Personal Wellbeing

... Prioritize Your Health and Happiness

We each face our own, ever-changing set of personal and work-related challenges and opportunities. These interactive webinars can inform, inspire, and support you in this process, with research-based strategies, tips, and information to help you be better prepared for whatever life presents next.

Presented by the MIT Center for WorkLife and WellBeing

Applying Mindfulness to Manage Challenges and Resolve Conflicts

Friday, March 26, 2021 - 12:00pm to Friday, April 9, 2021 - 1:30pm
Presenter: Elli Weisbaum, M.E.S., Ph.D. Candidate; Mindfulness Practitioner, Instructor, and Researcher

Fridays | 12:00pm-1:30pm

“We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

This three-part workshop series will provide practical information and hands-on activities that will help you recognize the roots of strong emotions, and communicate effectively during times of conflict and difficulty. A three-step framework, based on the works of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, will be introduced as a systematic approach to navigate personal and interpersonal challenges in a range of daily settings, including our workplaces, classrooms, and homes. You will gain an understanding of how to:

  • Identify and manage strong emotions
  • Apply mindfulness processes to navigate conflict
  • Use language and mindfulness tools to support healthy, sustainable communication

This three-part workshop series will be held from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. on the following dates:

  1. March 26: The Roots of Challenge and Conflict
  2. April 2: Mindful Self-Assessment
  3. April 9: Beginning Anew and Resetting Relationships

Please note:

  • Participants are strongly encouraged to attend all three sessions.
  • All sessions will be recorded; each session will be available for one week.
  • A digital workbook will be provided ahead of Session One for use throughout the workshop series. While it is recommended that you print and fill in the workbook by hand, you may take digital notes if preferred.

Eating to Support Your Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Presenter: Heidi Roth, R.D., L.D.N., B.S.; Owner, Heidi Roth Nutrition

If you’ve been stress eating during the pandemic, you’re not alone. It’s called “comfort food” for a reason! But while comforting in the moment, eating sugary, carb-y, and fatty foods, doesn’t do any favors for those of us living with stress, anxiety, or depression. In fact, research continues to show a strong connection between what we eat and how we feel, both physically and mentally. This session will focus on eating to support psychological wellbeing. You will learn:

  • Which nutrients will help you feel relaxed and content right away
  • How to put a lid on stress eating
  • Ways to easily incorporate brain-healthy foods in your diet

Our Everyday Environment: Sustainable Practices for a Healthier Life

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Presenter: Lora Babb, M.E.L.P.; Sustainable Economies Program Manager, Manomet

When discussing the subject of toxins, we often think of someplace “out there,” a geographic area or body of water that’s polluted in some way by chemicals. Rarely do we think about our everyday environment—the places we live, work, and play—or about the products we put in and on our bodies. This lively and eye-opening conversation will look at what’s really in our personal care and household products and how they may be affecting our health. You’ll also learn why indoor air pollution is greater than outdoor air pollution, and how to protect your health by using safer products on your body and in your home!

Positive Psychology: Combat Negativity Bias and Optimize Your Happiness

Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Presenter: Rahul Kulkarni, M.P.H., M.B.A.; CEO and Co-Founder, Sukhi

Have you ever felt as if your brain has been hijacked by recollections of a negative experience? A focus on negativity is normal and can be explained by a psychological concept called “negativity bias.” If left to run wild, negativity bias can seriously handicap our emotional wellbeing. Fortunately, with practice, we can build habits that optimize happiness and reconnect us with the positive experiences and relationships that make our lives worth living. During this interactive workshop, we will draw on positive psychology theory to:

  • Understand the health benefits of applying positive psychology to your personal and professional life
  • Learn strategies for fostering gratitude and maintaining meaningful relationships, communities, and institutions
  • Define what the “good life” means to you, and develop a personal plan that puts it into action

Battling Burnout: Caring for Yourself and Others Amidst Turbulent Times

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Presenter: Kelley Bonner, L.C.S.W., M.A.; Founder, Burn Bright

