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Archive for the ‘Healthy People’ Category

Recently, at girls’ night, a discussion was held about the challenges many faced this past year during the pandemic.  Isolation, fear, contact restrictions, financial, illness, loss and food insecurities were discussed.  The conversation quickly changed to activities that began during the pandemic  we have enjoyed and wish to continue.   Quality time spent with family and friends was a common theme.  Many shared their own rituals which include:

  • Curbside pickup.  Ordering from the drugstore to the grocery store allows more time to spend at home and shop less.  This eliminates impulse shopping!
  • Started a group text with our three adult children and their spouses to keep in touch and check in with each other.
  • Monthly family “Zoom chats”.  This started when we could not get together for the holidays and has continued monthly.  We all look forward to these monthly family sessions and catch up on the comings and goings.
  • Shared photos of recipes we prepared and included the recipes. This has expanded our cooking techniques and improved our meals!
  • Started to play the piano again. Each night before bedtime we sing our favorite songs together.  We find it very calming and have continued the practice.
  • My teenage daughter comes into my home office daily and we have a quick chat.
  • Zooming with my sisters located in Las Vegas, London, and New York City.  We spend every Saturday together for the first time in our adult lives.
  • During the month of October, we watched one scary movie each night.   On Halloween we held an awards show called The Scaries.  Movies are a family favorite and a great way to connect and celebrate during the quarantine.
  • We started taking weekend walks in the woods.  With playgrounds and indoor activities closed, we tried to visit all the nearby forest preserves and state parks.  We have enjoyed our walks immensely.
  • My two daughters came home for a few months last fall.  They both enjoy cooking and the show Chopped.  We created our own version of the show.  I collected ingredients to use and made-up baskets for each daughter to create an entrée and dessert.  My husband and I judged the results and we all had tons of fun!
  • Two weeks before Christmas, my musical family shared an outside concert with our neighborhood.  With a trumpet, flute, keyboard, and violin we played several songs to a social-distanced crowd.  It was magical!
  • We started taking daily long walks-rain or shine.  We look forward to these daily walks and enjoy the quality time together and the beauty of nature.
  • We love playing pickleball and purchased a portable sturdy pickleball net online.  Using sidewalk chalk, we measured a regulation court on our cul-de-sac and started playing family tournaments.  This summer we have expanded and invited friends and neighbors to join us.
  • On Christmas Eve, we scheduled a Zoom sing along of our favorite Christmas songs and everyone in our family across the country sang together and enjoyed our time together.

We all learned the importance of being creative with limited resources and space at home.  We appreciate these small acts of kindness and are grateful to family and friends that help boost our emotional wellbeing.  What family activity did you create during the pandemic you hope to continue?

Please share below on comments your favorite family activity.

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

Reviewed by:  Michelle Treber, OSU Extension Educator, Pickaway County, Treber.1@osu.edu

References:

Rituals in the Time of COVID-19: Imagination, Responsiveness, and the Human Spirit – PubMed (nih.gov)

A Crowd-Sourced Database of Coronamusic: Documenting Online Making and Sharing of Music During the COVID-19 Pandemic – PubMed (nih.gov)

Hope During COVID-19 Lockdown – PubMed (nih.gov)

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How are you feeling today? In a world full of 24-hours news that tends to focus on negative events, an ongoing global pandemic, and growing divisiveness, “happy” might not be the first emotion that comes to mind. According to NORC at the University of Chicago, only 14% of American adults said they were very happy in 2020, which is the lowest percentage since the poll has been conducted over the past 50 years.

Closeup of diverse senior adults sitting by the pool enjoying summer together

If you find yourself in the 86% of adults who are not feeling very happy, is there anything you can do about it? The wonderful (and happy) news is that the answer to this question is an enthusiastic “YES!” Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living. Scientists in the field have found proven ways to increase a person’s level of happiness.

