Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Healthy Relationships’ Category

Do you wonder why some people succeed or make it – either in the workplace or with sports – and others just don’t? Grit may be the answer. Grit is courage, resolve, or strength of character.

Gritty people:

  • Finish what they start.
  • Put forth twice as much effort.
  • Are optimistic.
  • Identify and fix their mistakes.
  • Set a goal and follow through with it.
  • Practice, practice, practice!!

Psychologist Angela Duckworth who does research on “Grit” or the blend of passion and persistence has written a number of books and articles on the subject. She says you can predict success by building “Grit”. To have grit you need to stick with goals for years and live life like a marathon, not a sprint!

As parents, teachers or mentors there are a few things to help others learn about and build their “Grit”:

  • Encourage reading books where the characters had to overcome a challenge.
  • Talk about times you personally had to work hard to achieve something. Share the times you didn’t end up succeeding, but learned a valuable lesson in the process.
  • Promote moving on from failures and not focusing on excuses.

Research on gritty individual’s shows that they are more successful – they graduate from school at a higher rate and hold onto their relationships. But a negative the researchers on grit found is that sometimes people stick with goals, ideas, or relationships that should be abandoned. It is hard for them to know when to move on or cut their losses. Sometimes they hold on to these goals so long they damage relationships or even lose money.

So what should we do – work towards “Grit” or “know when to fold”? By learning to reward yourself for the pleasure of the experience of achieving the goal you are working towards, not just the final result we can make our perseverance a good thing. Break our long-term goals down into a number of steps that can be check off along the way – and then feeling success in achieving those short-term goals.

If you want to learn more about “Grit”:

  • Watch Angela’s TED Talk on grit at http://go.osu.edu/grit.
  • Read or listen to one of the many books on grit that are available for purchase or from your library for free.
  • Search “Grit” in the Daily Good – an online portal that shares stories and quotes about goodness.
  • Check out the Bowling Green State University Counseling Center “Grit”
  • Or if you like sports I find that many of the stories on The Players’ Tribune (an online platform giving stories from athletes to us the fans) display the grit it takes for them to succeed.

I’m sure many of us have stories of the “Grit” it took us to succeed in something. I would love to hear your story or find out about the places you get your inspiration from – comment on this article to let us know what keeps you going and inspires you.

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewers: Kathy Goins, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County.

Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County.

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

cellphone3I recently had an opportunity to dine out with some friends. As we talked and caught up with each other, I noticed just about everyone else in the restaurant was on their phones. Families were sitting together, but not talking to each other. They were too busy checking their cell phones.  Most never bothered to look at each other until their meal was served.  It struck me as extremely sad that our society has begun to lose the art of conversation.  Technology has taken over.  Relationships will begin to suffer.

Do you check your phone first thing in the morning? Do you check it every hour?  Have you ever looked at the clock and realized you’ve spent over an hour surfing the internet, reading twitter posts or pinning in Pinterest?  Have you checked your phone while having a conversation with a family member?   If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your life is being hacked by your technology!  Social media is a huge part of our everyday lives.  It helps connect long lost family members and old high school friends, but it has also become a big distraction.

A recent study found that for every time you get distracted, it takes on average 25 minutes to get refocused.   Distractions consume close to 2.5 hours of productivity daily.  That is 17.5 hours a week and 70 hours a month!  What could you do with an extra 70 hours every single month??

It’s time to take back your life. How can you make that happen? Utilize some of the following suggestions:

  • Do not check your cell phone first thing in the morning.
  • Turn all cell phones off during meals.
  • Limit your social media times to certain slots of the day.
  • Talk to family members and colleagues. Unplug from technology, listen and communicate.
  • Establish screen-free zones in your home. This could include the dinner table, backyard or bedrooms. It could also be a specified time, such as an hour in the evening before bed.
  • Turn off your notifications on the phone. Keep the essential ones (i.e. phone calls, text messages) but turn off the ones that come from social media and other apps.
  • Don’t take your cell phone out during time with your family, friends or a date with your spouse.

