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Want to Come Out and Play?

“Want to come out and play?” This simple question was the catalyst for many grand adventures as a child. Whether we explored in a park or played a game of tag in the back yard, we had fun!

a tire swing

As an adult, do you ever wish someone would ask, “Do you want to come out and play?” If so, maybe it is time to take a break from your normal routine and “Go Play”.

What is play? By definition, play means “engaging in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.”

“My take is that any activity can be play or not play. The secret sauce is playfulness.” — Ben Mardell, researcher and educator

Do you need motivation to make time for play? Consider these important aspects of play:

  • Play is freedom. True play is not a duty but the desire to engage in the activity.
  • Play is the means, not the end. Play is about the process, not the result. Play means engaging in an activity for the joy of the activity.
  • Play is present-focused, not future goal-oriented. To actively engage in play, you must be in the current moment with a creative, active, and focused mindset.
  • Engaging in play keeps our minds sharp and memories as strong as we age.
  • Children do as we do, not necessarily as we say. This is an added reason to make time for play. Be an example to the children in your life.

If you need some fun ideas, you can: 

a dog playing fetch in the snow
  • Play fetch with a dog
  • Color a picture
  • Play charades
  • Blow bubbles
  • Play board or card games
  • Dance like no one is watching!
  • Explore a new street. This may sound like a strange suggestion, but consider the experience below:

I signed off work and headed out to explore a new street about 15 minutes away by foot, and I’m glad I did! The sun and the breeze welcomed me right away. I felt my body move effortlessly as I took in all the sights that I can’t check out when I’m driving. Plenty of flowers were blooming and fall decorations were beautifully placed on doors and on lawns. I found a fairy garden with toadstools for chairs and seashells marking a garden path. The shells instantly took me to Cape Cod for a restful mental break I hadn’t expected. I saw neighbors chatting on every street and many waved to me – it boosted my spirits to see such camaraderie! It felt like I was in a Disney movie! I came home refreshed and content.

If you desire an experience like this, I encourage you to find a friend, partner, or child and ask the question we all love to hear, no matter our age: “Want to come out and play?”

Written by Melissa Rupp, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Fulton County

Reviewed by Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Franklin County

Sources:

Elkind, D. (2008). Can we Play? Greater Good Magazine. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/can_we_play

Gray, P. (2008). The Value of Play. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/freedom-learn/200811/the-value-play-i-the-definition-play-gives-insights

Gratitude, Here and Now

By: Kellie Lemly

This year has been a whirlwind of emotions to say the least.  The pandemic has challenged each and everyone of us!  And yet here we are ​putting one foot in front of the other coming into the holiday season! 

I found myself looking forward to Thanksgiving with family and friends, once again Dealing With Disappointment with the restrictions due to the coronavirus.  I had to stop myself and focus on the “here and now” realizing I have many things to be grateful for.

Gratitude is the expression of appreciation and being thankful for what it is. Research has shown expressing gratitude can improve mood, alleviate stress and depression. Over time practicing gratitude can offer benefits such as, optimism, positivity, and mindfulness.

It is difficult trying to find that glimmer of gratitude when you have been struggling to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Here are a few tips on ways to practice being grateful.

  • Mindfulness: Be mindful, focus on the specific moment you are in.
  • Guided imagery: Use positive mental images to influence how you feel.
  • Journaling: Write down the joys of daily life.
  • Think about the people who have inspired you.
  • Focus on the good, the things people have done for you.
  • Meditate 
  • Pray
  • Think about something that has happened to you that was positive and how it would be different if that event didn’t happen.
  • Say “thank you” ​

This year we have all struggled with disappointment, loss, and adaptation. We have all given up precious and valuable moments. However, despite everything this year has thrown at us,  I have realized that there are so many little things I am grateful for!