Action for Happiness is a non-profit organization in the United Kingdom and their mission is to create more happiness in the world. In a joint endeavor with Vanessa King, they developed the Ten Keys to Happier Living, a framework based on the latest research relating to physical, psychological, and mental wellbeing. The first 5 keys focus on daily life and how we relate and interact with the external world, while the last 5 keys focus on qualities that are internal and shaped by our attitudes. The Ten Keys are:

  1. Giving: Do things for others
  2. Relating: Connect with people
  3. Exercising: Take care of your body
  4. Awareness: Live life mindfully
  5. Trying Out: Keep learning new things
  6. Direction: Have goals to look forward to
  7. Resilience: Find ways to bounce back
  8. Emotions: Focus on what’s good
  9. Acceptance: Be comfortable with who you are
  10. Meaning: Be part of something bigger

You can remember the ten keys because together, they spell out GREAT DREAM. You can download a free, in-depth guidebook that provides an introduction, an image, a question, a quote, and practical action ideas for each key.

Knowing ten ways to increase your happiness is a great start. Now comes the fun part: trying out these keys for yourself. Commit to trying one of the keys today and make plans to try the others over time. Not only will you have fun and learn new things, but you have the potential of joining that small and fortunate group of people who report being very happy. As the Dalai Lama has said, Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.

A final note: Positive psychology recognizes that not everyone feels happy all the time nor does it dismiss real problems that people experience. If you have a difficult time feeling happy, even when you keep trying, reach out to a friend, a professional, and/or a support service, like Ohio CareLine. Also keep in mind that many medications can have mental health side effects. Don’t struggle alone and remember that asking for help is a sign of great strength.

Resources:
To learn more about happiness and find additional educational resources, visit https://go.osu.edu/mental-health-and-well-being-warren-co

References:
Action for Happiness. (n.d.). Great Dream: Ten Keys to Happier Living. https://www.actionforhappiness.org/media/530511/ten_keys_guidebook.pdf

King, V. (2016). 10 Keys to Happier Living. London, United Kingdom: Headline Publishing Group.

NORC (2020). Issue Brief: Historic Shift in Americans’ Happiness Amid Pandemic. NORC at the University of Chicago.
https://www.norc.org/PDFs/COVID%20Response%20Tracking%20Study/Historic%20Shift%20in%20Americans%20Happiness%20Amid%20Pandemic.pdf

Peterson, C. (2008, May 16). What is positive psychology, and what is it not? Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-good-life/200805/what-is-positive-psychology-and-what-is-it-not

Stanton, L. (2020, December 10). Serious mental health side effects related to Singulair. Live Healthy Live Well, Ohio State University Extension.
https://livehealthyosu.com/2020/12/10/serious-mental-health-side-effects-related-to-singulair

Stanton, L. (2021, July 13). How happiness protects heart health. Live Healthy Live Well, Ohio State University Extension.
https://livehealthyosu.com/2021/07/13/how-happiness-protects-heart-health

Written by: Laura M. Stanton, MS, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Warren County, stanton.60.osu.edu

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

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Do you have any Labor Day plans? Maybe you’ll be spending the holiday with family and friends and grilling up some great food to share. Grilling can be a great way to connect with others and enjoy the outdoors. Plus, there are some health benefits associated with preparing food on the grill!

vegetables on a grill

Grilling fruits and vegetables can be a tasty way to get your “five a day the color way”!

MyPlate recommends we fill half our plate with fruits and vegetables. Eating a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables each day can help you live a longer, healthier life and protect you from certain chronic diseases such as heart disease and some types of cancer. Many fruits and vegetables can be grilled, and kabobs are a fun way to grill a variety of different colored fruits and veggies. See the videos below for suggestions to grill two favorite summer vegetables: sweet corn and zucchini.

In addition to the nutrients your grilled vegetables contain, you also get some Vitamin D when outside grilling. While most vitamins are obtained through our diets, the best way to get Vitamin D is by exposing your skin to sunlight. Vitamin D is nicknamed the “Sunshine Vitamin” because our bodies form it after exposure to sunlight.

