A user’s guide to coping in an age of anxiety

Follow the evidence - and science

A user’s guide to coping in an age of anxietyTimothy Caulfield suggests trying the following thought experiment. It’s far-fetched to be sure, but to test the “stranger danger” hypothesis – known to cause considerable anxiety among today’s parents – imagine placing your child alone on the street as bait for some shady character in a white van. How long would it take for that child…

Concussions affect elite athletes’ mental health, new research suggests

U of A study shows anxiety, depression more likely among football players after a concussion than after other body injuries

Concussions affect elite athletes’ mental health, new research suggestsElite athletes report more anxiety and depression in the immediate aftermath of a concussion than those who have suffered an orthopedic injury, according to a concussion study that further builds the case that head injuries are an injury unlike any other. “Athletes get injured all the time and they have to deal with the stress of…

Five tips to declutter your mind

Five tips to declutter your mindEvery new year, we seem to spend a bit of time on the goal of decluttering the house or the office. A year of accumulated belongings and paper just feels so burdensome. Add to that the onslaught of marketing that shows up on our social media feeds: How to be more minimalistic and why that’s…

Are you suffering compassion fatigue?

In the midst of the pandemic, a great deal of pressure has fallen on managers. Here are some tips to help deal with the increased stress

Are you suffering compassion fatigue?Lucy is a manager who oversees a large team of sales reps. Like many other organizations, hers quickly made the transition to work-from-home. It was a new experience for a team used to working from their downtown office. Lucy used to be able to monitor her team with regular walk-arounds and check-ins. She had a…

Craving the touchstones of Christmas tradition

The traditions and rituals of the festive season have a part to play in creating a sense of normalcy during this time of pandemic

Craving the touchstones of Christmas traditionI almost lost my Christmas spirit, thanks to COVID-19. The reality of no family dinners, no gathering with friends and no church services to attend threatened to dampen my enthusiasm for the holiday season. Not wanting to be Scrooge, I took action. One grey, dreary day in early December, I tromped through the yard, cutting…

Hunkering down – reluctantly – for the holidays

The longer the pandemic and the necessity of restrictions drags on, the costlier it becomes for our inner selves

Hunkering down – reluctantly – for the holidaysIf mommy kisses Santa Claus this Christmas, hopefully they’ll be in the same household bubble. After all, COVID-19 means this is going to be a holiday like no other we’ve experienced before. Canadians’ plans for the holiday season are a reminder to all of us – but especially to those making decisions about lockdowns and…

Building quality of life into spaces for people with ‘invisible’ disabilities

Ensuring physical accessibility is only the beginning of creating places where people can ‘be who they are,’ says design consultant and PhD student Lara Pinchbeck

Building quality of life into spaces for people with ‘invisible’ disabilitiesWhen designing spaces for people living with disabilities, there’s more to consider than whether they’re physically accessible. A greater challenge is making sure the environments we work and live in accommodate ‘invisible’ or ‘hidden’ disabilities – a long list of conditions that range from hearing impairment to autism to anxiety disorders. Understanding the space requirements of…

Getting through a COVID-19 winter, one joke at a time

Hugs would be best, but we’re not there yet. So make someone smile

Getting through a COVID-19 winter, one joke at a timeHope is on the horizon. Soon at least one anti-COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be available and we can start to put the pandemic and its problems behind us. However, between then and now, we face an isolated holiday season and a locked down winter. In the face of that, what can we do to…

Expectations shape life experience, so shape your expectations

It's amazing what people feel they can or should be able to control. Getting these assumptions wrong has major effects on our lives

Expectations shape life experience, so shape your expectationsWe can only be disappointed, shocked or delightedly surprised if we were expecting something else. When people disappoint themselves or are disappointed by others, we can ask: What exactly was the expectation? The answer tells us how the person feels their life ought to be or how they think things should go. My daughter was…

“Medical assistance in dying” worries many Canadians

“Medical assistance in dying” worries many CanadiansJust because politicians and activists are gung-ho about expanding medical assistance in dying (MAID) doesn’t mean all Canadians are so enthusiastic. If anything, Canadians would tell the politicians it’s time to slow down and broaden the discussion on Parliament Hill. A parliamentary committee recently rushed through witness testimony on Bill C-7. The bill would expand…

The one simple skill all leaders must harness

Taking a breath allows us to be more resilient when chaos looms

The one simple skill all leaders must harnessThe circle on the screen kept spinning. I stared, slowly feeling my heart rate rise as my mind raced with anxious thoughts: “How do I undo this update? What if I’ve been hacked? I’m not a tech genius!” With deadlines looming in the morning, 9:30 p.m. was not the time for my laptop to stop…

Tackling mental health issues in athletes

Mental health challenges also negatively impact sports performance

Tackling mental health issues in athletesAnxiety and depression are common mental health issues among college students. According to Daniel Eisenberg, an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, one in three American college students experience significant symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions. College athletes certainly aren’t immune to these mental health challenges. In…

Passion is at the heart of an energetic, fulfilled life

Stop making excuses and go for it!

Passion is at the heart of an energetic, fulfilled life“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof,” says author Barbara Kingsolver. Have you ever stopped to wonder what you want…

Headband may help diagnosis of stroke patients

New wearable tech by U of A scientists could help improve the speed and accuracy of stroke diagnosis

Headband may help diagnosis of stroke patientsA new technology developed by University of Alberta neuroscientists is the first step in developing a low-cost, portable method to improve the diagnosis and detection of stroke – before patients arrive at the hospital. “We used a portable headband with embedded EEG sensors, a gyroscope and an accelerometer to see if this can help improve…

Recreational sport helps people cope with adversity, study shows

Social support in rec leagues builds confidence and offers a reprieve from negative emotions, researcher finds

Recreational sport helps people cope with adversity, study showsBesides the physical fitness and social benefits of sport, recreational athletes use their sport participation as a way to cope with adverse life events, according to a University of Alberta study. The study could help adult sport associations better market and reshape their leagues to combat shrinking participation rates. “It’s not surprising that these recreational…
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