Kickstart Your Self-Care with Free Online Workshops from COVID Support VT

Want to kickstart your new-year wellness? Looking for inspiration to take charge of your mental well-being? Maybe your self-care resolutions have already faltered, and you want to get back on track. You’re not alone. We’ve got you covered.

Three of COVID Support VT’s most popular expert-led workshops are back for replays.

  • Wellness through Art with Vermont artist Jen Berger: Jan. 19 at 6 p.m.
  • Parenting to Promote Mental Health and Wellness in Children and Youth with licensed psychologist Cath Burns: Jan. 26 at 5 p.m.
  • Nutrition, Gut Health & Mental Wellness with Vermont nutritionist Susie Polgreen: Feb. 2 at 4 p.m.

The three special sessions were so well received the first time they were offered that we’ve brought back the experts for anyone who missed them. They are part of COVID Support VT’s suite of wellness workshops that are offered daily on a range of topics. 

Creating Wellness Through Creativity

Wellness Through Art features Vermont artist Jen Berger, founder and owner of Burlington-based At the Root. She will guide participants in experiential creative expression grounded in mindfulness. Using prompts to inspire creativity, she hopes to demystify “art” for people who may not feel like “artists” and help people understand that creativity is accessible to all. She encourages participants to let go of their preconceptions about what art is, or whether they’re “good” at it.  She would also like people to release any attachment to the end result of their expression. This will allow the creative process to unfold naturally.

“Come equipped with anything you want to make art with. It doesn’t have to be traditional art supplies.”

~ Cath Burns, Ph.D., clinical supervisor for COVID Support VT

“For many people, ‘making art’ can seem like something unattainable or really hard. But you really don’t need a lot of materials or a lot of experience to tap into that creative spirit,” she says. “Just giving yourself space to do that is one of the most amazing self-care practices. It can help us feel more aligned and more present for the rest of our lives.”

Learn more about Jen Berger’s workshop in our blog: Tapping into Creativity in Crisis.

Register for Wellness through Art with Jen Berger on Jan. 19.

12 Steps to Family Wellness

Parenting to Promote Mental Health and Wellness in Children and Youth is led by COVID Support VT clinical supervisor Cath Burns, a licensed psychologist. Burns offers practical strategies for helping kids cope, survive, and thrive with resilience in the face of hardship and unprecedented difficulty. 

“Our kids are swimming in the soup of this pandemic right when they’re supposed to be figuring out who they are and what they’re about,” says Burns, who is also quality director for Vermont Care Partners. “They haven’t been able to practice a lot of critical skills that develop during childhood and adolescence.”

“I want parents to know that there are a lot of things they can do for themselves and their kids that could really make a difference in their kids’ mental health.”

~ Cath Burns, Ph.D., clinical supervisor for COVID Support VT

In the workshop, Burns lays out a 12-step guide to family wellness. Step No. 1 is to model self-care and healthy coping for children. “Our kids are watching us – for better or worse. If you are taking care of yourself and modeling that for your kids, they will notice that. Let them learn healthy habits from you.” 

Learn more about Cath Burns’ workshop in our blog, Parenting for Mental Health and Wellness.

Register for the workshop, Parenting to Promote Health and Wellbeing in Children and Youth, Jan. 26 with Cath Burns.

Why Gut Health Matters to Wellness

In Nutrition, Gut Health and Mental Wellness, Vermont-based dietitian Susie Polgreen, a gut-health specialist at Whole Health Nutrition in Colchester, will explore the interplay between emotional well-being and dietary practices. Participants will learn about the link between the gut and brain, and how poor gut health can affect one’s mental health. Polgreen will share practical ways to improve gut health with whole foods and advice for doing so on a budget.

The gut-brain connection is the subject of intense research to sort out the many ways that the food we take in helps — or hinders — our mental and overall well-being. “It’s important to recognize the signs of poor gut health,” Polgreen says. Diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, and acid reflux are typical GI symptoms. Beyond the gut, Polgreen says other symptoms might include skin problems such as rash or eczema, joint pain and “creakiness,” and “intense, almost zombie-like brain fog.” 

 “A lot of people are surprised that the symptoms of leaky gut can extend beyond the GI system.”

~ Susie Polgreen, R.D., gut-health specialist at Whole Health Nutrition, Colchester

Learn more about the gut health workshop, read Food and Mood: Gut Health for Mental Wellness.

Register for Nutrition, Gut Health and Mental Wellness on Feb. 2.

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Need to Talk?

Call 2-1-1 (option #2) or 866-652-4636 (option #2) for free, confidential, one-on-one counseling. Our Support Counselors are available Monday – Friday. 

In Crisis? 

If you or someone you care for is experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, you can: call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-825; text VT to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor 24/7; connect with your local community mental health center for 24/7 support. 

Find Help

Find resources and tools for coping with stress at www.COVIDSupportVT.org. Follow COVID Support VT on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And to stay up-to-date, sign up for our newsletter and blog.

Learn about upcoming Wellness Workshops from COVID Support VT, and Town Halls we’re hosting in partnership with community organizations.

One-click translation to 100 languages of most everything on the COVIDSupportVT.org website, plus Multilingual Resources & downloadable materials in 10 languages common to Vermont’s New American immigrant and refugee communities. 

Find your local community mental health center by visiting Vermont Care Partners.

COVID Support VT is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency, managed by Vermont’s Department of Mental Health, and administered by Vermont Care Partners, a statewide network of 16 non-profit community-based agencies providing mental health, substance use, and intellectual and developmental disability services and supports. 

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