Brown, J., & Wong, J. (n.d.). How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain. Greater Good Magazine: Science-Based Insights for a Meaningful Life. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_gratitude_changes_you_and_your_brain

Miller, K. (2020). 14 Health Benefits of Practicing Gratitude According to Science.  Positive Psychology. https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-gratitude/

Powers-Barker, P., (2016).  Introduction to Mindfulness.  Ohioline: Ohio State University Extension. https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/hyg-5243

Written by:  Kellie Lemly, MS, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Champaign County, lemly.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Roseanne Scammahorn, Ph.D., Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Darke County, scammahorn.5@osu.edu

In recent years, Black Friday has come to mean a lot more to me than shopping! Although there are good shopping deals available, I found myself wanting to just be in my little garden on Black Friday. It was there that I accidentally found moments of calm after the storm of preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday which left me often feeling exhausted (yet thankful for family).  This unintentional tradition of gardening on Black Friday began a few years ago when I started turning down shopping trips with my girls in exchange for a quiet moment at home (can you relate?) and found myself wandering out to my very small garden the day after Thanksgiving with no time constraints or schedule!

As I head to the garden, the cold air always feels so refreshing after being indoors in the hot kitchen cooking for days, but I’m always excited to find things that are still growing (I do not “clean out the garden” as suggested by experts).  As I started pulling out plants that had died, I quietly give thanks to the garden for the joy and happiness it brought me throughout the year (especially this year).  This year’s highlights were watching my cone flower that grew so tall and was a glowing pink you can hardly imagine and another highlight this year was finding a new raspberry each day (and eating it right away) from an old raspberry bush growing next to my air conditioner! How could one berry bring so much joy!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is raspberries-in-hand.jpg

During my time in the garden, I also found time to take a few deep breaths and slow my thoughts down and begin to notice what I am (mindfully) seeing …sometimes it is piece of mint still growing or a funky bug crawling in the dirt. It is amazing what our senses do when we slow down and just notice life

And finally, if I find a plant or two that is still green, I dig it up and bring it inside with me to grow for the winter…because plants heal!   Plants offer many benefits to us indoors. They heal and promote good health, and provide so many wonderful benefits to us, so why not bring a few indoors this winter!

And so, as you go about your Thanksgiving weekend during this very crazy, mixed up year, maybe you will also find yourself outside somewhere… noticing life… taking breaths …and finding joy in the garden.

Shari

Author:  Shari Gallup, Family and Consumer Science Educator and Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Ohio State University Extension, Licking County. gallup.1@osu.edu

Reviewer: Beth Stefura, Family and Consumer Science Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Stefura.2@osu.edu

Sources:

  1. The Trust for Public Land.  7 Ways Nature Nurtures Us.  https://www.tpl.org/blog/7-ways-nature-nurtures-us
  2. National Initiative for consumer Horticulture. Plants Do That.Where We Heal. Info-graphic.  https://consumerhort.org/nich-releases-plantsdothat-inside-infographic-3-where-we-heal/

3. Learning to Keep Calm Info-graphic. Ohio State University Extension.  https://go.osu.edu/keepcalm

As we approach the holiday season with the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting our daily lives, it is time to consider how to celebrate safely.

"Tips for Celebrating Safely This Thanksgiving" Infographic from the Public Health Communications Collaborative. Available at https://publichealthcollaborative.org.

This year may present the perfect opportunity to tweak old traditions and try something new! The CDC has provided guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 while celebrating the holidays. The safest way to keep yourself, your family, and your community safe is to celebrate virtually or with members of your own household. If you chose to gather with extended family, friends, or others this season, know that small, outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities. Those planning to host or attend in-person holiday celebrations might consider whether and how to take the activities outdoors and make them memorable!

