You are enough, just as you are.💕
Mirror Exercise: Waking Up with Love
Mirror Exercise: Waking Up with Love
F45 "Live" Event: Community Resilience with Dr. Andrea Dinardo
Community members asked stress, wellness, and psychology questions in real time.
Throughout the resilience seminar, I also shared daily habits and thought patterns keeping me healthy during the pandemic.
Optimism, hope, and humour are key factors in health, happiness, and resilience.Optimism Bootcamp The Drive Magazine
Since then, I have been interviewed virtually by:
In the past, online interactions were “an extra” to everyday conversation.
Now “the virtual life” is a necessity for both our personal and professional lives.
An important and crucial way to stay connected to both our dreams and each other.
PSYCHOLOGY TEACHING ONLINE - BEHIND THE SCENES: 1. What It's Like to Be a Professor During Global Pandemic 2. "Live" Online Psychology Class
“Adapt or Die” may sound harsh.
But adaptation is truly what’s being asked of us in every area of our lives right now.
So I figure I might as well jump right in!
Because I would rather ride the wave, than have the wave ride me. 🌊
Thoughts. Emotions. Actions. People.
Some drain. Others invigorate.
Awareness is the first step to enhancing vitality.
The goal is to identify the source of energy leaks and peaks.
My recent interview on FM 105.9 The Region was designed to help people become more conscious of what depletes their energy and what lifts them up.
Rather than focusing on time, which is finite, I suggested to radio host Candace Sampson that we turn our attention to energy management, which in turn expands the amount of time we have.
Because when we feel energized, we can do twice as much in half the time.
What She Said Talk on FM 105.9 The Region
|Tip #1: Debits and Credits |
Daily Tracking System of Who and What Depletes You
|Tip #2: Put a Time Limit on Negativity |
Conscious awareness of how much time with friends and family is spent on complaining (draining) versus solutions (energizing).
|Tip #3: Energy is Everywhere |
(Combat Boots Anchoring Exercise)
Energetic grounding rituals before interacting online.
|*All 3 tips described in detail in both a) the August 20 energy video above and b) the extended September 1 podcast interview below.|
Video of Blog Post: Click Here
Including my own.
Our Recap of That Day:
Don’t chase the destination my dear, chase the feeling.
Because the feeling will always bring you home. 💗
Share how you have fun together
Related Post → Who Inspires You?
Everyone experiences time differently.
Because time truly is relative.
Time perception also varies from person to person.
Taken one step further, time defines who we are, and ultimately who we become.
How we live our days is how we live our lives.
Moments → Hours → Days → Months → Lifetimes
Which is why the more conscious and aware we become about how we spend and prioritize our time, the more meaningful and satisfying our lives will become.
Concrete Examples of Time Usage
Identify 5 ways you spend 100 units (dollars) of time each day. (As illustrated in the video)
Compare and contrast your “money time sheet” with family and friends.
When does time slow down for you? When does time speed up for you?
Are you more influenced by external measures of time?
Has your use of time changed since COVID?
The trouble is, you think you have time.
Wishing everyone an extra dose of hope + optimism at the start of this brand new month of May.
8 billion people experiencing the same global event, at the same time – together.
This photo was taken at our first ladies night in our new house in Tecumseh, Ontario.
John and I had just gotten engaged. Just bought a house together.
And as you can tell from my big smile, I was excited to share this special moment with my friends.
Beautiful memories to be relived again.. very soon!
Change your life.
Acceptance and peace go hand in hand.
Consciously accept the good and the bad that exists in your life.
The rain and the sunlight.
Quite the opposite.
Strengths that were fostered in the eye of the storm. ☔️
Courage. Creativity. Wisdom. Perseverance. Faith.
And it’s that good feeling that motivates you to strive for more of what’s right for you. Instead of fighting against what’s wrong for you.
Begin by accepting what is.
Moment by precious moment.
The 3 to 1 positivity to negativity ratio is one way of applying this post in your everyday life.
Specifically, each time you criticize an area of your life (or something about yourself personally), write down three positive aspects about the very thing you condemned. Hence, the 3 to 1 positivity ratio.
For example, each time you get down on yourself for not working during the COVID-19 pandemic, write down three benefits of sheltering in place. (E.g., more time for fitness, the space to try out new hobbies, meaningful conversations with family members). This daily practice helps to dampen the adverse impact of negativity bias, a type of cognitive distortion, common to all of us.
