Weekly Resources: Monday June 1 – June 7

Each week the Y team will be providing new resources, activities and ideas for you to fill your week with! Click the day of the week for the resources.

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

Mental Wellness Monday

New This Week

Is anxiety getting in the way of your life? MindShift™ CBT uses scientifically proven strategies based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help you learn to relax and be mindful, develop more effective ways of thinking, and use active steps to take charge of your anxiety.

Get the tools to tackle – worry, panic, perfectionism, social anxiety and phobias.

MindShift App

Past Resources

May 25

Yale professor Dr Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will alter the way you think about happiness.

The Happiness Lab

May 18

Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.

Watch the Video

May 11

Feeling low, stressed or anxious?

BounceBack® is a free skill-building program designed to help adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry. Delivered online or over the phone with a coach, you will get access to tools that will support you on your path to mental wellness.

Your wellbeing shouldn’t have to wait. With the right tools and practice, you can bounce back to reclaim your mental health.

BounceBack Program

May 4

As our only means of gathering with those outside our households is digitally, both for leisure and work, many people are starting to experience “Zoom Exhaustion”. In this article Steven Hickman, Psy.D., executive director of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, offers this timely perspective on managing our new virtual reality.

Zoom Exhaustion Article

April 27

The YWell Leadership and Personal Development Series with YMCA Leadership Consultant Dr. Steve Patty, PhD will take you through seven parts on how to grow and nurture your personal leadership. How do you maximize your ability to move forward on the things that really matter in your life? How do you lead yourself? In each of the seven episodes, Dr. Patty will walk you through one key idea and invite you to try an action step.

Personal Development Series

April 20

Have you ever noticed how you breathe when you feel relaxed? The next time you are relaxed, take a moment to notice how your body feels. Or think about how you breathe when you first wake up in the morning or just before you fall asleep. Breathing exercises can help you relax, because they make your body feel like it does when you are already relaxed. Read this HealthLink BC article about breathing techniques or try this Youtube  video about Square Breathing.

April 13

Learning to build resilience can help with managing stress. “Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors”

The article below provides more information on resilience and some ways to build your own resilience.

Building Resilience

April 6

There are many reasons to exercise. Many folks think of the physical benefits of exercise first, but what about the mental benefits? There may be more than you realize. This TED talk by Wendy Suzuki shows that exercise can benefit mood and memory.

If this video motivates you to exercise more, keep checking the Vancouver Island Y website for at home exercise inspiration! We can all use a mood boost in these challenging times.

Brain Changing Benefits of Exercise


March 30

Maintaining good mental health can be challenging in the best of times. Hopefully you can use these resources to keep your mind healthy in these difficult times. We’ve included an article from the  Harvard Business Review may resonate with some who are feeling unsettled by the recent changes in daily life. If you’re looking to practice mindfulness more in your daily life, the app Smiling Mind can help with that. Smiling Mind is a free not-for-profit app that strives to teach mindfulness, meditation, and bringing balance to your life.

Harvard Business Review

Today more than ever, mental health issues plague our youth on a daily basis. Here’s a list of interactive games on topics ranging from anxiety, relationships, self-esteem and social media.

Smiling Mind

Try it Tuesday

New This Week

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. The organization’s membership exceeds 358,000 in more than 16,800 clubs in 143 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders. 

Toastmasters

Past Resources

May 26

Explore your creativity! Skillshare offers hundreds of different topics for different skill levels on pretty much anything you can think of! The classes are short or long, simple or detailed! Hopefully you’ll learn something you never thought you would know!

Skillshare

May 19

Think TikTok is only for kids and teens?  Think again.  While at home, challenge your family to learn a new dance or create one of your own.  You can get the entire family involved.

One of the funniest Family TikTok videos out there is the Fleming family from Ireland. Perhaps it’s their thick Irish accents, or maybe they’re just really comedic people. Either way, they’re definitely one of the funniest families on TikTok right now.

Fleming Family TikTok Video

May 12

Sudoku is a logic-based, combinatorial number-placement puzzle. The objective is to fill a 9×9 grid with digits so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3×3 subgrids that compose the grid contain all of the digits from 1 to 9. A partially completed grid is supplied, which for a well-posed puzzle has a single solution. Here are a couple of options to get your started.