If your holiday celebration typically includes time spent in the living room or basement watching a football game or parade on TV with friends and family, might you be able to set up a projector screen or TV in the backyard and continue this tradition? If you don’t have the backyard space to host a gathering while allowing for adequate social distancing, is there a local park or outdoor spot where you could meet family for a picnic or hike? If you’re worried about cold weather, there are ways to keep warm while outdoors. You could:

  • Play games while social distancing to get moving and warm up
  • Sit and chat around a fire pit or outdoor heater
  • Bundle up with blankets, coats, mittens, hats, and other winter accessories
  • Sip on a cup of hot coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or cider

If you are the host of the gathering, encourage guests to bring their own food, beverages, and utensils to minimize sharing and the potential for cross contamination. If you opt to make food or beverages available, consider single use options or designate one person to serve the food so multiple people are not handling utensils and dishes.

Since many gatherings will be smaller this year, and because guests are encouraged to bring their own food, hosts may not need to cook a whole turkey, ham, or other large meal – the perfect opportunity to break from tradition and try new holiday recipes. Roasted turkey breast with vegetables, for example, makes a delicious meal for a family of six.

Holiday celebrations this year will be different for all of us.  With a little planning and creativity, you can find ways to experience comfort and happiness with loved ones – and you may even find a new tradition worth keeping!

Written by: Ashley Markowski, Dietetic Intern at Cedar Crest College

Reviewed by: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Franklin County

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html

Kistler, S.E. (2020). How to plan winter holidays in a pandemic. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/blog/covid-and-planning-thanksgiving-christmas-holidays


Towards the end of each calendar year, I contemplate about the upcoming year and think about what personal characteristics I hope to emulate. This year I picked “KIND” as my word of the year and I’ve enjoyed having my “word” as a reminder of how I want to be.

Be Kind words writtten in chalk

Be Kind

The definition of Kindness, according to the Oxford Dictionary is:

Kindness (noun): the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

In this blog, I will share how practicing kindness can enrich your life and some tips to help you get started.

According to a Harvard Health blog, kindness starts with being kind to yourself. This may mean practicing forgiveness, self-care or eating a healthy meal. I encourage you to “think outside the normal” when you consider ways to practice kindness and to start with being kind to yourself.

The “On Our Sleeves” movement focuses on children’s mental health. Their kindness challenge has some simple tips to help you get started. It shares tips for teaching your kids about kindness but remember these suggestions apply to anyone. In my experience, every time I practice kindness, I gain a positive experience in my life.

Practicing kindness can help you in many ways: It can:

  • Help reduce stress
  • Increase your sense of happiness
  • Help reduce negative emotions
  • Help you feel more connected to others

Are you looking for more inspiration? Visit University of Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center for articles and suggestions for creating good. This 15 minute Loving-Kindness meditation is a wonderful way to strengthen your kindness initiative.

With all these benefits, what are you waiting for?

Please comment below on ways you are practicing kindness.

Sources:

Broderick, M. (2019, April 18). The heart and science of kindness. Harvard Health Blog. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-heart-and-science-of-kindness-2019041816447

Loving-kindness meditation(Greater good in action). (n.d.). Retrieved November 9, 2020, from https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/loving_kindness_meditation

Writer: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewer:    Susan Zies , Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County, zies.1@osu.edu

Pharmacy and grocery store shelves are full of over-the-counter cold and cough medicines.  Which one do you choose, or are you better off not taking anything?  Do they help or make the cold last longer?  What about side effects?

Woman coughing.

Nothing cures or shortens the common cold.  Most colds usually go away in 7 to 10 days.  Since colds are caused by viruses and antibiotics don’t kill viruses your doctor will usually not give you anything unless you have had it for over 10 days.  Over-the-counter medicines don’t shorten or cure the cold either.  They just provide some relief from the symptoms. 

Why do we get more colds/coughs in the winter?  A study of the rhinovirus (causes the common cold) found it reproduces at lower temperatures.  Our nose usually gets colder than our core body temperature when we are out in the cold winter air.   This makes it easier for us to get a cold.  Washing our hands becomes important so we don’t spread the germs or get someone else’s germs.  