While there are many nutritional benefits to cooking vegetables on the grill, it’s important to note that carcinogens – substances capable of causing cancer – can form when meats and proteins are cooked at very high temperatures. To reduce the formation of carcinogens when grilling, marinate your meats in an acidic liquid like vinegar before putting them on the grill. These carcinogens are only produced by meats, so no need to worry about them when grilling your vegetables.

Here’s to a safe and healthy Labor Day weekend, hopefully with some grilling involved!

Resources:

Axelrod, A. (2021). Friday Fix: How to make grilled foods healthier. Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. https://www.pancan.org/news/friday-fix-how-to-make-grilled-foods-healthier/.

McManus, K. (2019). Phytonutrients: Paint your plate with the color of the rainbow. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/phytonutrients-paint-your-plate-with-the-colors-of-the-rainbow-2019042516501

Written by Kacey Gonzalez, Dietetic Intern, Marshall University

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

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Since my last blog article From Languishing to Flourishing, I have continued to ponder on what it means to flourish. Today’s blog post was inspired by this quote by Robert Fulghum… “‘Who do you think you are?’ That’s the big one, isn’t it? A flourishing life depends on how you answer that.” 

The quest for self-knowledge has fascinated philosophers and sojourners alike for millennia. Socrates told us that “to know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.” So basically, we need to know ourselves before we can know anything else. Self-Awareness is the ability to be aware of one’s inner life—one’s emotions, thoughts, behaviors, values, preferences, strengths, attitudes, etc., and how this inner life impacts behavior.

Person holding cell phone with reflection of own face

There is great benefit to knowing oneself. When you know yourself well, you can:

  • Live happier
  • Make better choices
  • Resist social pressure
  • Strengthen resilience
  • Boost self-confidence
  • Understand and tolerate others
  • Live with vitality and enjoyment

Author Meg Selig uses the acronym VITALS to help us understand how to achieve greater self-knowledge.

Values – Even by just thinking about your values, you’re more likely to act in accordance with them. What’s most important to you?

Interests – What are your hobbies, likes, activities? You can ask yourself these questions: What draws your attention? What piques your curiosity? What concerns you?

Temperament – This is the tendencies we were born with. Are you an introvert or extrovert? Do you like the big picture or the details? Do you plan ahead, or figure it out as you go?

Activities Around the Clock – What is your best time of day? Are you a morning or evening person? How do your biorhythms affect your day?

Life Mission and Goals – What have been the most meaningful events in your life… and how have those events impacted and shaped who you are?

Strengths – What are you really good at? What character strengths do you have? What do other people compliment you on? Knowing your strengths can boost your confidence. Additionally, understanding your weaknesses can give you a realistic picture of yourself and help guide you in areas to improve upon.

For more ideas and a meditation on how to advance your self-awareness, see this post by Harvard Medical School. According to this post, most people tend to overestimate their level of self-awareness. What can you learn about yourself this week? It just might surprise you!

Written by: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County

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

Sources:

Advance your self-awareness. Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School. Jan 13, 2021. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/advance-your-self-awareness

SEL for Adults: Self-Awareness and Self-Management.” Greater Good in Education. 2019. https://ggie.berkeley.edu/my-well-being/sel-for-adults-self-awareness-and-self-management/

Selig, M. “Know Yourself? 6 Specific Ways to Know Who You Are.” Psychology Today. Mar 9, 2016. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/changepower/201603/know-yourself-6-specific-ways-know-who-you-are

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On Saturday, I rushed through the kitchen and announced to my household: “Don’t follow my example. I’m trying to do too many things at once but here’s what I need you to do ….”  Some of the tasks I was trying to accomplish were putting groceries away in the refrigerator, reminding the kiddos what to get ready so we could leave for an event, and I needed to return a text with timely information. I thought I might have pulled it off until the next morning. Three food items that should have gone in the refrigerator were still sitting in the grocery bag on the counter. Ugh! I hate that I wasted time and money on food that was planned for the week.

