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Archive for the ‘Healthy Relationships’ Category

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

https://pixabay.com/photos/sadness-disappointment-collapse-4273889/

https://pixabay.com/photos/winnie-the-pooh-wall-painting-437940/

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Do you ever wonder if you are giving your kids too much or doing too much for them? I thought maybe it would get easier to determine this as my children got older. Now I find myself with a teen and a tween, and I am discovering this question never goes away.

A couple of years ago I came across a book called “How Much Is Too Much?: Raising Likeable, Responsible and Respectful Children in an Age of Overindulgence.” A team of researchers including Jean Illsley Clarke, Connie Dawson and David Bredehoft, has conducted studies over the past two decades about the effects of overindulgence on children and how this affects them as they grow up to be adults.

Teenage girl wearing sparkly pink clothing and a tiara, talking on a cell phone.

My first thoughts about overindulgence were garbage bags full of birthday and Christmas presents or towering ice cream sundaes dripping with sticky toppings. But these researchers define overindulgence as “giving too much of anything to a child so that it slows their learning and developmental tasks.” Overindulgence hinders children from learning the necessary life lessons and skills needed to thrive as adults.

One question parents can ask themselves is: “Will doing or giving this keep my child from learning what he or she needs to learn at this age?”

I think that naturally leads to the questions, “what is developmentally appropriate for children at different ages and how much can kids really handle?” Here is some research-based guidance about expectations that are appropriate for children at every stage of development.

At different stages, we become capable of learning and experiencing different things. Here are some key words to describe the expectations in each stage of development:  

  • Prenatal is “becoming”
  • Birth to 6 months is “being”
  • 6 to 18 months is “doing”
  • 18 months to 3 years is “thinking”
  • 3 to 6 years is “identity & power”
  • 6 to 12 years is “structure”
  • 12 to 18 years is “identity, sexuality & separation”

You may not think that a 6 to 18-month-old child could have a “job,” but one of the expectations is that they begin to signal their needs and to form secure attachments with parents. They also should begin to learn that there are options in life and not all problems are easily solved.

The 18-month-old to 3-year-old child is beginning to establish the ability to think for themselves. They should can follow simple safety commands such as stop, go, and wait. This is the time they begin to express anger and other feelings. They can also begin to do simple chores at this point.

During the pre-school ages of 3 to 6 years old, children learn that behaviors have both positive and negative consequences. They begin to separate fantasy from reality as they move through this stage. They also begin to learn what they have power over and express preferences.

A father teaching his son to wash dishes.

I feel like I’ve been in the 6 to 12-year-old phase for a while now as a parent. I love one of the phrases that Clarke uses: “To learn when to flee, when to flow, and when to stand firm.” This is also the age when they gradually become skillful at and responsible for complex household chores. My son was doing all our household laundry at age 9. He would continue to ask questions to validate his sorting skills, but he had the mechanics down.

And then we come to adolescence, ages 13-19. Their jobs are to emerge gradually, as a separate, independent person with their own identity and values within the context of the family. Although they continue to participate in family celebrations and rituals, much energy is spent on finding a healthy peer group.

Parenting is a tough job. Keep the end in mind. If we want to raise responsible adults, then helping them develop skills and competence at each stage of development is the greatest gift we can give them.

Written by: Emily Marrison, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Coshocton County

Reviewed by: Heather Reister, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County

Sources:

University of Minnesota Extension. Parenting in the Age of Overindulgence Online Course. Retrieved October 12, 2020 at https://extension.umn.edu/courses-and-events/parenting-age-overindulgence-online-course

Schrick, B. Appropriate Chores by Age: 2 – Teen. University of Arkansas Research and Extension. Retrieved October 12, 2020 at https://www.uaex.edu/life-skills-wellness/personal-family-well-being/family-life-fridays-blog/posts/images/Appropriate%20Chores%20by%20Age.pdf

