IMPACT encourages you to connect with yourself, your friends, your family, and your community. Each month there is a different way to make a connection, and for February, the focus is on Family and connecting with Family!
Family by definition is described as a group of one or more caregivers/parent(s) and their children/dependent(s) living together as a unit.
Families today can be wonderfully diverse and may look different from household to household. Our family unit shapes who we are, and who we’ve become today. Family is important because it is the building blocks to success in life and lays the foundation for future relationships. Family can influence brain development, mental health, overall well-being, and life satisfaction. These outcomes can be either a negative or positive experience depending on your family or the family environment you create.
How can you make these aspects a positive experience in your family unit? How do you encourage clear communication and connection in your family?
Connecting with your family starts with from to birth and impacts you until adulthood. It is important to set aside quality time to do things together. Giving your attention and time to your loved ones, regularly and often. These don’t have to be elaborate or expensive, simple gestures such as reading books to baby, going for a walk to together, making new supper recipes with each other, having mealtimes together and using this time for conversation and discussion. Building bonds in small ways, often.
Solidify family support by keeping communication open. Making discussion time a safe place to share and a place where your loved one feels seen, respected, and heard. This way, your family, especially your children will be welcoming to share the good news and funny stories with you AND will be the first to turn to you for support with the harder, more challenging discussions life tends to throw at us. Knowing they have a support system will make these times easier.
There are many fun ways in our community to encourage healthy family support, connection, and quality time. Such as, but not limited to; Family Resource Network, FCSS, Wainwright Public Library, Wainwright on Wellness, Military Family Resource Network, the town of Wainwright, offers numerous activities (which can be found on their website) and events for families. In addition, you can access the communiplex for family swim nights, watch hockey games, indoor playground, or live theater showings. Or take advantage of the paved walking/bike paths and beautiful splash park or playgrounds which will allow families the opportunity to connect with other families. The golf course is open year-round for in and outdoor play, boxing club, fitness centers, field courts, curling, bowling and movie theater are some other options families may find fun to invest in, to encourage the deep family connection.
Close healthy family relationships are vital for a healthy successful society and is what keeps your family feeling supported and happy throughout their lives. This February, we encourage you to go ahead and Make an IMPACT With Family!
New Year’s resolutions can be a great way to inspire us to make the changes in our life that we have been waiting for and wanting. The challenge is making the changes too big and potentially not achievable which may leave us overwhelmed and feeling a sense of failure.
Consider taking a few moments of reflection about the past year. What were the things that brought us joy, that challenged our opinions or assumptions, that gave us a sense of accomplishment and/or a sense of defeat. Be kind to yourself with this assessment. It is intended to foster a spirit of growth and self-improvement.
As parents, we can be great mentors and role models for our children by teaching them how to embrace change in our lives by following a few simple tools. SMART goals is one of those commonly used tools that helps us define the change we are looking for and create a plan to achieve it.
Try it out and encourage your whole family to be a part of the process. By instilling the importance of embracing change and having a method to support the change, builds confidence and resiliency for the future. Many important life skills and lessons can be learned through activity and play. Find fun ways to explore all of the aspects of your mental health.
Make an IMPACT with Connection - Caregivers
IMPACT encourages you to connect with yourself, your friends, your family, and your community. Each month there is a different way to make a connection, and for October, the focus is on Caregivers!
Caregivers, often the unsung heroes in our society, play an essential and invaluable role in the lives of countless individuals. From aiding those with physical or cognitive challenges to offering emotional support and companionship, caregivers contribute significantly to the well-being and quality of life of those they care for.
The bond between caregivers and those they care for is more than just a professional duty; it is often a deep, personal connection built on trust, respect, and empathy. This connection is a two-way street, as both sides benefit from the mutual support and bond it provides. The person receiving care gains not only physical assistance but also emotional solace, knowing that someone genuinely cares about their well-being. For the caregiver, this connection can be equally rewarding. It offers a sense of purpose and fulfilment that comes from making a positive impact on someone's life. This ongoing, mutual impact of caregivers should stand as a reminder of our shared connection and the importance of helping others during their times of need.