Likewise, stop comparing your lowlights to other people’s highlights. You never know what’s happening behind the scenes in another person’s life. Good or bad. FOMO is “a story” fabricated in the mind based on snippets of observable behaviour (video below).
You Can’t Add More to Your Life Without First Letting Go
But we have to look UP to see it.
OPEN our minds to BELIEVE it.
The next time you see a 40 km, 50 km, or even 100 km sign — take it as an opportunity to visualize where (and who) you want to be at that age.
Additionally, use each “sign” as instant reflection time for contemplating: 1) what you need to do more of and 2) what you need to let go of to get there.
What signs have you noticed lately?
I was recently interviewed by wellness entrepreneur Christa Realba for her Ambitious Mama Podcast Series.
In different gradients, and at different times for sure. Depending on where you are on your journey.
The key is to not get stuck in the challenge and let pain become your identity.
To learn from it. To rise up and begin again when the time is right.
Related Post: Teaching Resilience at School
A map for transforming stress into strength
The following is a video and activity overview from Part 2 of the 2020 SRC Leadership Development Workshop. Click Here for Part 1.
Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.
I believe that (self) control is the foundation of effective leadership because in order to lead others, you must first learn to lead yourself.
CONTROL – Part 1
In the initial control exercise, participants met in groups to reflect and share their answers to the following questions:
CONTROL – Part 2
Next, participants applied the C-P-R Model of Sustainable Mental Health Habits to their own experiences as both students and student leaders.
1. Student leaders first identified their triggers. Including emotional, cognitive, situational, and physical stressors. CATCH
2. Then they practiced taking a time-out (long deep breath) during high pressure moments. PAUSE
3. Finally, they shared both self-care (fitness, sleep, nutrition) and professional resources (counselling) that help them replenish unmet psychological and physical needs (as outlined on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs). REPAIR
Control Video ⇒ Click Here
TEDx Talk ⇒ Click Here
On January 11, 2020, I had the opportunity to work with the student leadership team at St. Clair College in Windsor Ontario.
The goal was to strengthen the bonds between team members and harness the power of their mission for the 12,500 students on campus.
We talked about the many ways challenges can be transformed into opportunities.
CHALLENGE is the first “C” in the “Stress to Strength” model from my Thriving Under Pressure TEDx Talk. Photo below.
Listen in for more:
More videos and learning moments from the leadership event to come. Stay Tuned! Dr. D 📚❤️
Special thanks to UWSA VP of Advocacy Arop Plaek Deng for being the photographer and videographer at the SRC Leadership Event 📸
Challenge Video ⇒ Click Here
TEDx Talk ⇒ Click Here
My number one intention for becoming a psychologist and psychology professor has always been to help people live a better life, no matter their life circumstances. And since there are only so many hours in a day, I’m always looking for new ways to reach and teach as many people as I can. All at once, if possible.
Which is why I created a Psychology Tips Playlist on my YouTube Channel that I contribute to often.
The purpose of my psychology YouTube Channel is to share key lessons from my three hour psychology lessons in as little as three to five minutes.
Giving people far and wide access to virtual classes, especially those who don’t have the money or means to an undergraduate education. I know how busy everyone is. And I love a good challenge! I also include videos of psychology interviews, workshops, and keynote speeches.
Book Speaking Services: Click Here
This was the case for Sarah and Jack, two unique individuals with vastly different circumstances. But they each experienced the same emotion: loneliness. An emotion that is heightened during the holidays.
Original Source: The Drive Magazine
Sarah was a 42-year-old recently divorced woman who was about to face her first holiday season alone. Living in a new town, miles away from friends and family, she was waiting to begin a new job in January. Hours felt like days.
Days felt like months. Sarah had tried everything to fill the void inside. The mistake she made was running away from the one thing that would help get her to the other side: loneliness itself.
We need to first understand an emotion before we jump to the conclusion that it’s either good or bad, because in reality, emotions are almost entirely physiological in nature.
There’s not a negative or positive to them. It’s in our mind that we make it one or the other. This concept is supported by Schachter-Singer’s theory of emotion:
This theory of emotion explains why two people can experience the exact same event and have completely different emotional reactions to it.
What matters most is the person’s interpretation of an event, not the event itself. After all, as they say, one person’s glass-half-full is another one’s glass-half-empty.
In Sarah’s situation, she interpreted her physiological response to idle time as loneliness, while another person might label it as much-needed relaxation. Ultimately, Sarah has a choice. One interpretation debilitates; the other empowers.
Now that Sarah understands the interpretative power she holds over her environmental triggers, the next step is to witness loneliness in a neutral, curious state rather than fighting it at every turn.