Engage, be mindful and enjoy your family time!

Written by: Beth Stefura, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Mahoning County

Reviewed by:  Donna Green, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Erie County

References:

https://extension.psu.edu/shopby/daniel-francis-perkins,-ph-d–chris-houser

https://www.psychologytoday.com/…/how-cellphone-use-can-disconnect-your-relationships

 

Read Full Post »

I recently spent 8 days in Costa Rica with a group of extension professionals from 10 other states learning about the culture and the history of the country. I have to say it was one of the most wonderful experiencosta-rica-country-side.jpgces of my life. You might think, OF COURSE, how could being in a tropical paradise not be wonderful?! Especially since Ohio and much of the Midwest has been experiencing unpredictable weather, to say the least. But, the weather aside, the whole journey was full of wonderful experiences.

This trip was not about sitting on the beach or in the mountains at some all-inclusive resort basking in the sun or the mountain air. It was about immersing ourselves in the culture of the country and getting outside of our comfort zone to learn about people, who at first glance may appear to be different from us and what we know. As we traveled around the country to the various locations (we stayed in 4 different accommodations), we were able to gain a better understanding of how the Ticos (native Costa Ricans) live and work.

Our group of 33 were divided into smaller subgroups for different activities throughout the week. We went on a variety of outings designed to increase our cultural awareness and to challenge us in our leadership philosophies and ideas. Our first task was to go to the Central Market in San Jose to check prices of various items and purchase them (we donated all the items to different organizations we later visited). We then had to compare the cost of these items as they relate to the average minimumgreen-house-e1524004828723.jpg wage in the United States versus in Costa Rica. While the cost of the items was somewhat comparable to prices in the U.S., when you look at the minimum wages, the discrepancy was very large. This required us to think about the proportion of the wages in Costa Rica that go toward necessities versus the proportion in the U.S.

The Central Market outing was just the first of many that would challenge us to achieve a common goal while trying to overcome the language barrier in this foreign country. As we traveled around Costa Rica and participated in different activities, the most overarching theme that our entire group observed was how patient and gracious all of the Ticos we encountered were with our groups. Few of us were able to speak and/or understand Spanish, so at times, there was a lot of patience required. Every group related that the Ticos were incredibly helpful, patient and gracious.

A large part of this leadership program involves reflecting on the experiences and lessons we have learned. As we reflected in our large group and in smaller groups, we all wondered what someone traveling to the United States would experience. How would any of us handle trying to communicate with someone who does not speak English or at least not well? Would we have the same patience and understanding that the Ticos had with us? I can honestly say that before this trip, the answer for me would be no. I would not have had the patience and understanding that was shown to me and the others. One of the things I have taken away from this experience is to have more patience. Patience with others, but also patience with myself.

While this trip was for business, when I travel for personal reasons, I try to make it a point to find local places to eat and shop. My Costa Rica experience has taught me that I can do more to enrich my travel experiences. I have not usually lodged in places that allow me to experience the local culture as much as some others might. I will make a more concerted effort to choose places that allow me to have a more immersive experience, since one of the main reasons I like to travel is to be expcosta-rica-food.jpgosed to local culture and to learn about the people and the area.

So, whether you are traveling across the state, across the country, or across the globe, challenge yourself to experience at least a little bit of the local culture. You may just learn some things about yourself by experiencing things that are unfamiliar and perhaps uncomfortable to you.

 

WRITTEN BY: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.417@osu.edu

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

PHOTO CREDIT: Misty Harmon

SOURCES:

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cs.html

http://www.tc.columbia.edu/articles/2015/january/the-benefits-of-cultural-immersion/

https://global.upenn.edu/pennabroad/about-penn-abroad/academic-and-cultural-immersion

https://www.ustravel.org/system/files/media_root/document/Research_Fact-Sheet_Travel-Jobs.pdf

 

Read Full Post »

Have you been touched by autism? I have a friend whose child has severe autism, limiting speech and functioning. She embraces her son and helps him with so many challenges and yet the struggle can be exhausting. I recently met an artist whose creative genius can be attributed to her autism. I once heard Temple Grandin speak in person about her amazing life with autism. Maybe you know someone with autism, or maybe you’d like to learn more about it. Maybe your child has a classmate with autism. In any case, we can all do more to learn how to accept and support individuals and families living with autism.

