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all-is-wellWhat comes to mind when you hear the terms well or wellness? For most people, these words bring thoughts of physical health. Some of you will think about mental health. Most people, when given time, realize that there is more to being well than just physical and mental health. Some may even be able to name several areas of wellness. Many people may not realize that there are actually eight dimensions of wellness, though.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the eight dimensions of wellness are:

  1. Emotional—Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships
  2. Environmental—Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being
  3. Financial—Satisfaction with current and future financial situations
  4. Intellectual—Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills
  5. Occupational—Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work
  6. Physical—Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep
  7. Social—Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system
  8. Spiritual—Expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life

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For about a month, I have been participating in a program offered through my employer/health insurance to help increase my emotional well-being. There are up to five areas that anyone who participates can choose to complete. Each area has suggestions for things you can do. For example, one challenge is to find. Some things listed include: going to the library to check out a book or DVD, attending a live event or stopping by a new coffee shop. It is fun trying to complete each challenge. It also helps remind me that even on those hectic days, I need to take some time to take care of myself.

There are small and simple things you can do to help become more well in each area. Here are some examples:

  • Emotional—unplug from phone, social media and your computer for 10 minutes each day, light your favorite candle and make time for friends and family
  • Environmental—keep your office and home clean and organized, find a favorite place or spot to visit and get involved in cleaning up your community or neighborhood
  • Financial—shop at thrift stores, limit unnecessary spending and develop a budget
  • Intellectual—read for pleasure, choose creative hobbies and participate in local/community events
  • Occupational—attend conferences to stay current in your profession and explore opportunities for growth and advancement
  • Physical—participate in regular exercise/physical activity that you enjoy, eat balanced, nutritious meals and snacks and get adequate sleep
  • Social—be genuine with others, join a club or organization and use good communication skills
  • Spiritual—volunteer, pray, meditate or find a quiet place for self-reflection

You may be wondering how well you really are. Take this assessment to get a better idea. After completing it, you can figure out which areas you need to work on and in which ones you are already strong. Click here for additional information and resources on how to strengthen your dimensions of wellness.

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

Reviewer:  Michelle Treber, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences, Pickaway County

References:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2016). The Eight Dimensions of Wellness. Available at https://www.samhsa.gov/wellness-initiative/eight-dimensions-wellness

http://umatter.princeton.edu/sites/umatter/files/media/wellness-self-assessment.pdf

Roddick, M. (2016). The 8 Dimensions of Wellness:  Where Do You Fit In? Available at https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/8-dimensions-of-wellness-where-do-you-fit-in-0527164

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friends

There are many different facets of health. We think of health as eating well and exercising, yet health also includes our social interactions and connections.

We all tend to get busy in our lives and lose contact with our friends and family. July is a perfect time to build stronger social ties with family and friends and reach out to others.  Social Wellness encourages us to develop better communications with our friends and family and to spend time nurturing our relationships and ourselves.  Respect yourself and others and develop a solid social support system.  Check in with your family and friends.

On-line social networking has grown because of our need to be connected. It allows us to read status updates and get a glimpse of what is going on with our friends and family.  Yet, it is important to have a full conversation to maintain social wellness.

Grow your social network. Consider your interests and hobbies and you are bound to meet new people that share the same interest.

Social Wellness is important including:

  • People who have strong social networks live longer
  • People with healthy relationships respond better to stress and have healthier cardiovascular systems
  • Healthy social networks improve the immunes system’s ability to fight off infectious disease

Reconnect this month with your friends and family to strengthen your bonds and improve your social wellness. Be Well!

References: https://www.butler.edu/health-wellness/social                                                    http://www.fsap.emory.edu › Workplace Resources › Wellness

 

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

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

 

 

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listIt’s hard to believe that we are approaching the beginning of 2017. This is the time when many of us make our New Year’s Resolutions.  Do you make a resolution or two each year? How successful are you at fulfilling your resolutions?

I recently saw a definition of a New Year’s Resolution as a “to do list” for the first week in January!

For many people, unfortunately, this joke is their reality. Research shows that only 8% of those who make New Year’s Resolutions are successful in achieving what they have resolved. Some say that the reason our resolutions don’t work is that they are sometimes based on wishful thinking. Who doesn’t want to be happier, thinner, fit, more financially secure, etc.!  If only we could wave a magic wand and make it happen. Since that’s not possible, how can we help to ensure that the changes we want to see for ourselves are carried out?

