Fall family activities at your neighborhood park

Posted September 21, 2021 by Rachelle Chang
Categories: Community, Family

Tags: , ,

In just a couple of weeks, I’ll be going back to class. Well, a ceramics class.

I signed up for a 2021 Fall Class at my neighborhood district park. It was thirty minutes after registration opened, and there was a line of people waiting to register. I listened to the murmur of staff who know the instructions by heart – and people hoping that their favorite class was still open.

When I reached the front desk, I was thrilled to learn that there were open spots. I miss working with clay and creating something nice and useful.

The park staff were friendly and patient and helped me fill out the paperwork (in triplicate). I wrote a check for the class, and I was in! I am thankful for all of these opportunities to learn, grow, and meet new people.

Each county in Hawaii has their own recreational activities.

In Honolulu, online and walk-in registration is going on right now, with classes starting the week of October 4, 2021. Most park activities are free, from archery and ‘ukulele to basketball and walking clubs. There are also some activities with a fee, like ceramics, drawing and painting, and aerobics, depending on the park.

On Hawaii Island, classes and senior clubs for the elderly have been cancelled, and the most recent programs like fishing, Frisbee golf, and pickleball are ending.

On Kauai, there are youth, senior, and basketball programs. Now that Summer Fun ended, there are more programs coming soon.

On Maui, there are virtual programs and activities, including sitting exercises, sports drills, flower arranging, and a wealth of “make your own” projects. You can learn how to make your own hand sanitizer to keep everyone safe, make a tree topper for the holidays, or make a candy lei for graduation.

Now that park activities are starting again, what activity would you want to join or what would you like to learn how to do? If you have a lot of enthusiasm an experience in in something, what class would you teach if asked?

Be curious on Museum Day

Posted September 14, 2021 by Rachelle Chang
Categories: Education, Family

Tags: ,

Engage your curiosity on Museum Day, an annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine.

On September 18, 2021, you can go to participating museums and cultural institutions across the country just by presenting a Museum Day ticket. Each ticket gives you free general admission for two people!

In Hawaii, visit the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum at 319 Lexington Blvd, Ford Island, Honolulu, HI 96818. You can take a free guided audio tour; walk through exhibits; enter the Decision Center, an interactive disaster relief education simulation; or experience a state-of-the-art 360-degree Fighter Ace 360 Flight Simulator.

You can get a glimpse of life as a Pacific Aviator and hear the person stories of people who lived through the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and the Pacific region battles that followed. And you can discover how aviation rose out of the ashes of despair to inspire hope, redefine freedom, and galvanize a nation to overcome.

Note: Starting Monday, September 13, 2021, in accordance with the City & County of Honolulu’s vaccine requirement, all visitors age 12 and older are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter the Museum.

For students considering a career in aviation and aerospace, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum offers “Discover Your Future In Aviation,” a comprehensive resource library of financial aid opportunities, games, media, and internships to help you learn about and pursue a career in aviation.

If you’re not quite ready to be out and about in Hawaii, on Saturday, September 18, 2021, 7-8 am HST (1-2 pm EST), you can enjoy a Virtual Planetarium Show: Find Your Way with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Learn the basics of finding your way in the sky, and explore the many things you can see without a telescope. Experts will be on hand to answer your questions!

Where will your curiosity lead you this Museum Day? What is your favorite museum or exhibit?

“The Catalyst” by Jonah Berger

Posted September 7, 2021 by Rachelle Chang
Categories: Book Reviews

Tags: , , ,

Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to try something new. I work at a local nonprofit, and when we transitioned to electronic recordkeeping, it took two years to be fully adopted by staff.

So how did we come to accept some things – like wearing face masks, holding back from hugging people, telehealth visits, and working from home – when we resisted doing them before?

Jonah Berger talks about how to overcome inertia, initiate action, and change minds in “The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind” (2020). He focuses on the question, “Why hasn’t that person changed already?”

Berger tells us that we can change people’s minds “by removing roadblocks and lowering the barriers that keep people from taking action.” There’s more to it than just showing the benefits of change – we also have to address the reasons not to change.

Here are ways to REDUCE the 5 roadblocks to action:

Reactance. People like to feel they have control over their choices and actions. We can’t just tell people to give up smoking, buy a hybrid, or save for retirement. Solution: allow for agency. Give people choices, ask questions, highlight a gap, and start with understanding. Help people change their own minds.

Endowment. People overvalue what they have; losses loom larger than gains. It’s hard to convince people to upgrade to a new phone or switch to a new service. Solution: highlight the cost of inaction (what is the cost of doing nothing?) and burn the ships (increase the cost of inaction). Help people let go of old ideas.

Distance. Sometimes just providing information backfires, because it is out of their “zone of acceptance” (a range of belief they are willing to consider). People see what they expect to see. Solution: find the moveable middle (larger zone of acceptance) and then ask for less (break big changes into smaller, more manageable chunks).

Uncertainty. We really dislike uncertainty. The uncertainty tax is the devaluing of things that are uncertain. People are risk-averse – they prefer a sure bet! Solutions: offering trialability or freemiums to show how easy it is to try something (like DropBox), reducing upfront costs (like Zappos.com), discovery or introducing something new (sampling), and making it reversible (refunds).