While caregivers provide invaluable support, it is also important to recognize that the nature of their work can be emotionally and physically draining. Caregivers often put the needs of others before their own, which can lead to burnout and compassion fatigue. To continue offering the best care possible, caregivers need their own support networks, including proper self-care and mental health resources.
Are you a caregiver looking for support? Caregivers Alberta offers free, one-on-one caregiver coaching sessions. Whether it’s assistance finding resources, advocating for yourself, or requesting support for your health and well-being, Caregiver Coaches are here to help. For more information, visit: https://www.caregiversalberta.ca/
Let's nurture a sense of community that benefits us all and creates a more compassionate neighbourhood. This October, we encourage you to go ahead and Make An IMPACT With Connection!
Engaging in a variety of activities is an essential aspect of a fulfilling life. There are many types of activities that can enrich our lives, such as creative endeavors, social events, educational interests, physical movement and more. Activity plays a vital role in helping us lead happy, connected, and balanced lives. The first step in finding the right activity is to take a closer look at what you are already doing in your life. Consider the activities that interest you and the ones that you find enjoyable. From there, you can identify ways to incorporate more, or a variation of these activities into your routine. It's important to remember that activities do not have to be time-consuming or complicated. Even small actions, such as taking a walk, reading a book, or trying a new recipe, can bring joy and satisfaction to your life. By being intentional about the activities you engage in, you can create a more enriched and gratifying life that aligns with your interests, passions, and values. So, take some time to reflect on what you love to do and start incorporating more of those activities into your daily routine!
Let’s explore the 8 Domains of Wellness to help find activities that suit your life.
IMPACT encourages you to connect with yourself, your friends, your family, and your community. Each month there is a different way to make a connection, and for August, the focus is on Neighbours!
As we navigate our busy lives in the modern world, it's easy to get caught up in our own routines and overlook the significance of the relationships we share with those who live nearby. This month, we want to take a moment to emphasize the importance of connecting with our neighbours and how it can enrich our lives and our community.
Neighbours are often the first people to lend a helping hand during times of need. Whether it's borrowing a cup of sugar, looking after your pets while you're away, or offering assistance in emergencies, having a friendly connection with your neighbours creates a sense of trust and mutual support that can be invaluable. Additionally, a strong sense of community discourages crime and promotes a safe environment for everyone. When neighbours know each other and communicate regularly, they are more likely to look out for one another and report any suspicious activities promptly.
Social connections are essential for our mental and emotional well-being and engaging with neighbours in casual conversations and participating in neighbourhood events can provide a sense of purpose and reduce feelings of isolation. Interacting with neighbours from different walks of life can also broaden your horizons and expose you to more diverse perspectives. Sharing experiences and knowledge can be intellectually enriching and help you grow as an individual.
Looking for ways to connect with your neighbours? Check out the Block Party Kits available for FREE at Wainwright FCSS. These Block Party Kits provide a comprehensive checklist, suggested timeframe, invitations, a list of available games, and more! Individuals, on behalf of their neighbourhood, can apply for funding of up to $75.00/year to conduct activities designated in their neighbourhood. Contact Wainwright FCSS at 780-842-2555 to learn more.
Let's nurture a sense of community that benefits us all and creates a more vibrant and harmonious neighbourhood. This August, we encourage you to go ahead and Make An IMPACT With Connection!
We can all be difference makers! The simplicity of a hello, smile and or a wave can make the difference of feeling accepted and acknowledge or feeling down and unnoticed.
There is something magical about the humanity expressed by little ones sitting in a grocery cart, some of whom will naturally gain eye contact with a stranger sharing a smile, hi, wave. I know this brings a smile to my face, warms my heart and immediately is reciprocal. I can think of numerous times the awkwardness of being in an elevator and everyone looking down at their feet, until someone says hi, or gives a gentle smile making room, this kind gesture brings ease to an uncomfortable situation. It brings me back to my childhood and reminds me of the nervous feelings I always had going to school getting on the bus, and the smile, nod, and good morning from my bus driver helped ease the uneasy feelings.
Take some time and reflect on the smiles, hellos and waves you share and receive everyday with complete strangers; how do you feel giving and receiving? Could you make more of an effort? Are you the one that is spreading the joy, contagious to others following your lead?
