We can gain a lot from talking and listening to others. Sometimes we feel alone when we are faced with challenges: changes in our health, during times of loss, or if we feel we can no longer do things we enjoy. When we begin to recognize we are not alone, we can build confidence in our ability to live a long, healthy life.
Healthy Living workshops are great opportunities to build confidence and self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is the extent or strength of one’s belief in one’s own ability to complete tasks and reach goals (Wikipedia, 2016). Sam joined a Living Well with Chronic Conditions program when the challenges of managing his arthritis became overwhelming. He had to give up woodworking and doing yard work. He couldn’t play outside or any games on the floor with his grandchildren. He was angry and even frustrated. He was afraid that he’d have to move out of his home.
Sam had been told by many of his physicians that he may benefit by losing a little bit of weight and that regular exercise could help keep his joints flexible. The thought of doing either of these two things, however; seemed nearly impossible. He was having a hard time staying on track while living alone. It was easier to do nothing. Sam had lost confidence and self-efficacy to be in control of his health. His arthritis was controlling him. After attending a six-week workshop, Sam realized there were others out there with similar challenges. He learned small, simple changes he could make in his diet and realized exercise wasn’t impossible. In fact, Sam learned that rather than exercising 30 minutes at one time, he could split up his exercises throughout the day. He felt less fatigued and was still receiving all of the wonderful benefits. When the workshop ended, Sam was in control and knew it was possible for him to live a healthy, full life even when faced with challenges along the way.
Often those of us faced with having a chronic condition, like arthritis, heart disease, cancer, or diabetes feel our lives are turned upside down. Suddenly we are handed unfamiliar challenges, we feel more fatigued, we feel pain and most of all, we feel frustrated and fearful.
Don’t let your chronic health condition manage your life. Join a Living Well with Chronic Conditions program and build confidence in your ability to manage your health and maintain an active and fulfilling life.
Living Well with Chronic Conditions will be offered on Mondays, Sept. 11 through Oct. 16, from 1-3:30 p.m. at Our Saviours Lutheran Church in Merrill. This is a very interactive workshop. Topics covered include: Exercise and healthy eating, medication management, using our minds to manage symptoms, working with our health care systems, dealing with emotions, pain and fatigue management and communicating with our doctors, family and friends. Anyone with an ongoing, long-term health condition can benefit (arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, chronic pain, anxiety etc).
Pre-registration is required. Contact Jennifer Clark, Community Health Educator with the Aging and Disability Resource Center at 715-536-0311 or Jennifer.Clark@adrc-cw.com for more information or to register. A contribution of $10 is suggested for the entire six-week workshop, but not required.