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About a year ago, I wrote a blog titled Fall: A SAD Time of Year. I talked about my experience with the winter blues, a milder form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I contrasted symptoms of winter blues versus SAD, and I reviewed things you can do to alleviate symptoms. As I write this today, once again I find myself struggling with the change in the seasons. The shorter days, overcast skies, colder temperatures, dying plants, and turning leaves make me yearn for the long, hot, sunny days of summer. I know many people love fall, football, pumpkins and pumpkin spice everything, sweaters, cool temps and everything else this time of year brings, but I dread it.

dark foggy autumn woods

I don’t remember exactly when I started to loathe fall, but it was likely in my early 30’s. Research suggests winter blues or SAD usually begins between the ages of 18 and 30 but can begin at any age. I knew I dreaded fall more and more each year but I didn’t understand why. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally realized why I dislike fall so much, and it made so much sense. While symptoms of winter blues or SAD usually start in late fall to early winter for most people, I start noticing the effects in late summer to early fall. Summer is my favorite season, so I knowing it is ending likely adds to my earlier onset of symptoms.

man running along the roadside in the country

By the time winter sets in, I have taken steps to help reduce the effects of the winter blues. Once I quit resisting and dreading and loathing the change in seasons, and start being proactive, I notice a marked improvement in my mood, energy, motivation, and overall well-being. One critical component for me is exercise. I use exercise all year round to help with my mental health and overall well-being, but it’s even more critical during the fall and winter months. Running outside is my favorite, which is a win-win, if I can run during the day, since exposure to bright light can also help with symptoms. I worked as an exercise physiologist for 22+ years, so I am well-aware of the benefits of exercise but finding the motivation and energy this time of year is still sometimes a challenge. I am presenting a webinar on November 4th at 11am titled No Gym? No Problem where I will provide tips and tricks to work activity and exercise in to your day with little or no equipment.

This year, I notice that I am more tired than usual as the seasons are changing. I have tried sleeping more and sleeping less, but I have yet to find my sleep sweet spot right now. As I am adjusting, I am giving myself grace and permission to be OK with not being OK. We are all living in unprecedented times, and everyone has struggled in one way or another. This season is a struggle for me even in a good year, so there is no reason to beat myself up, especially this year! I hope you will give yourself and those around you some grace and allow yourself and others to be OK with not being OK. Of course, if you feel like you need professional help, please don’t hesitate to seek out that assistance. Mental health is critical to overall health and well-being and I want us all to have both now and well into the future.

Written by: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Shannon Carter, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County, carter.413@osu.edu

Sources:

Harmon, M. (2019, October 21). Fall: A SAD Time of Year. Retrieved from https://livehealthyosu.com/2019/10/21/fall-a-sad-time-of-year/

Rush University Medical Center. (n.d.). More Than Just the Winter Blues? Retrieved from https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/more-just-winter-blues

Robinson, L., Segal, J., Ph.D., & Smith, M., M.A. (2019, June). The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise. Retrieved October 07, 2020, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases. (2020, September 11). Personal and Social Activities. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/personal-social-activities.html#event

Bohlen, A. (2020, September 17). Pizza for dinner again! Retrieved from https://livehealthyosu.com/2020/09/17/pizza-for-dinner-again/

Carter, S. (2020, August 31). Beating the Pandemic Blues. Retrieved from https://livehealthyosu.com/2020/08/31/beating-the-pandemic-blues/

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My son eating an apple.

I am a Registered Dietitian and toddler mom. In the year my son was born, Weight Watchers rolled out an app called Kurbo by WW to help children ages 8 to 17 “build healthy habits for life”. The app allows users to track what they eat and how much they exercise – not by counting calories, but by using a “traffic-light system” to classify foods as healthy and unhealthy. For a fee, users can also work with a virtual health coach to set and evaluate progress toward health goals. 

Upon its release, Kurbo received overwhelming criticism and media attention from dietitians, pediatricians, therapists and other health professionals. While these experts agree that healthy eating is important, they recognize that both childhood obesity and eating disorders are serious concerns for adolescents. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, eating disorders are serious illnesses that have the second highest mortality rate of any mental health disorder, and they “are too often wrongly relegated to the sidelines as a minor consideration in the ‘obesity prevention’ conversation.” In a similar vein, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents and doctors to avoid discussing weight or prescribing weight loss to children and adolescents over concerns that it could lead to disordered eating habits. 

