Self-management means being able to manage the daily tasks to live well with one or more chronic conditions. It means having the skills and confidence to take charge of your medical needs, your everyday roles & responsibilities, and your emotions. You are able to live a healthy live with your chronic health condition.
The “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” workshop teaches self-management skills to people in small groups. Participants develop skills such as goal setting and planning, problem solving and communication. The workshop allows participants to “tailor” it to their own needs. They "learn a process for setting" their own goals each week and “solving" any problems they experience. Participants take an active role in learning self-management. They try new ideas, listen to others and share their progress with the group.
Participants also learn new tools and strategies to break the “cycle of symptoms” such as fatigue, pain, depression, stress and anxiety that can result from a having chronic conditions. These tools include:
- physical activity
- healthy eating
- managing pain and fatigue
- managing stress
- understanding emotions
- communication skills
- working effectively with health care professionals
People who have participated in the “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” workshop became more active and reported better health, less fatigue, and better communication with their doctors. They even spent less time in hospital compared to those who did not take the workshop! “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” is widely considered a best practice in chronic disease prevention & management and has been adopted in many parts of Canada and around the world.