Have you felt yourself being more emotional lately? Maybe it is harder to decide what you want to do, or you are feeling “on edge?” According to The Cleveland Clinic these can be signs of stress. The feelings that we get when things in our life are uncertain can add to our stress. There are many ways you can help deal with these feelings, but one of my favorites is to take some time for self-care.
Self-care is making sure we pay attention to our own well-being (whether that be mental, emotional, or physical). It is taking some time to purposefully do things that make you feel good about yourself. Although this sounds simple, it is often something we overlook.
Self-care is not being selfish. If you have ever flown on a plane, you’ve heard the flight attendants tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping someone else. Self-care is your oxygen mask. And it is especially important in these times of uncertainty.
Here are some suggestions about how to practice self-care.
- Find ways to express how you feel, especially if you don’t know what it is you are feeling. Talk to a friend or trusted adult.
- Make time for low-stress activities to do by yourself. One such activity I like is coloring or doing craft projects.
- Listen to your favorite music.
- Get outside. Take a walk. Bring your pet along if you have one!
- Do a puzzle.
- Have a routine (brush your teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast).
The current challenging times mean that self-care is more important than ever. Practicing good self-care can help you tackle life’s challenges. But self-care isn’t only for times of stress. Regular self-care is good for you when times are good. It can help you be more resilient to face new challenges.
Today’s Journal allows you to write in some ideas you may have about self-care for yourself! Maybe it is something you do by yourself, or something that you decide to do with your family at home. Be creative when you can’t get together face-to-face – you can even do virtual self-care sessions with your friends and family.
In Great Love,
Today is National Tell a Story day! Stories come from all places including friends, families, experiences, or even from our imagination. A story can be a way to share history with others, connect to family members, or even entertain us.
For National Tell a Story day I decided to celebrate with a story where you get to decide some of the fun details of our story. Today’s story is about our first meeting back face-to-face! I am using a style called mad lib which gives a template for another person to fill in the blanks. The trick is, you fill in the blanks before you see the story!
I had a blast developing this template and testing it on my family. I hope you will enjoy (and share yours) as well!
Mad Libs originated in 1953. You can read the full history of them here!
A noted quote from Albert Einstein reads: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
Einstein didn’t mean that knowledge wasn’t important, but rather that imagination helps us create knowledge. When people let their imagination go and think about “what if…,” new ideas follow. Everyday objects that we take for granted were once ideas that first existed in someone’s mind.
Imagination is related to creativity, and creativity to art. If you are inspired to explore your imagination through art, check out the “Getting Started in Art” is a perfect stay-at-home 4-H project that is now available as a PDF. Join Heather for an introductory lesson here:
Today focus on how using your imagination can lighten your mood! Did you know drawing can strengthen your creativity, improve your memory, and help you de-stress? Find your inner artist today and comment down below with your masterpiece you have made!
Draw a picture, paste in clippings from the paper, magazines, or scrapbooking materials you may have! Show us your masterpiece on social media at the Ohio 4-H Healthy Living Facebook page!
The first picture is from one of our Ohio 4-H Health Heroes Nat! She came up with this idea to help cheer everyone up! Below are more Franklin County 4-H’ers showing off their masterpieces as well! Post credit to Natalia Kresic, Mahoning County 4-H member and Ohio 4-H Health Hero, Heather Gottke, and Theresa Ferrari.
What do you think of when you think of the word mindfulness? Mindfulness is defined by Merriam-Webster as “… the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.” That’s a lot to digest, so let’s break it down. Simply put, being mindful means being aware and paying attention. When we are nonjudgmental, it means that we are accepting of what is, without thinking of it as good or bad – it just is. It means taking a pause to take stock of our thoughts, feelings, and what is going on around us.
Being more aware can help us appreciate what is going on around us now. Have you heard the expression “taking time to stop and smell the roses?” Well, that’s what mindfulness is all about! The stream of information that we have running through our heads is constant and can cause a lot of stress. When you become aware that you may need an “attitude adjustment, how can you shift your thoughts in a more positive direction? What are you doing to help yourself to be in the moment and keep from being overwhelmed?
I decided to do today’s 4-H journal activity because of my love of music and its ability to transform my mood, reset my attitude, and soothe me. I played instruments all through high school and into college. I find joy in all sorts of music and the artists who create it. Allow yourself to think about what music makes you happy right now. What do you enjoy? What brings you great joy?
Some of my favorite songs right now include:
- “Be a Light” by Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban, Reba McEntire, Chris Tomlin, and Hillary Scott
- “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake
- “Try Everything” by Shakira
- “Good Morning” by Mandisa and Toby Mac
Today’s 4-H journal activity is to create your own music playlist of songs that you enjoy right now. Write down the name of the song and the artist. You can doodle pictures or music notes to your page and decorate it as you choose!
We’ll share more ideas about mindfulness in future posts! In the meantime, you can read more about mindfulness here.