With smiles, waves, and hellos from you, we are naturally meeting some of the prevention strategies set out by the province for FCSS’s to measure such as: fostering a sense of belonging and promoting social inclusion. Thank you in advance for your simple friendly actions and behaviours; and making a positive impact in our community one smile, wave or hello at a time.
In summary If we were to be as natural as a child to smile and wave in various situations, this world would be a much kinder, accepting and understanding place to live, work and play.
This month- we challenge you to smile and wave to as many people you see. As a member of the IMPACT Coalition we are promoting the Connection Magnets - drop into Wainwright & District Family & Community Support Services, Wainwright Family Resource Network or Your Public Library to pick up yours and learn more or visit their website at https://impactwainwrightandarea.com/
Remember to check out all the events, activities, WDFCSS has to offer all community members by popping in our office 902-5th ave, calling 780 842-2555, visit www.wdfcss.ca or connect with us on Facebook.
IMPACT encourages you to connect with yourself, your friends, your family, and your community. Each month there is a different way to make a connection, and for June, the focus is on nature!
Did you know as little as 10 minutes a day spent outdoors can have a benefit on your mental and physical health. In fact doctors across Canada are now prescribing nature to some of their patients. PaRx, Canada’s national nature prescription program. With the launch of PaRx in Alberta, the province’s health professionals can now formally prescribe nature to their patients.
Nature brings us to tap into our 5 senses with ease. A recent camping trip to Riverdale Mini Park, was just what the doctor ordered. I was immediately reaping the benefits of spending time outdoors, and realized I could not help but smile, breath, and admire the beauty of the landscape. I noticed the natural ways I tapped into my 5 senses including hearing the birds, the sounds of others enjoying the campground, the ping of a golf ball, and a times the pure enjoyment of stillness and quiet. Seeing the variety of birds, including a momma owl and her 3 babies, perched in trees, the flowing river, and the rolling hills in the river valley on the golf course. The left-over leaves from the fall, and the new growth of spring all bring joy to each season. The feeling of the air in your hair, while out walking, eating outdoors, with the dirt beneath your feet, and the warmth of the sun, brings a sense of grounding and appreciation deep into the soul. The smells first thing in the morning of fresh dew, with a hint of smoke due to the unfortunate forest fires burning out of control, but a part of nature we are aware of both the devastation they cause, but also the new growth it brings. The smell of cooking outdoors and the aroma of bar-b-q’s, and tasty food cooking brings out so much flavor to our tastebuds when enjoying eating outside.
After reflecting on our fist camping trip of the year I would have to agree with the research that is showing the benefits of connecting with nature or simply being outside. According to the McMaster University 7 benefits of spending time in nature are:
1. Increased feeling of calmness
2. Increased endorphin levels and dopamine production (promotes happiness)
3. Restored capacity for concentration and attention
4. Reduced Symptoms of anxiety and depression
5. Reduced irritability
6. Lowered blood pressure and reduced cortisol(stress hormone)
7. Reduced Feelings of anxiety
In summary whether you are out camping, spending time in your back yard, or just walking around your block, nature has something to offer. Wainwright & MD have a wealth of green spaces, walking paths, trails, parks, and campgrounds to explore. Challenge yourself to do a pre and post check in before heading outdoors and after you return to see how you are feeling most likely it will be on the positive side. Enjoy the great outdoors.
IMPACT encourages you to connect with yourself, your friends, your family, and your community. Each month there is a different way to make a connection, and for May, the focus is on children connecting with children!
We are not meant to go through life alone. Healthy relationships and social connections are important to lifelong wellness and these interactions begin in childhood. As your child grows from a baby into a toddler and then into a teenager and finally an adult, their social networks will shift and change dramatically. Children learn by example so parents play an important role in the development of social connections.
When your child is a baby, healthy social interaction is all about attachment and bonding. Simple ways to bond can include singing, cuddling, soothing them when they cry, reading to them, eye contact, tummy time and so much more.
As your baby grows into a toddler, social connections are starting to be made outside of their primary caregivers and they start to interact with children their age through play. Toddlers will move from parallel play (beside each other without interacting), to cooperative play (small group with the same activity) to rough and tumble play (interaction, taking turns, following simple rules). In early childhood, your child will begin to identify one another as friends. Simple ways to encourage positive relationships can include setting up playdates, respecting your child’s personality and interests and modeling good friendship skills.
