Charlotte Judd |Therapy for Chronic Illness,Transplant & PTSD Houston |
It is about therapy, counseling, chronic illness, trauma,transplant, depression, and anxiety. I am a survivor of congenital heart disease and a heart transplant recipient. I know what it's like to face day to day challenges and not always have those around you understand.
I've heard: " You don't look sick" thousands of times. I understand what it's like to make plans and then..
If you forgot your lunch, didn't have time to make one or knew that you were going out for lunch today, this blog will help you to keep your goals on track. Did you know that 72% of Americans usually visit a quick service restaurant for lunch on a weekly basis? Although brown bagging it can be healthier because you have the control over ingredients, dining out can be enjoyable and relatively healthy. Here's some tips. Don't supersize! This is just a way for the food industry to make money off of you. The regular size meal contains more calories than you actually need and supersizing anything is only going to give you more of what you don't need. Think grilled not fried. Frying food adds 50% more fat and calories compared with foods that have not been fried. Hold the mayo: Each spoonful of mayo adds about 100 calories, nearly all from fat! Avoid all-you-can-eat restaurants. No explanation necessary. Balance fast food meals with other food choices during the day. If you are eating one meal out, make healthier choices and adjust your portion sizes at other meals. Split your order with a friend. This can include entrees and desserts. It typically only takes 1-3 bites of dessert to kill the craving, making it unnecessary to eat the entire dessert. Go for obvious low-calories choices: Subway sells subs with 6 grams of fat or less. Eat slower. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are full. Most meals are eaten in 10-15 minutes. Yikes!
First, congrats on making it to the weekend! You've lived that healthy lifestyle all week but might feel as though the weekend can derail you. Don't let it! We aren't talking diet here, because that's not what this journey is about, it's about wellness. We tend to do much better at living healthy during the week because our time is structured. We might see the weekend as a reward-which is fine-but we don't want to lose how far we've come. Here's some tips to keep you on track! 1. Stay focused and stick with your usual routine. If this is difficult, create a weekend routine. Here's some examples: plan to take a specific fitness class every Saturday, plan a family dinner for Saturday nights, do meal prep on Sunday, and keep a set time for dinner and bed as you do for the week. 2. Limit your alcohol. This can be hard. Calories in alcohol add up ( 7 cals per gram, eeek!). We also tend to eat more when consuming alcohol. If you plan to indulge, drink water in between alcoholic beverages. Alcohol free ideas: Exercise, bubble bath, get a manicure, grab coffee with a friend. 3. Eat a healthy breakfast. 4. Be smart when dining out. Quick tips: Look at the menu online to plan a healthy choice ahead of time, skip the bread basket, split entrees and desserts or pack up half and take it home. 5. Keep a food journal. This keeps you accountable and helps you to add up all the " small bites" you've had over the weekend. 6. Find healthy ways to indulge. Cauliflower pizza comes to mind. 7. Beware of free food. This includes parties and random grocery samples. Be healthy friends! Feel free to comment with your own tips, ask questions, and share!
The word “self-care” usually creates images of nail salons, spa days, shopping experiences and various other retail therapy type activities. Of course, these activities can be included in your self-care routine, granted that these activities don’t bring about staggering debt or create additional appointments that you don’t have time for! However, self-care doesn’t begin or end at the mall and involves six dimensions, including emotional self-care which is covered in this blog. How can I tell that I need to do some self-care? I’m glad you asked! Simply put, if you are experiencing stress (who isn’t, AmIRight!?!), grief/loss or going through a transition of any kind (this does not have to be a major life event) and you aren’t comfortable or don’t feel/think you are handling it well, then self-care might be just what you need! Here are some responses to stress, grief, transition to look out for: changes in sleep/eating patterns, headaches, upset stomach, rapid heart rate, dizziness, shock/numbness, fear, depression, confusion, difficulty concentrating, withdrawal, anger, marital/relationship conflicts, and/or increased use of alcohol or medications. This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms but it’s a good start. An important thing is to not mask symptoms, for example, it can be very easy to blame an upset stomach on something you ate or a headache on just needing caffeine. Do a quick evaluation of what is going on in your life and in your day, does it fall under the category of stress/grief/transition? Emotional self-care includes: Spending time with others whose company you enjoy Stay in contact with important people in your life Give yourself positive affirmations Finding ways to increase your sense of self-esteem Re-read favorite books or re-watch favorite movies Allow yourself to cry Find things to make yourself laugh Identify comforting objects, activities, people, relationships, and seek them out Play with your child/dogs/animals When is self-care not enough? You get to decide. If you are having trouble coping with stress/grief/transition and don’t know what to do, a therapist can help.
It is estimated that over 100 million Americans are living with chronic illness and that number is expected to grow. The spectrum of chronic illness is broad and ranges from those who have only one condition to those who have multiple conditions. Some of the illnesses are simple to manage and others are much more difficult to treat. You may find yourself starting out with an illness that starts out easy to manage and then snowballs into something entirely different. The ability to manage the disease involves a variety of elements including: the Individual's perceived ability to manage it, the treatment itself, the affordability of the treatment and the availability of the treatment. Although the disease my be common (diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.) or uncommon, the Individual's experience is unique. Aside from the medical aspect, there is an emotional aspect to being diagnosed with chronic illness. That is where therapy comes in, to help you navigate your emotional experience. I have found that no matter what the illness is, the impact on relationships, daily life, employment, and faith/religion are significant. It is my goal as a therapist to help each person I work with to unpack his/her personal experience with chronic illness and find ways to minimize and manage the impacts.
You can start living better today. Often times chronic pain is managed from a medical standpoint and the effects on social and emotional functioning are ignored. Psychotherapy can help to bridge this gap. While psychotherapy cannot cure chronic pain, it can help you to manage your chronic pain, the situations that increase the intensity of your chronic pain and get you on the way to living a more enjoyable life. For starters, a good therapist can provide a safe place for you to explore the emotional pain that comes along with chronic pain. You may be waiting to see a doctor to start medical treatments for chronic pain, maybe you have recently had surgery to alleviate chronic pain, or maybe you are in a sort of medication roulette to see what is going to alleviate your physical pain. In therapy, you can explore all of these frustrations in a safe and nonjudgmental environment. Perhaps your role among family or friends has changed due to chronic pain. You may think you can no longer participate in hobbies or perform certain tasks at your job due to your chronic pain. A therapist can assist you in examining the ways pain affects social relationships, sleep and eating patterns, and ways of thinking. Therapy can help you live better no matter what stresses, medical conditions, or circumstances you're facing. Not sure where to start? Contact me today. Don't miss out on blogs and new information! Subscribe to receive the latest information and to leave comments. As always, I look forward to hearing others' experiences and answering any questions you have. Thanks for reading. #pain #chronic #treatment #therapy