Personal Sustainability Blog

Webinar: Practical Strategies for Coping with the Emotional Toll of Conservation Work

I wanted to share this webinar that I presented recently at Antioch University New England on coping with climate change and other environmental issues. This was presented to conservation professionals from zoos, aquariums, universities, government organizations, and nonprofits. But, it's also applicable to everyone and shares some insights and techniques that I use when working [...]

Climate Change and Grief – A Dual Process Approach

As the damage and economic losses from climate change grow, so too do the emotional impacts of climate change. When an entire island like Puerto Rico is threatened to be uninhabitable or an entire town like Paradise, CA is burned to the ground with a loss of 86 lives, impacts of climate change become much [...]

Thomas Doherty on The Openist | Podcast of Democracy Café / Socrates Café

From the Openist Podcast: How can you sculpt a life that's as healthy as it is sustainable? How do you meet the challenge of finding a meaningful balance in your relationship with nature and technology? Dr. Thomas Doherty, a licensed psychologist in Oregon, has some profound insights on these questions that are as timely as [...]

New Year’s Resolution Hacks

Want a different feel for your New Year’s Resolution? Here is a true “hack”*: Reverse your planning procedure. Start from the end (imagining the goal accomplished) and then work back to today. While it’s a simple idea, you’ll find this approach takes some effort to do at first. (I felt a clear mental block when I [...]

By |2019-02-08T13:21:47-07:00January 16th, 2019|Health, Personal Sustainability|0 Comments

The Best of the Personal Sustainability Blog 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, it’s a good idea to … (stop, take a breath) … pause and reflect on the things that matter most. That may seem counter-intuitive if you’re rushing around for that last gift, but doing so can make the holidays more meaningful and enjoyable—no matter what is happening around you. [...]

Voting and Coping: The Election, Climate Change, and Moving on Despite It All

The Election... A psychology client notes that he has had trouble finding any friends willing to attend an election night party. “They all have PTSD from Election Night 2016,” he says. Another client says he is trying to avoid getting caught up in the news running up to the election. We talk about the private [...]

10 Activities for (Fun) Fall Maintenance for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Now is a good time to do a bit of a fall “tune-up.” You have probably experienced how time tends to speed up at the end of the year: Picture the last grains of sand running out of an hour glass or imagine the venturi effect when a river speeds up when going through a narrow [...]

By |2018-10-01T08:30:03-07:00October 1st, 2018|Climate Change, Health|0 Comments

Have You Packed Your 10 Essentials for Mental Well-being?

If you have hiked or climbed, you might be familiar with the “ten essentials” – a list of things to pack along to keep you safe and to use in case of accident or emergency (like water, map and compass, extra clothing, and a first aid kit). I was lucky to visit the Canadian Rockies [...]

Like a Fly on an Elephant’s Back

“Mental hygiene” is an old-fashioned term that I like because it refers to the things that are in our control to keep ourselves healthy and well. It’s our daily mental maintenance. And, one of the areas in which we need to do ongoing mental maintenance involves keeping a positive mood. “Like a fly on an [...]

By |2018-07-09T14:46:33-07:00July 9th, 2018|Health, Personal Sustainability|0 Comments

Cultivating a Globally Sustainable Self

In this post, I want to introduce and briefly describe a somewhat challenging concept: The idea that “cultivating a globally sustainable self” is an important yet often overlooked part of creating stronger, more resilient human systems.   Where does this “Globally Sustainable Self” concept come from? In working with colleagues across academic disciplines, geographic areas [...]