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You aren’t any help to anyone if you don’t take care of yourself

You aren’t any help to anyone if you don’t take care of yourself

Like everyone else, I’ve been thrown into a topsy turvy new existence where up no longer feels like up, and information flows faster than I can digest. My natural instinct is to be connected and available at all times, but during this pandemic, I’m attempting to find a better balance.  

We’re used to gearing up for a natural disaster like a hurricane — we see it coming our way, we prepare, we’re hit with it (or not) and then life gets back to normal. 

This pandemic is much different, and in order to be of value to my organization, friends, family, and community, I decided I had to find a way to take time for myself.

And you know what, when I looked around my community, I was amazed at all the ways people and organizations were stepping up and offering respite from the crisis.

  • Kurbside KONA. With events cancelled and schools moved online, how does a business like KONA Ice survive? Set up a schedule and offer curbside deliveries to neighborhoods. Families are creating sidewalk chalk welcome messages for the KONA truck to “Stop here,” and it’s a big boost in our socially distanced world.

  • Guerilla sidewalk marketing. My mom organized this one for the family. We went out on the bike trail with a big bag of sidewalk chalk. None of us are exceptional artists, but we covered a decent distance on the trail just writing messages of encouragement and drawing simple pictures. Was fun to see the faces on the walkers and cyclists as they came upon our messages and drawings.

  • Yoga in the park (or online). Some of our local yoga instructors have organized small group free (donations accepted) beginner yoga opportunities in our public parks. I invited my office team to go one morning, and about half took me up on it. It didn’t matter how pretty or ugly one’s yoga poses, we laughed a lot….so much that the instructor probably wished we had just come and taken a walk around the park instead of taking her class….but it was a perfect way to disconnect, try something different and enjoy the beauty surrounding us. I’ve noticed that some of our local fitness and martial arts studios are doing online classes for the community, and there are several online platforms that are offering free access to classes during this situation.

  • Scavenger hunts. We’ve had a Teddy Bear Parade with a local classic car club, Audubon Florida published a Florida Bird BINGO, and people are finding clever ways to engage and entertain all ages without encouraging them to gather in large groups. Online contests and games in social media groups to celebrate our local community are so uplifting.

My favorite spot to disconnect is in my own front yard. Either digging in my flower garden or sitting in my hammock watching the world go by. A nice breeze and a good book is a bonus.


Marcia Gaedcke is president of the Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce and a lifetime resident of Titusville and Brevard County. She is a passionate leader and a serial volunteer, concerned about the future of our community and economy, and is willing to roll up her sleeves and work for the betterment of Brevard.


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