Because so many of us learn through sound and vision, as well as reading, it was important to me to create this series of videos to go with ChronicBabe 101. Each video has a personal story about my journey as a ChronicBabe—and you get an inside look at my day-to-day life. Plus: each video has a super-dorky cheer (complete with pom poms!) I wrote about illness to make you giggle.
I hope these videos give you powerful food for thought…and if you need a belly laugh, watch the Super Duper Mega Blooper Reel.
Lesson 1: Acceptance
Right after my fibromyalgia diagnosis, I was told to exercise…so I thought I would swim away my illness. Instead, I learned a powerful lesson about working with my body, instead of fighting against it.
Lesson 2: Breaking Bad Habits
A while back, I let my financial tracking slide…and because of that, I didn’t realize I was way over-spending on some of my prescriptions. It was a real lesson in not beating myself up for being imperfect…and taking the opportunity to build a new good habit.
Lesson 3: Turn Around Negative Thinking
In the early days of my illness, I was a total catastrophizer…so my docs instituted a special rule to help me learn to monitor my health without spinning out of control. You can use this rule, too! Sometimes, we need help to press pause on negative thoughts.
Lesson 4: Boundaries
I’ve learned how to create a mental “boundaries wardrobe” so I can envision how much I want to let in…or out. Sometimes, you need a suit of armor; sometimes, you can get away with a mesh tank top. What will your boundaries wardrobe look like?
Lesson 5: How to Love Your Body Again
You may be surprised to know that I sometimes really hate my body…and for a while, it kept me from doing something I really love! I hope this personal lesson about accepting your body—even with its flaws—resonates for you.
Lesson 6: Team Building
Team Jenni rules! An accident a few years ago sent me to the hospital for serious surgery… and if I hadn’t worked on building my support team for many years, it would have been a real nightmare. It’s essential to make the effort to build your team.
Lesson 7: Strengthen Personal Relationships
In all relationships—romantic ones in particular—it’s important to make things a two-way street and be clear about your needs. There’s no underestimating the power of mutual respect, and that’s especially important for us ChronicBabes.
Lesson 8: Career and School Success
If you’re facing a career or school change because of illness, it’s essential to think creatively about how you’ll make the change. I share a couple stories about creative thinking—and how important it is to honor our passions.
Lesson 9: Be a Talented Communicator
You can’t expect anyone to read your mind, but you can expect some people to anticipate some of your needs, some of the time. In this video, I talk about developing different ways of communicating with each person in your life. (And you get to meet my “pork” friend!)
Lesson 10: Get Organized
A little bit of research can go a long way, especially when it comes to figuring out how to live better. Here are some tips for researching ways to get out of a rut and manage your time effectively—so you can enjoy your life more every day.
Super Duper Mega Blooper Reel
Need a good laugh? Here’s some evidence that I’m a total goofball…imperfect, and completely okay with it. Enjoy!
P.S. You may notice that I recorded these videos a couple years ago…so a few things have changed, like my glasses—and my last name. One really important lesson I’ve learned from making the ChronicBabe 101 project is that sometimes, illness wants to get in the way of our success. In my case, it meant some significant project delays. With lots of support, I persevered—I hope you’ll take that as one final lesson on your own journey.
Special thanks to Elizabeth McQuern for helping me create this special video series.