VOLUME 1 EDITION 3
A Change of Place
A look into place, pace and a neighborhood’s walks of life.
When thinking about the ways in which conventional suburban developments and traditional neighborhood developments differ, the answers lie in the mixed-use aesthetic of the latter—an important concept discussed in the previous article, “How Would You Like to Grow?” which discusses the primary differences between conventional suburbia and traditional neighborhoods. A key feature of traditional neighborhood developments is, again, the idea of “mixeduse” planning: the residential, institutional, and commercial arranged in a way that they intersect and create larger opportunities to foster connections among people. On an even smaller scale, then, we can outline the very basics upon which mixed-use, traditional neighborhood developments rely. These basics, or fundamental components of traditional neighborhoods, all serve the pedestrian in building a successfully “walkable” place, or a place whose recreational and functional parts can be easily accessed via foot. They also contribute to the larger sense of community, displacing the suburban anonymity common in conventional suburban developments. Perhaps the most basic building block of traditional neighborhoods are blocks, or simply streets. As briefly
mentioned, conventional suburbia was anonymous, essentially isolated; everything built in its own separate pod with a necessity for automobiles to reach other destinations. Traditional neighborhoods have fully strayed from this concept, opting instead for “shared space” streets, which transforms streets from serving a purpose of optimal vehicular mobility to public spaces that serve many social and economic functions while also contributing to the nature of a community. It is said that, on average, people are willing to walk ¼ of a mile before deciding to drive. While traditional neighborhood developments cannot achieve what some cities can, such as a public transportation system and corner stores on every block, neighborhoods can and do offer a public space—whether a pool, park, school, or another public space—within ¼ of a mile. These ideas, then, blend into
the idea of “context-based” street design, or an ideology which suggests that streets should respond to land-use and the commercial, institutional, and residential needs of an area. Institutionally speaking, this concept of designing streets to maximize movement while also providing natural environmental buffers is what allows for spaces like schools and places of worship to be accessible. In a traditional neighborhood, it is often the case that there is an elementary school, a middle school, and a high school all relative to one another—close enough to walk, but far enough so as not to overcrowd one particular area. Similar is the case for places of worship, whether it be churches, temples, mosques, or other religious settings. Now, it is important to bring up how and why multiple places of schooling and worship are effective in a traditional neighborhood. Due to their accessibility and
divergence from the cookie-cutter homes of conventional suburbia, people of all social and economic strata are able to live, work, and function in traditional neighborhoods. From apartment buildings, to units for living above businesses, to townhomes, to houses, traditional neighborhoods cater to many economic classes. Again, the word accessibility is useful: many types of living arrangements means many types of people living in a neighborhood, leading to a necessity for multiple schools and places of worship. This true diversity is something achieved only by a traditional neighborhood dedicated to its inhabitants, making for an increasingly varied population to occupy schools and places of worship. Due to this close proximity of dense residential housing, traditional neighborhoods create an ideal mix of uses for daily needs. Again, a mixed-use community allows for accessibility and closeness to necessities such as places for medical and financial needs, grocery stores, arts like music and dance studios, gas stations, and professional businesses. Later, in a new article, we will delve further into the idea of complete streets, how they are constructed, and the ways in which they contribute to multiple facets of traditional neighborhood developments.
Coffee Hour with BEAT
More then 20 years ago I was “introduced” to Advent Health (at that time Florida Hospital), and it was not the standard business introduction to the organization. After ice skating at the RDV Ice rink in Maitland, I dislocated my shoulder and ended up in the emergency room at Florida Hospital East on Lake Underhill. Well they did a good job, and my shoulder was fixed, however, it took a 4-hour wait in the ER, and I learned how much demand there is for the ER then (and today). After my rather painful first meeting with Advent Health, a lot happened. Advent Health grew and grew and grew (today a 2-digit Billion organization) and APG grew, and grew, and grew, today a multi-billion-dollar organization. Our friendship with Advent Health remains strong and our missions are similar. Much like their CREATION model (choice, rest, environment, activity, trust, interpersonal relationship, nutrition), our company mission and vision focus on health as a strong foundation. At Avalon Park Group our mission is to change the way the world lives, learns, works, and plays through creating healthy sustainable communities and every aspect thereof. There is value in carrying the principles that we use in designing communities into the work environment, encouraging our employees to maintain a healthy and balanced life. We believe that
our strength is in our experience and our experience comes through the passionate dedication our employees’ channel into everything they do. Not only do I serve as a member of the Advent Health Board of Directors, our organizations collaborate in many ways such as through events, affiliations, internships and many more where our missions align.