Before I blame this pressure to multitask on modern expectations, the following quote is attributed to Mozart (1756 – 1791): The shorter way to do many things is to only do one thing at a time. The temptation to multitask is strong but the hidden costs of multitasking can build up. While we might feel like we are getting a few things done at once, research has shown that our brain is switching between the tasks and has to constantly re-focus on each new task. The challenge is “even though multitasking is wildly inefficient, it feels productive”.

“I’m trying to do too many things at once”. The next time that thought pops into my brain, or the words come out of my mouth, what can I do? I can take a mindful pause. It will not “waste” any time to pause, take a few deep breaths or even do a one-to-three-minute mindfulness practice. The immediate, rushed pressure of the moment will diminish. It will be easier for my brain to determine the order of the tasks or if I can delegate a task or if I can save a task until another time. Don’t follow my example when I’m trying to rush and multitask. Go ahead and follow my example when I take a pause, decide what needs to be done first and then do one thing at a time. 

Sources:

Carter, C. (2020). Three ways to help your kids succeed at distance learning: How can parents support their children at the start of an uncertain school year?. Greater Good Science Center. Berkeley University of California. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/three_ways_to_help_your_kids_succeed_at_distance_learning

Guided Meditations. UCLA Health. https://www.uclahealth.org/marc/mindful-meditations#english

Harmon, M. (2019). Accomplish MORE in LESS Time. Live Healthy Live Well Blog. Found at:  https://livehealthyosu.com/2019/03/28/accomplish-more-in-less-time/

Levy, D., Wobbrock, J., Kaszniak, A., & Ostergren, M. (2012). The effects of mindfulness meditation training on multitasking in a high-stress information environment. Graphics Interface Conference.  

Powell S. K. (2016). Mindfulness, Multitasking, and You. Professional case management21(2), 61–62. https://doi.org/10.1097/NCM.0000000000000141     https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26844712/

Wang, Z., & Tchernev, J. (2012). The “myth” of media multitasking: Reciprocal dynamics of media multitasking, personal needs, and gratifications. Journal of Communication 62 (2012) 493–513 © 2012 International Communication Association

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

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

Photo by Maria Lin Kim on Unsplash

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White, round pills with a blue background

If you have ever had leftover medication that you no longer needed, did you store it in your medicine cabinet in case you get the same illness in the future and want to have it readily available? Maybe you kept the medication in case you need it again for pain?  If yes, that is NOT OKAY!

Everyday more than 4,300 Americans misuse a prescription pain reliever for the first time. Prescription drug misuse is a public health concern in the United States. Prescription drug abuse is using prescription medication in a way not intended by the prescriber. It includes taking a friends prescription painkiller for your nagging backache or someone’s anti-anxiety pills to help one become calm. The prescription drugs most abused include opioid pain killers, anti- anxiety medications, sedatives and stimulants. Every day, more than 128 people die from an opioid overdose, and this includes both prescription medications and heroin.

Where do most people who misuse prescription pain relievers get them? From their doctors, the internet, or from family and friends? If you said family and friends, you are correct. Since most individuals who misuse prescription pain relievers get them from family or friends, it is very important to dispose of leftover medications properly when you are done using them.

a white box with locks on them and it says medication disposal in writing on it.

How to dispose of medications

 Once finished with a prescription, you have three options for disposal:

  1. Safely dispose of medications by putting them in a drug drop box.
  2. Find a drug take back program. Many communities offer programs that allow the public to bring unused medications to a central location for proper disposal. Take advantage of the drug take back programs in your community.
  3. If you do not have a drop box or take back program near you, dispose of medication safely at home by following these steps: 
  • Remove pills from their original container and mix them with undesirable substances such as kitty litter, coffee grounds or dirt.
  • Place the mixture in something you can close, such as a re-sealable storage bag, empty can or another container to prevent the drug from leaking or spilling out.
  • Throw the sealed mixture into the trash.
  • Scratch out all your personal information on the empty medicine package to protect your identity and privacy. Throw the medicine container away.

