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Reflecting on July's NJPN Peer Confab

Since 2020, NJPN has hosted support sessions – or Confabs – with NJ peers working or volunteering in recovery settings. These informal chats feature guest speakers and cover universal recovery topics that guide solution-based discussions and assist in the promotion of self-care, health, and wellness.

July's Confab topic was Summertime Selfcare with guest speaker Jaime Angelini, Statewide Director of Suicide Prevention, Crisis Response and Special Projects at Mental Health Association in NJ, discussing the introduction of tools to build personal resilience to thrive during the summer. Jaime reviewed the stress continuum and introduced strategies to promote enhanced overall emotional well-being.

July Confab Speaker Jamie Angelini

During Confab, we had the opportunity to evaluate our resiliency using the eight dimensions of wellness and to identify areas for cultivation and nourishment of personal growth. This provided a safe space for reflection, with Jaime posing a question to the group: "If you had an extra hour each day, what would you do?"

The answers varied from spending more time reading to going outdoors, with the collective variation in answers assisting in new ways to think about the eight dimensions of wellness and daily self-care practices.

As I began to process what I would do with an extra hour each day, I found myself moving between scenarios and into a place of deep introspection. After time spent reflecting, my extra hour each day focused on family and loved ones, creative endeavors, or simply for a bit of extra rest.

The outcome and personal takeaways from the Confab prompted ideas for balance and prioritizing self-care. I asked myself: based within the social, environmental, and physical dimensions of wellness, what does it look like to spend time within my day visiting loved ones, beginning a creative project, or simply the time to rest and recharge?

This question carried me into the upcoming days and weeks as I began actionable steps within my day to prioritize and achieve the vision I had created during the Confab.

I’m curious to know your thoughts; if you had an extra hour each day, what would you do?

Jenna Reidy is a person in sustained recovery from a substance use disorder since 2008 and is a Peer Recovery Workforce Development Trainer at NJPN. She is a nationally certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist (NCPRSS) and has earned the National Diversity Council Certified Diversity Professional designation (NDCCDP). Jenna believes in being of service and values her multiple volunteer roles within her local community. She enjoys going on outdoor adventures with her dog, supporting the peer workforce through her role at NJPN, and prioritizes self-care through work life balance including taking breaks to recharge by spending time with her family and friends.

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