Logo_WAAD

The eleventh annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2018. Across the globe, countless landmarks, buildings, homes and communities will light up blue in recognition of people living with autism. Autism-friendly events and educational activities take place all month to increase understanding and acceptance and foster worldwide support.

What is autism spectrum disorder?

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a range of conditions demonstrated by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. Autism is also characterized by unique strengths and differences. There are many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism. In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association merged four previously distinct diagnoses into one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These included autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.

Although the symptoms of autism widely vary, the most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier. Parents with concerns are urged to seek evaluation early, as intervention can improve outcomes.

Autism Speaks shares these facts about autism:mother-2605132_960_720

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 68 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
  • An estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults – and lose school-based autism services – each year.
  • Around one third of people with autism remain nonverbal.
  • Around one third of people with autism have an intellectual disability.
  • Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include gastrointestinal disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and phobias.

It’s likely that many school age children will interact with autistic children in their school. The National Autism Society provides age appropriate resource guides to help students not only understand autism but also learn to connect with autistic children.

Sesame Workshop launched a new online initiative called “See Amazing in All Children” to promote awareness and acceptance of children ages 2-5 with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The website features narrated videos that reflect a diverse group of ASD children, an electronic storybook that features Julia, a new Muppet character who is Autistic, and eight daily routine card sets. After utilizing website materials, parents of non-autistic children reported increased knowledge and acceptance of those with autism, and parents of children with ASD reported increases in confidence and hope in raising their ASD children. Sesame Workshop also has information to help adults know what to say to the parent of an autistic child.

Written by: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County.

Reviewed by: Amanda Bohlen, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County.

Sources:

  • AutismSpeaks.org
  • National Autism Society
  • Sesame Workshop

Picture sources:

  • Autism Speaks
  • Pixabay

 

 

Read Full Post »

I was about 4 weeks from my due date when I stepped out our back door and noticed that the bricks supporting the step were loose. As time was flying by, I knew that in the blink of an eye, our baby would be born and then crawling and mobile before we knew it, and that the step needed to be fixed before that time came.

Safety hazards like these are usually easy to spot. When you have small children, however, there are some less-obvious things to evaluate in the home to ensure a safe environment and minimize the risk of an accident.Untitled

Thankfully, there are handy checklists available from trusted sources like WebMD and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. There are also entire sections on ‘baby proofing’ in baby stores that will equip you with supplies for creating a safer home.

Beyond implementing the standard recommendations, it is important for parents to take a common-sense approach based on what could potentially be hazardous in their home. Do you have a loose step that could cause a fall, or a window with a broken closing device that could slam on a tiny finger? Be sure to fix those sooner than later. Are there small items, trinkets or pet toys that could present a choking or ingestion hazard? Put those away in a secure place that a child cannot access (do this for anything that is small enough to fit in a toilet paper roll). Do your window blinds have long pull ropes that could cause strangulation? Is there a staircase that does not have a door or other barrier?

Use the checklists to begin, but don’t forget to also do a thorough walk around your home and consider the things that may not be listed. Remember to keep an eye out for poisonous substances that a child could access. Finally, get down on the ground level – where your baby will spend lots of time – and see what might need to be picked up, moved, or placed out of reach.

It may seem odd to baby proof before your baby is even mobile, but many babies progress quickly through milestones, and can go from just rolling over to crawling in a short time. Don’t let it become too late to start making a safer home!

Speaking of baby safety, be sure to read our blog post about safe sleep for infants. Safe sleep environments are critical for a baby-safe home.

