Healthier Living Workshop

Living with a chronic or life-long health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, COPD, arthritis, or chronic pain is never easy or straightforward. Your life can be a series of physical and emotional ups and downs and can change at any moment.

The Healthier Living Workshop is a free, six-week workshop in southern Vermont that was created by Stanford University and is sponsored through a grant from the Vermont Blueprint for Health. This workshop can help you manage those twists and turns and provide you with the tools and skills to live the best life possible every day.

The idea behind the Healthier Living Workshop is simple: take control of what you can to better manage your health. Of course, there will be some things you can’t control with a chronic health condition: the fact that you have the disease, for example. However, there are many more things you CAN take control over such as your stress level; how you communicate about your illness with your medical team and your loved ones; how active you are and what nutrients you get from your food; how and when you set limits for others; and how to create small and doable goals for yourself.

The workshops are led by certified leaders who know what it’s like to have a chronic condition because they do too. The sessions are confidential and taught in a way that is not pushy, but is information-packed. It’s fun and interactive, and many who’ve taken the workshop have called it “truly life-changing.”

Interestingly, no matter what physical illness people come to the class with, participants find common ground when they begin discussing their diseases. Many discover they share an emotional or physical symptom with one or more other participants. Many are able to finally talk about the anger, fear, depression, and frustration that go along with having a chronic condition.

In the Healthier Living Workshop, you come at your illness from all angles. You choose what you want to focus on. Participants are exposed to a number of new ideas for managing symptoms and everyone finds an idea or two or more that works for them. Participants also receive a free resource book and relaxation CD that offer even more information about the topics discussed.

Are you someone who has a chronic condition or who is the support person for someone who has one? The Healthier Living Workshop offers that first step to taking more control and living a happier, healthier life.

New workshops are starting in March and April at the Left Bank in N. Bennington and in Bennington. Find out today how you or someone you care about can start the journey to healthier living. You must preregister to attend a workshop and seats go fast. For more information, to see if the Healthier Living Workshop is right for you, and to preregister, call (802) 440-4098 or email

Eileen Druckenmiller is a Vermont Blueprint for Health regional coordinator for the Healthier Living Workshops.” Health Matters” is a weekly column meant to educate readers about their personal health, public health matters, and public policy as it affects health care.