I am interested in workplace wellbeing from a number of different perspectives: as a lover of psychology, as an employee, and as an employee of a wellbeing technology company. I love how McCord breaks down her lessons into eight simple ideas. A lot of these ideas echo the lessons I learned in Brené Brown’s most recent book, Dare to Lead. I think lesson #6 is the hardest lesson for most companies…watch the video and let me know if you agree!
Do you agree with these 8 lessons? Are there any other lessons you would add?
If you’re a perfectionist, or recovering perfectionist, like me, you know that self-compassion is far from easy. I still remember reading Kristin Neff’s book on self-compassion and feeling complete shock at how unkind I was to myself. I remember reading, “Treat yourself like you would treat a good friend” and I’m sure my mouth dropped. I would never think or say things I say to myself to a friend, or even my worst enemies.
Self-compassion, as defined by Dr. Kristin Neff, is made up of three key elements:
Self-kindness vs. Self-judgement: We are all imperfect and self-compassion requires us to both acknowledge and accept those imperfections with kindness and love rather than judgment.
Common humanity vs. Isolation: Imperfection is part of what makes us human–no one is perfect!
Mindfulness vs. Over-identification: Be mindful of what you are thinking and feeling, but do not let those thoughts and feelings control you or become part of who you are.
I’ve been working on my self-compassion for the past three years since I read the book–and it’s not a simple change. Yesterday I found myself thinking, “It’s ok, babe. You’ve got this.” I paused and realized that this was my new internal voice; what a beautiful moment that has come after years of putting in work and changing my narrative. That is how I talk to my friends and those I care about, and I’m finally using that confident, compassionate, and loving voice for myself as well. I stopped what I was doing and nearly felt like crying because of how proud I was.
That voice does not come naturally to a lot of us, particularly those of us who have perfectionistic tendencies. I know many in the world of academic research see self-compassion as a bit “fluffy,” which has always bothered me. While it might sound fluffy in that it focuses on self-love and accepting imperfections, the science is loud and clear about the benefits that come with self-compassion. Researchers have found that self-compassion can increase immune function, lower the heart rate, and increases overall wellbeing.
Self-compassion is a skill we can build and it can help buffer us against the kind of self-directed negativity that accompanies depression and anxiety. Research shows that self-compassion can weaken the association between perfectionism and depression.
I’ve always been on the more anxious side; I primarily worry the most about my future and my performance, whether at work or school or in an interview. Building my self-compassion practice hasn’t made these anxious feelings go away, but it certainly helps when things go wrong or I make a mistake. I’ve developed mantras like “You’re ok” and “This is not on you” that help me get through difficult times. These mantras aren’t excuses to avoid taking responsibility for my mistakes, but they are ways I can minimize how my mistakes impact my mindset. You can still own your mistakes and learn from them while practicing self-compassion!
Curious about how self-compassionate you are? Take the quiz here!
I was immediately drawn in to this talk during the first minute; my dad actually does the same thing that this speaker, Lux Narayan, and reads through obituaries quite frequently. Narayan’s talk is a beautiful testament to having a life worth living–a life that is focused on what matters and having a positive impact, no matter how small. I also love that someone whose career focuses on data can develop such an interdisciplinary talk that ties in to some many important themes.
Do you often read obituaries? If not, do you plan to start reading them after hearing this talk?
I have been facing a lot of creative challenges at work recently. Some of these challenges have pushed me far out of my comfort zone so I’ve been interested in exploring why some of these creative tasks have been so challenging for me. I love creativity and coming up with new ideas, but recently I’ve been forced to get creative with tight deadlines…which means I’m likely not giving myself the time and space to come up with good ideas. I enjoyed the practical tips in this Ted Talk and plan to put them to work in the coming weeks! Plus, there’s the added perk of getting more steps in each day!
What do you do to get creative? Will you try Oppezzo’s tips?
I bounce back and forth between reading non-fiction related to my academic interests and more fun novels (like Where’d You Go, Bernadette). I’ve been on a non-fiction kick recently so I can keep up with the research I’m most interested in, and I wanted to share one of my recent reads with you.
I am passionate about adverse childhood experiences, particularly experiences of trauma, and The Deepest Well is all about how adverse experiences influences our lives in ways we never could’ve imagined. Not only does it lead to increased risk of a number of different mental illnesses, but it also leads to increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and many other diseases. It is not an issue that only effects those of low socioeconomic status, but it can effect anyone. If you had a parent with a mental illness or had a family member go to prison, your risk goes up.
A higher ACE score means higher risk the board; it’s a dose-response effect. ACE scores don’t dictate your health, but those scores provide insight and can indicate you might be at higher risk.
The author, Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris, describes her work on ACEs and her creation of a non-profit in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood in San Francisco. I live in San Francisco so Burke-Harris’ descriptions of the wealth disparities, and health disparities that accompany them, hit close to home. Two neighborhoods, defined by zip codes, in San Francisco can have an average life expectancy difference of 22 years. Twenty-two years.
