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Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I have been participating in a workshop with my mom called Paddle Your Own Canoe.  Here is a description:

Paddle Your Own Canoe

Self-management of a Chronic Health condition. A six week program (2 1/2 hours/week) empowering individuals to become more effective self-managers of a chronic health condition.
- teaches you the skills needed to manage day-day challenge of living with a long term health condition;
- taught by trained volunteers;
Programs are led by trained volunteer some of which may be living with a chronic condition themselves.

The first week we covered the following topics:

  1. an overview of self-management and chronic health conditions
  2. making an action plan
  3. using your mind to manage symptoms

I loved the idea of the action plan (I want to use it with my kids to meet our educational goals).


In writing your action plan, be sure it includes

1.  what you are going to do;

2.  how much you are going to do;

3.  when you are going to do it;

4.  how many days a week you are going to do it.

For example:  This week I will walk (what) around the block (how much) before lunch (when) three times (how many).

This week I will _________________ (what)

__________________ (how much)

_______________________ (when)

______________________ (how many).

How confident are you? (0=not confident, 10=totally confident)  _____


Week 2 we covered:

  1. a new action plan
  2. problem solving
  3. difficult emotions
  4. fitness/exercise


  1. identify the problem
  2. list ideas to help problem
  3. select one
  4. assess the results
  5. substitute another idea
  6. utilize other resources
  7. accept that problem may not be solvable now


-  Dealing with difficult emotions such as anger, worry, frustration, depression, fear, shame, guilt, stress. helplessness.  You can try distraction, venting with a friend, journaling, gratitude, get moving, prayer, meditation, allow a 5 minute “pity party” and then move on to something else.

-  3 kinds of physical activity – 1.  flexibility; 2.  strengthening; 3.  endurance/aerobic – goal 120 minutes per week

-  activity goals per week (aerobic – 20-30 minutes 3-5 days per week) (8-10 strengthening activity 2-3 days per week; allow a one day rest per workout)

-  we did a brainstorming practice to help one lady with her exercise problem which was she couldn’t motivate herself to actually go out for a walk even though she knew it would be a benefit to her (she has fibromyalgia).

ideas to consider trying:  try an accountability partner, use music to make the time more enjoyable, get a dog or borrow a dog (they need to be walked), find ways to award yourself, research into reasons why you may be lacking motivation, set yourself up for success (baby steps), sign up for a group walking program, choose warm days.





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