Avery’s Motto: “I don’t have weekday’s in my calendar – only strong days”
In 2019, I wrote a book about my son Avery called “This is Depression” to warn families about the dangers of mental health and depression. In the book, I offer some advice I think we could all use today as we navigate these challenging times of forced isolation in a global pandemic caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19). Here is an excerpt:
If you have trouble expressing yourself, find another way. Write it down. Get outdoors. Exercise. Paint or draw. Figure out whatever works for you.
Although no longer here in the physical sense, Avery left is mark and his words.
The quote on the profile page of his Facebook page is a reminder to us all:
“I don’t have weekdays in my calendar – only strong days.” – Avery Burton
Avery was a three-sport athlete in high school, became a certified personal trainer, worked out religiously and earned a blue belt in jujitsu during college. And oh yeah, he somehow found time to make the deans list while earning a degree in kinesiological sciences working full time in the campus recreation center at UNLV. I believe he used his motto to help prepare himself mentally and physically for the never ending grind that college can be for many students.
And for good reason: 1 in 4 college students suffers from depression according to some studies.
In 2018, we with the help of the Public Education Foundation, a non-profit organization in Las Vegas, we started the Avery Burton Foundation Excellence in Sports and Academics Scholarship at Foothill High School. We asked applicants to write an essay on how they have been able to manage adversity.
In 2020, tens of thousands seniors will be graduating from high school and college without being to participate in traditional ceremonies due to COVID-19 and CDC guidelines for “physical distancing” to reduce the spread. With all of the isolation and anxiety, mental health officials have seen an increase in calls to crisis hotlines: 1 in 5 persons say they are experiencing depression and anxiety.
Now more than ever, it’s important to remember Avery’s words and motto. Cloak yourself in an armor of protection against the toll on mental health from COVID-19. Stay active, busy and together even while we are staying apart from each other.
If you or someone you know is struggling, we have included resources on this website to help connect you with a professional.
And remember, try and avoid scheduling any weekdays in your calendar – only strong ones.