community

A Stronger Community

By: Christina Bein

A community is stronger when we support each other. As said by philosopher David Spangler, “Some people think they are in community, but they are only in proximity. True community requires commitment and openness. It is a willingness to extend yourself to encounter and know the other.”

Check out these local businesses and support your community. Especially as we celebrate Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Deaf History Month.

Here are a wide variety of businesses owned by the Black community in Eugene, Oregon. 

Here is a document from portlandoregon.gov that provides a variety of Black owned businesses in Portland, Oregon: 

Travel Oregon made a great list across Oregon for Black-owned food and drink-related businesses. 

Women-Owned Small Businesses in Eugene, OR

16 Tons Cafe 

Barre3 

Lion & Owl 

Raven & Rose Boutique 

Sardanari’s Kitchen 

Sling-in Wiener 

Women-Owned Small Businesses in Portland, OR

Bison Coffee House 

Blendily Botanical Kitchen 

Books with Pictures 

Chochu Local Island BBQ 

Citizen Ruth 

Epif 

Hip Chicks do Wine 

Mimi’s Fresh Tees 

With Love, From PDX 

Woonwinkle 

Deaf-Owned Business in Oregon

A5 Interpreting: American Sign Language interpretation services offered by Bridges Oregon will start for the public in the summer of 2023. They offer both virtual and in-person interpretation services.

CymaSpace: Promotes accessibility and inclusion for Deaf/Hard of Hearing through merging technology and arts.

Pilea Play: A space for young children and families to play in an inclusive and creative environment. 7832 SW Capital Hwy Suite B, Portland, OR.

-Sign Class: Learn American Sign Language through signclass.org.

Pah!: Deaf-owned Portland restaurant with pub-style food.

-A resource for the Black Deaf community: https://www.blackdeafcenter.com/

Read Morechevron_right

3 Ways to Break Your Mundane Routine

Are you feeling stuck in a mundane cycle of commuting to work, sitting in a cubicle, and repeating the same evening activities? You’re not alone! 

If you have been feeling drained, unenthusiastic and struggling to find things to look forward to, you may be stuck in a rut. 

Having the same daily routine can often make you feel stuck in an endless cycle of sameness and monotony. But by challenging yourself to break your routine, you can fight the monotony you experience daily.

So, here are 3 ways to help you break your mundane routine when you’re feeling uninspired:

Add Mindfulness to Your Morning Routine 

Practicing mindfulness in the morning can be a great way to connect with yourself before diving into the rest of your day.

Try to break away from your regular routine by creating a morning ritual that brings your awareness to the present moment. This could mean stretching when you first wake up, watching the sunrise, walking in the garden, journaling, or meditating.

The choice is up to you!

Prioritize Your Hobbies

By engaging in side hustles, taking on home projects and pursuing hobbies, you can tap your creative side and add a little spice to your daily routine!

Not only will these activities keep you productive, but they will also improve your mental health.

Soon enough, you’ll be able to break free from autopilot mode. 

Take the Scenic Route

Why not mix things up and create more exciting moments in your day? 

There’s no better way to switch things up than by being spontaneous. So it’s the perfect time to try something different daily so you have something to look forward to. 

Shake up your routine by taking a new route on your commute or taking a walk during your lunch break to change your environment. 

Read Morechevron_right

Treating Yourself With Compassion

Do you ever find yourself showing compassion to others before yourself?

Do you have a hard time quieting your inner critic?

Do you struggle with asking for help when you need it?

Being kind to yourself and putting your needs first is not selfish. Practicing self-compassion can help you be kinder and fully accept your authentic self.

It’s Okay To Ask For Help

It’s okay to reach out for help when you need it. The truth is, we all need a helping hand from time to time.

If asking for help does make you feel uncomfortable, you can start with some small asks and work your way up. The more you ask, the more comfortable you’ll become. 

Accept Who You Are 

We’re humans, not robots. We all have flaws. There will always be little things we wish were different, and that’s okay. Instead of constantly trying to “fix” our flaws, we can embrace them.

We can also focus on the parts of ourselves we’re proud of. What do you love about yourself? What makes you unique? 

Practice Saying No

It’s so easy to say yes to family, friends or co-workers right away just out of habit. You only have so many hours in a day and can only take on so many things. 

Just because you want to help someone doesn’t always mean you should. You may not have the time to take on a new project, or it may not align with your values. 

Read Morechevron_right

Value’s Compass

By: Tanya Kramer

Everyone wants to “live their best life” in alignment to their values.  But to do this, we have to take some time to figure out the value structure so we can make life decisions based on that information.

Here are some simple steps to create your own Value’s Compass.  I recommend doing this exercise at least once a year as a self-check-in.  Before sharing the steps, here are some definitions to help the process.

Values – “a person’s principles or standards of behavior, one’s judgments of what is important in life.”

