Showing posts from March 22, 2020

What an Insect Can Teach Us About Adapting to Stress

In this short animated film, "The Locust Mystery," learn how the gentle harmless grasshopper and the devouring devastating locust are actually the same creature. And how we, also, have many differing "selves" that emerge under various circumstances.

Watch Video

How to Deal with Sensory Overload as a Sensitive Person

Sometimes it feels like the world wasn’t designed for sensitive people. Here are ways to take care of yourself.

Have you ever been told that you are “too sensitive?” If so, you’re not alone.

By Jenara Nerenberg

Sensitivity implies a certain heightened reaction to external stimuli: experiences, noise, chatter, others’ emotional expression, sound, light, or other environmental changes. Sensitivity and high empathy are common experiences for many people, but some people experience these qualities to more severe degrees—and don’t realize that they can be hallmarks of Asperger’s, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), sensory processing sensitivity, and other traits.

This is especially true for women, whose sensitivity has historically been pathologized as “hysteria” and misdiagnosed as anxiety or depression. (Note: The experience of sensitivity and a woman’s experience generally is clearly genderless, nonbinary, and equally applicable to trans women and cis women.)

Elaine Aron’s us…

Asking This Question Can Help Us All Feel Less Lonely!

With just one question and five words, we can change somebody’s day for the better! Here’s the quickest, easiest, least expensive, and most powerful way to be #HelpfulNow at a time when everyone is under so much stress. Let’s all give it a try and watch as the magic happens!

Can we help others (and ourselves) feel less lonely with just one question? The next time you’re checking out at the grocery store, bringing your car in for service, grabbing your dinner from a delivery driver, or on the phone with your grandma, pop out these five words and see the magic happen!

By Sam Burns

Read Article

Caring For Self and Others in Troubled Times

"Warm greetings of peace, hope, and healing to you and yours. As we navigate these perilous waters of our common life -- with all the grace and gratefulness we can muster -- you might find support in exploring these thoughts on 'Caring for Self and Others in Times of Trouble: Some Spiritual Tools and Tips'. Please share these wherever you wish, taking what you need and leaving the rest."

Read Article

Four Things to Do Every Day for Your Mental Health

Make time in your schedule for these core human needs.

It’s a crazy time. Here in the California, we are sheltering-in-place, leaving the house only for essentials like groceries and medical care. And while we’re all (appropriately) focused on caring for the physical health of ourselves, our families, our communities, and society at large, our mental, emotional, and social health needs are quickly emerging as profoundly important, as well.

By Elizabeth Markle

I’m executive director of Open Source Wellness, which brings people together to learn and practice the behaviors that generate human health and well-being. Our core idea is that community is a form of medicine. And while we aren’t physically gathering right now, I’m happy to share some of what we have learned for your reflection and personal practice during this time.

Structure in times of chaos

During my first day of graduate school to become a psychologist, a wise, mischievous, provocative professor said to us:
Human suffering is of…

How Does A Heart of Service Respond to These Times?

"Coronavirus has uprooted the fabric of our lives. How does a heart of service respond to an unknown cause and how do we build resilience when we can't be physically together? Uncertain times raise significant questions that can architect a new story for our future. Carbon emissions have dropped dramatically, but xenophobia is rising. Nursing homes are being evacuated, only to bring elders home to their families. Shopping malls are empty but family meals are on the rise. Awakening of kindness is pervasive, but the inequality of human suffering is evident. Borders are still present, but the boundaries of our shared humanity are getting blurry. Yes, undercurrents of fear are everywhere, but so are prayers. Jack Kornfield recently shared, "The virus isn't happening to us; it's happening for us." Last week 90 individuals from across the ServiceSpace ecosystem circled online to explore the call of these times.

Read Article

How Teachers Can Navigate Difficult Emotions During School Closures

Here are some tools for staying calm and centered amid the coronavirus crisis.

The COVID-19 crisis is forcing educational professionals across the globe to take a collective breath. What’s next? Whether we’re actively planning online lessons from our homes or bingeing more Netflix movies than we had ever anticipated, we’re faced with so many unknowns—and more time to sit with our emotions.

By Amy L. Eva

We may feel overwhelmed, fearful, and emotionally fragile. Perhaps also restless, bored, and helpless. With so much uncertainty, how can we navigate this range of emotions? After all, researchers remind us that our stress-management skills ultimately help our students (and those around us) stay calmer.

Here are a few simple and easy-to-implement practices that you can draw on to manage difficult emotions.

Soothe yourself

Begin by acknowledging the emotions you are experiencing right now and genuinely offer yourself some understanding. Researchers Kristin Neff and Chris Germer invite us to ta…

What if Art Was Meant to be Touched?

Ever wanted to touch the art in a museum? Artists like these fellows are encouraging all of us to! Here’s a touching story about the power that tactile art can have across many communities.