The best advice for making positive changes in our lives is to be ready for the challenge.  There are  two basic strategies that can help you be successful:

1st Set realistic goals

  • Choose one or two achievable goals.
  • Don’t be overly aggressive with behavior change – take it slow!
  • Write them down. If you can see them each day, it may give you the motivation you need.

2nd Create an environment that will help you to succeed.

  • If you want to lose weight or become more fit, find an activity that you enjoy.
  • Ask others to help. A walking buddy can help you commit to that daily walk.
  • Enjoy a piece of fruit (or vegetable) every afternoon as a snack. This behavior helps you increase your fruit and veggie intake which may lead to behavior changes that encourage weight loss.
  • Don’t buy junk food – fill your refrigerator and pantry with healthy food and snacks.
  • If saving money is your goal, be sure you know the difference between your “wants” and “needs”.
  • Increase your money management skills by taking a class on budgeting or finance.

As you are making these new habits a part of your life, it would be good to avoid places, people, and situations that you know encourage your old habits. Stay away from people who try to sabotage your plans for a healthier life. Start with a small change and once it becomes a habit, explore the next step that you can take to achieve your overall goal.

Set some milestone markers and reward yourself when you reach them. That first marker might be walking at least 3 days per week when your goal is 5 days.  Buy yourself something fun – maybe a new pair of funky socks.

Maybe most importantly, don’t expect perfection!  Remember, you want this to be a new-years-resolutionlifelong change. There will be times that you will slip back into old habits but don’t use that as an excuse to give up on your goals. Recognize your mistake, refocus and move forward.

Author:  Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Franklin County

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Pickaway County

References:

http://moneysmarts.iu.edu/tips/basics/new-years-resolution.shtml

http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statisticshttp://extension.usu.edu/htm/news-multimedia/articleID=4157

http://extension.psu.edu/health/news/2016/be-successful-in-keeping-new-year2019s-resolutions

http://uwyoextension.org/uwnutrition/2013/01/31/new-years-resolution-solutions/

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_three_most_important_tactics_for_keeping_your_resolutions

 

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3846351163_a4fd09c8da_mIt seems to be a trending topic, and one with real implications.  Now more than ever, we are realizing that when a person is hungry, he or she may have a lesser control on emotions and the actions that accompany the feelings.  #Hangry, and the meaning behind it, is popping up everywhere from candy bar commercials to memes on Instagram and Facebook.

A recent research study posted online at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences relays that spouses were more likely to show higher levels aggression towards their wife or husband at times when their blood sugar levels were low.  An interesting model, the anger was measured with pins in voo doo dolls and blasting noise into headphones in accordance with the amount of fury being felt.  Haven’t many of us imaginarily wished we had a voo doo doll once or twice in our lives?

Knowing that communication and the emotions that are involved lead to positive or very negative outcomes that affect many, with guidance from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics here are 5 Tips for Preventing the Hangry Dilemma:

  1. Eat regularly scheduled light meals and snacks that include a variety of protein, fat and carbohydrate sources.
  2. Limit empty calorie foods that are mainly simple sugars, refined carbohydrates, and saturated or trans fats.
  3. Choose whole grains more often along with other high fiber foods like beans, vegetables, and nuts.
  4. Plan ahead by making a shopping list that you will stick to and a weekly menu that will lessen spur of the moment stops for fast-food.
  5. Maintain an active lifestyle replenishing your body with healthy foods such as fruits, yogurt, and low-fat granola and beverages such as water and milk.

Author:  Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D., L.D., Program Specialist, Ohio State University Extension, spires.53@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Jamie Seger, Program Director, Ohio State University Extension, seger.23@osu.edu

Sources:  Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/diseases-and-conditions/diabetes/diabetes-and-diet

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, http://www.pnas.org/content/111/17/6254.full

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It seems “Happy, Happy, Happy” is sweeping the nation with nearly twelve million viewers of the popular reality television show, Duck Dynasty. Happy, Happy, Happy is the motto of Phil Robertson, one of its cast members. No, I’m not advocating you watch more television; or even take up duck hunting; however, there is something to be said for Phil’s “happy, happy, happy” approach to life. Perhaps you know people who are always happy. MP900386362

Which poses the question . . . are you born with a happy attitude set-point, is happiness a learned behavior, or a product of our environment/upbringing, and/or a combination of all of these?

