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Columbus Emotional Health

Columbus Emotional Health Matters

Monthly Email Newsletter for the Residents of Columbus

Collection of thank you cards from local artists.
Created in partnership with Wild Goose Creative, Gravity Uplifts and Can't Stop Columbus, these posters were designed by local youth artists and displayed throughout Mount Carmel East to encourage and celebrate the heroic efforts of healthcare workers during COVID-19.

DECEMBER 2, 2020

Self-Compassion

David Amaya

I think we're all doing the best that we can. And we have to learn to be happy with that.

I imagine self-compassion comes into play when our best isn't what we feel it should be (or when it isn't what want it to be).

IN THIS ISSUE

Featured Organization: Can't Stop Columbus' Remote Hugs

Featured Video: Dr. Kristen Neff's Self-Compassion TEDx Talk

Delightful Bites: Carrot Fries

Nature Escape: National Park Virtual Tours

Featured Article: Self-Compassion

Next Newsletter: Changes Coming

FEATURED ORGANIZATION

Can't Stop Columbus

Remote Hugs Project

John Cairns

When words are not enough, share a hug. 
 
Click the image to get the free app.

FEATURED VIDEO

Dr. Kristen Neff's TEDx Talk on Self-Compassion

Reflections from the newsletter team on Dr. Neff's talk.

Yi: I know self-esteem has a great impact on emotional and mental health, but Kristin Neff pointed out how self-esteem related to self compassion, which I never thought about. Great and insightful talk!

Makia: The cycle of self-criticism makes you both “the attacker and the attacked.” I can definitely relate to this. What I found most interesting about Kristin Neff’s talk was that self-compassion is not buying into an idea of false positivity but acknowledging things as they are. I had asked my friends on FaceBook a week ago how they define and practice self-compassion. One of the folks said they do this by “allowing myself [themselves] to recognize when things suck and being ok with not being ok with it.” This respondent admitted that is something they still find difficult. Another respondent answered that they have a difficult time forgiving themselves. I can relate to both of these. One of the things that I found helpful is Kristin Neff’s practice of taking a self-compassion break. I found a link to this brief practice online
There is a belief that you are expected to be compassionate toward others but being compassionate toward yourself is weird or selfish. Practicing self-compassion isn’t selfish and it allows you to be able to give more to others. 

Mat: I probably thought that beating myself up after a failure was a way to motivate myself. When in fact, it demotivates. Furthermore, self-criticism (self-judgment) can negatively impact our mental health. More on my personal experience in my article in this newsletter.

DELIGHTFUL BITES

Carrot Fries

Makia Singleton

Did you know that you can make fries out of carrots?

Carrots are high in beta carotene, vitamins C, A, K, and potassium. Although the video below shows instructions for making carrot fries in an air fryer, carrot fries can also be prepared in the oven.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 carrots
  • 1-2 tsp avocado or olive oil (or if doing oil-free, soak in broth)
  • Seasoning of your choice (recipe can be made savory or sweet)

Instructions:

  1. Wash and peel carrots.
  2. Slice carrots lengthwise as thin or thick as you prefer.
  3. Toss carrots in oil (or broth) and seasoning.
  4. Cook carrots in the air fryer at 375 degrees for 8 minutes, taking care to not overfill the basket. If using an oven, you can bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Shake the air fryer basket to ensure even cooking of carrots. If using an oven, stir or flip the carrots periodically.
  6. Cook carrots for another 8-10 minutes.
  7. Serve as-is or with your favorite dipping sauce!

Enjoy!

Plate of freshly cooked carrot fries.

NATURE ESCAPE

Virtually Tour Our National Parks

Mat Hargett

Of course we should have expected 2020 to end like this: a stay-at-home advisory AND a Level 4/Purple Emergency for Franklin County preventing us from advocating a visit to our beautiful local parks!

Quick, newsletter team, “What should we do?” 😮

One of our clever contributors immediately suggested virtual park tours! We can still enjoy the beautiful outdoors even while staying safe inside our homes. As a bonus, we can venture much further than our Metro Park system - our National Parks.

Fortunately, many of our national parks have virtual tours plus fun and educational activities for families and kids!

Some even have live webcams like Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park.
Photo by NPS.
Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park
Some of the virtual tours are amazing! You can move your cursor 360 degrees to immerse yourself in the surroundings as you would if actually present - while the video continues to play! I highly recommend checking out that feature. Here is an example from Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the US.
Longing to get outside and enjoy nature? Immerse yourself in these interactive videos and webcams at our National Parks!

FEATURED ARTICLE

Self-Compassion

Mat Hargett

Self-compassion.

When I first heard this term, I had to look it up. From Wikipedia:

Self-compassion is extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering.

This definition is the exact opposite of what I used to do: blame others, ignore my pain, or cover it up with anger by beating myself up verbally, and believe it or not, physically. Most of the time, I got mad at myself. When I was younger, if I lost a basketball game, I would either workout immediately after a loss or train the next day while wearing ankle weights…like somehow that would make me feel better.

And then there was the negative self-talk: “I am so stupid!” or “What’s wrong with me?”

Is that how I would treat my best friend after they made a mistake?  I hope not!

When I did these things, I was judging myself.  We should not judge anyone – including ourselves.  By judging myself, I was slowly chipping away at my self-worth. And as Kristen Neff explains in this newsletter’s video, this self-judgment can actually lead to depression. Likely, decades of self-criticism led to my depression five years ago.

What I have also very recently learned is that it is ok to experience those negative feelings and emotions. But balancing them with self-compassion allows us to reflect better on the situation instead of allowing the negative emotions to take-over and the berating ourselves.

This ability to reflect arose only after showing myself compassion. It has helped me understand myself better and become a better person.

Given the tumultuous year we have had, there are probably many things each of us would have done differently. But there is another insight of self-compassion according to Dr. Kristen Neff, when we practice it, we recognize that failures are a shared human experience. In other words, no one is perfect, not even ourselves.

So, the next time you make a mistake, treat yourself like you would treat a friend – with kindness and encouragement.

Upcoming Newsletter Changes


As 2020 comes to a close, we are excited about things to come.

We have many changes in store, and look forward to sharing it with you in the coming year!

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Our mission is to bridge the gap between mental health resources and those who need them and to connect with and amplify the existing voices that are trying to reach and help our local communities.

Contributers: David Amaya, Ann Flaherty, Yi Han, Mat Hargett, Makia Singleton

Email template design by Sasha Bohn

Organized in collaboration with Can’t Stop Columbus

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The material presented in http://columbusemotionalhealth.org/ is not an attempt to practice medicine or give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. The information contained in this site is for the sole purpose of being informative and is not to be considered complete and does not cover all issues related to mental health. To the extent that any information is not provided by Can’t Stop Columbus, the views expressed are those of the author only. This information should not replace consultation with your doctor or other qualified mental health providers and/or specialists. If you believe you or another individual is suffering a mental health crisis or other medical emergency, contact your doctor immediately, seek medical attention immediately in an emergency room, or call 911.

Copyright © 2020 Columbus Emotional Health, All rights reserved.


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