Should we take some medication?  Or what really works?

  • Antihistamines may help dry up a runny nose and help itchy, watery eyes. They can also cause drowsiness in some people and excited or restless in others.  The elderly is at risk of falling as many times antihistamines cause confusion and dizziness.  Antihistamines can also cause an irregular heartbeat. If you have glaucoma, an enlarged prostate, breathing problems, high blood pressure or heart disease check with your doctor before taking antihistamines.   
  • Pain relievers can help relieve fever, aches, and pains.  Be careful as many products have dosages in them. High dosages of acetaminophen can cause liver damage.
  • Cough suppressants can be slightly sedating.  The cough suppressant dextromethorphan has few other side effects.  An expectorant such as guaifenesin helps you clear mucous from your airways. However, it keeps me awake, and what I need when I am sick is sleep and rest. 

The best cough suppressant may be honey. Grandma knew best!  Add a teaspoon or two to a cup of tea or swallow it off the spoon.  Caution: Never give honey to infants younger than a year old. 

  • Nasal decongestants may be helpful in clearing up your nose. However, if you have high blood pressure or our taking blood pressure medication don’t take decongestants.  It is best to only take these for a short amount of time as they lose their effectiveness over time.  Nasal sprays should not be used for longer than 3-5 days as they can cause congestion. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend any over-the-counter cough and cold medications for children under the age of six, due to a lack of conclusive evidence that they work and increased reports of adverse events or even mortality.

Stop taking any over-the counter medications if you have these symptoms:

  • An allergic reaction like a rash, hives, peeling skin, wheezing, tightness in chest or throat, trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking, or swelling of face or throat.  Check with your doctor or get medical help if severe. 
  • Dark urine, feeling tired, light-colored stools, throwing up or yellow skin or eyes which can be signs of liver problems. 
  • Not able to pass urine or a change in urine.
  • Dizziness, feeling nervous, excitable, unable to sleep. 

What works?

  • The neti pot or nasal irrigation helps with breathing until the mucus builds up again.  No side effects with the neti pot. 
  • Getting extra rest.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of liquids, water, juice, soup, or broth.  Water is a good expectorant too. 
  • Honey can help with a cough.  See information above. 
  • Eat a healthy diet, especially vegetables and fruit, which can help you maintain health.
  • Vitamin C and Zinc may help but no affirmative studies have shown they do. 
  • Wash your hands often to prevent getting other’s germs or spreading yours.

Author:  Pat Brinkman, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer: 

References:

Bykov, K. (2020). Cough and Cold Season is Arriving:  Choose Medicines Safely.  Harvard Health Blog at https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cough-and-cold-season-is-arriving-choose-medicines-safely-2020092220981

Graham, E. (2020). The Do’s and Don’ts of Cough and Cold Medicines. Safe Medication  at http://www.safemedication.com/safemed/PharmacistsJournal/The-Dos-and-Donts-of-Cough-and-Cold-Medicines

Wiley, F. (2015). Tough Out a Cold or Medicate It? Good Question.  Available at https://medshadow.org/tough-out-a-cold-or-medicate-it-good-question/

With the holiday season almost here, discussions are being held to determine the best practice to celebrate without putting ourselves in the path of the coronavirus.  Older adults need to be exceptionally careful, especially those with high blood pressure, heart, lung, kidney or liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.  These Seniors face a greater risk of developing severe COVID-19.

In-Person or Virtual?

Holidays are a time for families and friends to come together and celebrate the season.  It is understandable that many still want to get together and celebrate the season.  Your decision on whether to stay at home or get together face to face needs to be based on your own health, risk factors and how your community (or the area you plan to visit) is faring.  Before you make your plans, check local transmission rates.  According to researchers at John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, there should be a two-week decrease in COVID-19 cases and a low overall rate (less than 10 per 100,000 people over 14 days).  

