Henrico Libraries helps Change a Child’s Story

 Henrico CASA and the Henrico County Public Library have discovered an affinity, their affection for stories. You may think of the library’s fondness for stories in the form of books. But their mission extends to not only promote reading, but to enrich community life. CASA’s devotion to story is different. Their work focuses on the stories of individual children who have experienced abuse or neglect. They can’t change the past for these children, but they can change their futures by advocating for their needs in the present.

This April, the Library hosted one of CASA’s Home for Good® playhouses at their Libbie Mill branch. Barbara F. Weedman, Director of the Henrico County Public Library, said, “Henrico County Public Library is honored to be a part of this wonderful project in support of CASA and Henrico’s children. What better, natural fit than “A Magic Treehouse” playhouse with a storybook theme created by youth at CTE at Henrico County Public Schools, for library visitors and families to see at Libbie Mill Library! We love being a part of this collaboration and hope it is of great benefit to CASA, kids, and the community.”  

And a great benefit it was! Through the Home for Good® event, Henrico CASA expects to meet its goal of raising $150,000, which funds court advocacy for 100 additional children this year. This funding is crucial because 223 children have already been appointed to CASA by Henrico’s judges in 2024. This is a 10% increase over last year and is expected to continue to grow as a result of challenges facing families in our community. The success of Home for Good® in terms of raising funds and recruiting volunteers allows CASA to meet these rising needs. Together we can ensure every child in Henrico County has a safe, healthy home.

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Henrico County Employee Health: Cold vs Allergies

With flu season coming to an end, many are looking forward to warmer weather and less sick days. But we are often surprised when cold symptoms appear during the spring and summer months. The

all-too-familiar symptoms of cough, congestion, runny nose, and sore throat often threaten to ruin our summer plans. So how do you know when you are sick or when you have allergies? A cold is caused by a virus and may involve symptoms such as fever, body aches, fatigue, and green or yellow mucus. If you believe that you have a cold, you may choose to seek medical care or consultation. Treatment options will vary based on severity, but symptoms will typically resolve within 7-10 days. It is important to remember that if you are feeling unwell and have a fever, you should stay home to avoid spreading the virus to others around you. If you are experiencing allergy symptoms, you may also speak with a healthcare provider to discuss individualized treatment options. This may include over-the-counter medications for allergy relief such as Claritin, Zyrtec, or Allegra. Avoiding common allergens altogether might also be helpful in reducing the severity of symptoms. For example, wearing a mask while cutting grass may lessen the symptoms for someone who experiences outdoor seasonal allergies. Whether it is allergies or the common cold, Henrico County Employee Health Services are here to support you! We offer same day appointments for colds and seasonal allergies. Give us a call at 804-501-1600 to make an appointment or to speak with a qualified medical professional today.

Cold vs. Allergies

Seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis, can mimic cold symptoms but there are ways to tell them apart. Here are some questions you can ask yourself before heading to your medical provider or employee healthcare clinic.

  1. When did my symptoms begin? Allergy symptoms have an abrupt onset, while cold symptoms develop gradually over a few days.
  2. How long have I been feeling this way? If symptoms have persisted longer than ten days, then it might be allergies.
  3. What symptoms am I experiencing? Itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose are likely allergies, while aches, pains, and FEVER suggest a cold.

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Five Tips to De-Stress

Are you experiencing too much stress in your life? Is it affecting your health, emotional wellness, or quality of life?

It is normal to experience the ups and downs of stress, and stress can even help us to learn and grow. But if our stress is greater than our ability to handle it, meaning that our stress starts to affect our mental, emotional, or physical wellbeing, it can be considered chronic stress and is something that we might want to address.

If you are experiencing chronic stress, there are likely many reasons, from social and environmental factors (like financial stress, employment issues, relationship stressors, or stressful living conditions) to personal factors (like physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual reasons). It can be important to acknowledge that many of our reasons for chronic stress may come from situations we have little control over, and have had little to no part in creating, like the current state of society or of the natural environment. 

When our world is out of balance, we become affected by it. And while changing the larger state of our world or society takes time and collective action, there is so much that we can do in the meantime within our own personal lives to help to reduce our stress and increase our happiness and quality of life.

Don’t have much time? Don’t have much money? Here are things you can do that don’t take a lot of time or money to help with chronic stress:

  1. Take care of your body. Go for a daily walk. Even if it’s for 10 minutes, just walk, get some air, give your body some light movement, and your mind a rest. If possible, choose a place to walk with some nature or some beauty. Try this guided walking meditation today.
  2. Breathe. Sighing releases stress and tension. Try taking some deep breaths throughout the day, followed by a long, deep, audible sigh. It helps! Really want to take it deeper? Try sighing repeatedly until it makes you yawn. This is a great thing to do while lying in bed before sleep! Here’s a short video on breathing to calm stress and anxiety.
  3. Meditate. Taking 5 minutes out of your day for a simple meditation is a great way to destress. Try this podcast for an easy and effective place to start!
  4. Go to bed at a decent time. According to traditional Chinese medicine (my personal expertise), not only is having enough sleep important, but the times we sleep can make a big difference as well. Being in deep sleep between the hours of 11pm and 1am is important for getting deep restoration and repair. Here are our resource picks for better sleep.
  5. Release your day every night. Spend some time before you go to sleep every night reviewing and letting go of your day. When you are sitting in bed, or lying down, let your day come into your awareness. Is there anything that stands out, anything that is still causing you stress? Breath in, being present with the experience that’s causing you stress. As you breath out, visualize the experience drifting farther and farther away from you, until it disappears into the distance. Do this a few times, with whatever feels stressful for you, until your day feels neutral. Then, enjoy a restful sleep!

For even more resources, check out our list of stress relief resources.

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