May 5

It’s unknown when we’ll be able to pack our bags and travel the world again, but you can practice the local language so you’re well prepared when vacations are back on our calendars.

April 28

Apparently baking bread is an essential quarantine skill with social media blowing up with pictures of people’s doughy creations. Don’t get left behind and test your baking skills with these sourdough starter and bread recipes.

April 21

Do you think you’d know how to help in an emergency? Have you ever taken a first aid course? The Canadian Red Cross First Aid app puts lifesaving advice in your hands. The app helps you learn or maintain your first aid skills and respond to everyday emergencies. You get instant access to videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice to help you maintain your life-saving skills and respond when needed.

Red Cross First Aid App

April 14

Have you ever tried a NIA class? NIA stands for Non-impact aerobics. NIA was created in 1983 in San Francisco. This low-impact workout combines martial arts, modern dance arts and yoga in a workout set to music. When not experiencing a temporary closure, the Downtown Y offers NIA twice a week.  In the meantime, try it here!

Try a NIA class

April 7

Pilates can be a great workout to try from home. Pilates mat work usually requires very little equipment. Try the video below; all you need is a mat!

What are the other benefits of Pilates? According to an Australian government website, Pilates has many benefits such as:

  • improved posture
  • rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
  • improved physical coordination and balance
  • relaxation of your shoulders, neck and upper back
  • safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries
  • prevention of musculoskeletal injuries
  • increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
  • improved concentration
  • increased body awareness
  • stress management and relaxation.


March 31

Why not challenge yourself to try new things? Just because you may be inside doesn’t mean you can’t explore new kinds of fitness and activity. MOSSA Move is an online at-home fitness subscription. They also create programs for gyms and YMCA fitness classes. There is normally a subscription fee, but you can try it for free.

Workout Wednesday

Past Resources
New This Week

When it comes to learning a whole lot of cool moves from dance, martial arts and yoga this class is the way to go. Each 20 or 40-minute class is jam-packed with cool music and foundation fitness moves and fun games. This is sure to leave the kids (and parents) feeling great! Check-out Les Mills “Born to Move” series of online workouts! 

Born to Move

May 27

Looking for a challenge this week? Try this 25-minute-high-intensity interval-based workout. Body weight movements are chosen to challenge the intermediate to advanced exerciser. Options are shown to allow people to reduce some intensity and impact. No equipment needed.

Y Thrive Boost

Throwback Thursday

New This Week

Go back in time with these fantastic historic photos.

Historic Photos

Past Resources

May 21

This week we check out iconic movies from the 1980’s (after all, that was 40 years ago)!  So, get out your neon, crimp your hair and take a walk down memory lane.  Hopefully this list will inspire some movie ideas while at home.

Best of 80's Movies

May 14

Many of today’s best history podcasts immerse listeners in the moments they examine, whether they be the French Revolution or the fledgling years of hip-hop. They cover topics ranging from past presidencies to Oprah Winfrey’s rise, entertain with tales of Hollywood scandal and invite listeners to play detective on mysteries of yore. Here are all the best history podcasts to listen to right now.

Time Magazine Best History Podcasts

May 7

Shakespeare is the ultimate “Throwback Thursday” as he was alive in the 1500-1600’s! Shakespeare’s Globe is a world-renowned performing arts venue, cultural attraction and education centre located on the bank of the River Thames in London, UK. The theatre is streaming full productions while they’re unable to hold live shows.

Globe Theatre Shakespeare Productions

April 30

It almost feels like you’ve clicked on something you shouldn’t have and suddenly, a door to internet Narnia has opened and you find yourself roaming the aisles of a huge maze of glass cabinets, overflowing with an insane amount of objects. You’ve stumbled into the cabinet of wonder that is the Pitt Rivers Museum. Indefinitely closed, like thousands of other cultural institutions around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, this 136 year-old Victorian museum hiding within another museum in Oxford, England, is free to roam at the click of your mouse – every glass cabinet, every last aisle, all to yourself. And what a beautiful sight it is to discover, even if only from behind your screen for now.

