HOLIDAY CLOSURE: The Health & Fitness Center will be closed on Sunday, April 17th, in observance of Easter.

Following the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), fitness members will no longer be required to wear a mask while in the Health & Fitness Center (HFC), however masks are highly encouraged. Read our full Covid-19 policy.

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Toxic Stress Levels on the Rise

With the intense coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial for the murder of George Floyd, it’s no wonder that stress levels throughout our community are on the rise.

In the early 2000’s, the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child coined the term “toxic stress” to describe those stresses that ”get under our skin” and trigger biological reactions that affect our immune systems, metabolic regulatory systems, and cardiovascular systems. In its study, the Council defined violence in a child’s community, as well as experiences with racism and chronic poverty, as stress triggers.

Toxic stress can prompt an excessive and long-lasting stress response, creating wear-and-tear on our body, like revving a car engine for days or weeks at a time. The body’s stress response doesn’t distinguish between overt threats, it just recognizes when there is a threat, and goes on high alert.

The toxic stress that has been triggered by racism in this country is taking its toll. When a person’s “fight-flight-freeze” stress response system is in overdrive, it wreaks havoc on our brain and bodies. We can’t think straight. We don’t sleep well. We feel wound up all the time. It’s not good for us!

As the Chauvin trial continues to dominate the news cycle, here are tips for combatting the toxic stress levels building in our bodies and our community:

  • Process your thoughts and emotions regularly. Be aware of what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling the way you do. This will enable the executive function systems in your brain to do their job and help you better respond to the stressors.
  • Protect your kids. Little ones and teenagers alike need help processing what they’re thinking and feeling. Check in regularly.  Ask them, every day, what they are thinking and feeling – talking it through in a safe environment with someone they trust will help them cope.
  • Pause periodically to reconnect with those you love. Making time to reconnect with the people who love you and support you is vital for long-term success in this struggle. When we connect with those we love, we release oxytocin into our brains and bodies. This hormone helps our bodies manage toxic stress. And there’s no better time to start managing that stress than today!

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June Blood Drive

Getting involved with your community can be as simple as donating blood! Sign up to give on Friday, June 17, at YWCA St. Paul with

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YWCA St. Paul Launches 2022 Stand Against Racism Challenge

The Stand Against Racism Challenge is a national initiative of YWCA USA. Developed by YWCA Greater Cleveland (and previously known as the 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge), YWCA St. Paul first offered the Challenge in 2020, localizing content for our community and working to expand the impact of this unique learning opportunity.

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Annual Sweet Success Fundraiser | May 26, 2022

Along with entertainment, the 30-minute fundraiser will honor the successes of our program participants and celebrate our 2022 Change Maker Angela Davis, a five-time regional Emmy award winner for anchoring and breaking news and the host of MPR News with Angela Davis, while offering YOU the opportunity to support YWCA St. Paul’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women.

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