Local | Mind, Body & Spirit

Surprise package adds to CHAI Circle 16th annual retreat, held online

Members of CHAI Circle, a support group facilitated by Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona for women in the Jewish community with a history of cancer, received a surprise self-care package as part of the group's 16th annual retreat, held via Zoom on Nov. 8. (Photo courtesy Jewish Family & Children's Services of Southern Arizona)

CHAI Circle held its 16th annual retreat, “A Day of Connecting and Self-Care,” on Sunday, Nov. 8 through Zoom, with 33 participants.  With CHAI  standing for “Cancer, Healing, and Inspiration,” the circle is a support group for women with cancer in the Jewish community, whether they are newly diagnosed or are long-term survivors.

Maria Sirois, Psy.D., the keynote speaker, presented “Positivity in Uncertain Times,” highlighting that what had been true prior to the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer true for many people in the realms of work, love, health, community, and meaning. Research in the last two decades demonstrates that those who know how to sustain a grounded optimism, cultivate pleasure and meaning, and build better, happier moments are more resilient, successful, and satisfied in life.

Sirois is an inspirational speaker, consultant, and licensed psychologist who has worked in the fields of resilience and positive psychology for more than 20 years. Through her clinical work, she brings positive psychology and mind/body medicine to families and children facing terminal illness, and to the staff who care for them. She is the author of two books: “A Short Course in Happiness After Loss” and “Every Day Counts.”

Chair yoga, self-massage and a Buff Bones class also were offered during the retreat.

Each attendee received a self-care package in advance of the retreat, which, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, was delivered to each attendees’ home by Handi-car.

CHAI Circle is a program of Jewish Family & Children’s Services.