If you are in an area with high levels of COVID-19, it is wise to stay home even if you are otherwise in good health and have no preexisting conditions according to practitioners at the Cleveland Clinic.

Virtual Holiday

Should you choose to celebrate this holiday separately from your family and friends, make it memorable.

  • Connect via a digital platform, such as Zoom.  This allows you to do everything from sitting at your Thanksgiving dinner table, watching grandkids open presents or singing favorite songs on a computer.
  • Overhaul your traditions.  Mix up a favorite holiday recipe and send out to everyone! 
  • Create new virtual traditions.  Host a game night on an app called Pogo.  Or watch your favorite holiday movie simultaneously via an app called Netflix Party.
  • Schedule several virtual tours for the holidays. The Smithsonian Institution and the Metropolitan Museum of Art offer many options.

Face to Face Celebrations

In person celebrations are not perfectly safe.  However, a few steps can reduce risks significantly.

  • Wear a mask.  Social distance and wash your hands frequently.
  • Stay as local as possible.  Stay within a 2-hour drive from home.  This minimizes the need to stop along the way.
  • Plan for small and short.  The fewer people you are with, the lower the overall risk.  Keep indoor get-togethers under 10 people and limit to 1 hour. 
  • Bring your own.  Ideally, everyone should have their own food and utensils.  Takeout is an option.  Ask for food to be packed in separate containers for each person.
  • Try staggered eating times, so people from the same household can eat together at the same table.  Consider eating with spaced-out seating.
  • Limit alcohol.   The more people drink,  it is challenging to stay masked and follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Skip the singalongs.  When people sing, small aerosol particles are released into the air and may propel the virus into your 6-foot safety zone.
  • Wash your own dishes to limit cross-contamination
  • Paper plates are safer to use than regular dishes
  • Wipe and sanitize common areas
  • Do not use serving utensils or pass dishes

Remember to pass on the hugs and keep everyone safe.   Be Well this holiday season.

Written by Beth Stefura, OSU Extension Educator, Mahoning County stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Jenny Lobb, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County  lobb.3@osu.edu

References:

Centers of Disease Control:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html

Illinois  Department of Health:

https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/holiday-season-safety-tips

Each November we take time to recognize National Diabetes Month and American Diabetes Month. In the last 20 years, the number of adults in the US diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled, reaching 34.2 million people with diabetes (about 10.5 percent of the US population). Here in Ohio nearly one million adults have diabetes and an additional 300,000 have diabetes but do not know it.

National Diabetes Month theme is Taking care of youth who have diabetes.

Diabetes does not just affect adults. That is why the National Diabetes Month campaign this year is “Taking Care of Youth Who Have Diabetes”. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, diabetes is one of the most common chronic conditions in school-age youth in the United States, affecting about 193,000 youth under 20 years old. It is important to help your child or teen develop a plan to manage diabetes, and work with their health care team to adjust the diabetes self-care plan as needed.

Here are some tips to consider for your youth’s diabetes self-care plan:

  • Manage blood glucose levels. Make sure your child or teen takes their medicines as prescribed, at the right time, and the right dose.
  • Encourage healthy habits. Follow a healthy eating plan (especially if your youth is taking insulin), get enough sleep, and aim for regular physical activity.
  • Stay prepared for emergencies. A basic “go-kit” could include medical supplies and equipment, professional contact lists, and a medication list including doses and dosing schedules.
  • Monitor for diabetes complications. Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce risk for heart disease, vision loss, nerve damage, and other related health problems.
  • Seek mental health support. Encourage them to connect with other youth who have diabetes. Youth may not be used to talking about feeling anxious or alone about their diabetes. Consider summer diabetes camps near you.
Tips to help youth who have diabetes

I am a parent, but my children do not have diabetes. This information left me wondering, “But what can I actually do to help?” What can we as friends and neighbors do to be supportive of kids with diabetes? I came across some research involving in-depth interviews with children who have type 1 diabetes.