Remember to do YOUR part and do not leave unused or expired drugs around. Properly dispose of medications to help combat the prescription drug misuse epidemic.

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prescription-drug-abuse/symptoms-causes/syc-20376813

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/where-and-how-dispose-unused-medicines

http://www.generationrx.org

Written by Susan Zies, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator Wood County

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

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Psychologist Carl Rogers believed that each of us have one basic motive in life: to self-actualize, meaning that our “ideal self” (who we would like to be) is congruent with our “self -image” (how we see ourselves). To achieve this balance, we must be living an authentic life.

What does it mean to live an authentic life?

According to Rogers’ theory, to live an authentic life, you must first understand what your beliefs and values are. Once you understand those core values, you maintain a balance by living according to those beliefs and values.

Authentic life = beliefs and values + actions and behaviors

It isn’t always about making waves, standing out in a crowd, or making sure you are unique or different; it is about being comfortable in your skin without worrying about how you compare to the rest of society.

There are health implications when we are living an authentic life. Those whose actions and behaviors are typically in line with their beliefs and values reap the benefits of feeling optimistic about life and tend to have positive self-esteem and an overall healthy psychological wellbeing. When we are out of sync, that is when life can become stressful, overwhelming, and discouraging.

To nurture self-authenticity, strive for the following:

  1. Awareness. The knowledge and acceptance that you are not just “one” thing (ex. extroverted versus introverted); rather you are multi-faceted with an understanding of your motives, emotions, strengths, weaknesses, dreams, goals, and aspirations.
  2. Unbiased Processing of Self-relevant Information. Objectively looking at our own positive and negative self-aspects, feelings, internal experiences, and private knowledge without denying the truth, distorting reality, or exaggerating (to create a more positive or favorable self-image).
  3. Behavior. Behaving according to our beliefs, values, preferences, and perceived needs rather than acting suitably to please society, obtain recognition or rewards, or to avoid punishment.
  4. Relational Orientation. Being yourself, open and honest in your actions and motives, in your relationships with others.

Further, you can practice these five things to help you live an authentic life:

  1. Openness to new experiences. Allow for ambiguity in situations and a willingness to view events without defensively distorting or censoring so that you can be on a path of growth.
  2. Mindful living. Living fully in the moment, being flexible and adaptable as you view life as fluid and ever changing.
  3. Going with your gut. Trust your inner experiences to guide your behaviors.
  4. Freedom. The choice about how to respond and feel about experiences is up to you.
  5. Creativity. Use creativity in your approach to living, rather than reverting to an established set of rules of behavior that might be restrictive.

If you really want to make a positive impact on your world, be you! Walk your own path, stay true to yourself, and embrace the differences in others. What a wonderful world to be authentically you!  

Sources:

Goldman, B. M., & Kernis, M. H. (2002). The role of authenticity in healthy psychological functioning and subjective well-being. Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, 5(6), 18-20. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2002-11420-003

Kernis, M. H. & Goldman, B. M. (2006). A multicomponent conceptualization of authenticity: Theory and Research. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 38.  https://depts.washington.edu/uwcssc/sites/default/files/hw00/d40/uwcssc/sites/default/files/The%20Authenticity%20Inventory.pdf

McLeod, S. (2008). Self-Concept. Simply Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/self-concept.html#image

McLeod, S. (2014). Carl Rogers Theory. Simply Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/carl-rogers.html

Wood, A. M., Linley, P. A., Maltby, J., Baliousis, M., & Joseph, S. (2008). The authentic personality: A theoretical and empirical conceptualization and the development of the Authenticity Scale. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 55, 385–399. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0167.55.3.385

Written by: Dr. Roseanne E. Scammahorn, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Darke County

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

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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a cabinet full of dietary supplements