In doing so, Sarah neutralizes the intensity of her emotions, allowing them to flow through her, rather than getting stuck in a repetitive loop of pain.
Taken one step further, each time that Sarah experiences a challenging emotion during the holidays, rather than running from it she needs to lean in and ask that emotion, “What are you trying to teach me?”
The final step for Sarah is to learn how to reframe the situations that trigger her loneliness, and understand why sometimes she overreacts, while other times she lets go without a second thought.
Solitude is perceived as isolation by one person and freedom by another.
Watch Video of Post: Click Here
At 55 years of age, Jack was also feeling the pangs of loneliness. His wife of 25 years died suddenly of a heart attack two years ago.
Unexpected was an understatement. They had run in three marathons together and had spent their weekends sampling new vegan restaurants in their local community. Ever since his wife had died, Jack struggled to face the holidays alone.
Jack’s story is as much about him as it is about the family around him. His family and friends’ automatic response was to feel sorry for him, a response that compounded his feelings of disconnectedness and misunderstanding.
As much as Jack missed his wife, he also missed his ability to connect authentically with friends and family. Having been treated with kid gloves since his wife died, Jack longed to be seen as a victor rather than a victim
As such, I encourage Jack to connect with like-minded individuals who had been through a similar situation: widows and widowers. Specifically, ones who had been on their own for several years.
The benefits are twofold. One, Jack would learn new ways of relating to friends and family. And two, he’d be given the green light to grow and acclimate to his new circumstances.
The other component missing in Jack’s life was fun. Simple, cheerful, good-time fun. Everything had become so serious since his wife died, with almost every conversation beginning or ending with his wife’s death.
There was no doubt that he missed her with all his heart. But equally, he longed for moments where he could be free of the loneliness and pain.
I recommend that Jack reintroduce sports into his life. Something non-competitive that would get him out of the house on a Wednesday night. Better yet, if it involved people that he had never met, it would allow him to continue his journey of reinvention and rediscovery.
Equally therapeutic for Jack would be joining a cinema group or regular euchre meetup—both would offer him a chance to be in the moment and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
Finally, I advise Jack to examine the memories and traditions that he wanted to keep alive during the holidays—and, equally, the ones of which he was ready to let go.
Jack took the practice one step further. Declaring December a month of renewal and reinvention, he revived a strength and peace inside that radiated out to his entire family.
Jack and Sarah have a lot to teach us about loneliness and how important it is to honour the unique ways in which we process adversity.
One size does not fit all. Fellowship and fun were vital for Jack’s growth and recovery, while Sarah needed a more analytical approach to processing difficulty.
Disclaimer: This post and article are for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. To protect the privacy of individuals, names and identifying details have been changed.
The sun rising.
Taste every morsel.
Dance with abandon.
Stroll by the moonlight.
Peace lives here.
I have one intention in mind when I walk into a classroom:
In this short video I share the thoughts that go through my mind as I walk into a classroom and meet my psychology students for the first time. I also discuss the specifics of how I connect with and encourage students each new day.
Visit my YouTube Channel for more fun and uplifting videos.
The audience was filled a very special group of people. Individuals that have been battling the chronic condition of Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) their whole lives.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) describes a group of conditions, the two main forms of which are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. IBD also includes indeterminate colitis.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are diseases that inflame the lining of the GI (gastrointestinal) tract and disrupt your body’s ability to digest food, absorb nutrition, and eliminate waste in a healthy manner.
Individuals with chronic health problems such as IBD often feel a sense of helplessness and disempowerment over their bodies.
Which is why teaching concrete strategies for focusing on what’s within one’s control (beliefs and attitudes; deep breathing; present moment awareness) and letting go of what’s not (waiting times; IBD diagnosis; doctor availability) is so important.
Research in health psychology shows that optimism and having hope in one’s future has a significant impact on whether patients follow through on medical advice.
Optimism has also been found to improve overall quality of life, well-being, and happiness of cancer patients.
Click Here for Research on Health, Hope, and Optimism
The good news is that optimism is a skill that can be learned.
Additional insight on how our minds work
Using Attribution Theory, I can tell a lot about someone by the way they interpret the events that happen in their lives, particularly the explanatory style they use in analyzing setbacks versus successes.
The pessimist perceives failures as personal, permanent, and pervasive, and thus has difficulty moving beyond setbacks. They often get lost in a recurrent loop of negativity.
