Thank you for joining us for our first-ever virtual wellness workshop, “The Art of Living Well.” We hope you learned some practical tips to help you lead a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life. Below we’ve compiled some key takeaways from our presenters.

Gardening 101

Horticulture experts, Doug Palmer and Catherine Tween shared their tips, including what to grow and when, where to get your gardening supplies, and how to start your own garden. Their top gardening tips:

  • Get Your Soil Tested: Doing a soil analysis can help you determine what nutrients are in your soil and what you may need to add for your plants to truly thrive. If you live in Connecticut, you can get your soil tested for free through The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.
  • Pick the Right Plant: Before picking what vegetable, fruit, herb, or flower you want to grow, think about the climate you are in, how much light your garden gets, and how much room your plants will have to grow.
  • Try Containers: If you live in the city or you’re simply low on space, consider starting your garden by using small pots you can keep indoors (near a window), or on a balcony.

Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils & Acupressure

Acupuncturist Sophia Hartell demonstrated how combining essential oils and acupressure can help improve immunity, aid digestive issues, relieve migraines, and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. You can learn more about the many benefits of essential oils in Sophia’s blog post: Essential Oils for Addiction Recovery.

Sophia’s Favorite Essential Oils:

Recommended Reading:

Interested in learning more about essential oils and acupressure? Check out the following books:

  • A Complete Guide to Understanding and Using Aromatherapy for Vibrant Health and Beauty by Roberta Wilson
  • Acupressure’s Potent Points -A guide to self-care for Common Ailments by Michael Reed Gach

Eating for a Healthier You

Diet can play an important part in how we feel physically and mentally. During our event, nutritionist Victoria Murno provided some tips to help you increase your energy, enhance your mood, and improve your overall health. For a full recap on how to establish a healthy eating routine, how to meal plan, and what you should reduce from your diet, check out our Nutrition101 post.

Want to try out Victoria’s No Bake Energy Bites recipe? Click here to view the recipe.

Authenticity & Personal Empowerment

Licensed Clinical Social Worker and mindfulness expert Lisa Westerson helped us get in touch with what we truly want and need with a simple exercise called SNAP. If you missed it, you can try the exercise below. By completing the SNAP exercise, you may help yourself and others understand your individual needs and choices and what talents and skills you have that you may utilize to make the changes you want. As this is person-centered, it is considered the most effective way to make change.

SNAP Activity: 

Take a piece of blank 8×10 paper and fold into four sections.  Open this up and utilize this to note your SNAP answers.

Label each section or quadrant with an S (Strengths), N or O (Needs/Opportunities), A (Abilities) and P (preferences).

Complete each section by writing as many things you may think of for each section as follows:

  • Strengths: What personal qualities do you have that you may build upon?
  • Needs/Opportunities: What would help you achieve your goals? What quality are you looking to strengthen?  What are your opportunities?
  • Abilities: What skills do you currently possess?  What do you like to do?
  • Preferences: How do you want to accomplish your objectives? What do you prefer? How do you learn best?

Review and utilize to develop your own individualized objectives and goals.

Look Good & Feel Great

Famous grooming guru and Project Runway star Gregory Patterson gave some tips on how to look your best, and improve your self-confidence. Below are some key takeaways you can start applying today.

  • Start the morning by taking time for yourself. Whether it’s by meditating, writing in your journal, or cooking yourself a healthy breakfast, doing something for your self-care sets a positive tone for your day.
  • Don’t neglect your skin. Not only is skin the largest organ you have but it is also one of the first things that someone notices when they first meet you. Make sure your skin looks healthy and refreshed by showing it some TLC. An easy way to do that is by using sugar and olive oil to create an at-home face scrub to gently exfoliate your skin. Want to truly change your skin? Gregory recommends using a micro-needle derma roller to help you amplify the benefits of your skincare routine.
  • Put in the work. Just like with recovery, self-care and beauty routines require you to consistently put in the work in order to see results. Change doesn’t happen overnight.

Getting Back to Work

Recovery coaches Michael Ahearn and Ean Szalan revealed the obstacles they faced when returning back to work after getting sober. They also shared some simple tips for applying for new jobs, maintaining work/life balance, and making sure that your career doesn’t put your recovery at risk.

Mike and Ean’s top career tips:

  • When applying for jobs, send your resume out on a Sunday night. This will ensure that it is one of the first things the hiring manager sees Monday morning, preventing your email from getting lost.
  • Make connections wherever you go. You never know who could help lead you to an exciting career opportunity.
  • Remember that your recovery comes first. If your current job prevents you from attending meetings or counseling, requires you to be in a triggering environment, or leads you to be surrounded by people who could hinder your recovery, look for other options.
  • Know that you need to start somewhere. You may not have your dream job yet, but don’t give up. Keep trying new things until you find the right fit for you and your recovery.

Event Information

This was a fundraising event. All ticket sales were donated to Urban Pathways, a NYC-based non-profit organization committed to helping underserved and at-risk individuals build a brighter future.

Support Groups

It is often said that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, but connection. Having a strong support system is paramount to your sobriety and recovery journey. At Mountainside, we offer a wide range of in-person and virtual support groups for individuals in recovery and friends and families with loved ones in recovery. These groups are designed to help you stay connected to like-minded individuals regardless of where you are.

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