Integrity – “quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.”

Compass – “an instrument containing a magnetized pointer which shows the direction of magnetic north and bearings from it.”  People use a map and compass to navigate and move over land, sea, or wilderness. It can be used to reach a destination.

So, why do we call this exercise a Value’s Compass?  The answer is that we use our personal integrity to identify “our” core values (not necessarily the values of our parents, friends, school, community, etc.), and by doing this, we create a tool which we can use to make important decisions in our life.  If we make decisions in our life based on our personal Value’s Compass, then we increase our potential for life happiness and decrease the experiences of regret.

Creating a Value’s Compass:

  • Using this website, review the different values listed in the “card sort” list. Write down each one that is a value to you.
  • Add to the list characteristics that are important to you (ex. trust, respect, etc.), entities that are important to you (ex. family, friends, pets, etc.), experiences that are important to you (ex. education, adventure, travel, quiet, etc.), and anything else that you value.  ***This could be a BIG list.
  • Take this list you have created and circle the top 20 Values. This does not mean the other Values are unimportant but take time to discern which ones are most meaningful to you.
  • Now, put a star by your top 10 of the 20 Values circled.
  • Take these 10 top Values and see if any naturally group together (ex., physical and emotional health, adventure and travel, etc.)
  • Finally, identify 4 top Values or groupings of values and fill them in the visual below, but instead of writing “north, east, south, west,” write in your 4 top Values.
  • Create an arrow similar to an arrow that exists on a Compass used for navigating, and write the word “Integrity” at the end of the arrow.
  • Put this Value’s Compass somewhere you will see it often, and screenshot it for your phone.  Whenever you make a difficult decision, consider your top values.
Read Morechevron_right

Setting Healthy Boundaries

Setting healthy boundaries for yourself is an important part of self-care. 

Those personal boundaries allow you to be open about your limits and clearly define what you’re comfortable with. 

Write Your Boundaries Down

When a situation makes you feel uncomfortable, you can write it out to better understand why. 

Reflect on the emotions you felt at the time and be honest about what could have triggered them. 

Writing your thoughts down on paper can give you a healthy outlet to vent and organize your thoughts. 

Talk To A Loved One

It can help to reach out to a friend, family member or peer you trust when thinking about your boundaries. 

Talking your feelings through with someone who respects and values you is a great start. You can communicate what boundaries you want to set and let them know where you are coming from. 

It can also help to hear the boundaries they have set for themselves and build on the connection you share with them.

Build On Your Boundaries

You can set your boundaries in stages. In time, you can compile a list of your needs and think about what is beneficial for your mental health. 

Over time, you can build on your boundaries by thinking about your past or present experiences. 

“Boundaries are, in simple terms, the recognition of personal space.” – Asa Don Brown

Read Morechevron_right

Integrating Relaxation Into Your Life

Life is all about balance. Even on busy days, it’s so important to make rest a priority.

After all, rest can help you recharge your batteries, give you more energy and let your mind relax. 

When you hear the word rest, you may associate it with sleeping. 

But rest is so much more than that.

Here are three ways you can incorporate rest into your ongoing routine. 

Take A Personal Day

If you feel like you need a day to yourself, it’s okay to take one. Spending a weekend or even a weekday to step back and focus on yourself may be exactly what you need to get yourself back on track.

Blocking off some time for you can help you connect with your inner thoughts and truly unwind. 

Reflect Through Writing

Writing or doodling is a healthy practice you can utilize anytime or anywhere. 

Getting your thoughts, feelings, and experiences out on paper can help you stay in tune with yourself.  When it comes to writing, there are no rules. You can write about anything that comes to mind. 

If you’re stuck, there are several online tools that deliver fill-in-the-blank prompts.

A few examples include…

  • Today I am grateful for _______.
  • My friend ______ made me smile.
  • Tomorrow I am excited to______.

Limit Any “Noise”

Whether we realize it or not, our phones can be very distracting. Concentrating on your book or enjoying your meal isn’t always easy to do with a phone buzzing in the background. 

Putting your phone on silent or placing it in a different room during your rest time can help you establish a truly restful environment. 

Read Morechevron_right

National Coming Out Day

Coming out is a process that can look different for everyone in the LGBTQ+ community, whether it be a gradual process or a sudden realization. 

It comes from exploring your identity and accepting yourself for who you are. 

For some, it can be challenging to navigate through these emotions. It’s not uncommon to have questions or to feel societal pressure from peers, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone. 

That’s why National Coming Out Day on October 11th is meant to be celebrated. This day was first founded in 1988 by Richard Eichberg and Jean O’Leary, who both fought for the rights of the community. 

National Coming Out Day marks exactly one year after the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It recognizes the brave people who are free to be themselves and acknowledges those who may not have a safe space to come out yet.