Just a little over 4 years ago, I was invited to a dinner by our Human Resources Chief, a dinner hosted by Advent Health. This dinner was to choose a company that they would champion over the following 3 years to make it the healthiest company to work for in Central Florida. I was thrilled, and surprised, to be among the 20
getting Christmas cards from families saying how thankful they are for the regained physical and mental health.
A great partnership made it possible. Could we had done it alone? NO. It needed our will to change the health of our team members, small moves like eliminating junk food like donuts (not all of them, but most), soda, Swiss Chocolate, and so much more. We worked out together and alone, ran 5K’s, and gathered for educational programs with the Advent Health team. We needed the coaching and insight of Advent Health, a true partnership. Advent Health, at their cost (with a portion of the $150,000 award fund) hired HealthNext,
WE ARE EXCITED TO EXPAND ON OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH TRUSTED LONGTERM PARTNERS, LIKE ADVENT HEALTH AND THE YMCA TO CREATE THE HEALTHIEST COMMUNITIES IN CENTRAL FLORIDA finalists Advent Health had narrowed down. I felt extremely honored when Advent Health chose the Avalon Park Group and our collection of companies and projects, with a diverse workforce of 200+ team members to start a health journey together. At the time, our senior team realized the most precious and most important bonus we could ever give to our teams and their families is HEALTH. We found that to increase the health of all of us would be priceless. And we did, with an initial assessment was made (weight, bloodwork, etc.), we started with 280 points, with the goal to improve over 3 years. We did very well. At the end of the 3 years, our score was 650. Team members quit smoking, beat Diabetes and obesity, got in shape, both in body, and spirit. I am still
out of Philadelphia to move us from “semi-healthy” to “super healthy.” At first HealthNext was a bit skeptical, they were used to deal with the General Electric and Johnson & Johnsons of this world, but when they realized our vision is to change how people live, learn, work and play, they got really excited. The experience over the last 3 years got us to think BIGGER (by the way, we always do this at APG), how about if we can create the healthiest communities in the I-4 corridor, in Orlando, Wesley Chapel, Tavares, and Daytona. The only way to make this work is with again a partnership, but this time between you, APG, Advent Health, Health Next, the YMCA, and more! Can you imagine telling a friend, that
you live in the HEALTHIEST community in Central Florida? Can you imagine working towards living to a HEALTHY 100 years old? Anything starts with a first step....When I came to the United States some 25+ years ago to develop Avalon Park Orlando, the first letter of intent, I ever signed here in 1996 was with the YMCA, we agreed to build a Y in Avalon Park. Well, we tried, negotiated, looked at fundraising and layout, and tried, and tried, but did not come to terms. The YMCA then went to Blanchard Park. But, we did not give up. In 2004 I was sitting with the at that time CEO, Jim Ferber at lunch at Founder’s Square in Avalon Park. We talked again about how we could build a YMCA in Avalon Park. While doing so we looked at Town Center 2, under construction....and there you go, spontaneously and with a handshake, we agreed to a YMCA in that very building and opened it, almost 15 years ago. It is my belief that in order to become the healthiest community in Central Florida, we need to continue and grow our healthy partnerships. We also need a larger, better, newer Y .... and yes, we are working on it. We are in planning and design for an Olympic sized swimming pool, a boutique hotel, and a large fitness center (which we would love to be the YMCA). It could serve as the center of health in Avalon Park. We are excited to expand on our partnership with trusted long-term partners, like Advent Health and the YMCA to create the healthiest communities in Central Florida, where people can live, learn, work and play.
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How Seniors Can Use Social Media to Stay Connected We are very lucky to live in today’s modern age of technological advancements, where we have many social media outlets through which we can keep in regular contact with our family and friends. Now, more than ever, staying connected with our senior loved ones is vital to their mental and physical health. Whether it’s catching up via FaceTime with their children and grandchildren or reconnecting with childhood friends on Facebook Messenger, social media platforms and technology give us an invaluable portal to the rest of the world even when it feels like it’s standing still. The Benefits for Seniors Using Social Media: Social media has evolved far beyond simple status updates and picture sharing. Across the various available platforms
there are specialized communities, marketplaces, news, events and more. These are all outlets where seniors can find a sense of belonging and interactivity while still staying safe and healthy through social distancing.
tional content. For a more personal and connected experience, seniors can interact through book clubs and social groups via Zoom.
