What has all this togetherness done to your relationship?

Besides creating an economic crisis, COVID-19 is bringing conflict into some homes. Rate (and improve) your relationship

What has all this togetherness done to your relationship?Not all of us are living happily ever after. Are you surprised? I didn’t think so! If absence makes the heart grow fonder, the opposite might also be true about too much time spent together in close quarters. A former colleague recently told me that call volumes for domestic disputes are on the rise. This…

Taming the irrational beast called anger

When strong negative emotions kidnap the thinking brain, we become scarcely more coherent than a wild animal

Taming the irrational beast called angerYou may have seen a video recently of a man punching a fellow pedestrian who he felt took his photo without authorization. Once the video was released, the man came forward and apologized for what he called his uncharacteristic behaviour. Whether it’s a result of stress, the state of the world or a variety of…

Putting your nervous butterflies to work

When it comes to fear and anxiety, we tend to fight our feelings even though we would be better off using them

Putting your nervous butterflies to workWe all tell ourselves stories that cause us to behave in peculiar ways – even if our behaviour seems logical in the moment. We might not even be aware of how compromised our problem-solving mechanisms might be perceived by others (or ourselves if we were more objective). There’s an old joke about a fellow walking…

Living on the sunny side of the street

Optimism helps you stay healthy in mind and body – and it makes you a lot more fun to be around than life's pessimists

Living on the sunny side of the street“That silver lining in every cloud you’ve heard about? It’s sleet.” We've likely all run across people whose outlook on life can be summed up that way. And not just on a bad day – pretty much all the time. This pessimistic person is conditioned to focus on the down side of life. But is this the perspective you…

Is it time to start a ruckus and resist the fear?

How have we been so easily persuaded to abandon our livelihoods and embrace isolation with barely a question?

Is it time to start a ruckus and resist the fear?No one enjoys a holding pattern. Not when planes circle and wait to land and not today, while we wait for a virus to pass. Yet this is exactly the place most of us have found ourselves over the past six weeks. We’re restlessly awaiting the moment when health and political authorities loosen restrictions and…

Navigate change and treat it like an opportunity

If we don’t learn how to navigate change, we’re setting ourselves up for a lifetime of stress, anxiety, fear and doubt

Navigate change and treat it like an opportunityMy husband and I once headed out on a camping trip with some of our new Rotary friends. The weather was hot, we were supporting a great charity and the river was perfect for floating along. I cherish such chances to do something a little different and just be in the moment. When a group…

In a world of uncertainty, don’t let negative thoughts reign

Don’t let your concerns about COVID-19 create blind spots and unnaturally tighten your focus

In a world of uncertainty, don’t let negative thoughts reignPlenty of uncertainty is tugging on our thoughts these days. We’re distracted by social media rants, relentless death counts, conspiracy theories and challenging financial situations. During these days of sheltering in place, what’s compelling your focus? What’s increasing? The reality is there are some real threats related to COVID-19 to be concerned about. These threats…

When the night is dark and full of terror

Worrying about the world isn’t fixing anything and it’s certainly hazardous to your emotional well-being. So redirect your thoughts and activities

When the night is dark and full of terror“The night is dark and full of terrors.” This phrase has been stuck in my head since I began binge-watching the series Game of Thrones. It’s a bit like getting a song stuck in your thoughts that just won’t go away. You find yourself humming it regardless of the tasks you’re attempting to do. This…

A pet brings many upsides. But inevitably there is loss too

Dog lovers know having a pet brings many upsides. Science tells us dogs keep us active, de-stressed and loved. But inevitably there is also sadness and loss

A pet brings many upsides. But inevitably there is loss tooAs a dog lover, there’s no doubt in my mind that having a dog brings many upsides. How can I not live happily waking up to a smiley face and wagging tail? Or come home from a long trip to the crying excitement of a pup that likely thought he might never see me again.…

How will you choose to reset after COVID-19?

We’re living in unprecedented times, and perhaps that's exactly what we needed to shift our priorities and our energies

How will you choose to reset after COVID-19?I’ve spent more time on social media in the past 10 days than in the past 10 years. I confess it has done very little for my enthusiasm, motivation or equilibrium. I feel the same way about televised news. Sure, there are the odd amusing posts that keep me chuckling. I especially liked the memes…

You choose whether to be happy or miserable

Imagining that someone else has all the luck and opportunity slowly eats away at our mental strength and resourcefulness

You choose whether to be happy or miserableMy daughter has a Facebook friend whose life seems perfect. She lives in a gorgeous house, has a really rewarding career, and she and her family go on all kinds of exciting adventures. No matter where they are or what activity they’re involved in, the whole family appears carefree and joyful! This friend is constantly…

Instead of expressing contempt, embrace tolerance

No more hiding out and playing it safe – we need to open hearts and minds, to stop arguing about who is right and who is wrong

Instead of expressing contempt, embrace toleranceWe all have opinions about the validity of glass ceilings, racism, religion, victimization and such, but what makes an idea true for you? What moment(s) in time made you believe it? Your opinions have often been nurtured over years of paying attention to information that confirms firmly-held beliefs while ignoring information that challenges those beliefs.…

Do you suffer from a false sense of no confidence?

Remember, confidence is a process not a product. Allow the journey to begin

Do you suffer from a false sense of no confidence?What can you control in your life? Your health? What others think of you? How happy your lover is? The weather? Your finances? Your future? Your appearance? Your mood? Other people's moods? Can you control these things completely, or just influence them to some extent? If you’re at all like me, the words, “You can…

Horribly haywire: why communication falters

None of us are at our best when our boundaries are being pushed

Horribly haywire: why communication faltersWe've all heard the nursery rhyme “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” But we know better. In fact, we know all too well that words can hurt and so does the interpretation of our nonverbal behaviours (like not paying attention, interrupting or day dreaming when someone is speaking).…

How to move on from hurt feelings and bad situations

You have every right to choose a new path, but make sure you're not overreacting based on your own insecurity or a misinterpretation of the situation

How to move on from hurt feelings and bad situationsThere are infinite ways our feelings get hurt – and a few clear ways to deal with such circumstances. Perhaps someone expressed a thought unkindly. You found yourself reacting to a perceived slight. Maybe you spent a good deal of time working on a project only to have your name missed when the recognition was…
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