It’s a day to celebrate the courage it takes to live authentically in any way you choose, while still reflecting on those in the LGBTQ+ community who may not be in an environment where they can come out. 

If you or someone you know is needing to support to come out, there are ways to reach out

  • Thank them for having the courage and vulnerability to share with you.
  • Respect their wishes, whether they want to let others know or trust that you can keep it to yourself for now. 
  • Carry on with your relationship as usual and reassure them nothing has changed. 
  • Be prepared to offer them a shoulder to lean on. 

Allies or those in the LGBTQ+ community can all come together to learn more about visibility and highlight self-acceptance. To find out more information, check out the resources below. 

Coming Out Support | LGBT Foundation

10 Problems LGBTQ+ People Face When Coming Out

National Coming Out Day: Everything You Need To Know

20 Things to Know Before You Come Out and How to Go About It

The History of National Coming Out Day Contains Both Pride and Pain

Read Morechevron_right

Shape Up From The Inside Out

By: Jen Champion

Many of us feel a sense of body dysphoria at some point in our lives.

We judge our human vessel by what it looks like outside and often disregard the brilliant abundance of our human nature inside. We can get stuck under a blanket of doubt, sadness, and stagnation. 

We have negative words we tell ourselves, and some negativity is given to us by others, contributing to our despair. Most media resources show only bodies that are not accurately depicting the majority of people. 

The average American woman weighs between 148-204 pounds. The average adult American male is 195.7 pounds.

There is no time for living in a shadow of self-doubt. The time has come to rise and shine and contribute to your best self and humanity. Let’s radiate our loving light, live our best life regardless of shape and size, and embrace our whole, wonder-filled selves.

Engaging in inspirational offerings fuel our motivation and get us moving and gaining self-care and self-love.

One way to fuel our self-esteem is with music. Most of us will bop and groove, leading to a full-on private performance and exercise! It can help us move and free ourselves from inertia and self-loathing.

Lizzo, a rap artist, enamours audiences with her fuller body and music. Her messages include we should love our bodies for what they have done and can do for us. “Your body is perfectly yours, even if it ain’t perfect to anybody else,” her voiceover began over clips of herself showing off her curves. “If you only knew the complexities your body possesses, you would be so proud of it. 

I’m so proud of you. Making it this far in a society that gives us a head start into self-loathing, hands us a dysmorphic mirror and leaves us desperate to catch up with who we think we should be.”

Yoga is another exercise and healing arts practice that lifts the spirit. Yoga practice combines warm-ups, postures, mindful breathing, and meditation. 

Yoga is inspiring and, when practiced safely, can help us move with joy regardless of shape and size. A yoga practice can help us gain confidence and balance our weight from the inside out. 

Physical participation strengthens and relaxes our bodies. The philosophical and spiritual practices feature moral disciplines called Yamas.  

One that applies here is Ahimsa, non-harming or non-violence in thought, word, and deed. 

Ahimsa is not only our external judgments but also our internal personal harms that hinder our true selves.  

Our media sources depict yoga as something that is not always accurate and can challenge our experiences with Ahimsa. We may physically harm ourselves by pushing our bodies to do more than they can. We may judge others who appear more at ease in their bodies, clothing, features, and shapes compared to others in our group. 

When we can drop into our deeper selves, the judgments cease, and we experience feelings of contentment and connection, and these ways of thinking and being can be carried with us throughout our day.

The benefits of yoga come from the union of many nourishing ingredients, including physical practice and reading yoga’s philosophical and historical wisdom. We can gain mobility, independence, and confidence. When our bodies, minds, and hearts are comfortable and stable, we gain mobility, independence, and trust. We expand and move closer to our innate wholeness and unity with all beings, all shapes, and all sizes.

You will soon find practices for fuller figures on the Vista Wellness Center YouTube channel..

May your practice foster inclusive and positive feelings. 

Vista Wellness Center Yoga Instructors offer small group and private sessions. Classes are in person and online.

 Here are some inspirational resources for your further enjoyment.

 INSPIRATIONAL RESOURCES: 

Vista Wellness Center Videos

Curvy Yoga

 LIZZO

Amber Karnes

Buddha Body

Read Morechevron_right

Forming Healthy Habits

Habits are behaviors we do so often that we typically don’t even realize we’re doing them – such as brushing our teeth, saying thank you, or grabbing a coat before going outside. 

Like most things in life, the more you do something, the easier it becomes.

So, if there is something you’ve been wanting to tackle, now is the time.

Every task (even the scary ones) have the potential to become a habit if you want it bad enough.

How and Where to Start

What option do you think sounds easier and more fun?

1) Cleaning your entire kitchen in one afternoon. 

2) Setting aside 10 minutes daily to tidy up various areas of the kitchen that need attention. This can be anything from cleaning one counter or unloading the dishwasher. 

Breaking up large goals into 10-minute tasks can help make any activity feel much less intimidating.