We’re all feeling at least a little burned out these days. After all, we’re living through a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic. But for marginalized communities, burnout is further underpinned by severe economic and social inequalities. This workshop will explore the topic of burnout from a social justice perspective, and will provide specific steps that you can take to be a positive change agent, without exhausting your physical and mental wellbeing. You will learn about:

  • The physical and emotional impact of race-based trauma, including exposure to traumatic rhetoric and acts of violence
  • Resources and strategies to help reduce, prevent, and recover from burnout and secondary traumatic stress
  • Ways to shift fear-based thinking and behavior into meaningful societal contributions

Mindful Ergonomics: Improve Your Physical Wellbeing While Working from Home

Friday, April 23, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Presenter: Rob Walsh, B.F.A., M.S. Candidate; Mindfulness Practitioner and Instructor

The sudden, unexpected shift to remote work has compelled many of us to get “creative” with our new workstations. But as we settle into working from home for the long term, it’s clear that the kitchen counter is not a sustainable solution. This session takes a mindful approach to identifying working-from-home behaviors and environmental factors that may be causing us pain and distress. We will also use evidence-based learning and hands-on activities to help cultivate healthier, more productive at-home work, including:

  • Scientific perspectives on the mind-body relationship
  • Short mindfulness and physical activities, which can be easily integrated into daily routines to boost energy, reduce stress, and relax the body
  • Methods to optimize your current work environment for peak focus and wellbeing

Building Emotional Awareness to Improve Interpersonal Communication

Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Presenter: Lance Linke, Ph.D., Psy.D.; Clinical Psychologist, Director of Child and Adolescent Services, Kendall Psychological Associates

We’ve all heard that communication is key to any healthy relationship, whether it be personal or professional. So, why does communicating sometimes feel so hard? What we may not realize is just how much our emotions influence our interactions with others. This session will use leading empirical research to build emotional awareness that will improve both your personal and professional communication. You will explore the:

  • Elements of communication that relate to emotional expression and relationship building
  • Specific techniques for observing and managing your thoughts and feelings
  • Practical strategies for sharing and conveying information with others

Coping with Worries: Emotional Survival Strategies (A Three-Part Series)

Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 12:00pm to Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 1:30pm
Presenter: Lauren Dumont, Psy.D.; Clinical Psychologist, Kendall Psychological Associates

Thursdays | 12:00pm-1:30pm

To say that there’s been an uptick in worrying over the last year would be an understatement. But while a pandemic may provide us with much to worry about, it may surprise you to learn that it is our thoughts, not our external circumstances, that most impact the way we feel. The good news is that when we take the time to examine and address our worries, we can (slowly but surely!) learn to release the hold they have over our lives. This series will help you better understand the impact of worrying on your mood, and provide clinically proven practices for managing routine worries and regulating extreme responses to anxiety.

Please note: While we encourage you to attend all sessions, you may register for as many as your schedule allows.

Part One: Understanding Our Worries (Thursday, May 6, 2021 from 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM)

This session will provide you with a foundational understanding of the connection between worrying and your mood. You will explore questions such as:

  • Why do we worry?
  • What function does our worrying serve?
  • How does worrying affect our day-to-day thoughts, behaviors, and moods?
  • How does worrying impact our personal and professional relationships?

Part Two: Managing Our Routine Worries (Thursday, May 13, 2021 from 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM)

This session will draw on cognitive-behavioral theory and techniques to help you recognize and change problematic patterns of thinking and behaving. You will build the skills to:

  • Identify and challenge worry-related thoughts that may be fueling negative emotions
  • Modify your actions to avoid worry and anxiety triggers
  • Enhance your overall emotional wellbeing

Part Three: Regulating Our Extreme Worries (Thursday, May 20, 2021 from 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM)

When faced with a painful problem, you have four options:

  1. Solve the problem
  2. Change your feelings about the problem
  3. Accept the problem
  4. Do nothing about the problem

The choice is yours. This session will draw on dialectical-behavioral theory and techniques to explore these options. You will build problem-solving skills and attitudes that support helpful new ways of responding to extreme worries.

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