2. Creativity. If your senior loved one does any type of crafting or have any other marHere are three great ketable creative hobways seniors can uti- bies, Facebook has a lize social media: marketplace feature where they can post 1. Learning. There are their wares. There is many social media also Etsy, an online accounts devoted to hub where users can education on various set up a virtual storesubjects, facts, and front, and Pinterest world events. Youwhere seniors can find Tube, in particular, and share creative inhas legitimate histori- spiration. ans and scientists with their own channels 3. Fun. Games not and ongoing educaonly bring joy and ex-
citement; they can also keep the mind sharp. Facebook games and various game apps with social media-like communication built in, like Houseparty, can help seniors enjoy a fun leisurely escape, or even provide some brain exercise with a focus on logic and intuition. You can keep the focus on safe and healthy togetherness by playing virtual Bingo with special seniors and fellow community members alike. Helping Seniors Stay Connected Staying connected and in tune with the people we care about does not have to go by the wayside during a pandemic. Social media allows seniors to bridge the social distancing gap with a variety of ways to have fun and be involved.
To SUBMIT your local LIVE news.... to ADVERTISE, to REGISTER or to RECEIVE the Avalon Park Sun email: Info@AvalonParkSun.com
Boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia / Flagler Counties & Success Events
From September 26th - October 5th, 2020 The Boys & Girls Clubs of Flagler / Volusia Counties have been hosting their Success Events! These events include: Run for Success 5K, Deal for Success Texas Hold Em’ Tournament, and A Swing for Success Golf Tournament. These events have seen a great turnout this year, and the community is very lucky to have such a great cause to support! Read more about the Boys & Girls Clubs below. For over 28 years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia/ Flagler Counties has been in the forefront of youth development, working with young people from disadvantaged economic, social and family circumstances. Our mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens and leaders. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia/Flagler Counties enriches the lives of young people and provides a safe haven in which they can learn and grow. We are dedicated to ensuring that our community’s disadvantaged youth have greater access to quality programs and services that will enhance their lives and shape their futures. In a world that has never seemed more threatening and devoid of promise for a disproportionate number of America’s children, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia/
Flagler Counties provides youth, ages 6 to 18, with a tangible measure of hope. The Club offers them what they need and want most: • adults who respect and listen to them; • a safe environment where they can have fun and be themselves; and • interesting, constructive activities that channel youthful energy into challenging pursuits.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia/Flagler Counties. These children are benefiting from trained, caring, professional staff and volunteers who help them take control of their lives, envision productive futures and reach their goals.
In March of 2020, our lives were turned upside down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools, offices, restaurants, airports, and just The Boys & Girls Clubs of about every other sector shut Volusia/Flagler Counties down. Boys & Girls Clubs offers daily access to a broad of Volusia/Flagler Counties range of programs that prostayed open for our children, mote the health, social, edubut transferred our programs cational, vocational, character and services from in-person and leadership development to on-line. We did not let of girls and boys served. anyone go and we continue Club programs foster a sense to serve all of our members of belonging, competence, through in-person and virtuusefulness and influence that al means. Because of record builds self-confidence and JOB LOSS and increased self-esteem. FINANCIAL HARDSHIP for many Americans, Boys Today, more than 1,400 boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia/ and girls at risk and in need Flagler Counties SUSare taking advantage of the PENDED fees from families programs, activities and through 12/31/2020. In June, services provided by the we moved back to serving
members at our Clubs, and through virtual programming. Now that schools are open, our after school programs will follow the Volusia and Flagler County school plans. Boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia/Flagler Counties are located in the areas we are needed the most. We have eight Clubs throughout two counties including Clubs in DeLand, Deltona, Lake Helen, Palm Coast, Edgewater, New Smyrna Beach, Daytona Beach, and Holly Hill. For more information about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia/Flagler Counties, please visit our website at www.BGCVFC.org or contact Robin Markus at rmarkus@bgcvfc. org.
Hundreds of Amazon Employees Celebrate the Official Opening of the Company’s New Deltona Fulfillment Center
Amazon’s celebrates its day one of operations into the Deltona, FL center.