Facts like this blow me away and strengthen my dedication to research and making positive change. Change does not mean we can eliminate adverse experiences, but we can help build resilience, educate parents, and provide positive interventions to minimize the negative impact of those adverse experiences.
ACE scores do not tell the whole story, but it provides powerful evidence and a simple, tangible metric for us to understand how early experiences influence us for the rest of our lives–both mentally and physically. I highly recommend The Deepest Well if you’re interested in learning more about chronic stress, adverse experiences, and health outcomes.
Have you heard of ACE scores? Does the correlation between ACE scores and heath outcomes surprise you?
First off, I have not been posting as much as I would like. I am going through some exciting changes in my life–details to come soon–so I have not devoted as much time to this blog. Luckily, I still make time to cook so today I’m bringing you my newest recipe!
I was so excited when I saw jack fruit on the shelves at Trader Joe’s. I have been dying to try it for a few years. I have seen quite a few fake prepared jack fruit-based BBQ mixes at the grocery store, but I wanted to play with jack fruit from scratch. I decided to experiment with the ingredients I had on hand and ended up making a delicious tomato garlic mix.
I really enjoyed this talk and I think it speaks to so many misconceptions about what innovation looks like and where it comes from. Working in the Bay Area, people assume that it is the hub for change and growth, but Shapshak does a wonderful job of explaining why that is not necessarily the case. I think so many of our assumptions about technology is based on who we see is being advanced and what areas are seen as sources of advancement. As Shapshak describes, these misconceptions showcase our prejudices and clearly show how often we misunderstand how invention comes about.
A dear friend of mine works for an amazing publishing company and recently reached out to me about a new cookbook her firm is publishing on Southern cooking. Given that I was born and raised in Nashville, TN, I have a love for Southern cuisine, but unfortunately it’s often pretty unhealthy. Luckily, this Southern cookbook is full of healthy changes to make Southern classics taste good and feel good. I had a chance to interview the author, Lara Lyn Carter, and I learned a lot about her approach to cooking and health.
Tell me about yourself:
“I am a 48 year old mother of three boys ages 22, 16, and my after 40 surprise is 5. My husband and I have been married for almost 25 years. I love to read historical fiction novels and was a trained dancer when I was young.”
How did you become interested in cooking?
“I don’t remember not loving to cook. I think because both my mother and grandmother loved to cook and I was always in the kitchen with them that it was just part of me. I absolutely love to cook!”
Why do you care about healthy eating? What prompted your interest in health?
“Just a few months before my 47thbirthday I was the heaviest that I had ever been and I was having issues with sleep, acid reflux, stomach problems, etc. I knew that I needed to lose weight and “clean” my body. I also knew that if I did this that it would have to be a lifestyle that I would need to maintain my health. I also was struggling with my youngest sons allergies and trying to figure out how I could help him. I cut out gluten, refined sugars, “bad” carbs and started seeing results in how I felt and my weigh immediately. I also began pushing myself as a chef to create new healthy recipes and reinventing the classics that I love in a healthy way.”
What is your favorite food?
“My favorite foods areanything with pecans in it. I am an absolute nut about pecans.And seafood, particularly crab!”
What is your favorite southern dish?
“My favorite Southern dish is definitely fried green tomatoes with Remoulade sauce!”
What is your number one health tip?
“I think the best thing that anyone can do for their health is to avoid processed foods and most of all doing away with gluten!”
Do you have any resolutions for 2019? Any tips for achieving a New Years resolution?
“My resolution for 2019 is to take more time to just breathe and take a moment to myself. We all stay so busy and attached to social media that I think we don’t take time to just be still and breathe and relax.
The best tip I can give anyone is make whatever your resolution is part of your lifestyle. Just like the way I eat is my lifestyle not a diet. Whatever someone wants to incorporate into their life needs to become part of their life not just something they do once in a while.”
In addition to speaking with Lara Lyn, I had the chance to try out a few recipes from her cookbook! My favorite was the Lemon Blueberry Muffin recipe.
I made it with my boyfriend and we shared a few with his roommates. It was such a simple easy recipe that turned out perfectly. Everyone loved the muffins–common responses included:
“These are super delicious”
“How are they so moist?”
“I could eat so many of these”
Needless to say, these were a hit! Plus, no one could tell they were healthy and gluten free.
I can’t wait to make these again and try out more recipes from Skinny Southern.
Look for Lara Lyn’s book on Amazon and in stores near you!
I have been learning more about superheroes and their general appeal in the past few months. I was never interested in superheroes growing up, but I’ve recently become more and more curious. I have never fully understood the dedication and love people have for these characters, but Lee’s talk drew me in and gave me a new perspective. I hope you enjoy!
Does Stan Lee’s talk make you understand the mass appeal of superheroes?
This title caught my eye; Western culture is particularly obsessed with feeling happy and constant self-improvement so you can feel happier. Listening to this talk gave me a different perspective on how happiness is incorporated into our culture all the way down from the founding fathers, but not in the way we might think…watch the talk to learn how we’ve confused our country’s mission!