Parents and health professionals alike want to help young people establish healthy eating habits for life, which is the stated purpose of the Kurbo app. There is great concern, however, that using the approach of tracking food intake could lead to disordered eating, unhealthy relationships with food, low self-esteem and unhealthy body image among adolescents. A better approach for encouraging children to develop healthy eating habits and maintain healthy weight is to teach and model healthy eating without food shaming or guilt tripping. The New York Times offers a helpful guide that includes the following suggestions for parents and caregivers:

tuna

My son eating tuna noodle casserole

  • Model healthy habits
  • Involve children in food shopping and cooking
  • Initiative positive conversations about different eating patterns
  • Choose not to use food as a reward, bribe or punishment
  • Refrain from talking about weight or dieting
  • Allow less-than-healthy foods into your meal plan on occasion, without making a big deal about it
  • Respect food preferences and aversions
  • Encourage children to identify and respond to their body’s cues for hunger and fullness

Finally, be sure to voice concerns with a pediatrician or a dietitian if your child starts to obsess over food or weight at any given time. With these guidelines in mind, you’ll be doing your part to help the children in your life develop healthy eating habits.

Sources:

American Academy of Pediatrics (2016). How to prevent obesity without encouraging eating disorders. https://www.aappublications.org/news/2016/08/22/Obesity082216 

CDC (2020). Tips to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/children/index.html

National Eating Disorders Association (2018). NEDA Statement on Kurbo by WW App. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/neda-statement-kurbo-ww-app

Sole-Smith, V. (2019). A New Weight Watchers App for Kids Raises Concerns. The New York Times. https://parenting.nytimes.com/childrens-health/weight-watchers-kids?te=1&nl=nyt-parenting&emc=edit_ptg_20190911?campaign_id=118&instance_id=12279&segment_id=16918&user_id=86dd6cac18c7ca41e6c8d433d5340d6c&regi_id=92717125

Sweeney, E. (2019). How to Teach Children About Healthy Eating, Without Food Shaming. The New York Times. https://parenting.nytimes.com/feeding/healthy-eating-habits?module=article-group&topic=Toddler&rank=3&position=7

Written by: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Franklin County and Olivia Levine, Dietetic Intern, The Ohio State University

Reviewed by: Jami Dellifield, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Hardin County

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I bet you remember to charge your phone, tablet, computer, or even electric car — but when was the last time you recharged yourself? Recharging includes getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals and snacks, and taking a vacation or sick day when you need it. But it also includes finding time to do a hobby or something that relaxes you, which will reduce your stress and can provide a mental escape. When you do not take time to recharge, you are just like your phone, operating on low power. During COVID we may have had to stop doing some of our favorite stress relieving activities. I know I miss concerts, college football, and movies with my friends. If this is you, or if you have gotten so busy with work or family that you have forgotten to make and take time for yourself, you may have allowed the stress in your life 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:camera, drink, book

  • A Sense of Accomplishment – You will gain satisfaction by completing a project like a quilt, a painting, a book, or a faster time on your jog or bike ride.
  • Build Your Creative Side – Especially for people who cannot be creative at work, having a creative hobby is great for your brain. Studies have found that employees who have creative hobbies are more satisfied with their jobs and are often more creative with work projects too.
  • Prevent Burnout and Provide Balance – 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 and Even Immunity– 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. Stress weakens the immune system and by recharging you can help keep yourself well.

Children benefit from hobbies too, by having a higher self-esteem, learning patience and social skills, and developing critical thinking skills and creativity. Remember that children who are involved in hobbies are not spending time on negative activities. Encourage younger children to try several activities as hobbies – something physical, something creative, and something mental (geocaching, crafting, music, cooking, or even magic). While some children may consider gaming to be a hobby, promote other hobbies that do not use a screen. Hobbies may be especially important to children who are missing social interaction and organized sports activities right now.

