Combating Pandemic Fatigue with Community Activities
with YMCA of South Hampton Roads
It goes without saying that the pandemic has had a huge impact on the overall populations’ mental health. Human interaction and physical activity are both ways to stay mentally healthy.
The YMCA is a great place to both be physically active, and to interact with other members of the community! On this episode of Calm, Cool and Connected we have Alex Pomozzi, the Senior Brand Experience Director for the YMCA of South Hampton Roads.
Key Takeaways from Liz’s chat with Alex:
• Hear about Alex’s role at the YMCA
• Find out how the YMCA has been helping people during the pandemic
• Learn about the Y’s virtual classes- so you can still interact and be active from the safety of your own home
• Hear about the focus that the YMCA puts on community engagement
• Discover information about The Y’s mental health awareness campaign
All of this and more, on this episode of Calm, Cool and Connected.
Learn more about the YMCA on their website: www.JoinTheY.org Follow the YMCA on all of their social media:
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DISCLAIMER: THE CONSULTATIONS OR INTERACTIONS OFFERED ARE NOT MENTAL HEALTH THERAPY. THE CONSULTATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND NOT STRUCTURED IN A WAY TO PROVIDE MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING/PSYCHOTHERAPY/THERAPY/ DIAGNOSING OF ANY KIND. YOU UNDERSTAND THAT CALM COOL AND CONNECTED IS NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION AS YOUR TREATING MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR, PHYSICIAN, ATTORNEY, LEGAL COUNSEL, EMPLOYER, MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. We offer no guarantees or promise of results from event nor assume liability for any information provided.
[00:00:00] Now more than ever. We have an opportunity to be a positive force in the world to help heal the divide, to treat each other and ourselves with respect. Well, there's so many tools out there from meditation to physical training, proper nutrition therapy, and so many others. We all need a little help navigating all the options.
Join us as we share in-depth information, insights and thought provoking discussions that will help answer your questions about how to stay calm, cool, and connected. During these times. Welcome to calm, cooling, connected your guidebook to peace of mind.
Hello and welcome to calm, cooling connected. I'm your host, Dr.
Elizabeth, better. It goes without saying that the pandemic has had a tremendous impact on a large majority of the population's mental health, the increase in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and the toll of isolation has been pretty severe. Some of the things that I have found to be most helpful for myself as well for my clients have included increased physical activity, engaging in hobbies and having as [00:01:00] much interaction with other humans as possible.
Our next guest, Alex Posey is a senior brand experience director for the YMCA south Hampton roads in Virginia. Alex is here to talk with us about effective ways to combat the impact of isolation in some of the programs offered at the Y to help. Hi,
Alex Pomozzi: Alex. Welcome. Hi, thanks for having me. Thank you for being here.
Dr. Fedrick: So let's start by talking a little bit about what you do for the Y what is your role
Alex Pomozzi: there? So as the senior brand experience director nested in the marketing department for our Y I basically am a part of. Everything that goes on. So it is my job to make sure that our programs, our message, that we're sending our imagery.
Whatever we're putting out there for our community is aligned with the Y's mission. Okay.
Dr. Fedrick: So that's a pretty big role. I imagine that keeps you busy if that's indeed. So tell me, what are some of the programs that are offered at the Y when, you know, when I'm talking [00:02:00] about the toll that the pandemic and the isolation has had on human interaction and just general wellbeing, what are some of the programs that you guys offer that have been helpful for this?
Alex Pomozzi: So we kind of look at it as. During the height of the pandemic. And now that we are back in person some of the things that we did when we were in the height of the pandemic has actually carried over to now the in-person. So I would say in general, we have opportunities for people to simply just come to the Y, be around other people, engage with their community, exercise, sit and knit with their friends, take advanced class.
But then on the other side of that, we also understand that there are. portions of the population that may feel more comfortable, still kind of being at home and doing those things that are important to them. So we have a virtual Y as well, that gives people the opportunity to stay engaged, and that has things like healthy living, but also enrichment activities crafting classes, cooking classes things that [00:03:00] are very broad for people to engage.
Dr. Fedrick: Sharon are those, do you do those in a group format when you do them virtually so that there's still some of that social
Alex Pomozzi: interaction? So we have done both. We have done things on our virtual, why that you can just log into and take part in individually. And we've also scheduled things out and had scheduled dance classes where you can log into zoom and dance together still.
We've also had live cooking classes where you've been able to log in and interact with the person that is running that cooking class. The people that have utilized that have shared, especially during the height of the pandemic, how much that meant to them to be able to still engage with her.
Dr. Fedrick: I'm sure.
I'm sure that has been a really big deal. And it sounds like, so you've continued to carry on some of those virtual opportunities.