Pitt Rivers Museum

April 23

Abdomenizer: 1984

This Canadian-invented product promised to target the abs and support the back at the same time, delivering “amazing” results. A memorably cheesy infomercial helped the creation of Dr. Dennis Colonello ship about 6 million units. But the fact that you would actually have to do something aerobic to see real results turned the two-by-three-foot sheet of plastic into an under-the-bed dust-collector for many Canadians. Check out the original comercials and an interview with it’s creator.

The Abdominizer

April 16

5BX and XBX

In 1961, Bill Orban was commissioned by the Royal Canadian Air Force to create an exercise plan that would improve the Air Force member’s physical fitness without taking much time. Orban developed the 5BX plan, which stands for 5 Basic eXercises. This program was developed for men. Soon after the XBX plan was created for women and consists of 10 basic exercises. These plans were published together. The men’s program takes 11 minutes to complete, while the women’s takes 12.

This plan does not require special equipment, in order to accommodate members of the RAF who were posted in remote communities. This combination of calisthenics and aerobic exercises became popular throughout the world. 5BX is considered part of the foundation of modern fitness culture.

You can see this plan below. This plan has been posted as a piece of history. Please remember that some of the exercises and advice from 1962 may not be considered correct today.

April 9

The pool at the Downtown Y is a special place for a lot of folks. It is a great way to get low-impact exercise, play with your kids, or relax in the leisure pool. Many Victoria residents had their first swimming lessons at the Downtown Y pool. Here are some photos of how Y Members have enjoyed the pool in the past! Did you know there used to be a diving board?

Earlier Days at the Y

April 2

Fitness is always changing, let’s take a look at some fitness from the past. It could be a workout video, or maybe an item from the Vancouver Island Y archives. Did anyone own a Jane Fonda home workout video?

Family Friday

New This Week

What will my day look like today? These planners will establish a routine to lend structure to your day.  Great for children and adults!

Family Planner

Past Resources

May 22

These Minute to Win It games are hilarious! Great to play at home with the family or at your next party or group event (after the pandemic of course). Fun for all ages!

Family Minute to Win It Games

May 15

Gather around the dining room table and turn your devices off, here’s a list cards games that your kids will have no problem catching on to.

Card Games for Families

May 8

The Bateman Foundation has curated a list of free digital activities for families including basic art skills and learning about nature. These range from quick activities like colouring in, to longer, more involved lesson plans.

Bateman Foundation Activities

May 1

Family meals provide an opportunity for family members to come together, strengthen ties and build better relationships. They build a sense of belonging which leads to better self-esteem. Family meals offer parents a chance to be role models. They can set an example of healthy eating and polite table manners. Here’s a list of kid friendly meals they can help to prepare.

Kid Friendly Meals

April 24

Roll out your mats this Friday for a Yoga break! Yoga can work for all ages
The benefits for children include increased strength, flexibility, and balance. There is research to show that Yoga can help children develop better concentration, focus, and memory.
Adults will also see an improvement strength, flexibility, and balance. Adults may see a reduction in heart rate and blood pressure with a regular Yoga practice.
Try some Yoga with your family today.

April 17

On April 17 at 8 p.m., CHEK will be hosting Rock for Relief: A Living Room Concert for Vancouver Island.

Rock for Relief will feature performances by multi-Grammy award-winning Victoria producer and musician David Foster, Randy and Tal Bachman, the Tenors, and Trevor Guthrie. There will also be performances from current American Idol contestant Lauren Spencer-Smith, as well as local favourites Aaron Pritchett, Jesse Roper, Carmanah, Kathryn Calder and many others.

Plus, there will be special appearances by Steve Nash, Silken Laumann, Rick Hansen and others.

Rock for Relief aims to raise money to support residents throughout Vancouver Island who are most in need during the pandemic.

“The effects of this pandemic are unprecedented. CHEK can play an important role at this time, bringing together Islanders who are feeling isolated with some of the Island’s most celebrated performers who are all giving of their time for a vital cause,” said Levi Sampson, board chair of CHEK Media Group.