Hobbies provide both physical and mental health benefits to adults and children. In fact, companies report looking for employees who have hobbies. They feel these employees are more balanced, less stressed, and more creative. What hobby is your favorite? Respond with a comment. Personally, I’m a reader, reading is food for my soul. When I miss more than a day or two of reading I may actually tell my family “give me 30 minutes to read, I need it”.

While I wrap up, remember that part of recharging may be talking to someone. This could be a friend, family member, co-worker, counselor, or helpline. One example is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). This service is available to anyone who needs to talk; you don’t have to be thinking about suicide. Services may also be available from your employer, through your employee assistance program.man playing guitar

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, barlage.7@osu.edu.

Reviewers: Laura Stanton, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Warren County, stanton.60@osu.edu and Misty Harmon, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

Sources:

Cornell Cooperative Extension, http://cceclinton.org/home-family/parent-pages/leisure-time/childrens-hobbies-have-big-payoff.

Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/joop.12064.

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Everything changes immediately after hearing the words, “you have cancer.”  The world seems to stop in that moment and you are paralyzed by fear.   Be patient with yourself and allow yourself time to adjust.  There are many important decisions to make, do not make them in haste.  Carefully consider your options as you choose your healthcare team, manage prescriptions and treatment options and navigate financial and insurance concerns.  Focus on what you can control and create an action plan that includes the following steps to live your best life with cancer.   

  • Communicate with your healthcare team.  Learn as much as you can about your diagnosis.   If you are experiencing short- or long-term side effects, let them know.  Do not suffer in silence.
  •  Eat well.   Recognize that cancer and its treatment may cause side effects that make it difficult to eat.  Aim for 2 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables daily.  Include citrus, dark green and yellow vegetables. Whole grains, beans and lentils helps to fuel the body.  Limit high fat foods and snack frequently through out the day with power snacks.
  • Hydrate.  Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Hydration helps regulate body temperature, aids in the absorption of vitamins and nutrients and  promotes optimal organ function.
  • Stay active.  Walking to the mailbox, lifting soup-can-weights or hitting the gym, physical activity is important. When you exercise, you are present in the moment and less focused on worries. Discuss  physical activity options with your doctor for an approved exercise plan.
  • Get enough sleep.   Insufficient sleep makes coping with challenges difficult.  Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night for optimal function.
  • Practice gratitude.   People who approach life with a positive attitude are less stressed.  Make a mental list of the things you are grateful for every night before you sleep.
  •  Get Organized: Feeling out of control is driven by disorganization. Which adds to general stress.  Reduce clutter and get organized.  You will focus on more important things.
  • Learn relaxation techniques.   Studies show that people who meditate regularly (even just three minutes!) feel calmer and more in control. Try yoga. Take a walk-in nature. Sit quietly. Spend time with your pet.  Try mindfulness.
  • Say “No” When Necessary: Boundaries are important. Do not feel bad when you feel like you need to say no. Avoid taking on more than you can commit to and do not feel guilty about it.
  • Lean on Your Support System: Stay connected with family and friends.  This leads to less stress and better coping ability. Do not be afraid to ask for support during these times.

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:

https://cancer.osu.edu

https://www.cancer.org

https://www.cancer.gov

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As the world finds its way through the uncharted waters of this pandemic, you may find yourself navigating your own course. With stay-at-home orders, canceled events and limited gatherings, we are all experiencing isolation and loss on some level. Perhaps you have even suffered from depression at some point this year. You’re not alone.

Person sitting with hands folded, displaying stress symptoms

A mid-summer poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation reported over half of US adults indicated the pandemic has affected their mental health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the stress from pandemics can bring about these responses:

  • Fear and worry about health (your own and loved ones’)
  • Fear and worry about your job or finances
  • Concern about loss of support services you depend upon
  • Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Decline of chronic health conditions
  • Increase of mental health problems
  • Increased use of tobacco, alcohol and other substances

With all of these stressful thoughts, it’s no wonder we may be feeling anxious, which can lead to depression. And while there is so much that is out of our control, there are some things we can do to take care of ourselves and those around us.

