recommend following Lookbook is essentially a dumping ground for amazing looks. Fashion bloggers and fashionable people from all over the world will upload their latest look to the site, just like the photo below from Lookbook. If you follow it on Bloglovin’ select looks posted to the site will come right to your feed. It’s a great way to not only see a quick look for inspiration but to find fashion bloggers you love that you can then follow.   Some of my faves Here are some of my favorite fashion bloggers. You might love them all, you might hate them all – it’s up to you to decide what aesthetic you want on your Bloglovin’ page and follow bloggers who fall into that look!   Happily Grey A clean, bohemian-chic blogger. Can’t get over this dress, tbh. And I’m always on the look out for statement dresses – flowy and loose is the way all clothing should be!     Hanna Stefansson Simple, Netherlands chic.     Neon Blush One of the first blogs I ever followed. Fashionable daily wear and a swimsuit focus. This whole look is fire.    Man Repeller Man Repeller is on a whole ‘nother level. Her website is more than a blog – Leandra Medine has created a fashion empire that’s all about not giving any f***s what people think. Follow for her fashion advice but also for her bad-assery. She is a must follow for her great sense of humor and very practical tips (Big Boob Styling 101, for example). She’s just...

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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. 

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. 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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