Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Decisions’

Although living in the moment and planning for the future might sound like a contradiction, research shows the value of both. In defining mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn specifically says that it is “in the present moment.” How can I be mindful and also plan ahead for a successful future?  

In 2020, researchers found that during the pandemic lockdown, those who used proactive coping were able to avoid additional stress, or at least reduce its negative impacts. Proactive coping is when people make plans and take steps to change or reduce potential stress for future events. Researchers recommend continuing to make informed plans, even in uncertain times. Other studies highlight the positive role that anticipation plays when we are looking into the future, waiting for a pleasing event like a vacation. Anticipation for a positive event can bring us enjoyment while proactive coping for a potentially negative event may help reduce stress.  

Sometimes future events are very large such as starting a new school or job. Other times, future events are as basic as daily routines. In a previous Live Healthy Live Well blog, titled My Future Self, the author described how the things we do today affect who we are tomorrow. Some basic examples of daily routines that shape our successful future could include meal planning, family decisions, and scheduling exercise.

The goal is to not spend time and energy worrying about the future. We cannot control future events, but there is value in anticipating positive results. When making future plans and putting action steps into place, it’s worth asking:

  • Am I preparing for future success or am I worrying about future things I cannot control?
  • Am I taking pleasure in looking forward to future events?
  • Am I being present, now, in this moment as I take appropriate steps for future success?

Here are a few life examples of plans and action steps now for a successful future later:

  1. Practicing the musical instrument now to be able to pick up and improvise a jazz performance
  2. Practicing mindfulness now for additional benefits later
  3. Packing now for a week-end trip
  4. Choosing flower seeds now for next year’s garden
  5. Choosing a greeting card or gift now to share later with a loved one
  6. Reading and studying now to test later
  7. Childproofing living room now for toddler grandchildren to visit later
  8. Buying groceries now for meals later this week
  9. Prayers of gratitude now for unknown future blessings
  10. Reading this blog now with plans to use the information sooner than later

What steps are you taking now in planning for success in the future?

References:

Kumar, A., Killingsworth, M., and Gilovich, T. (2014, August 21). Waiting for merlot: Anticipatory consumption of experiential and material purchases. Psychological Science.

Marrison, E. (2019). My Future Self. Live Healthy Live Well. Ohio State University. https://livehealthyosu.com/2019/12/12/my-future-self/

Pearman, Hughes, Smith, & Neupert, 2020  https://web.ncsu.edu/accolades-magazine/2020/10/15/quiz-pandemic-stress-busters/index.html

Polk, M., Smith, E.,  Zhang, L.,  and Neupert, S., (2020). Thinking ahead and staying in the present: Implications for reactivity to daily stressors, Personality and Individual Differences. Volume 161. 2020 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886920301604

Szabo, Richling, Embry, Biglan, Wilson, (2020). From helpless to hero: Promoting values-based behavior and positive family interaction in the midst of Covid-19.

Photo credit: Pixabay

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

Read Full Post »

prom pic

It’s that time of year. Everyone is ready to celebrate. Proms, graduations, and other events mark the end of the school year. Memories of these wonderful occasions will be with our youth for the rest of their lives. These occasions are associated with a higher teen traffic death rate, often due to the increased temptations to participate in drinking activities. Be proactive with your child by having open conversations to increase their awareness to keep them SAFE!

Tips for Prom and Graduation Parties

graduation

Parents:

• Make sure your son/daughter has a plan for the evening and that you know the plan.
• Contact the parents of your teen’s date. Discuss the plans for the evening and plan to meet each other.
• Know who is driving to and from – if it’s a limo know the alcohol policy.
• Talk to your son/daughter about the risks of alcohol and drug use.
• Take stock of your alcohol in your home prior to the beginning of the night.
• Talk to your son/daughter about the school’s prom rules and your prom rules and the consequences of violating them.
• Always let your son/daughter know that you will be available to pick them up if they feel unsafe regardless of the circumstance.
• Communicate with other parents of your teen’s friends. Discuss the plans for the night and the need for locking up and inventorying all alcohol and prescription medication in advance.
• Have an escape plan for a bad situation. Define a code word or text message they can send to alert you to help them out of this situation. Be sure to reinforce with them it is alright to call you anytime.
• Set up times they are to call and check in. These may include when the prom is over, when arriving to an after prom destination, or before heading home.
• Remind your teen to keep you notified of any changes in the plan.
• Limit the number of teens in the car. The risk of teens getting into a car crash increases as the number of passengers increase.
• Stay up until your prom-goer returns home for the night and let them know you will be waiting up for them.

Teens:

• Keep yourself safe and remind your friends to keep safe.
• Have the number of trustworthy cabs programmed on your phone.
• Have emergency cash to pay for these rides.
• Be sure to have plenty of rest the night before the prom.
• Think through and talk with your friends about pressure situations. Have a plan to handle them ahead of time.
• Consider going for breakfast, bowling or seeing a midnight movie after your prom. These are fun activities and none of them involve alcohol or illegal substances.
• Have your cell phone charged and with you at all times.
• Eat a good breakfast and lunch the day of these activities to keep your energy level up.
• Never leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from someone else.
• Drive on well-lit roads and be sure the vehicle you are driving is well maintained and has a full tank of gas.
• Never ride with someone who is fatigued or impaired in any way.
• Wear your seat belt.
• Know the warning signs for alcohol or drug overdose and call 911 immediately is you see someone exhibiting them.
• At all times, know where you are and where you are going. Make sure your parents know also.
• Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable over any situation, something may not be right. Leave immediately.

Written by: Beth Stefura, Ohio State University, Extension Educator, stefura.2@osu.edu
Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Ohio State University, Extension Educator

Resource: Safety Awareness Officer, Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department

Read Full Post »