They found that these youth mentioned the most positive supporters were sensitive to their needs, but not overly protective. The researchers termed these folks as helpers and normalizers. Most children mentioned their friends who are willing to wait. These friends will wait to eat until the child with diabetes is able to eat. They will wait to eat a food in front of their friend with diabetes until they know they can eat it too. I encourage you to discuss this with the kids or grandkids in your life. Encourage them to be a helper and a friend who waits.

Please check out recorded videos from this summer’s Dining with Diabetes Cooking Demonstrations.  There is also a free online course called Dining with Diabetes Beyond the Kitchen. This is a self-paced course with topics like making healthy choices when eating at restaurants, grocery shopping, or planning weekly meals.

Written by: Emily Marrison, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Coshocton County

Reviewed by: Dan Remley, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, Wellness, OSU Extension

Sources:

Rankin, D., et al. Pre‐adolescent children’s experiences of receiving diabetes‐related support from friends and peers: A qualitative study. Health Expectations. 2018; 21(5): 870-877. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6186536/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fdiabetes%2Fdata%2Fstatistics%2Fstatistics-report.html

Ohio Department of Health. Ohio Diabetes Action Plan 2018. https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/chronic-disease/data-publications/ohio-diabetes-action-plan-2018

Many communities and families are considering their best options to celebrate Halloween this year. The CDC has ranked different activities and risks related to spreading viruses. The following suggestions are listed as lower risk Halloween activities:

  • Carve or decorate pumpkins with members of your household to display
  • Carve or decorate pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorate your apartment, house or living space
  • Have a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Have a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Have a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Whether you have little ones at home, are deciding about passing out candy or do not typically participate in trick-or-treating, why not use Halloween to plan a fun meal? Using the colors of orange, black and purple, mix up the fun and add some tasty treats to your menu.

Making orange (and red) vegetables a regular part of your diet will help reduce the risk of chronic disease, as well as improve overall wellness. The next time you are at the store or farm market, look for orange peppers, carrots, pumpkins and other winter squash. Many of those vegetables can be prepared in a variety of ways and one easy way is to roast them in the oven. Add a little olive oil and some herbs and roast them in the oven alongside your favorite choice of meat.  

Choosing Winter Squash at the Farm Market

Canned pumpkin is a healthy and convenient ingredient. Although these suggestions might sound unusual, my colleagues who teach nutrition education and my household can attest that these are adult and kid approved recipes:

Add some dark colors to complement the orange such as black olives alongside a vegetable tray or as a garnish for cooked dishes. Blackberries are a delicious fruit and can be served alongside orange slices.

For fall snacks, not only are pumpkin seeds easily available this time of year, sunflower seeds are also a crunchy treat. Enjoy a handful of seeds as a snack or toss some on top of a salad or winter squash soup. Chopped nuts (like peanuts, almonds, walnuts) are a nice garnish on top of salads or soups.

Bowl of soup with pumpkin seeds garnish

Sweet Treats: While candy (in moderation) can have a place in celebrations, it lacks nutrients like fiber and vitamins and minerals. Try some of these sweet treats:

  • Make popcorn, a whole grain, and toss it with cinnamon and sugar
  • Serve fresh fruit slices alongside the pumpkin dip
  • Bake apples or pears with cinnamon. For optional toppings, add chopped nuts or a drizzle of honey
  • Warm up some apple cider and garnish with a cinnamon stick

For a spooky presentation, fill clear, food grade gloves to “serve” up some snacks. Fill them with dry cereal, nuts, mini-pretzels, snack mix or popcorn for bony fingers. While this Halloween might look different than those in the recent past, consider using the day to create a healthy and memorable menu this year.

