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Spotlight on Mental Wellness:

“Disconnect and Get Moving”

by

Dr. Joshua Medeiros

 It is officially August and believe it or not, the end of summer is in sight. Apple picking and pumpkin spice season may be right around the corner but there is still time to celebrate this month’s theme in Canton’s Year of Mental Wellness Campaign, “Disconnect and Get Moving”.

 

With the rapid advancements of smart phone technology many of us fall into the trap of being glued to our devices. August’s theme in the Call to Action calendar is all about making sure you find the time to put those devices off to the side and get active. Finding time to be active and exercise is essential to everyone’s well-being. Not only is exercise good for your physical health it has many benefits for mental health as well. This includes positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. Being physically active can also relieve stress, improve memory, help you sleep better, and boost overall mood (HelpGuide.org).

The Canton and the towns in the Farmington Valley are thriving and dynamic with many free parks and trail systems to enjoy.  There are many quality, affordable recreational opportunities and programming options for the entire family. Members of the public are encouraged to research these options through their Parks and Recreation Departments.  In Canton, the Parks and Recreation Commission meets the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7pm in the Canton Community Center.

The Canton Parks and Recreation Department provides oversight to a diverse park system with features including a newly renovated skate park, a 50 meter Olympic sized swimming pool and wading pool, 4 tennis courts, 2 basketball courts, playground, soccer fields, baseball/softball fields and the beautiful Farmington River Trail to name a few. The department is also engaged in supporting a 501c3 non-profit organization, the Friends of Canton Dog Park in their efforts to develop Connecticut’s first eco-friendly, off-leash Dog Park right here in Canton. There are still approvals needed for the project and a comprehensive fundraising campaign is just getting under way but if all goes well, even your family dog will have a spot to be active and call their own. Help support the project by participating in the 3rd Annual Pooch Plunge fundraiser on Tuesday September 5th 5:30-7:30pm.

The Parks and Recreation Department in Canton and the broader Farmington Valley towns also offer a breadth of recreational programming to help your family disconnect and get moving. Information on Canton’s offerings can be found online at www.CantonRec.org and in person at the main office located in the Canton Community Center (40 Dyer Ave). The Fall 2017 Brochure is anticipated to be released through the Valley Press the week of August 7th. We invite you to check out our diverse fall offerings including Beyond the Bell-After School Program, Explorers December Vacation Camp, Baton Twirling, Dance & Gymnastics, Recreation Basketball League, After School Ski Bus, and Guitar Lessons just to name a few! Be sure to save the date on our popular fall special events including the 4th Annual Spook-A-Palooza: Halloween Carnival (10/14), Turkey Shoot Basketball Contest (11/17), and Breakfast with Santa (12/9).

Although technology has allowed us to connect to people instantaneously no matter where you are in the world there are no better interactions then the ones you have face to face. Put that phone down and find a buddy to be active with. Remember to feel great…recreate! Help us promote healthy lifestyles and embrace our message of “Disconnect and Get Moving”.

Written by Dr. Joshua Medeiros, Canton Director of Parks and Recreation, jmedeiros@townofcantonct.org on behalf of the Canton Mental Health Task Force.

Spotlight on mental wellness is an initiative of the Canton Mental Health Task Force, facilitated by the Farmington Valley Health District.  For our Year Long Call-to-Action and additional resources, go to:  www.fvhd.org.