NCH Healthcare System brought the BLUE ZONES Project to Southwest Florida in 2015 to help inspire and educate members of our community to live a healthier, longer and ultimately more productive life. Since the BZP began, thousands of individuals and organizations throughout the region have made momentous strides to help make healthy choices easier for Southwest Florida residents. But the 2020 pandemic challenged our well-being on many fronts. The five elements associated with higher well-being, as defined by Gallup: purpose, social, financial, physical and community aspects of life — were all significantly impacted. Even the most fortunate struggled in ways we couldn’t have foreseen.
Volunteers suddenly disconnected from the purposeful work they do in the community. Family, friends and business colleagues became socially isolated. Too many businesses and employees found themselves financially challenged. Healthcare needs were put on hold causing chronic diseases to go unchecked. Anxiety and depression crept in and, sadly, too many lost loved ones.
Like countless other organizations dedicated to the health and well-being of our citizens, members of the BLUE ZONES project, Southwest Florida pivoted to help with the launch of a new initiative called Resilient Southwest Florida. The goal of this initiative is to connect those in need with those who can help simply by logging on to https://www.resilientswfl.com. Whether someone could use a little coaching about surviving and thriving in uncertain times, is seeking a healthcare provider to address physical or mental health issues, needs a resource such as food, housing or financial support, or is a business looking for tools to improve the health of their company, including their most vulnerable commodity, their employees, Resilient Southwest Florida offers the tools to help.
We’ve all been impacted by the pandemic in some way. The Resilient Southwest Florida website gives us all an opportunity to assess the current status of our well-being. For example, click on the RealAge tool and, based on your answers to a series of health-related questions, you will learn your functional age. We all know our chronological age, but how “old” is our body? Some of us may realize the stressors of the past year have “aged” us or maybe we’ll be fortunate to learn our functional age is younger than our chronological age. Either way, what we learn can be a motivator. In addition, the RealAge tool gives us an option to receive nudges to support our well-being.
If your diet is suffering, you may receive healthy nutrition tips or if you haven’t been physically active, you’ll likely get encouragement to move more often. The app also has relaxation and anti-anxiety information, financial tools and COVID-19 care information so we can stay up-to-date on the latest guidance. It’s a free tool and it’s pretty cool! You can take it today and then reassess your well-being in three to six months. Can you lower your real age? Can you get back years lost due to stress? The RealAge tool is just one of many tools on Resilient Southwest Florida that can be of help.
Submitted by: Bill Barker/ Barker Strategic Solutions, Scott Burgess/ David Lawrence Behavioral Health Centers, Michael Dalby/ Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, Paul Hiltz/ NCH Healthcare System, Emily Ptaszek/ Healthcare Network, Andy Robinson/ CRG Leadership Institute, Steve Sanderson/ United Way of Collier and the Keys, Michael Wynn/ Sunshine Ace Hardware