Resolutions: Mental health is key, says Jan Calder

Jan Calder, chief health and wellness officer at the Asheville YWCA

What do you see as the top health challenge facing WNC?

We’ve been involved with CHIP, the community health improvement plan, and some of the objectives that have been identified for the next few years are mental health (which ties to the severe opioid epidemic), maternal health and infant mortality. We support that here through our women’s empowerment program. Diabetes is also a national and local concern. We address that at the YWCA with our diabetes wellness and prevention program.

What’s the best thing you’ve done for your own health lately?

Sleep. I’m making sure I have an inviting and comfortable sleep environment. The room is dark, the temperature is correct, and I don’t have technology in my bedroom at all. I’m being really intentional about going to bed early, based on what time I get up, so I can get eight hours because that’s what I need to function well.

Is there something new you plan to do to boost your health in 2019?

We have an intern from A-B Tech who will be leading a boxing class here at the YWCA, and I’m thinking about taking that. We also have new Schwinn spin bikes in our renovated fitness center, and I’m going to try that as well. I’ve always ridden my bicycle outside.

What piece of advice would you give others to help them have a happier, healthier new year?

What is very helpful is to set goals that are specific with a time limitation, so that one can wrap one’s arms around that. I also think it’s important to plan for tomorrow but then take a step back and live in the present. Most anxiety and depression come from thinking about the future or the past. When you’re living in the moment, you’re much more likely to be happy.

 Jan Calder is the chief health and wellness officer at the Asheville YWCA.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Kim Dinan
Kim Dinan is a freelance writer and author of The Yellow Envelope. She lives in WNC with her husband and daughter. Follow me @kimdinan

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.