Research has shown that our talent for happiness is, to a large degree, determined by our genes. Psychology professor David T. Lykken, author of Happiness: The Nature and Nurture of Joy and Contentment, says that “trying to be happier is like trying to be taller.” We each have a “happiness set-point” he argues, and we move away from it only slightly.

In short, we may be born with a happiness “set-point,” as Lykken calls it, but we are not stuck there. Happiness depends on how we manage our emotions and our relationships with others.

There are two types of people in the world; those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy. Happy people are happy because they make themselves happy. They maintain a positive outlook on life and remain at peace with themselves. Unhappy people believe they need to obtain certain material items or levels of achievement to be happy. A few notable differences between happy and unhappy people are as follows:

1. Happy people make an effort to surround themselves with positivity; they do not enjoy being around people that send out negative vibrations and who deflate their mood. Happy people make a conscious effort to engage with other happy people so they can have healthy and positive friendships and relationships.
2. Happy people do not waste their days being jealous of other people. Happy people have no need to desire everything that someone else has. They are purely content with their own life and who they are.
3. Happy people take time for themselves. It is imperative for a happy life. Happy people make sure they put aside 10 to 20 minutes each day for personal time because they know how important it is for stress reduction and general well-being.
4. Happy people don’t sweat the small stuff. They believe they can overcome most obstacles that life presents and they do not put themselves through any unwanted stress over issues that can be solved.
5. Forgiveness is a fact of life. Happy people find it easy to forgive and move on. They realize the damage of holding on to anger and how it can affect general health and quality of life.

Happy people like Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty do many things differently and they make sure they do everything wholeheartedly and with great effort. They are passionate people who usually have a big smile on their face and live their lives to the fullest every day.

Choose to be happy. Push the “delete” button on negative thoughts and “evict” those individuals or thoughts you have allowed to live “rent free” in your head/life to keep yourself positive. You will have less stress and enjoy life more.

References:

Jett, Pamela (2012). National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Annual Meeting, Columbus, Ohio, Keynote Speaker

Lykken, David T.(1999). Happiness: The Nature and Nurture of Joy and Contentment by St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York

Valeo, Tom. Choosing to be Happy – Strategies for Happiness: 7 Steps to Becoming A Happier Person, Web MD

Written by: Cynthia R. Shuster, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Perry County, Buckeye Hills EERA.

Reviewed by: Elizabeth Smith, M.S., RDN., L.D. NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-Ed, Ohio State University Extension.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Lindimore, Ohio State University Extension Office Associate, Morgan County, Buckeye Hills EERA.

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Strand of PearlsYou have a favorite necklace that was passed down to you from your grandmother. You realize that no one in your family knows the history of the piece – they don’t know if it was a gift from your grandfather to your grandmother on their 25th anniversary or if she got it from her parents for her 18th birthday. If this information isn’t written down or verbally shared, this important part of your family history may be lost.
Our lives are busy and often we don’t think about these things until someone passes on. Then we realize we wish we had our mom’s recipe for Thanksgiving dressing (stuffing) or apple pie. She made it from scratch and we thought it was written down but no one can find it.
Perhaps this year you can set aside some time to talk to your parents or grandparents about their lives. Ask the questions you always wanted to ask and record or document their answers. If they are willing – use a video camera, digital camera, or iPad to record their stories. There are even books available for grandparents to fill out which would also help guide you with some questions.
Think about an item you have in your possession – where will it be in 30 years? Where would you like for it to be?

Make your wishes known by sharing this information with family members, record it in your will, or tag the item for your loved one. Take time to talk to your family members and find out those special recipes, your family history and traditions.
Realize that personal belongings have different meanings to people. Perhaps you always wanted your grandmother’s handmade quilt. Before she passes on, talk to her about it. She may be thrilled that you honor her work and that you are interested in preserving that memory.QUILT

If you have a family reunion or gathering, take time to talk to your family members about special items that you’d like passed on. Find out the family recipes and write them down or see if you can make a copy of your mother or grandmother’s recipe cards. Preserve those memories for future generations.
Remember that everyone has property or possessions to transfer. While you are alive as the “current owner” of the property, you have the legal right to decide who gets what.
Begin now by communicating your goals to your family and talking about which items you want to transfer and how. Take simple steps to ensure that your items are distributed to those you want and your intentions are carried out. Write down or record those pieces of family history – you have something g valuable to pass on to future generations.

Source:

“Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?”  Minnesota Extension Service @ University of Minnesota

http://www.extension.umn.edu/family/financial-security/who-gets-grandmas-pie-plate/

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

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

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