Written by: Patrice Powers-Barker, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Lucas County

Reviewed by: Misty Harmon, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Perry County

Sources:

Ellis, E. (2019). Enjoy a Healthy and Happy Halloween. Eat Right, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Retrieved 10/20/20 from https://www.eatright.org/health/lifestyle/holidays/enjoy-a-healthy-and-happy-halloween 

Halloween. (2020). Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. Retrieved 10/20/20 from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween

Photo credit: farm market from CDC and squash soup from Pixabay

It seems like when something upsetting happens, it isn’t usually one small thing at a time.  It is many small things that add up to big things and then BOOM! I am overwhelmed with disappointment.  Disappointment in my own reactions, disappointment in others, and disappointment in the situation(s).  Lately, these situations have been coming at me fast and furious and I am feeling very overwhelmed and underprepared for dealing with them.  I thought since I was experiencing this, I would write a blog to remind myself what I need to do to help myself and hope that you resonate as well.

Disappointment can lead to resilience, but first we have to work through the disappointment and not let bitterness overtake us. Resilience is our ability to “bounce back” from set-backs.

Karen Stephens shares these tips for helping our children deal with disappointment in the article “Disappointment and Dismay: Supporting Kids When They Don’t Get What They Want “. These can also apply as we help a friend who is dealing with disappointment or we can even apply these tips to our own situations.

  • Build a strong attachment to another person.

Who do you talk to when you are disappointed?  Is it someone who complains along with you?  Is it someone who you can cry with?   Is it someone who listens when you share what happened?  Who gives you honest feedback and asks questions to help you process? Find your tribe and be part of someone else’s.

  • Learn to share center stage.

Ask yourself if this situation is all about you. I have a tendency to take things very personally.  Sometimes I am disappointed and the situation really has nothing to do with me at all.

  • Build others up.

Are you sharing the successes of others or do you find yourself putting others down to build others up?  When we take time to celebrate the successes of others, we begin to realize that we are part of a greater whole.

  • Use your words.

Take the time to express yourself.  This can be by talking to another person, writing in a journal, or using art or music to share. If you don’t know where to start, try using the two lists activity to name your disappointments.

  • Express your feelings.

It is okay to not be okay.  We should share when we are hurt, angry, sad or disappointed.  And we should also share when we are proud and happy.  Support others who share their feelings with you.  Thank them for trusting you.

  • Respect the feelings of others.

As we are well aware every time we open social media, each of us has a different opinion and a different way to approach a situation.  Others may not agree with you all of the time, but through honest conversation and sometimes agreeing to disagree OR by setting boundaries about topics you will talk about, you can be in healthy relationships with others.

Learning how to face our disappointments head on will help you navigate through the feelings of disappointment.  I love Winnie the Pooh. The support and love that his group of friends show one another remind us that with others, we can overcome. These words from A.A. Milne say it all when we are working through our disappointments: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart…I’ll always be with you.”

Winnie the Pooh and friends in a canoe

Written by: Jami Dellifield, Ohio State University, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Hardin County

Reviewed by: Jenny Lobb, Ohio State University, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Franklin County

References

Greenberg, M. (2015, June 30). 8 Ways to Bounce Back After a Disappointment. Retrieved October 14, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201506/8-ways-bounce-back-after-disappointment

Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries. (2018, October 26). Dealing with Disappointment. Retrieved October 14, 2020, from https://hbr.org/2018/08/dealing-with-disappointment

Milne, A. (n.d.). A quote from Winnie the Pooh Library. Retrieved October 15, 2020, from https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/6659295-you-are-braver-than-you-believe-stronger-than-you-seem

Moore, C. (2020). Pandemic Disappointment: How To Deal When Your Plans Get Canceled. Retrieved October 10, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-deal-with-disappointment-if-coronavirus-has-interrupted-your-plans

Stephens, K. (2007). Disappointment and Dismay: Supporting Kids When They Don’t Get What They Want. Retrieved October 14, 2020, from https://www.easternflorida.edu/community-resources/child-development-centers/parent-resource-library/documents/dissappointment.pdf

Images

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