Alex Pomozzi: We have, okay. We still have the virtual why as an opportunity for our members. And if you're not a, a full facility member of the Y there's still that opportunity to get that at a very equitable price of [00:04:00] $5 a month.
So that's the other part that's important is just the access that, that affords no matter where you're at. Sure,
Dr. Fedrick: sure. So your, yes, it's very accessible. It's very. Pretty much anyone can engage in it, which is, sounds like part of your mission of really this community involvement and ensuring that there's these interactions that are taking place for the wellbeing of the community.
Tell me a little bit more about that. What is the focus that the Y puts on community interactions as a whole.
Alex Pomozzi: It's the cornerstone of everything that we do at the Y to be in touch with the, not just the critical needs in our community, but the things that people are asking for it and the things that people are coming to the Y for.
And so we pride ourselves on staying very well connected to that, and we form our program decisions. And what goes on in our why's based off of that feedback and being tapped into our committee.
Dr. Fedrick: Sure. And then the physical activity side of this as well. [00:05:00] So that's, we know physical activity is huge for holistic wellbeing.
What are some of the benefits that you have seen for your members as they've been able to come in? And so they have this community and social piece and also the physical activity. What are some of the benefits you see on.
Alex Pomozzi: Happiness. I would say that, especially after you know, 2020 and getting back in person, the number one piece of feedback we heard and that we were seeing from, from members and from the community before they were actually back in our doors where that.
Missed there, their friends and their, their second family at the Y. And for them exercise gives them the opportunity to fight their anxiety, some depression that they may have been feeling any negative moods, those good habits that we form from working. I think it's, it's like a positive chain reaction and our, our community thrives off of being together.
I mean, it's a natural human instinct to want to want to be next to one another. [00:06:00] Members tell us they, they sleep better. They tell us they feel more sharp. They feel more. Adequate in dealing with everyday challenges. When they have their workout routines going down, they feel smarter when you exercise, you produce brain cells.
So you're in a sense kind of making yourself smarter by doing it. So it's all, all feedback that we've heard about. Just the benefits that exercise gives our. That's
Dr. Fedrick: great. And you guys are developing or have developed a new program, is that correct? The impact, the impact network?
Alex Pomozzi: Yes. So the impact network is actually not a.
Physical activity program. It is you can think of it as a community service professional network. It's focused on addressing critical community needs through two ways. Education and action. Our goal is to partner with local experts that are well versed in providing equity and. Health and [00:07:00] financial ways and food security and in, in social ways.
And in fact, the first opportunity that we have for our members to engage in that is a health equity symposium that focuses on mental health. Yes. And our goal from that is to bring our community together and educate everybody. On first of all, the existence. Mental health, what that looks like, what some challenges are.
Not as just business professionals, but as community members. And I think that's the important part is it is a great opportunity to network professionally, but it really is about just coming together with so many different people from so many different professional and personal backgrounds and learning together.
And then the action part of that is coming together to do it. With our marketing department in south Hampton roads on a mental health awareness campaign.
Dr. Fedrick: Oh, oh, very interesting. And so what that, what might that look like? That's the spreading awareness or a de-stigmatizing both.
Alex Pomozzi: [00:08:00] Okay. Awareness. I think a lot of the time when we talk about mental health, it's not talked about enough.
I think. Generationally, it's gotten more open. However, we want everybody to feel comfortable sharing challenges and also knowing what their resources are. So a part of that campaign, we imagine being the awareness, but also okay. Let's let's take action. These are your results.
Dr. Fedrick: Okay. Yes, that's very interesting and so helpful right now, as I mentioned earlier, with the pandemic, just the increase in the mental health concerns.
And then to your point with your right, the newer generation. Generations, I guess are a lot more accepting, but then there are still much of the population who it just hasn't been normalized for 'em in the same way. And so I think that's great for you to spread awareness and work to de-stigmatize. It is so beneficial for the entire community.
So that's great. Where can our [00:09:00] listeners find you? What websites are you on or social media?
Alex Pomozzi: M Y M C a S H r.org is our main website. Our, all of our programs, our membership there's also joined the y.org that I think will pop up on, on your screen here. And that's also a way to track this down.
But all the resources I've talked about today are plus a lot more are available on our website to explore.
Dr. Fedrick: Okay, great. Thank you so much
Alex Pomozzi: for being here today. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
Dr. Fedrick: And thank you all for tuning into this episode of calm, cooling, connected. Please make sure to find us on Facebook and Instagram and also make sure to rate and subscribe to our podcast so that others can discover our content as well.
Thank you again for joining us in this episode of calm, cooling, connected. .