Rock for Relief

April 10

Keep moving with a dance party! These videos will keep you and your family moving and can help bring some fun into your home.

April 3

Whether it’s your relatives or your family you found, why not take Fridays to connect? Take time to keep your family active together with a family friendly workout. This workout requires no equipment and is good for both children and adults. Don’t be afraid to have fun with it!

Story-Time Saturday

New This Week

Whether interviewing your favorite athletes or giving you inspiration for your next adventure, these are the must-listen podcasts that belong in your audio library.

Best Adventure Themed Podcasts

Do you have a Y story you’d like to share?

Share Your Y Story

As you may know, the Y is a non-profit charitable organization that strives to build healthy communities. From infants to older adults, the Y can have a positive impact on the lives of its members. How has the Y helped you? We want to hear your Y story. It may be a story of a long term goal that you were able to achieve, or maybe a special moment you had at the Y. Help us share some inspiring stories with our community!
  • Please note: responses from this form are only accessible to Y senior management.
  • Many of our members have impactful stories about how the Y contributes to the community, we love to pass on inspiring sentiments.


Past Resources

May 23

The YMCA story began in London, England over 170 years ago with one man who had an idea about how to make his community stronger. From that idea sprang a movement that would spread across the globe, inspiring millions to grow in spirit, mind and body. Throughout the years, we’ve evolved with the times, from the Industrial Revolution to the Digital Revolution…and made many important contributions to society along the way.

Here’s a look at the significant milestones in the YMCA movement, both in Canada and internationally.

History of YMCA

May 16

The Y’s Young Moms Program at the Kiwanis Young Family Centre offers safe, affordable and supported housing opportunities for single mothers aged 16-29 with children up to the age of 5. With full time staff providing a variety of programs for the residents and community, Y-Young Moms Program creates the foundation that young single mothers facing many personal challenges can build a stable new beginning for themselves and their little ones upon.

Like many local charity spaces, Kiwanis Young Family Centre is overdue for a massive renovation that will see the space get caught up on some much needed TLC and increase its capacity to offer support to more young moms long into the future. Over the coming months, HeroWork will undertake this significant project, watch their video outlining everything they’re tackling, and if you’d like to contribute a dontaion link is provided as well.

May 9

Scott Haldane, past National CEO of YMCA Canada works in disguise in his own organization. But, as he meets his workers and gets to understand the realities of their working lives, he realizes he’s also on a very personal journey of discovery.

E Undercover Boss Canada

May 2

This week’s story is brought to you by one of our volunteers at the Downtown Y.

My name is Heather Weir and I have volunteered for the past four years at the Downtown Y. Fitness is my passion! I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to have an opportunity to share this passion with others, and contribute in a small way to their well-being, quality of life, and happiness. My thanks to the Downtown Y staff for providing me with instructor training, mentoring, and lots and lots of kind and patient encouragement.

The Y is my happy place! It is my second home. I can feel myself smiling ear to ear as soon as I arrive each day thanks to the incredibly friendly and welcoming staff and to the many members I have forged close friendships with over the years. I firmly believe that for someone new to the city, the fastest way to feel at home, make new and lasting friendships, and improve one’s health and happiness would be to join the Y.

Y values align with my personal values. Volunteering at the Y provides me an opportunity to build relationships with people from a wide range of backgrounds and allows me to gain and use skills that are not a part of my regular workday.

April 18

Young people are facing some big challenges. Increasing inactivity will likely mean many face a lifetime of health risks. Fewer are graduating from high school, or finding jobs. When their possibilities for the future are shrinking, it’s all too easy for young people to lose hope. Through the Y, you can do something to help. Check-out this Y Not video produced by the YMCA of Greater Toronto.

Y Not Video

April 10

The community at the Y can inspire and motivate others to meet their health and fitness goals. For others, the Y is a place to connect and socialize. Here is how Heather, one of the Ys most dedicated volunteers, sees the Y:

“Fitness is my passion!  I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to have an opportunity to share this passion with others, and contribute in a small way to their well-being, quality of life, and happiness. My thanks to the Downtown Y staff for providing me with instructor training, mentoring, and lots and lots of kind and patient encouragement.

