We all know this is a year for the history books, but the unprecedented fair activities have given me new perspective. The staff and countless volunteers have gone above and beyond to make sure that the 4-H and FFA youth in this community have an opportunity to show their hard work. Despite the uncertainty of each day the youth have been dedicated through the summer to complete their projects. Whether in the show ring or by using a poster or other representation of their project it’s another example of resilience, determination and ultimately a life skill to problem solve as they face challenges in the future. I hope you wear a mask and choose to venture to the fairgrounds to acknoledge the accomplishments of these young people. Hopefully next year, we will return with the demonstration schedule and I’ll look forward to having you stop by the grange rotunda to say hello.
As we are acclimating to a new fall schedule with children back in school and hopefully some type of a routine on a daily basis, I’d like to share with you a lesson I learned a couple of weeks ago in a Mindful Wellness training. For those of you who may be familiar with the concept of Mindfulness, it is the time spent in practice to change the way we think and approach things. Jon Kabbot Zinnhas defined it as “Paying attention in a particular way, on purpose in the present moment, without judgement.” In essence, it’s a way to train the brain to focus on the positive and be accepting and grateful for the life we have. The Mindful Wellness curriculum that was shared helps us to practice focus, skills to strengthen the mind and body connection, and promote holistic health and wellness across the lifespan. During stressful times, it is easy to default to choices and practices that can be detrimental to future health and wellness. Mindfulness practice offers an alternative solution that is beneficial for both the challenging times as well as enjoyable times in life. Mayo Clinic cites some of the benefits of practicing mindfulness as:
- Decreased stress and anxiety
- Improved attention, memory, and the ability to focus
- Reduced chronic pain
- Strengthened immune system
- Relationship satisfaction
Mindfulness can incorporate so many activities, but the ones that I’m familiar with include practices with breathing exercises, imagery exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, physical activity (like mindful walking), and mindful eating. One of the points that really stood out to me was the following example. If you were asked the question “where are you?”, the answers could be many….I’m in my home, in a car, in Wooster, etc. The point the speaker was making was that you are here, at this time, at this moment, you are here. The next question was “what time is it?” So we all look at the clock and determine the time. The reality is, it is now. Mindfulness is the ability for us to focus on the moment, here and now. So when you find yourself frazzled by the daily tasks before you and uncertain of accomplishing the list, simply ask yourself those two questions:
“Where are you?” “I am here.” and “What time is it?”, “It is now.”. Here and now. The simple act of focusing on the task at hand without feeling the need to accomplish the total list at once.
Beginning in October on Tuesdays at noon, I’ll be offering a series of Mindful Classes. They will only last for 45 minutes, and they will be virtual so you can attend from any location. Check out our website at wayne.osu.edu to register and receive the zoom link. Join me in learning more about living life mindfully at go.osu.edu/waynemindfulwellness
Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.
CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information, visit cfaesdiversity.osu.edu.