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ICYMI Webinar Recap: Reframe & Renew

Posted by on August 17th, 2020


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Were you unable to attend a recent live SCR CONNECTions session? Keep a lookout for ICYMI “In Case You Missed It” blog posts which provide a brief overview of SCR webinar sessions and links to related information. If you would like to access an archived version of this webinar and many more, please click here.


In case you missed it, our July 2020 SCR CONNECTions webinar was presented by MJ Abell, Talent Management Consultant at The Ohio State University, Certified Narrative Coach, SoulCollage® facilitator, poet, and speaker. 

There’s no denying that the world we are currently living in is unusual. MJ starts this talk by affirming that, yes, challenges are indeed dramatically different now from those even just a few months ago; our problems, personally and collectively, are more layered than ever before. This webinar was the first time she has given a newly-retooled version of this presentation, now called “Reframe & Renew 2020 Reboot”.

MJ makes it a point to acknowledge the challenges of the time we are currently living in. She defines the “reframing” of a situation or idea as the act of intentionally viewing it through a new lens. MJ tells us that the act of reframing can help us take control of our thoughts and turn difficult situations around. Reframing can help us to move forward and become “unstuck”. She uses a story to explain reframing and tells us about a friend who flipped isolation on its head; instead of “shelter in place”, he began to call his now extended time at home “sanctuary in place”, where he could grow to center and better understand himself. Leveraging this shift in perspective can allow all of us a moment to retool and fine-tune some things in our lives, whether they be negative emotions or long-forgotten hobbies.

This shift in perspective, no matter how small, can help us to move forward, find meaning in our current situations, and even enhance our health.

Once the concept of reframing had been established, MJ answers an important question; what kinds of things can we reframe? The answer to this is subjective and could include almost anything, but common thoughts that lend themselves to reframing include the common sensation of feeling stuck, that nagging belief about ourselves that limits us, a disappointment, a regret, or a transition/change.

How do we go about reframing our thoughts? MJ provides a tool kit to do just that; these tools and techniques are not meant to be used in succession, but are rather meant to be used individually whenever they are most appropriate. 

  • NAME the challenging situation or feeling. This simple act can cause us to think logically and more clearly. This may also reduce emotional impact and help us to make a decision or set a goal instead of fretting needlessly. Verbally describing a thought (such as “This was disappointing to me.” or “I am feeling angry.”) can help us to gain control over that thought.
  • ASK questions. Get to the bottom of your thoughts and reactions – what’s really going on? Am I losing perspective because I’m focused on a small part of this situation? Am I losing sight of the forest because I’m so focused on the trees?
  • ALLOW hope to grow, even if it’s just a little sprout. Intentionally allowing ourselves to possess a small bit of hope helps us to be more open to positive outcomes and avoid spiraling into unfounded worrying about a potentially negative outcome that may not happen.
  • CHECK the voices you’re listening to. Are you hearing most loudly to the voices from the so-called peanut gallery who are anonymous or whose impressions have little to no actual influence in your life? Are the loudest voices from your critics, who constantly send negative messaging? Or are you focused to feedback from your support section, who consistently have your back?

Using these techniques to help reframe a challenging situation can lead us into a sense of renewal and give us newfound agency over negative thoughts.

You can reach MJ by emailing her at abell.1@osu.edu. This webinar is available to watch on YouTube.


Please look out for ICYMI more blog posts for a recap of recent NNLM/SCR webinars.

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Image of the author ABOUT E. Bailey Sterling
E. Bailey Sterling is a Digital Communications Specialist with the NNLM SCR and presently a graduate student pursuing an MS in Information Science specializing in Health Informatics from the University of North Texas (GMG!). She's also a Graduate Student Council Senator, Teaching Assistant, analog gamer, writer, and lifelong learner living in DFW. If you have anything you'd like to see featured on the NNLM SCR blog or social channels, please email Bailey.Sterling@unthsc.edu. We would love to hear more about what's happening at your library!

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