Amazon has officially opened its new fulfillment center in Deltona, celebrating the first of many milestones with hundreds of new employees. Amazon welcomed their new team members inside of the one million square-foot building for the first time on September 13 to celebrate its Day One of operation. After a morning of learning and safety training, associates received the first item into the new building: outdoor deck scrub brush and squeegee with 45” pole. The fulfillment center will employ more than 500 full-time associates who will work alongside innovative technologies to pick, pack and ship larger-sized items to customers across the region, including bulk cleaning supplies and paper goods, sports equipment, pet food and supplies, electronics and household goods, to name a few. “Amazon is proud to provide a safe, innovative work environment in which associates are the heart and soul of our operations,” said Shaun O’Day, site leader of Amazon’s Deltona fulfillment center. “We are excited to create more than 500 new full-times jobs, with indus-
try-leading pay and benefits, and look forward to investing in their long-term career growth with the company.” On top of Amazon’s $15 (and up) minimum wage, the company offers full-time employees industryleading benefits, which include full health, vision and dental from day one, 401(k) with 50 percent company match, up to 20 weeks paid parental leave and access to Amazon’s innovative Career Choice program, which pre-pays 95% of tuition for courses in high-demand fields. Since the program’s launch, more than 25,000 employees have pursued degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming and radiology, to name a few. In addition, Amazon has pledged to invest over $700 million to provide upskilling training for 100,000 U.S. employees for in-demand jobs. Programs will help Amazonians from all backgrounds access training to move into highly skilled roles across the company’s corporate offices, tech hubs, fulfillment centers, retail stores, and transportation network, or pursue career paths outside of Amazon.
“It is gratifying that the new Amazon Deltona fulfillment center has commenced operations and is working to fill 500 new, full-time jobs, particularly with the company’s dynamic compensation structure,” said Dr. Charles Duva, Chairman of Team Volusia Economic Development Corporation. “The project underscores the importance of collaboration as Team Volusia Economic Development Corporation worked in partnership with several community organizations including Duke Energy with its site readiness initiative. It also points to the need for patience in the economic development process: Team Volusia’s first contact with Amazon dates back to 2013 and only recently did the project become a higher priority with Amazon. It also affirms our community’s agility in responding to market conditions once the project took flight and deadlines were assigned.” An Amazon presence in Florida means more than just the jobs provided within its four walls. In addition to full-benefit, great jobs inside the building, the company has brought thousands of jobs in construction and services.
Since 2010, Amazon has created more than 30,000 jobs in Florida and invested more than $9.5 billion across the state, including infrastructure (from 7 fulfillment and sortation centers to 16 delivery stations to 2 air hubs) and compensation. These investments have contributed an additional $9 billion to the Florida economy and have helped create 29,000 indirect jobs on top of Amazon’s direct hires – from jobs in construction and logistics to professional services. In addition, more than 140,000 independent authors and small and medium businesses in Florida are selling to customers in Amazon’s store, creating thousands of additional jobs across the state. Positions are still available at the Deltona fulfillment center. Jobs are available on a rolling basis and fill up quickly. Interested candidates are encouraged to sign up for text alerts by texting MCONOOW to 77088 to receive real-time messages about job openings and visit www.amazondelivers.jobs to apply online. To learn more about working at Amazon, visit aboutamazon.com/working-at-amazon.
Meet the Member
Interview with Dr. André Fuchs from the Straumann Group The 5th Floor is an international collaborative pro-work space where members are able to enjoy international collaboration benefits in our 5th Floor locations and connections throughout the world. We would like to introduce you to Switzerland member, Dr. André Fuchs. How did you come to Straumann? Personal contacts were important in this regard. This was triggered by the closure of BASF’s Basel research center and the opportunity for me to continue working with 3D printing technology at Straumann. Could you give us a short overview of Straumann? Straumann is a leading provider in esthetic dentistry, founded by the Straumann family as a research institute in 1954.
Today, Straumann is a global, agile, entrepreneurial powerhouse in dentistry; the company is present in over 100 countries through 40 sales subsidiaries. What makes Straumann future-oriented? Our company is always on the cutting edge and invests into new technologies, i.e. digital data processing for the production of individual dental products (no more tedious imprints, but scanning with intraoral scanners) or in the development of new materials for dental
products. Straumann is a company founded and based in Basel. What do you particularly appreciate about this region? I appreciate the contact to people who have come to Basel from different regions of the world. The geographical location in the border triangle between Switzerland, Germany and France offers great opportunities for excursions and getting to know your neighbors. I have been enjoying working in Basel for almost 20 years.
