Healthy Lamoille Valley is pleased to invite all parents/caregivers to our monthly Parent Cafe Series.  These monthly gatherings are designed to highlight a community resource or parenting skill and then encourage conversation with other parents/caregivers from around the region. Join us on the first Thursday of each month from 4:30-5:30pm on Zoom!   Learn more and register at

On February 4th, the topic was “Permission Granted: parent wellness in the time of COVID” with guest Alison Link, Healthy Lamoille Valley’s Policy and Outreach Coordinator.

In the first of this monthly Parent Cafes, Alison shared some encouragement to make space to enjoy life’s many moments, thoughts to consider related to enhancing leisure, reflective exercises, and tips.

Session Resources

Download Alison’s Wellness Wheel Activity here!

Alison’s tips for self-care and leisure:

  1. Expectations evolve and change
  2. Give yourself permission
  3. Gain awareness
  4. Prioritize
  5. Don’t wait! The time for self-care and leisure is now!
  6. Plan
  7. Talk about it!

Final thoughts:

  • Put self-care and leisure on the top of your list (or at the very least, ON your list —
    When we practice more self-care and leisure, we can better cope with whatever
    comes our way.)
  • We must listen to ourselves and find healthy ways to meet our needs — our leisure
    and self-care extends beyond ourselves into our relationships, spaces, and
  • Focus on your health. In uncertain times, an emphasis on your leisure and self-
    care can be what is ‘known,” creating feelings of safety.
  • Even in this pandemic reality, we need to remember that we do have choices, and
    we do indeed make decisions. Everyday, we can take steps to be more in control
    and choose what is best for our overall health and for our enjoyment of life.
  • We can do our best to set the pace of our lives, our meetings, etc. Schedule and
    take breaks, and focus on what brings fulfillment. Even a few minutes can make a
  • Leisure and self-care efforts are cumulative, small manageable changes from
    different angles add up.
  • Leisure can be its own activity or infused into another activity — therefore possibly
    being secondary benefit or goal.
  • Leisure benefits could come from making something obligated feel more like
  • You may find that the benefits of caring for yourself and giving permission to
    experience leisure come from unexpected places.
  • Set leisure goals. Try things out and learn along the way… you may find leisure
    in the process itself.
  • Organize your time around what you love and help others do the same!
    What we spend time on expands, make self-care and leisure some of those things.
  • Your health and that of those around you are worth it!
About Alison:
Dr. Alison Link is an adjunct professor, international presenter, consultant and specialist in leisure education as well as the Policy and Community Outreach Coordinator for Healthy Lamoille Valley, our local substance misuse prevention coalition.  You can learn more of Alison’s leisure specialty at Alison is mom to three adventuresome kids, is married to Rabbi David Fainsilber (of the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe) and is actively involved in her community of Morristown, VT. Alison loves cooking, baking, playing music, pursuing social justice, being outdoors, creating art and especially these days, dance parties with her family!  When you meet Alison, be ready for one of her favorite questions: “How’s your leisure life?”

We’d love to hear from you!  Did you find this video helpful?  We’d love to see you at an upcoming Parent Cafe workshop and discussion!  Learn more and register at