As your child grows into a teenager, they spend more time in their social environment. Positive friendships can provide teens with support, companionship, a sense of belonging and lay the groundwork for successful adult relationships. Simple ways to encourage positive connections can include reinforcing the values that are important to you and your family, teaching your teen the importance of being assertive when
necessary, giving your teen room to breathe, and listening first to understand their perspective.
There are various ways in our community to facilitate positive social connections for children. Family Resource Network, Wainwright Public Library, Wainwright on Wellness, Military Family Resource Network and PSP all provide great programming for babies right up through to teenagers. In addition, you can sign your child up to a sports team or have them join a club such as Brownies, Scouts, 4-H or Cadets. Even something as going to a park or campsite will allow children the opportunity to connect with other children. Close relationships are what keep people happy throughout their lives and these begin in childhood. This May, we encourage you to go ahead and Make an IMPACT With Connection!
IMPACT encourages you to connect with yourself, your friends, your family, and your community. Each month there is a different way to make a connection, and for April, the focus is on volunteering!
Volunteering is any act of giving your time with the purpose of supporting and strengthening others’ quality of life or the overall community. In addition to the valuable contribution that volunteering makes to the community, it has also been proven to have many benefits for the individuals engaged in volunteering. These benefits include opportunities to learn new skills, expanded social contacts, reduced stress, anxiety, and depression, decreased feelings of isolation, and a sense of belonging to others and your community.
With busy day-to-day lives, finding the time to dedicate to volunteering can be difficult, but volunteering doesn’t always have to include grueling hours or a long-term commitment. Volunteering can be done in a variety of ways that suit your lifestyle, whether that is traditional methods of volunteering or more non-traditional methods. When you think of volunteering, you may not realize the extensive possibilities that can be included in this role. For example, volunteer your time by putting your crafting skills to the test and challenge yourself to create needed items such as winter items (mittens, toques, scarfs), blankets and stuffed animals to donate to local organizations and shelters. This is one way to volunteer in a non-exhaustive way while still greatly helping those in need (plus crafting can be great for improving your overall health and happiness!). If crafting isn’t your thing, perhaps you would want to try getting involved with local sports teams, a retirement home, or at the library.
While all methods of volunteering are beneficial, it’s important to choose the method that suits your lifestyle best. Before you pick what direction of volunteering you want to go, it can be helpful to spend some time discovering what causes matter most to you, what skills and experiences you have that you want to share, and what your level of commitment and availability are. The right volunteer role can help you find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career. No matter how we choose to connect through volunteering, we can all reap the benefits. This April, we encourage you to go ahead and Make An IMPACT With Connection!
LET'S CONNECT - STARTING THIS SPRING IMPACT WANTS TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO CONNECT WITH YOURSELF, FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND YOUR COMMUNITY. EACH MONTH THERE WILL BE A WAY TO CONNECT AND WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO GIVE IT A TRY OR RECOGNIZE HOW YOU DO IT ALREADY. THE BEST PART? LET US KNOW ABOUT YOUR CONNECTION BY HEADING TO OUR CONTACT US PAGE, AND WE WILL PUT YOUR NAME IN A DRAW TO WIN A PRIZE.
IMPACT cOALITION MEMBERS
Our local community members from: AHS-Addiction/Mental Health, Early Intervention, Public Health, Dietician, Spiritual Services, Wainwright on Wellness, Family Resource Network, Wainwright and District FCSS, Town of Wainwright, Children’s Services, Healthy Families, Primary Care Network, Wainwright Adult Learning, Wainwright Association for Community Living, Catholic Social Services, VIBE, Wainwright Public Library, Wainwright Military Family Resource Centre/Personnel Support Program, Walking Through Grief, Blessed Sacrament School, Blessed Sacrament Outreach School, Rural Mental Health Project, Wainwright Fire Department, Wainwright RCMP/Victim Services, Wainwright Elementary, Wainwright High, Wainwright Chamber of Commerce partner together as a team to bring forth information on ways to connect with yourself and others.