4 Reasons to Think About Coworking Working in the same location using the same methods is effective for some, but can be a quick way to burn-out for others. Here are a few reasons why you should consider coworking. 1. Autonomy over your Workspace and Place Traditional office settings have you working at the same time, at the same place, every single day. This rigidity may be helpful at times, but can often stifle your ideas and ability to put forth your best work. Coworking allows for a change in pace and location, which aids in
an increase of creativity and freedom for your mind to roam. 2. Connections While working in a typical office, it is likely that you have already come to know and connect with your coworkers—even if you are separated by desks, rooms, or cubicles. Coworking helps to reduce feelings of isolation by relocating you and your coworkers at the center, allowing for more meaningful connections to be made. Moreover, working at an entirely new location with new people fosters even more
communication and connection, which is great for establishing a greater network and creating more visibility for your business. 3. Opportunities for Collaboration This ties in with the previous reason, connections, brought about by coworking. Working in a new environment allows for new networks to be created, which, in turn, can create new and unexpected opportunities to work with other people and businesses. This benefits all parties and businesses involved.
4. Reduced Costs and Flexibility Rather than buying or leasing an entire office, coworking allows for less money to be spent on space, which then generates more money for allocation for other sectors of business. This reduces the pressure of leases that are long-term, and many coworking spaces have amenities such as printing services, cleaning staff, internet accessibility, and other things that eat up much of the cost of a business. All of these things are great for any business— especially local, small, or startups.
For more information on The 5th Floor in US or Switzerland or to learn more about how you can do business with this 5th Floor Member, please e-mail us at Info@The5thFloor.US.
A Definitive Guide to the Perfect Fall Night Current global health issues may not quickly be changing, but the season is! Here is a list of 10 things you can do to have a cozy autumn night in. Grab a blanket and your pumpkin drink of choice and read below for a great time!
books, E-books, and Amazon Prime books, finding a new piece of art to love is easier than ever. Can’t decide what to read or watch? Check out what books are popular on GoodReads.com and see what movies people are raving about on Letterboxd.com.
enjoying it with a picnic? Gather your favorite snacks, make a meal, or find photo inspiration of that charcuterie board you’ve been dying to make, head over to the park, set out a blanket, and enjoy how the crisp, cool air compliments your delicious creations!
tours, and augmented reality museums and artworks.
9. Play Dress Up One of the most fulfilling things to do is dress up for a night out. However, given the current circumstances, there are no longer many rea1. Bake a Pie sons to do so. Put your selfWhile often overlooked by 4. Throw yourself a Decoratlove and care into practice by those who are not culinariing Party 7. DIY Wine and Paint Night dressing up—full attire, hair, ly-inclined, baking a pie is Does your heart feel like fall? For a less costly, more soand makeup—and enjoy feela relatively simple process Well, your apartment should cially-distant alternative to ing wonderful while looking sure to get those fall feelings too! Pick up some decorathe Wine and Paint Parties your best. Another option is flowing. Many types of protions at the store and get to we love going to, try doing to get fully made-up in your duce perfect for pie baking work. Listen to your go-to the same thing at home! All Halloween costume. Take are now in season, such as fall music album and have you need are cheap paints pictures to commemorate the apples, pumpkins, pears, and fun with string lights, colorand canvases, your drink of outfit and, if you’re comfortplums—all of which are ful leaves, and orange and choice, and a painting tutori- able, share them on social available at your local grobrown decor. Don’t stop until al or an episode of Bob Ross media! cery store—as well as preyour place looks like the Pin- for a fun night releasing your made pie crusts. You can terest photo of your dreams! creativity. 10. Invoke your Inner Child even make your own with a Few things are more relaxing few household ingredients! 5. Have a Board Game Night 8. Visit a Virtual Museum and comforting than indulgPut on your favorite fall play- Gather up a small handful Staying home has never ing in something you loved list and let the oven’s of friends and family and been better than in the age as a kid, so take some time to warmth and fruits’ smells have yourselves a night of of technology—use it to make yourself feel that way take the place of your apple games! Try blackjack, classic take a virtual museum tour! again! Use your chairs, blanpie candle! board games like monopoFamous museums such as kets, and cushions to make ly, or a new card game like London’s British Gallery, a fort in your living room, 2. Cozy up with a good Book Cards Against Humanity. Paris’ Musée d’Orsay, Seoul’s make yourself monarch, and or Film Sit around, talk, and let the National Museum of Modern even create a secret password Lounging in your comfiest friendly competition begin— and Contemporary Art, and that others have to guess to blanket and slippers while the loser makes hot chocolate many more are available be allowed in. Allow yourself reading a book or watching for everyone! online through a quick to feel silly and excited about a movie is a surefire way to search. The Google Arts the leaves falling—just like channel the autumn spirit! 6. Go on a Picnic and Culture online website you did as a child! With all the streaming opWith the season changing, and mobile app also offers tions available for movies the weather changes too— high-definition pictures of and accessibility to audio what is more perfect than artworks, virtual museum
Coming together to create a healthy community
Breast Cancer Prevention
The month of October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Breast cancer. It’s on every woman’s mind, and for good reason. The American Cancer Society reports that breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, excluding skin cancers. For every eight women, one will develop the disease in her lifetime. But we hope to protect you by turning worrisome thoughts into positive actions with risk-reducing advice and recommendations from Dr. Shiv Desai, one of our leading radiation oncologists who specializes in breast cancer.
