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MOV Parent: Pizza for dinner again?

There are a lot of things going on in this world right now that can make us feel anxious, worrisome, sad, upset, angry, and even defeated. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t felt any of those feelings in the last several months. Maybe you’ve experienced one of the following scenarios.

1. Showered a few minutes extra to cry so no one would see or hear you.

2. Locked yourself in the bathroom to get a few extra minutes of tranquility.

3. Felt like you can’t continue and just want to feel like yourself again.

4. Cried in your room for a quick minute when everyone left just to let go.

5. Ordered pizza for dinner because time escaped and you’re just too tired and emotionally drained to cook anything.

6. Felt alone, even with others around you.

7. Felt upset that something you were looking forward to was canceled.

The truth; I have done/felt all of those things over the last several months and I am here to tell you that you can find joy — tinyurl.com/y4j23n6f. Once I wiped my tears away I began to use positive self-talk to tell myself that I am enough and that I can overcome any obstacle in my way. I wasn’t going to let my stress control me — tinyurl.com/yyf4vb82. The Mayo Clinic reports that if we continue to not deal with our stress then it can contribute to many health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

In the book “The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time,” author Alex Korb gives detailed examples of small steps that anyone can take towards a happier, healthier life. Some of those steps include:

1. Be Active — doing some sort of movement for fun

2. Create Intensions and Set A Goal — making decisions instead of being indecisive

3. Get A Good Night’s Sleep — 8 hours, avoid caffeine, and create a routine, among other things

4. Self-Affirmations — focus on the best part of yourself and say them out loud

5. Brain and Body Changes — do yoga, listen to music, smile, laugh, take deep breaths

6. Gratitude — journaling things your thankful for or writing detailed thank you letters

7. Others — be around friends, family, and pets

I encourage you to read the book if you’d like more details. The author does a great job of explaining the science behind the steps.

Some of the strategies I have used to help me has been to:

* Take a walk

* Listen to a mediation

* Take some deep breaths

* Laugh- a lot

* Talk with friends and family

* Read a book

* Listen to positive, uplifting songs

* Get plenty of sleep

* Eat healthier foods

* Drink plenty of water

* Practice yoga

Please know that if your negative symptoms continue then you need to seek professional help. A healthcare provider may want to look into other causes or refer you to a counselor who can help you identify your stress and offer new coping tools. Several years ago I was in a very stressful job situation. I let this stress go untreated. My personality changed and I needed to seek medical help. I felt defeated but my healthcare provider was very supportive and encouraging. She was able to prescribe me a medication to help me through that situation. It’s okay to ask for help, and pizza for dinner again is okay too.

You have worth.

You are important.

You are wonderful.

You are enough.

***

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

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

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