Drive-In Movies with Recreation and Parks

Events in Henrico County have been limited due to the health and safety guidelines for COVID-19. The staff at the Department of Recreation and Parks have gotten creative and sought out small, community events that are both safe and fun for families! One of those event ideas is movie nights. Various Henrico County Parks will be hosting a movie in the park night and two drive-in movies this summer.

On July 31, Peanut Butter Falcon was shown drive-in movie style at Crump Park. If you missed out, there are two more opportunities to enjoy outdoor movie night! Toy Story 4 will be showing at Deep Run Park on August 7. This will be a regular walk up movie in the park. Rec and Parks will also be showing Aladdin (2019) at Dorey Park on August 21 as a drive-in movie. For both events, gates open at 7:30 p.m. and the movie will start at dusk (approx. 9 p.m.) Guests are encouraged to arrive early, as there is limited parking available.

The movie at Dorey park will be in partnership with the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation (VCTF). Dorey Park features a connector to the Virginia Capital Trail and is popular with cyclists. Movie attendees will have the opportunity to receive more information about the trail and future VCTF activities including their annual Cap 2 Cap bike ride.

The Division of Recreation and Parks is very excited to provide fun family events that allow people to get out and enjoy the parks while also following best safety practices and remaining socially distant.

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We All Play a Role in Fiscal Stewardship

The budget for the 2021 fiscal year (FY2021) that covers July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, was first introduced to the Board of Supervisors on March 10, 2020, just six days before the County’s first case of COVID-19. By all measures, the County was positioned to enjoy one of the best budget years in recent history; poised to implement several key initiatives and programs to further cement Henrico’s place as a leader in local government. As we have all come to know, the onset of a global pandemic had significant local impacts on both the health and economic fronts and swiftly changed that outlook. The Department of Finance immediately went to work to recast a budget based on updated revenue projections which anticipated a significant economic recession. Nearly $100 million was cut from that initial budget proposal when compared to the plan that was ultimately adopted by the Board in May.

Every avenue was explored to ensure that all County departments are still able to deliver core services that are needed by Henrico residents and businesses, to limit the financial burden placed on our community to support those programs, and to limit the impacts to our workforce. Some of the strategies included: a delay of cash-funded capital, across the board operating cuts, holding many positions vacant, and removing all new initiatives that were originally planned for FY2021.

Knowing that none of us have all the answers, two additional, non-traditional strategies were also deployed. We established a cross-functional employee workgroup to explore cost-cutting strategies and an email address ([email protected] – which remains open) to solicit feedback from the workforce and community. Both avenues proved fruitful. For example, it was an email from an employee that birthed the voluntary retirement incentive program that is anticipated to save more than $1.5 million.

The County’s fiscal plans for this year are ultraconservative and meant to prepare the County in case the pandemic continues throughout the fiscal year. As part of that, appropriations (money that has been made available to departments to spend) are being done on a quarterly – instead of annual – basis. That practice gives the Board of Supervisors, the County Manager, and Department of Finance time to evaluate data in real time and adjust spending/financial plans as needed.

The County has seen some local revenues continue to perform stronger than anticipated. It is still too early to make any longer-term financial decisions based on what we have experienced to date. Our most recent reports show meals taxes for May down 26.5%, occupancy taxes for May down 63%, and sales taxes for April down 9.8%. Our unemployment figures continue to hover far above anything recorded in modern history.

Our team continues to monitor the local economy and has not wavered in the spending freeze, ensuring that we are only making essential purchases, for now. The important thing to remember is that these steps are meant to protect us from what we may not see coming in the future.

What does this all mean for you? We all play a role in fiscal stewardship. Employees like you, who are delivering the front-line services to our residents, see things from a unique perspective. Many of you have ideas about how we could do things better, differently, more efficiently, and more cost effectively. Now, more than ever, is the time to bring those forward. Please email [email protected] or call me anytime (804-501-4805). Every dollar we save today is one we can invest tomorrow.

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Understanding the Stress/Health Connection

Stress exists in your mind — but it’s also evident in your stomach, heart, muscles and even your toes.

“In fact, stress may affect every cell in your body,” says Ronald Glaser, Ph.D., a researcher at Ohio State University Medical School.

During stressful times, your body produces various chemicals, including cortisol, an immune-suppressing hormone. The more cortisol produced, the weaker your immune cells become and the more susceptible you are to illness.