higher in women who drink alcohol compared to those that do not. In addition, your risk goes up as you consume more alcohol. Abstaining would be the best way to minimize your overall risk. 3. Don’t smoke. In addition to causing lung cancer and heart disease, smoking can also increase your risk for breast cancer. So throw away those cigarettes and breath in some fresh air.
4. Go for screening mammograms at least once a year. Routine imaging of the breasts should begin at the Dr. Desai shares some tips age of 40 for those that are on how to reduce your risk considered at average risk of of developing the disease as breast cancer. Imaging may well as strategies for detectbegin earlier, or addition ing it early. imaging may be needed for those at a high risk, such as 1. Get active and eat healthy. women with a strong family Being overweight or obese history of the disease or those can increase your risk of with known genetic mutadeveloping breast cancer. Try tions. to get at least 30 minutes of exercise four to five times a 5. Examine your own week. Eating a diet that high breasts. in plants can also help lower Breasts are normally lumpy your chances. and bumpy which is why many women tend to shy 2. Drink less (or no) alcohol. away from self-examinations. Breast cancer risk has been But routine self-exams will shown to be consistently help you become familiar
with your normal lumps and bumps, so that you will know when something new develops. If you are uncertain or have concerns about what you are feeling, make sure to follow-up with your doctor immediately. 6. Know Your Health Numbers. Your annual physical provides an opportunity for your doctor to establish baseline information he/she can use for comparison purposes in future physical exams. Because even small changes can indicate potentially serious problems, an annual physical can detect an illness before it begins or during its early stages when treatment can be less invasive. When you’re ready, we’re ready. We are open and taking every precaution to keep you safe and well, including social distancing, temperature scanning, masks worn by staff and visitors and frequent cleaning. As you take the steps needed to get your life and health care back on track, we’re here to help you. Schedule your 3D, 30-minute
mammogram by calling 866366-PINK or schedule anytime online at ScheduleYourMammo.com. Join AdventHealth’s first ever virtual Pink on Parade 5K on October 11, 2020. Together in spirit, let’s support community members through their breast cancer journey. Visit PinkOnParade. com to register!
LIVE WELL (Cont.)
Managing Anxiety During Times of Uncertainty Anxiety and fear are real and part of everyone’s daily life. Anxiety has the opportunity to push us forward in life in productive ways or it can cause paralysis and can keep us stuck and unproductive. As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and family specialist, I have seen an increase in anxiety for administrators, teachers, parents and students as they each try to navigate the uncertainty of going back to school in the midst of a pandemic. Whether a child goes back to school or chooses to learn online, all students and parents are faced with their own unique set of stressors. Life during a pandemic is filled with uncertainty, not just in terms of school related decisions, but all kinds of decisions which are not going anywhere any time soon. While many things remain outside of our control, our mindset is key to coping and managing our fears, our feelings and an uncertain future. For many of us, the way we cope with uncertainty is to worry, and worrying can make it seems like we have some control over uncertain circumstances. We often fuel our worry by listening to everything in the media, thinking that more knowledge will somehow help us control our future. Chronic worry cannot give us more control; instead, it just robs us of enjoyment in the present, drains our energy, and keeps us up at night. My encouragement to parents right now is, first, to recognize that your children tend to mirror your emotionality, so be sure you are regulating your own emotions well. Secondly, empower yourself with the
confidence and courage that you are making the best decision for your children, even if others around you are making different choices. Thirdly, teach your children coping strategies so they can better manage their own fears and anxiety.