The Y is my happy place! It is my second home. I can feel myself smiling ear to ear as soon as I arrive each day thanks to the incredibly friendly and welcoming staff and to the many members I have forged close friendships with over the years. I firmly believe that for someone new to the city, the fastest way to feel at home, make new and lasting friendships, and improve one’s health and happiness would be to join the Y.

Y values align with my personal values. Volunteering at the Y provides me an opportunity to build relationships with people from a wide range of backgrounds and allows me to gain and use skills that are not a part of my regular workday.”

April 4

Watch the Value of Story Sharing

Sanctuary Sunday

New This Week

Virtual train rides offer viewers the chance to zone out and calm the mind, while seeing new landscapes, some of which many people will never experience in real life, quarantine or not.

Virtual Train Rides from Around the World

Past Resources

May 24

Inspire your travels beyond 2020. A volcanic lake in Indonesia. Swimming with dolphins in Mauritius. A late-night ramen shop in Tokyo. Hay bales in Italy. The images in this gallery are far from ordinary, even if they depict a place that seems mundane. With these 50 photographs, National Geographic Your Shot community members prove that moments of extraordinary beauty and meaning can be found everywhere and anywhere.

Nat Geo Your Shot Winners

May 17

Explore.org hosts a great variety of Live Cams, including a Zen Series, so that you can immerse yourself in the calmness of a real-time nature scene.

Live Nature Webcams

May 10

Forest bathing is a new health trend—but what exactly is it, anyways? Translated from the Japanese term shinrin-yoku, forest bathing is also known as forest therapy. It’s kind of like hiking through the forest. It’s kind of like meditating amongst the trees. Yet it’s not exactly either. Here are some interesting articles on Forest Bathing.

May 3

The weather is finally turning, so take some time outside to create and oasis in your yard or on your balcony. Here are some useful articles for beginners and apartment gardening tips.

April 19

Make your home into a sanctuary this Sunday. Getting rid of clutter in your home can help create a relaxing environment.

It may not be a good time to redecorate your home but getting rid of clutter is free!

Creating a clutter free home

If you need a place to put some extra stuff, why not try out this rope planter? You can put plants or small items in this easy craft!

How to make a rope planter

April 12

Combine the beauty of nature with social distancing this Sunday! Google Earth has virtual tours of National Parks in the United States. Take some time to enjoy these natural sanctuaries from the comfort of your couch.

Google Earth Tours

April 5

It’s Sunday, time to relax and get ready for the new week. Remember to breathe and relax with some Yoga. The Toronto YMCA is creating Facebook live classes for Canadians who are staying at home.


 

YOUTH MINDFULNESS GROUP – AGES 18-30 YEARS

 

The Youth Mindfulness Groups are now being offered online during the COVID-19 center closures.

Everyone experiences worries and anxiety. The key is to learn how to make sure these don’t get in the way of doing things you care about!

The YMCA Mindfulness Groups offer a free 7-week psychoeducational and support group for youth ages 18-30 who experience anxiety. Participants learn healthy coping skills, connect with other young people in the community, and get support all in a safe and friendly environment. Programming is supervised by trained mental health professionals.

Learn More about Y Youth Mindfulness Groups

WORKOUT WITH THE ABC’S


YMCA AT HOME: FREE PROGRAMS ANYTIME, ANYWHERE!

At the YMCA, we are committed to supporting you and your family’s health and wellness. YMCA at Home is our new virtual platform that provides you with the ability to connect with your favourite YMCA programs anytime, anywhere! New videos will continue to be added!

VISIT YMCA AT HOME

                       

YThrive Home will help you get your daily dose of YMCA fitness and community with amazing workouts! Workouts are designed for almost any fitness level and can be done from your living room for FREE.

YWell will bring you strength in spirit, mind and body at home! Activities are designed for a variety of levels and can be done from the comfort of your home for FREE.

YPlay will help you build strong kids and a strong family at home! Activities are designed for a variety of ages and levels of ability and can be done from your family room for FREE.

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