“A one-day stressor isn’t going to make a big change in your risk of getting a cold, for example,” says Dr. Glaser. “But a chronic stressor that lasts a few weeks could dampen your immune response and create a risk of disease.”

Migraine headaches, sleep disorders, backaches, skin rashes, fatigue, irritability, headache, depression, worry, mood swings, chest pain, anxiety, upset stomach, ulcers, and high blood pressure are common reactions to stress.

By gaining a better understanding of the stress/disease connection, you can reduce your stress and, in turn, improve your health and well-being.

Keeping stress in check

No one can avoid all stress — and a certain amount actually is good for you. But it’s best to keep unhealthy levels in check.

The following steps can help you control everyday stress:

  • Recognize your stress signals. Once you’re aware of your stressors, you’ll have a better idea of when you’re stressed and can take steps to reduce them.
  • Notice when you’re most vulnerable to stress and prepare yourself. Are you most affected in the mornings? On Mondays? In the winter?
  • Exercise. Aerobic workouts — walking, cycling, swimming, or running — can release pent-up frustrations while producing endorphins, brain chemicals that counteract stress.
  • Eat a healthful diet. A balanced diet can help stabilize your mood.
  • Communicate with friends and family. Social ties relieve stress and contribute to a positive attitude.
  • Spend time enjoying your hobbies. Doing so allows you to focus on a pleasurable activity instead of your problems.
  • Try relaxation techniques. Meditation, creative imagery, visualization, deep-breathing exercises, yoga, and listening to relaxation tapes can help you relax.
  • Learn to set limits. Don’t agree to unnecessary, stressful obligations.
  • Get enough sleep. Stress interferes with relaxation, making it hard to get a good night’s sleep, which can lead to fatigue and a reduced ability to cope. To get the best sleep possible, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Steer clear of caffeine. Caffeine can add to your anxiety, making you feel even more stressed.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs. Using alcohol or other drugs to relieve stress only masks symptoms and can worsen stress in the long run.
  • Learn something new. The excitement of learning something new, such as how to speak a different language or play a musical instrument, can make your worries seem far away.
  • Take a breather. Stressful situations can make you breathe more shallowly or hold your breath. When you have to relax fast, belly breathing can be done in seconds. To do it: Concentrate on making your abdomen move out as you inhale through your nose, then in as you exhale. Using imagery as you belly breathe can help you further deepen and slow the pace of your breathing. As you inhale, close your eyes and imagine the air swirling into your nose and down into your lungs. As you exhale, imagine the air swirling back out again.

Combating serious stress

“In combating serious stress, you should first carefully appraise the seriousness of the situation and the adequacy of your coping resources,” says Kenneth B. Matheny, Ph.D., A.B.P.P., director of counseling psychology at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

When faced with a highly stressful event in your life — perhaps the death of a loved one, a life-threatening illness or a serious financial loss — the following strategies will help you cope:

  • Avoid unnecessary changes in your life. Instead, reserve what energy you do have for dealing with the stressor at hand. If possible, stabilize your work and home environments while working out the primary problem.
  • Quiet your mind. In times of stress, the mind makes things seem worse than they are by creating endless versions of impending disaster. Because the body can’t tell the difference between fact and fantasy, it responds with heightened physical response.
  • Keep in the present. You can calm both your mind and body by keeping your mind in the present, which is seldom as stressful as an imagined future or regrettable past. To keep your mind in the present, focus your attention on your breathing, a sound or visual pattern, a repetitive movement, or meditation.
  • Courageously and aggressively face the stressor. Resist any temptation to ignore the stressor. Instead, carefully appraise the seriousness of the problem without magnifying it out of proportion. In addition, confirm your view of the stressor by talking with others. Make a special effort to speak to family, friends, or co-workers who have dealt with similar experiences.
  • Take inventory of your coping responses. Confidence is a valuable ally in combating stress, and it builds on memories of past successes. Review successes you’ve had with other stressful life situations. Recall some of the specific things you did to cope.
  • Take action. Commit yourself to a reasonable course of action to deal with the stressor. Action is a powerful stress-reducer. Research shows the body lowers its production of epinephrine, a powerful stress hormone, when a person shifts into action.
  • Take time out to relax. At least once or twice a day, take time to decompress by relaxing — perhaps by listening to soothing music, taking a walk, gardening, reading, or exercising.

The StayWell Company, LLC ©2020

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