Enter any museum or art gallery and you’re sure to be met with signs frustratingly telling you “NO TOUCHING.” Even though you’re itching to run our fingers over the smooth bronze statues, the ripples of paint, and cold glass, you begrudgingly back off and keep your hands off the artwork. But these artists are encouraging us not to!

By Sam Burns

Read Article

Humanity's Wake Up Call

"The rapid spread of novel coronavirus has prompted government, business, and civil society to take dramatic action--canceling events large and small, restricting travel, and shutting down major segments of the economy on which nearly all of us depend. It is a demonstration of our ability, when the imperative is clear, for deep and rapid global cooperation and change at a previously unimaginable speed and scale.There is an obvious desire to protect ourselves and our loved ones. But we are also seeing something more as communities mobilize to address the crisis--a sense of mutual responsibility, born of a recognition that we are ultimately bound to a common fate." David Korten shares more.

Read Article

Six Daily Questions to Ask Yourself in Quarantine

If you’re sheltering in place, be sure to check in with yourself.

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, and efforts to “flatten the curve” through physical distancing intensify, many of us find ourselves quarantined at home. The physical isolation and sudden departure from familiar routines can be jarring and disorienting. Settling in for the possibility of an extended shelter-in-place order, I wrote these six “Daily Quarantine Questions” to help me structure my days—and check in with myself, to make sure I’m doing OK. After I shared them on social media, I heard from thousands of people who said that these resonated for them.

By Brooke Anderson

Before getting into the questions, I want to recognize that not everyone has the privilege to shelter in place, or to do so safely and with financial security. Health care, grocery, transit, and other essential workers are on the frontline of caring for us, often putting themselves and their families at great risk. Thank you. You deserve not just ou…

Why Taking Care of Your Own Well-Being Helps Others

Our emotional well-being can benefit the people around us.

Friday happened to be the International Day of Happiness, but people around the world feel anything but happy right now. Many of us are stressed and worried, wondering what this global pandemic means for our friends, families, and communities.

By Jill Suttie

The pursuit of happiness is likely the furthest thing from people’s minds. Yet, as Buddhist monk and psychologist Jack Kornfield once said in an interview, cultivating a joyful spirit can actually help not only us, but the people around us—especially when things are hard. “Our gift to the world comes as much through our being and presence, our smile and touch, our sense of possibility and the mystery of human life, as it does in the specifics of what we do,” he says.

It’s a lovely sentiment, and it also seems to be supported by science. Study after study shows that well-being—either being in a positive mood or recognizing that you have a good life—benefits those in our social…

Canada's Caremongering Trend

"Just a few days ago the word "caremongering" did not exist. Now, what started as a way to help vulnerable people in Toronto has turned into a movement spreading fast across Canada. More than 35 Facebook groups have been set up in 72 hours to serve communities in places including Ottawa, Halifax and Annapolis County in Nova Scotia, with more than 30,000 members between them. People are joining the groups to offer help to others within their communities, particularly those who are more at risk of health complications related to coronavirus." This BBC article shares more.

Read Article

All Hail the Great Hellbender Salamander!

Snot otter, lasagna lizard, grampus, whatever you call it, this gigantic, slimy, and loveable creature could be the unlikely superhero saving the world’s amphibians. How, you ask? Well, let’s get to know them a little better and find out!

Let us introduce you to the great American Snot Otter. (Yes, you read that right.) These slimy, arguably adorable creatures of America’s streams are more traditionally known as Hellbender Salamanders. They may be big and a little unappealing to the average person, but they could be a savior to thousands of species around the globe that are teetering on the edge of extinction!

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Read Article

Teaching & Learning from the Heart in Troubled Times

"The current moment calls for moral ferocity. We should not sleep well at night when we know others are suffering. We need to raise our voices with clarity and channel our anger into protest and resistance. Ferocity itself, though, holds danger. Let's not forget that some of the worst perpetrators of evil have often claimed to act in the name of the good, or God, or the national interest, or a future utopia. By claiming the moral high ground, and labeling our opponents misguided, we run the risk of doing great harm in the name of good. I suggest that we balance our moral ferocity with humility and tenderness." Rabbi Ariel Burger, an author, artist and long-time student and friend of Elie Wiesel shares more in this timely essay.

Read Article

How to Help Teens Shelter in Place

Teens are not made for isolation, which makes COVID-19 especially hard on them. Here's how to help your teenager to see the bigger picture.

Last weekend, my kids began arriving home from their various schools. We invited our oldest daughter’s longtime best friend, Lena, over for a homecoming dinner. She’s like a member of our family, and we were excited to see her, too, despite closing schools and social-distancing recommendations. The kids are all healthy, we reasoned. We had Lena wash her hands when she came in; we resisted hugging her.

By Christine Carter

On Monday we got a government order to shelter in place, and having had Lena over the night before suddenly seemed like a reckless mistake. But not all families in our neighborhood agree.

Parents all around me are reasoning that their high schoolers have been hanging out together anyway, so they’ve already “shared germs.” Lots of seemingly rational (but dangerously short-sighted and scientifically unvalidated) arguments for lettin…