In contrast, optimists see setbacks as universal. to everyone, temporary in time, and limited to one or two areas of their lives.
Hope changes everything. It transforms pessimism into optimism. It changes winter into summer, darkness into dawn, descent into ascent, barrenness into creativity, agony into joy.Daisaku Ikeda
Read Optimism Bootcamp Article: Click Here
The first thing that goes when we are faced with a stressor of any kind is the memory of all we have overcome in years gone by.
Let this be your daily, weekly, hourly reminder of how wildly capable you are.
Truly. Incredibly. Capable.
We might not be a genius at everything. But we are most definitely a genius at something.
And if you ever need more than this note to remind you of your strengths, let me know in the comments below.
And I will shine a light on the luminescence that surrounds you.
What words resonate with you?
What jumps off the page?
These are your strengths.✨
In the post below, I share lessons learned at a recent thriving student leadership teams workshop.
It was a true team effort! With the team-building and leadership exercises equally led by the student leaders and myself.
Please join in and explore the reflection questions, interactive activities, and workshop videos with the teams in your life.
Together Everyone Achieves More!
WHAT HELPS TEAMS FLOURISH & THRIVE?
“It takes both sides to build a bridge.”
Perspective taking exercise.
1. Identify a problem you have faced as a student leader.
2. Determine what’s “below the surface” that could potentially be the source of the problem.
3. Explore the problem from the perspective of the student.
4. Describe the problem and potential solution using both the leader’s and the student’s perspectives.
5. Summarize the lessons and potential opportunities of the original problem. Eg. What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the student?
“Together We Rise.”
“Goals with Soul.”
Personal and Team goal setting exercise.
1. What are your goals as student leader for the school year?
2. What are your goals as team member for the school year?
3. What are your greatest assets for the team?
4. What areas do you need assistance from the team?
“Teamwork makes the dream work.”
“Your life is your message to the world.”
“What’s Your North Star?” team building exercise.
1. What’s Your Purpose?
2. What Lights Your Way?
3. What Bonds and Unites Your Team?
“What’s Your Why?”
Emotions are neither good or bad.
Only labeling makes it so.
Instead, lean in and ask:
Helpful Article with Strategies
Click Here: Lean into loneliness
How we talk to ourselves matters tremendously.
Particularly in the eye of the storm.
Having a “go to” mantra in times of stress helps.
Video of Blog Post ⇒ Click Here
A mantra that has helped me over the years is imagining myself:
during the dark times.
Today I wish the same for you.
May you see the blessing in every storm.
Helpful Tips: Optimism Bootcamp
From my experience, it’s never the time, the day, or the month that brings good vibes. It’s how we feel on the inside. So why wait another minute for happy hour. Create the life you want wherever you are. 😊😊
Related Post: Happiness in Present Time
My husband and I met 17 years ago today on June 1, 2002. And I couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate our happy hours together than with this little blog post. May your month of June overflow with love and joy too!
Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to the new roster of TEDX Windsor speakers at Beachgrove Golf and Country Club in Windsor Ontario.
These tips apply to life too!
Reminding speakers HOW THEY DREAMED of becoming a TEDX SPEAKER long before they had the INCREDIBLE FORTUNE to became one.
Do you want to be a TEDX Speaker one day?
What would the name of your TEDX Talk be?
1. Purchase Tickets for the June 8 TEDX Windsor Event
2. Watch TEDX Talk THRIVING UNDER PRESSURE
Dare to Dream!
We live in a world weighed down by disaster, debt, and divorce. So it’s no surprise that we’ve been conditioned to believe that tragedies require tragic mindsets.
That serious issues demand serious attitudes. That hardships necessitate hardened spirits.
Thankfully we also live in a world overflowing with abundance, joy, and love. Same world. But we can’t see the good when we’re overwhelmed by the bad.
Making the shift from stress to strength can happen in a number of ways.
Laughter = instant stress relief. Taking a long deep breath runs a close second.
Laughter breaks the panic spell. The not enough mindset. The woe is me attitude. The negativity downturn.
Laughter connects people in present time. Friends and strangers! Think of the last time you laughed out loud with a cashier in the grocery line. (For me, it was last night ;.)
Today’s challenge is to lighten up. To breathe deeply into what stresses you.
To leave room for grace. To respond with a light heart and an open mind. To dance a little dance. To laugh with friends. To nourish your soul.
Ultimately to remember who you were – before life weighed you down.
For it’s in our joy that we find our voice. It’s in our abundance that we embrace our authenticity.
It’s in our laughter that we save the day.