How are you coping with our shared worldwide experience?
How has your perception of yourself and the world evolved?
How has COVID-19 transformed you?
I Am Waking Up
After socially distancing for several days, and working full-time from home as a psychology professor (now online), I had never felt more appreciative and grateful for all the simple joys in my life.
Walking on campus. Smiling in the hallways. Laughing with students. Chatting in the parking lot. Coffee at Starbucks. High Fives At The Gym. Wandering Freely Through Bookstores. Movies at Silver City. Buttery popcorn. Ice cold pop. A Gathering in The Park.
So much goodness that I often took for granted in the course of an ordinary day.
Every adversity, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.
What is the higher lesson in all of this?
In the video above created for a community resilience project — I share all the ways my husband John and I are thriving (instead of merely surviving) the COVID-19 crisis. Including counting our blessings like never before.
Now is the opportunity to come together as a resilient community.From the basement of our fears to the penthouse of our faith. Rising in unison. Together in strength and love.
What has COVID-19 crisis awakened in you?
How has your inner and outer life evolved?
How have you thrived and grown?
Stay Well My Friends! 🌍 🦋
“Like the butterfly, I have the hope, the strength, and the faith to believe that in time, we will emerge from our cocoon transformed.
“While traditional psychology focused its attention on pathology and problems, in the relatively new field of positive psychology, researchers strive to explore and understand the strengths of individuals and communities that contribute to their flourishing.” Source: Psychology Guide
I am passionate about what positive psychology can do for students and educators in and out of the classroom. By first focusing on what is right, before examining what is wrong, students are motivated to move beyond, and in some cases, be transformed by their current limitations, history, and circumstances.
Positive psychology is not about being happy and successful all the time. Instead, happiness is aspirational like a delicious meal at a 5 star restaurant. Wonderful but not to be expected, at every meal, all the time. (Otherwise, we set ourselves up for disappointment on the Kraft Dinner days.)
Instead, the field of positive psychology helps bring out the best in us. In a balanced way. The ebb and flow of life. Negativity is to be expected. The question is – how long do you stay there.
Safe uplifting atmosphere.
As a professor, I believe it is paramount to create a safe and uplifting atmosphere in the classroom. A secure and consistent milieu where students know what to expect class to class, week to week, semester to semester. A place where students are encouraged to build upon their existing strengths, while feeling supported enough to share their current struggles.
As I teach mostly nursing students, it is critical that I practice what I teach in and out of the classroom. Nursing students will also be responsible for creating an encouraging and safe space for their clients one day.
The yellow t-shirts are from the Yellow Umbrella Project, an Ontario wide college campaign for battling the stigma of mental illness on campus.
Positive psychology and student empowerment.
My highest goal is to work with young Canadians in a way that empowers and encourages them to become the best version of themselves. Cultivatingsuccess in a way that is unique to them. I believe that interactive lectures combined with warmth and real-life stories is the best approach for achieving this goal.
Ultimately, I hope to remind students of their gifts. While encouraging them to embrace their challenges. For we are the sum total of all that is powerful and vulnerable – within and around us. And it’s this extraordinary combination of strong and weak, good and bad, light and dark, that makes our world and our classrooms such a fascinating place to live and thrive.
In Celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month in Canada
In this video, I share an overview of my latest psychology article in The Drive Magazine (May, Issue 121). An issue devoted entirely to mental health awareness, treatment, and prevention. With the ultimate goal of ending the stigma of mental illness.
Instead of thinking of mental health as a burden to be shouldered, imagine it as an opportunity to experience peace and joy. In the same way that we make time for our physical needs (eating and sleeping) we must devote attention to our psychological needs.
Very honoured to sit down with Dr. Andrea Dinardo this week and divulge all my lemon soul questions with her. A true testament to her work as a psychologist and now psychology professor, this episode is FULL of good advice! With a deeper insight into many of our mental health struggles and the science behind how our brain is working. Furthermore diving into Dr. Dinardo’s personal life as she uncovers her fundamental inspiration for everything she does in life, her sister.
Topics covered on the podcast:
From psychologist to psychology professor!
How to motivate students!
Why connection is important. Compassion fatigue
The givers & the takers Setting boundaries for others and ourselves.
Thriving Under Pressure! Failure as Feedback! Are we socialized to care?
How to train your brain
Challenge, Control, & Commitment Honour your pain!
B r e a t h i n g s p a c e ! The universe box Claiming your prize GET MOVING!
I hope this podcast interview inspires you to take the road less traveled this week.
The one you have been waiting to take for days, months, perhaps years.
As a positive psychologist, I often write about the bright side of life. Including harnessing strengths, enhancing motivation, and flourishing in the wake of adversity.
Not the whole picture.
While strengths are vital to realizing one’s full potential – it’s not the whole picture when it comes to living a balanced life.
Embrace the downside.
We must also create a safe place to welcome the parts of ourselves (and our life) that weigh us down and cause us despair.
In doing so, we soften the grip of its pain. Whether it be suffering from years gone by or a hardship in current time.
Give pain room to breathe.
Give disappointments, conflicts, and lost dreams room to breathe.
You are not inadequate because you have depression. You are not unworthy because you’re divorced. You are not unloveable because you have anxiety. You are not undesirable because you’re unemployed. You are not undeserving because you’re broke.
You’re perfect just the way you are.
Life ebbs and flows, comes and goes. Like the waves on the ocean shore. You are forever. Your potential grows. It’s ok not to be ok. What comes – also goes.