Simply setting aside a few minutes a day to quickly tidy up areas of your home that need it, can help prevent huge messes from pilling up.

Log Success

When we have so many things going on, we can often forget to acknowledge and appreciate those small wins.

All milestones, both large and small, deserve to be celebrated.

Writing down and checking off all the tasks we completed that day can help remind us how hard-working we are.

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell

Read Morechevron_right

June is for Pride

By: Christina Bein 

“There will not be a magic day when we wake up and it’s now okay to express ourselves publicly. We make that day by doing things publicly until it’s simply the way things are.” – Tammy Baldwin (Senator).

Pride Month celebrates LGBTQQIP2SAA which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, pansexual, two-spirit (2S), androgynous, and asexual. Portland has been organizing Pride Month events since the early 1970s. Now it amasses attendants from all over the Pacific Northwest region for the Pride Parade to celebrate the freedom of self-expression and love.

LGBTQ+ has been a part of the human experience for centuries. It can even be traced back to ancient written text and artistic depictions from the time of Alexander the Great. It is well known that history has been recorded, destroyed, and reshaped by the perspectives of powerful male figures throughout time. Whether these figures were in support of or in restriction of the LGBTQ+ community, it remains the same that this way of identity and love has transcended time and will continue to do so.

In today’s documenting of the times, states like Florida and Texas have legislators restricting education and medical treatment for LGBTQ+ related topics. These bills marginalize this community, out individuals before they may be ready, punish them for it, and penalize professionals that try to help. This takes away protection from these individuals and perpetuates discrimination that do not allow people to be their whole selves. These bills take away basic rights and isolate people from support, help, or compassion.

Pride is also about persevering. On a local level, Basic Rights Oregon is an organization that was formed in 1996 to fight against anti-gay ballot measures. It works to reform policies to create a safer environment for the LGBTQ+ community, which has contributed to Oregon being ranked as one of the top LGBTQ+ friendly states in the U.S. To echo Tammy Baldwin’s sentiments, it is important to normalize the expressions of LGBTQ+ so that people can safely show up as their whole selves.

Check out these links to learn more about Oregon’s history and continued efforts in supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

Basic Rights

Gay and lesbian rights movement

Read Morechevron_right

Best Friends Day

Did you know that June 8th is Best Friends Day? It’s a time to celebrate the social connections we have made as well as recognize the benefits that building strong social connections has on our lives.

It’s no secret that friends do so much for us–spending time together, celebrating the good times, and comforting us in the hard times. But having a social connection is also beneficial for our well-being and mental health.

Friends can:

  • Boost happiness and reduce your stress. 
  • Improve self-confidence and self-worth. 
  • Increase your purpose. 
  • Help you cope with challenges you may face. 

On this day we can also remind ourselves of the power of social connection. Research indicates that a lack of human connection can be more harmful to your health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure. The pandemic has decreased our in-person connection while also increasing our online interactions.  While technology can help to connect us in new ways, excessive screen use also disconnects us from nature, from our own thoughts, and from others. We need face-to-face interaction in our lives and losing that piece of our society over the last two years has not been healthy.

If you are searching for ways to expand your social connections and make new friends, try some of these suggestions from the Canadian Mental health Association

  • Join a new club, or try out a group activity
  • Reach out to an old friend you’ve lost touch with
  • Volunteer for a cause you care about
  • Eat lunch in a communal space
  • Introduce yourself to your neighbours
  • Ask someone for help when you need it
  • Do a random act of kindness

Now is the time to check in with friends and acquaintances and let them know that they are important to you. 

For more resources, check out the links below. 

7 Thoughtful Ways to Celebrate National Best Friends Day

Connect With Others | Mental Health America

The Power of Friendship

Read Morechevron_right

Day Of Silence For LGBTQ

On April 8th we honor the Day Of Silence for the LGBTQ+ community. This campaign was created in 1996 by Maria Pulzetti and Jessie Gilliam. National Day of Silence is observed in April each year as a movement against the harassment and bullying of individuals identifying with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) community.

The first event was held during their University’s pride week, where participants wore tape in the form of an x to spread awareness. This campaign has grown since then, and now anyone can join in and stay silent during work, school, or at home.

The Day Of Silence is a time to take a vow of silence in protest of the discrimination felt by LGBTQ+ people in school and in their daily lives. Allies all around the world can take a moment to understand the struggles faced by people in the LGBTQ+ community. 

We can educate ourselves further by learning more about the LGBTQ+ community by hearing about lived experiences, reading their stories, and watching videos

To strive for a more inclusive society, we can understand others on a deeper level. 

Check out the resources below for more:

11 Ways to Prepare for GLSEN’s Day of Silence

Open Letter To Educators About Day Of Silence

Break The Silence Rally Guide | GLSEN

Read Morechevron_right