Cope with stress

  • Learn the facts about COVID-19. Just knowing the facts can reduce stress and help you feel more empowered.
  • Learn what to do if you are sick. The first step is to contact your healthcare professional.
  • Find out where to get treatment, support services and resources, including counseling or therapy (in person or through telehealth services).
  • Take a break from news and social media. Constantly hearing news of the pandemic adds to your stress.
  • Distract yourself from the stress of the pandemic by taking up a new hobby or something that adds purpose or joy to your life.
person walking on road near woods

Take care of yourself

Connect with others

  • Talk with people you trust about your feelings and concerns.
  • Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations. While social distancing measures are in place, consider connecting in different ways: online, social media, phone or mail.

This pandemic won’t last forever, even though it may feel endless at times. Until then, use these tips to take care of yourself and to live healthy AND well!

Sources:

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

Robinson, L. and Smith, M. “Dealing with Depression During Coronavirus.” HelpGuide.org. Last updated: May 2020. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/dealing-with-depression-during-coronavirus.htm

Panchal, N. et. al. “The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use.” The Kaiser Family Foundation. August 2020.  https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/the-implications-of-covid-19-for-mental-health-and-substance-use/

Written by: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County, carter.413@osu.edu.

Reviewed by: Jenny Lobb, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

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In July  I set an out of office message.

“I am out of the office on vacation. I will be seeing national parks, family, friends, and the Rocky Mountains; I will not be seeing emails.”

And I left.  For two whole weeks! It was glorious and much needed.  

My daughters enjoying the North Rim of the Grand Canyon July 2020

According to research done by the U.S. Travel Association, Americans left 768 MILLION vacations days unused in 2018. That statistic surprised me given how often a friend, neighbor, or colleague says, “I need a vacation!” in conversation.

Allow me to persuade you on why you should use your vacation days:

Are looking for better physical or mental health? Want to achieve a goal you’ve set? Take a vacation!!!

Several studies have shown that taking time away from your job can have physical and psychological health benefits. People who use their vacation time have lower stress and less risk of heart disease.

You may be familiar with stress when it comes to your job. Vacation helps with that too! Stress contributes to heart disease and high blood pressure. Chronic exposure to the stress hormone cortisol can alter our brain structure. This can contribute to anxiety and depression.  Time away from work can increase feelings of calm and relieve stress.   This allows our brains to heal in ways it can’t when it is under pressure.

Physically, the benefits are positive too.   For both men and women, the New York Times reported, taking a vacation every two years compared to every six will lessen the risk of coronary heart disease or heart attacks.

People who vacation also have a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve their goals. One study three days after vacation found subjects’ physical complaints, quality of sleep, and mood had improved as compared to before vacation found.  These gains were still present five weeks later, especially in those who had more personal time and overall satisfaction during their vacation. Returning to work can increase mental focus, creativity, and productivity. 

If you are thinking that your current budget or financial situation does not allow a vacation at this time, allow me to point out none of this research says WHERE or WHAT you have to do for these benefits. Those benefits are available when you take a break from work! A Caribbean island may sound relaxing, but there is plenty of relaxation to be found close to home. Recently the popularity of staycations has grown.  You may be missing some great destinations right in your backyard.  Stay close and get creative if you have to, just don’t add your vacation days to that 768 million. 

Wherever your vacation takes you, we hope it is relaxing!

Author: Alisha Barton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Miami County, barton.345@osu.edu

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

Resources:

COVID 19: Staycation. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://dhr.delaware.gov/benefits/covid-19/documents/eap-staycation-ideas.pdf

Harmon, M. (2020). It’s Vacation Time. Live Healthy Live Well, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Scienceshttps://livehealthyosu.com/2020/06/29/its-vacation-time/

Importance of taking vacation. (n.d.). Retrieved August 25, 2020, from https://www.allinahealth.org/healthysetgo/thrive/importance-of-taking-vacation

Kim, A. (2019, August 16). A record 768 million US vacation days went to waste last year, a study says. Retrieved August 25, 2020, from https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/unused-vacation-days-trnd/index.html

US TravelAssociation (2019). PAID TIME OFF TRENDS IN THE U.S. Retrieved from https://www.ustravel.org/sites/default/files/media_root/document/Paid%20Time%20Off%20Trends%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf?utm_source=MagnetMail&utm_medium=email&utm_content=8%2E15%2E19%2DPress%2DVacation%20Days%20Release&utm_campaign=pr

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"Fake news" on wooden game tiles.