Corroborating Evidence. Multiple sources add credibility and legitimacy, both similar sources and independent sources, in a short period of time. If there is a weak attitude, widen your reach; if there is a strong attitude, concentrate your message.

For me, the most compelling story Berger shared is about Seeds of Peace, a summer camp that invites Egyptian, Israeli, and Palestine teens to spend a few weeks together each summer at a lakeside retreat in southern Maine. Seeds of Peace helps the teens see each other as people, and builds bonds and trust between them. How can they be a faceless enemy when they are just like you?

Do know someone who wants help changing about life? What do you think is the biggest roadblock to making a change in your life?

A month of giving and three awareness walks

Posted August 31, 2021 by Rachelle Chang
Categories: Community, Health

Everyone needs kindness, strength, and compassion.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on every one of us. We’re all struggling and watching other people struggle. You are not alone and you can make an impact on someone else’s life, even if you never meet them and they never know your name.

September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. It’s a month to raise awareness about the warning signs of suicide, spread hope, and advocate for mental health care.

You can participate in a month of giving and help raise awareness for physical health, mental health, and welfare issues at three virtual walk in Hawai‘i:

Foodland Give Aloha

During September 2021, Foodland Maika’i members can make donations up to $249 to Hawaii nonprofits at any Foodland, Foodland Farms, or Sak-n-Save, or online at Foodland.com. Foodland Give Aloha, an Annual Community Matching Gifts Program, was created in 1999 to honor Foodland’s founder, Maurice J. “Sully” Sullivan and continue his legacy of giving back to the community. Since the program began in 1999, a total of more than $34.4 million has been raised for Hawaii’s charities. #FoodlandGiveAloha #GiveAloha

Visitor Industry Charity Walk

From August 30 through September 12, 2021, walk with the Hawai`i Lodging & Tourism Association and their members to help build a better, healthier Hawai`i for all of us. The Charity Walk gives everyone a chance to raise money for Hawai`i’s charities. In 2019, Hawai‘i raised more than $500,00 to make Hawai‘i stronger and healthier. This year, the walk is virtual, and you can download an app to track your steps and keep connected. #CharityWalkBECAUSE #CharityWalkKauai #MauiCharityWalk #CharityWalkHawaiiIsland #CharityWalkOahu

Out of the Darkness Virtual Walk

On September 18, 2021, acknowledge the ways in which suicide and mental illness have affected our lives and the lives of those we love. Join the Hawai’i Out of the Darkness Virtual Walk and walk for remembrance, hope, and support. Every dollar you raise through the Out of the Darkness Walks allows AFSP to invest in life-saving research, education, advocacy, and support for those impacted by suicide. @afsphawaii #TogetherToFightSuicide

NAMIWalks Your Way

On October 9, 2021, do a virtual walk “your way,” meaning you choose what you want to do on event day to raise awareness about mental health and help reduce the stigma of mental illness. Join a team or create your own team on NAMIWalks Hawai‘i Your Way. Then choose your creativity: on walk day, you can walk 7,000 steps, plan a craft day with the kids, hold a virtual bake-off, or practice self-care with a favorite hobby. Together we can make a difference for people affected by mental illness. #NotAlone

Do you know someone who is struggling right now? If yes, what is one thing you can do to help them? What are you passionate about changing? How do you take care of yourself?

Asking “Where does it hurt?” not “Why?”

Posted August 24, 2021 by Rachelle Chang
Categories: Health

Tags: , , ,

“All cultures, since the beginning of time, have had to deal with suicidality,” said Dr. Bonnie Goldstein, LCSW during a webinar, “Managing Hopelessness, Helplessness, and Despair with Our Younger Clients.” The presentation was part of the virtual 2021 Suicide Prevention Summit, sponsored by the Mental Health Academy.

Two things struck me about her presentation.

The first thing I learned is that that we don’t know why. And for most of us, “Why?” is the wrong question.

We may know risk factors for suicide. We may know warning signs of suicide, which are similar to signs of depression. We may understand that talking about suicide will not encourage suicide.

However, according to Dr. Goldstein, “Research shows that people actively experiencing some form of suicidality cannot give a clear or intelligible account of what is going on for them at the moment” (emphasis added).

The right questions to ask, Dr. Goldstein said, are “Where does it hurt?” and “How can I help you?”

Be curious. Ask questions about what about they are feeling physically, because it can lead to talking about how they feel emotionally.

The second thing I learned is that our bodies reflect our trauma and attachment history. More than that, our bodies can determine our behavior and influence our emotions. For example,

  • Posture: Are your shoulders straight or slumped over? Do you feel assertive or helpless?
  • Eye contact: Are you looking at people when you speak or are you avoiding eye contact?
  • Mobilizing: Is your body frozen or are you moving freely? Are you engaged in the conversation or shut down?
  • Boundaries: How close or far away are you from other people? Do you keep physical barriers (crossed arms, a table, a backpack) between you and others or you are open to people?

This is the “Somatic Narrative.” We can start listening to other people’s body language – and to our own. We can help people feel physically safe by respecting what their body is telling us, and help people feel emotionally safe by asking questions.

By connecting with people, we can help create a buffer against hopelessness and psychological pain.

What is your body telling you right now about how you are feeling? How does your body react in joyful situations and in tense situations? Do you know someone right now whose body is telling you that they are in psychological pain?