The dietary supplement industry in the United States is robust, and it continues to grow with increasing consumer demand for health and wellness products. About two out of every three Americans take a dietary supplement today. As the industry grows, consumers have an ever-increasing choice of products and brands to choose from. This may leave people with an important question: is there really a difference between supplements brands? The simple answer is yes.  Suppliers of vitamins, minerals, and other wellness products do not all have the same standards of quality, purity, or safe manufacturing practices. Surprised? You might ask, “Doesn’t the government regulate these companies?” Here the answer gets a little complicated. The FDA does enforce certain regulations; however, since 1994 dietary supplements have been regulated under the category of food, not medication. Under these guidelines it is the manufacturer of the supplement, not the FDA, who is responsible for ensuring the quality and safety of the products. The lack of consistent regulations across the industry has flooded the market with products with varying degrees of quality. The number of consumer reports against manufacturers of dietary supplements is increasing, and the FDA continues to take action against companies that distribute and sell products that pose health risks.

This brings us to the next question, how do I find a quality brand of vitamins, minerals, or other supplements? One simple way to know if the brand you are reaching for is trustworthy is to check for the USP verification mark. The USP Dietary Supplement Verification Program identifies manufacturers who produce quality products. To receive the USP verification mark, manufacturers must meet quality standards by completing a facility audit, documenting their manufacturing and quality control measures, testing samples of their product in a laboratory, and providing off-the-shelf testing of supplements. What does this mean for consumers? The USP verification mark means that:

  1. The product contains the correct ingredients in the correct amount as stated on the label  
  2. The product does not contain harmful levels of certain contaminants
  3. The product will be broken down and released in the body in a particular time frame
  4. The product was made in accordance with USP and FDA current Good Manufacturing Practices. 

Want to do research before going to the store? You can look for USP verified dietary supplements by visiting the USP Quality Supplements website. You can use this reference to learn more about USP verification and to search for USP verified supplements by type. You can also search for brands, including select store brand products. There are also resources to help consumers learn how to read supplement labels. 

Given the inconsistent quality across the industry for dietary supplements, it can be hard to know which brand to trust.  Choosing a dietary supplement that has the USP verification mark can help you make that choice with confidence. 

Written by: Avani Patel, Pharm-D, Dietetic Intern, The Ohio State University

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

Sources:

 Dietary Supplement Manufacturing – USP Verified Mark | USP. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://www.usp.org/verification-services/verified-mark

Quality Supplements. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://www.quality-supplements.org/resources/resource-gallery-infographic

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on the agency’s new efforts to strengthen regulation of dietary supplements by modernizing and reforming FDA’s oversight. FDA. Published February 11, 2019. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/statement-fda-commissioner-scott-gottlieb-md-agencys-new-efforts-strengthen-regulation-dietary

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a computer with a refresh sign displayed

Last month our colleague Dr. Mark Light wrote an article about digital minimalism and encouraged us to take a 30-day digital decluttering challenge. Like Mark, I made the decision to delete the Facebook app from my phone this past year, and I have to say I don’t miss it! I was finding that for me, the stress and frustration I experience when I see political banter and misinformation circulating social media outweighs the joy of sharing personal photos, experiences, and updates on a regular basis. I now check Facebook about once a week from a browser to make sure I’m not missing any major life updates from close friends and family, but it is no longer part of my daily life. In doing so, I have found a way to personally practice digital minimalism – “a philosophy of technology use” from Cal Newport “in which you focus your online time on a small number of activities that strongly support the things that you value, and then happily miss out on everything else.”

While this approach has worked for me, I recognize that not everyone may be ready to take such drastic actions as deleting social media apps from devices, even if they feel the urge to do some digital detoxing. In fact, some experts acknowledge that it may not be realistic to completely “break up” with social media. Chris Stedman, author of IRL: Finding realness, meaning and belonging in our digital lives, says “if we’re going to have a healthier relationship with social media, we’ve got to stop thinking of it as a mindless activity and start thinking of it as a meaningful one with the potential to reveal certain truths about ourselves.”

gardening gloves weeding a garden

Doing regular self-reflection and decluttering, much like a gardener would regularly check on and weed their garden space, can help you enjoy and find meaning in your social media use. For example, rather than endlessly scrolling through a social media feed, you might choose to stop regularly and assess what emotions are evoked by the content you’re reading. Does your social media use bring you joy and amusement, or does it leave you feeling anxious, discouraged, or frustrated? If the latter, you may do some decluttering by choosing to unfollow certain people or accounts. Taking regular breaks from social media can also be helpful. These are not permanent break-ups, but more like sabbaticals or vacations to disconnect and see life from a different perspective.

Whether you choose to become a digital minimalist or to simply do some digital decluttering, I encourage you to consider how digital detoxing could benefit you today.

Sources:

Aina, M. (2021). Glued to your phone? Here’s how to rethink your relationship with social media. NPR Life Kit. https://www.npr.org/2021/07/16/1016854764/social-media-balance-relationship-boundaries

Newport, C. (2019). Digital minimalism: Choosing a focused life in a noisy world. https://www.calnewport.com/books/digital-minimalism/

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

Reviewed by Lisa Barlage, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

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The summer months are ending, and back to school is quickly approaching. With going back to school, it can be difficult to begin or continue a healthy lifestyle. It is easy to choose unhealthy lunches and snack ideas. However, I would like to share with you the importance of packing a healthy lunch and preparing a healthy snack for when your children go back to school.

Fruit, Bowl, Stripes, Food, Healthy
Fruit Bowl
  1. A healthy eating routine can help boost your health today and, in the years, to come. Think about how your food choices come together over the course of your day or week to help you create a healthy eating routine.
  2. It’s important to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy and fortified soy alternatives. Choose options for meals, beverages, and snacks that have limited added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.

When I was in school, I packed my own lunch. Most of the time I just threw whatever I could find in a bag and called it lunch. I would pack anything from cookies to left over pizza. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I understood why I should be choosing healthier options. I decided that I would work on keeping a healthier lifestyle, and now my favorite item to include when packing a lunch is cucumbers and cantaloupe.

Trying to figure out the best lunch options for your child can be difficult. Check out this list for different options or try a few of these ideas.

Turkey, pita, cheese, hummus and vegetables
  • Turkey + cheddar roll-up, fresh berries, yogurt, and trail mix 
  • Cheese quesadilla, guacamole, salsa, tortilla chips, and strawberries 
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, graham crackers, string cheese and a peach cup
  • Turkey slices, cheese cubes, pita wedges, hummus, baby carrots and celery

After a long day at school, your children are going to be hungry. It is important to have healthy afterschool snacks for your children. You can have a snack ready and waiting on them or allowing them to choose from the healthy options you have in the house.

The American Heart Association has a list of healthy snack options broken down into categories based on cravings. Be sure to find the right ones that fit the needs of your family.  

While I was in grades 3-12, I was involved in afterschool sports. It was important to have a healthy snack before practices and games. The snacks that I always chose was, apples and peanut butter or bananas and peanut butter. I also enjoyed apple sauce. My parents would buy the sugar free version, and I would add cinnamon. These were easy, and healthy snacks that I was able to grab on my own.

“There is nothing unhealthy about educating youngsters about nutrition.” – Pierre Dukan

Written by: Megan Zwick, Family and Consumer Sciences Program Assistant, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, zwick.54@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

Resources:

Stadler, M. (2018, August). Back to school kids lunch ideas. Modern Honey. (2018, August 14).        https://www.modernhoney.com/back-to-school-kids-lunch-ideas/.

Hopkins, A. (2019, August 15). 15 healthy after-school SNACKS your kids will actually eat. Blog.      https://blog.thatcleanlife.com/healthy-after-school-snacks/.

What is MyPlate? MyPlate. https://www.myplate.gov/eat-healthy/what-is-myplate.

Dukan, P. (n.d.). Healthy eating quote. 34 Best Healthy Eating Quotes for You and your Kids.                https://stresslessbehealthy.com/healthy-eating-quotes/.

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