Writer: Joanna Fifner Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Medina County.
Reviewer: Amanda Bohlen, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County.
Sources
American Association of Poison Control Centers (2018) Emergency. Information.Prevention. http://www.aapcc.org/
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (2013) Poison Control Home Safety Checklist http://www.chop.edu/health-resources/poison-control-home-safety-checklist
WebMD (2016) Slideshow:Baby Proofing Essentials https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/ss/slideshow-baby-proofing-essentials

Read Full Post »

Why Hobbies are Important!

Did you know it is good for your physical and mental health to have a hobby? Sometimes we get so busy with work or our family that we forget to have time for ourselves, which usually allows the stress in our lives to build. Hobbies provide physical and mental health benefits by giving us an alternative place to focus our time and mental energy, reinvigorating us. Other benefits from hobbies may include:

  • A Sense of Accomplishment – If you are having trouble finishing a difficult task at work, you may find satisfaction by completing a project on your own like a quilt, painting, finishing a book, or a 5K.
  • Social Support System – Often hobbies involve things you can do with others, be it volunteering with Relay for Life or Habitat for Humanity, or joining a just for fun sports league like softball.
  • Preventing Burnout – A hobby may provide fun and something to look forward to after a hard day at work or a stressful time taking care of family members.
  • Improved Physical Health – Studies show that when you engage in enjoyable free time activities you have lower blood pressure and a lower Body Mass Index (or BMI) even if the hobby isn’t necessarily active.
  • Better Work Performance – Studies also have found that employees who have creative hobbies are more satisfied with their jobs and are often more creative with work projects.

Children benefit from hobbies by having a higher self-esteem, learning patience and social skills, and developing critical thinking skills and creativity. Encourage 

younger children to try several activities as hobbies – think something physical, creative, and mental (geocaching, crafting, music, cooking, or even magic). While some children may consider gaming to be a hobby, encourage them to have other hobbies that don’t use a computer or TV to limit screen time.

Hobbies provide both physical and mental health benefits to adults and children. A hidden benefit for adults may be that companies report looking for employees who have hobbies. They feel these employees are more balanced, less stressed, and more creative at work. What hobby is your favorite? Comment below. Personally I’m a reader, reading is food for my soul.

Sources:

United States Library of Medicine, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/

 

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewer: Lorrissa Dunfee, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Belmont County.

Read Full Post »

chaos2We all experience chaos in our lives, some of us more so than others.  Examples include the car breaking down, refrigerator going on the fritz, accidently overdrawing your checking account, and receiving unexpected visitors.  The list goes on.

However, for the past five weeks I have been experiencing an abnormal amount of disorder in my life.  I sold my home six months ago and bought a new home a few months later.  I moved in right when the holidays were starting (moving + holiday stress), and had just started getting situated when the extreme cold weather moved in.  Just normal Ohio January weather, right?

Well, let’s just say that sometimes Mother Nature can be very vindictive.  It started with a water pipe bursting above my ceiling.  Water was running down the walls of my home onto my furniture, carpeting, and personal effects.  Then problems with the furnace and refrigerator followed.  Those issues led to almost daily phone calls and emails to resolve damage issues, and ultimately having to take lots of vacation time to get those problems resolved (or close to being resolved).

Situations that disrupt our lives – even positive occasions – can be stressful.  The major constant distressing factors in our lives include:

  • Death of a loved one
  • Birth of a child
  • New job and loss of a job
  • Marriage and divorce
  • Major illness and caring for a sick family member
  • Moving

So how do we get through those times when it keeps raining, so to speak, and just won’t quit?

During this chaotic time my back seized up on me (stress related) and I was told to “keep moving.”  I also coped by getting a few back massages and did some “Yoga for Your Back.”   Prayer, remembering to breath in and out, exercise, and talking with others helped.

But what is really helping me get through this more-than-usual chaotic time is living one moment at a time, one hour at a time, and one day at a time.  You and I know that sometimes that is all we are able to do.

Written by:  Candace J. Heer, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Morrow County

Reviewed by:  Donna Green, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County

Resources:

References:

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »