As we head into the season on gratitude and giving, I wanted to focus my columns on what it meant for our community and for ourselves. I hope you enjoy reading this four-part series and reflecting on what this means for you. All four columns linked below.
Be the Helper You Need To See in the World
Whether it’s in friendship or community, it’s hard, satisfying work for which nothing is owed and no one has to earn. It’s our humanity. This season of gratitude and joy let’s say “yes” to the work that needs doing and discover the helper within. Read the column HERE.
Volunteering Helps Both the Community and the Volunteer
There’s also some science to the idea of helping oneself by helping others. Snyder’s research showed that those who volunteer long-term don’t stay for altruistic reasons alone; they keep going back because they see the benefits in their own lives. Read the column HERE.
How Cultivating Your Purpose Begins With Knowing Yourself
How we react, overcome and persevere is intrinsically tied to our sense of purpose and it turns out that purpose is tied to how well we know ourselves. Burrow says it this way: “We might start to think of identity as sort of a foundational layer of self-understanding that when you are equipped with a sense of identity, you might stand a chance at figuring out and cultivating your sense of purpose.”
Purpose is a life aim, something that’s always in front of you and never quite finished. It’s different from a goal. Purpose is connected to our well-being and provides stability. Read the column HERE.
It’s OK to gush with gratitude, so let the love flow
The more thank-you cards I wrote the easier it became, and I noticed a shift. Something was happening internally. I stopped using a script and I started just writing in real-time. It shifted from a practice to sending something truly heartfelt. I could feel the gratitude radiating from me as I wrote. A big smile would form on my face, and sometimes I would well up with tears. My gratitude was deep and real, and though I had felt gratitude before, writing it out by hand for my intended recipient helped me feel it in full. Read the whole column HERE
Teaching a class of 25-plus kids requires some uniformity and consistency in expectations for the day to run smoothly. Why then, are people advocating for “parent’s choice” when it comes to school mask mandates?
Read the full column linked below
Opinion: Parent choice for masks isn’t helpful in the classroom
A mask is a school supply, like a #2 pencil and a water bottle.
So many things in the press recently have come with a mental health cry for our children. Mask mandates, Critical Race Theory, Transgender rights… “Our poor children.”
In this back-to-school mental heath series I take a look at what the mental health issues of back-to-school really are, with the help of a few mental health experts along the way. Below, is the result. Both in a 50-minute podcast and four short columns. I hope you’ll listen, read and share.
Thank you Dr. Dan Peters for inviting me on the Parent Footprint Podcast to talk about my back-to-school mental health series. Listen to it here or at the link below.
Dr. Dan talks to award-winning columnist Bonnie Jean Feldkamp about her new three part Back To School series which focuses on therapy, mental wellness, parenting mistakes, adolescent milestones, masks, and more. Bonnie passionately believes that prioritizing mental health is even more important than other Back To School essentials like backpacks, new sneakers, and haircuts.
Read the Back-to-School Mental Health Columns
Unmasking Support for Mental Health in School
If you are pro-mental health of kids or pro-suicide prevention, then you should consider supporting policies that benefit youth mental health across the board. Read More…
Mental Health Matters More Than Adolescent Milestones
Though I didn’t have a pandemic to contend with, I saw my bright, talented kid struggling and wanted the best for her. But taking a “timeout” for mental health seemed like it would just add to her hardships down the road. Read More…
Therapy Is a Valuable Parenting Resource
Vulnerability requires courage, and parents should cultivate trust and create a safe space for their children to be vulnerable in both good and challenging times. Creating emotional equity in regular conversations that prioritizes mental health and normalizes talking about our feelings will help diffuse some of the shame that society has attached to psychological wellness. Read More…
Making Peace with Parenting Mistakes
I love my children, but love doesn’t make anyone perfect. I know my intentions, but I also know that I still don’t agree with every choice my parents made for me. My goal was to do better than my parents, but it turns out I’m not any better; I’m just different. Now that I’m older and have children of my own, I do understand more, but I’m also trying to understand it from both ends. Read More…
“Beyond the pandemic deniers, the pushback to getting vaccinated boils down to fear. Fear of rare side effects. Fear of missing work. Mistrust in the vaccine’s speedy approval process, big government, corporate medicine or overall long-term unknowns. This fear prompts justifications for concerns and then settles on a decision that the vaccine is just not worth the trouble. But it is.”
Read the whole column at the link below
Vaccines: They’re Worth the Trouble, by
Shots are a part of my life. I self-inject medication once a week to manage my psoriatic arthritis.
Life doesn’t happen inside neat little schedules. Plus, my zest for life doesn’t quite match the illness’s demand that I slow down.
Click Below to Read the Full Column
What’d I Miss? Where Chronic Illness and Mental Health Intersect
I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune disease that, when left untreated, can be debilitating. There is no cure. My diagnosis was not a death sentence, but my mobility slowed as the disease progressed.
This is my first piece for Healthline on a topic I’ve not really written about – my health. I’ve not really considered writing about Psoriatic Arthritis It all started with this tweet – a callout for a writer who also had PsA:
I didn’t know what Healthline was looking for in particular when it came to Psoriatic Arthritis but I sent an email and learned they wanted someone to write about “Things I Wish People Understood About Psoriatic Arthritis.”
I was really apprehensive about taking this assignment because I did not want to write an article that prompted pity or came across as wanting anyone to feel sorry for me but I also wanted to be honest about autoimmune disease and PsA in particular. There’s a balance there. There’s also a vulnerability.
“There’s no runny nose to signal to everyone else that I’m constantly in the midst of battle. I’ve always wanted a T-shirt that read, “I’m so bad, I kick my own ass.”
Needless to say, I wrote the article 8 Things I Wish People Understood About Psoriatic Arthritis and I do hope you’ll read it. Linked below:
8 Things I Wish People Understood About Psoriatic Arthritis
PsA is an unpredictable and often invisible illness that is hard to manage — and even harder to understand.
For more articles from Bonnie on Health check out her Clips Page Here or click on the recommended articles below:
‘Survival no longer a given:’ Mom with autoimmune disease asks everyone to get a flu shot
By getting a flu shot, you can “help me protect myself and my family. It means everything to me, really,” said a mom with an autoimmune disease.
Opinion: Tattooing over scars helps with trauma, healing; Kentucky’s ban a loss of that control
For so many people who decide to turn a scar into a beautiful tattoo, it gives them some sort of control over their trauma. It helps the healing.
Gamer Girls: Online Sexism And Video Game Safety for Young Girls
This story went from slow motion to fast forward this week. It started 7 months ago when we tried reporting on bed and vent counts in Ohio Hospitals only to be shut out. Eye On Ohio took them to court. After a months long back and forth the court ordered Ohio Department of Health to hand over the hospital data we requested in our public records request. We’re still waiting on the data. Meanwhile Court News Ohio ran a story on the ruling and other media is picking it up. So yesterday we were off to the races to cover our own story. Written with Kathiann M. Kowalski. Please read and share.
After seven month legal battle, Eye on Ohio wins public records lawsuit over hospital capacity numbers
Court of Claims Rules that the Ohio Department of Health must disclose the number of beds and other equipment available This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Please join our free mailing list as this helps us provide more public service reportin…
Our report from seven months ago:
Ohio hospitals remain mum on changes to local bed and ventilator counts; uncertainty affects local patients
The Ohio Department of Health gets daily updates on the total number of beds and ventilators that could be available for COVID-19 patients at hospitals throughout the state. But so far the agency hasn’t provided any hospital-by-hospital breakdown, and the agencies that collect capacity information o…
Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is an award-winning freelance writer and columnist. She is the Communications Director for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, member of the Cincinnati Enquirer Editorial Board, and a board member for the Cincinnati Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She lives with her family in Northern Kentucky. Find her on social media @WriterBonnie.
This is one of my favorite smoothies to make. It is great for expectant moms (Dad’s too) and is packed with Folic Acid and Vitamin C and it tastes great. If you’re in the “trying” stage of planning for baby, make sure you serve it to dad, folic acid is important for him to keep his swimmers healthy! Oh, the kids will love it too!
This recipe makes one smoothie
1. Start with the frozen peaches I use about half of a 10oz bag for making one smoothie. Toss those into the blender or food processor. Zap those first, but hold on to the machine while you press the button to start it. The machine will bounce and jump, but you need to reduce the frozen peaches down to little pellets before adding the other ingredients or else you’ll end up with chunky frozen peach soup.
2. Add one little green container of Activia peach yogurt. Blend
3. Add orange juice little-by-little until you reach the desired consistency.
4. Sometimes I add a little bit of Splenda to the smoothie if I got a less-than-sweet batch or frozen peaches. Taste before you make the final zap and then serve. These are sooooo good!