Misinformation, disinformation, fake news…. All these terms, in general, describe the same thing: information that is out of context, missing details, lacking reputable sources, or is just plain false. We hear about misinformation within the context of world or political news a lot, but misleading information can appear elsewhere. Misleading and incorrect information shared about health and wellness and can lead to health decisions that could put you at risk. If something seems suspicious, it might be worth a fact check!

Mediawise, a branch of the fact-checking site Poynter suggests these three questions when looking to discover if something is factual or missing the mark.

  1. Who published the information?
    • By answering this question, you may uncover a potential bias by the author or agency. For example, a company selling a weight loss supplement may not be the best place to learn about a new “miracle” vitamin that the company is selling. A good place to begin this step of the fact-check is to look at who is sharing the information and how they will benefit from such a claim.
  2. What is the evidence?
    • Looking more into the evidence behind the claim can shed light on information that supports or discounts the claim. This article claims, “Teenager left ‘blind’ from diet of Pringles, chips and bread”.  When reading this headline alone, it is easy to be skeptical of the information presented. Looking at the evidence, it is a BBC article and they are a reputable news source without a bias for reporting the story. They interview experts familiar to the case in question and share the science behind what happened. The article also cites a case study from a reputable medical journal that shows further evidence to support the headline’s claim.
  3. What do other sources say?
    • A search of keywords in the suspicious article is a good way to find out what other sources say about the topic. When investigating a “miracle” vitamin or fact checking another claim, look for trustworthy, evidence-based sources. Depending on the topic, a reputable fact checking site may have already done the work for you!

Doing a fact-check only takes a few moments, it can help you make evidence-based decisions. A fact check might just prevent you from sharing misleading or false information on your social media feed.


Author: Courtney Woelfl, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Cuyahoga County

Reviewer: Alisha Barton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Miami County         


Sources:

Roberts, M. BBC. (2019). Teenager ‘blind’ from living off crisps and chips. https://www.bbc.com/news/health-49551337

WBUR. (2020). ‘Everything’s Worth A Fact-Check’: Network Teaches Teens To Debunk Online Myths. https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2020/08/11/mediawise-teen-fact-checking-network

World Health Organization (2020). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Mythbusters.  https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters#pepper

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Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. It is not part of the normal aging process. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that begins with mild memory loss and can later affect one’s ability to carry out activities of daily living.  On a personal note, my Mom – an Alzheimer’s patient – no longer recalls who I am and struggles with most daily activities.   Alzheimer’s caught up with us in November 2011.  After she received her diagnosis, we developed an action plan to direct her care with a goal for her to live well with Alzheimer’s.  

When seeking to take control of your health and wellness after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it may be helpful to focus your energy on the aspects of your life that are most meaningful.  Recognize that there will be good days and bad days, and an emphasis on living a healthier life will help prepare you to center your energies on what is most important to you.  Start today by:

  • Managing your physical health
    • Get regular checkups
    • Establish a relationship with a physician you trust
    • Get plenty or rest
  • Taking charge of your emotional health
    • Allow yourself to experience a range of emotions
    • Consider meeting with a trusted friend
    • Maintain close relationships with loved ones
    • If experiencing rapid mood changes or a short temper, be mindful of negative responses and understand your reaction is caused by the disease
    • If today is not going well, do not force it.  Stop. Do something you enjoy.
  • Increasing mental stimulation
    • Take a class
    • Try a new hobby
  • Educating yourself about the disease    
    • Plan for the future

Examine the influences that impact your experience living with Alzheimer’s.  Choosing to live a healthy life by maintaining your physical, social, and emotional well-being will help improve your daily life.

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:

https://www.cdc.gov/aging/aginginfo/alzheimers.htm

https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers

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