Healthy Ways to Cope with Uncertainty and Anxiety TIP #1: Focus on the things you can control While learning to focus on the things you can control, it is equally important to let go of the things you cannot control. While you cannot control the spread of the virus, you can control yourself. The following strategies with help ground you with tangible ways of controlling yourself. 1. Maintain a Routine Rather than spending time worrying about thing you cannot change, work at creating a structure and routine for yourself. Structure and routine provide a person a sense of normalcy and security during times of uncertainty and it helps us manage the anxieties around us as we recognize that we do have control of ourselves.
attention of good self - care: better eating habits, sleeping habits, exercise, and meaningful connections with others. These disciplines empower us to take control of what we can control which gives us more courage and stamina to face the challenges we face in the midst of uncertainly. 3. Stay Connected It is in the context of meaningful relationships that we grow and change. With the isolation that many have experienced during Covid 19, there has been a rise in depression, anxiety, loneliness and even hopelessness. We have to learn how to initiate and connect in new ways and work hard at this in order to manage the uncertainty around us. It is easier to manage our challenges when we have a team of family and friends around to support us.
TIP #2: Focus on the present Uncertainty often triggers worries about the future and all the bad things we can anticipate happening. When we worry about the future it can fuel feelings such as despair, depression, anxiety and hope2. Take Care of Your Body lessness as well as exaggerate and Spirit the scope of the problem, parWhen creating a structure and alyzing us from taking action. routine for yourself, choose Instead of trying to predict to put’ life-giving’ experiencwhat might happen in the es in your schedule. Rather future or ruminating on the than laying around moping or things you might be afraid of, engaging in passive entertain- switch your attention to what ment, get out and move tois happening in your present ward something enjoyable and reality. active. This creates the elevation of dopamine in the brain 1. Practice Mindfulness which helps to regulate mood Mindfulness is a practice that and improves overall emocan shift your preoccupation tional well - being. It is equal- with future worries to a stronly important during times ger appreciation of the present of uncertainty to focus your moment, as well as help calm
your mind, ease your stress, and boost your overall mood. One example for practicing mindfulness is being aware of all your senses; what are you seeing hearing, smelling, and touching in the present moment and engaging in those things, allowing the present experience to calm you and energize you. Another example is to shift your focus to your breathing and then emptying your mind of all negative thoughts and then replacing the negative thoughts with positive one. One of the best ways that I practice mindfulness is by going on a walk and listening to specific songs from my play list that shape my mindset to the present and the positive, allowing me to let go of the negative, the worries and the future uncertainties. 2. Practice Gratitude When we choose to give thanks in one small thing at a time, the moments add up. Giving thanks is something we have to learn to practice and when we do the results are positive because giving thanks allows up to shift our mind-set from what we don’t have to all that we do have; or from what we are worried about to what is going on right now in the moment. The personal benefits of practicing gratitude is a sense of peace and joy rather than fear and anxiety. Nancy A. Johnson, EdD, LMHC Orlando Counseling Specialists 3662 Avalon Park E. Blvd Suite 2021 Orlando, FL. 32828 407-902-9250
COMMUNITY CORNER Willie Goosby III
Congratulations to Willie Goosby III who will be attending the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, KY on a Wrestling Scholarship! Enjoy your new adventure! Your Boys & Girls Club family is routing for you! Willie attended DeLand High School and is a 2020 Graduate. He was a member of the Lacey Family / Spring Hill Club for 12 years. We are all so proud of his accomplishments and will be routing for him every step of the way as he enters this new journey!
Richiana is a 2020 graduate from Spruce Creek High School and enlisted in the Army National Guard. She is presently in Basic Training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina and will then head to Fort Lee, Virginia for AIT/job training. She received a 4 year scholarship from Take Stock in Children, and upon completion with the National Guard, she will be returning home to Florida where she plans on attending Embry Riddle to major in Homeland Security. Richiana attended our Boys & Girls Club for 8 years and has played a significant role as a mentor, and a BGC Youth of Year candidate.