Checking In with Susan David

Checking In with Susan David

Fear, boredom, grief, confusion—we're all feeling... a lot right now. How do we cope with our heightened emotions during this global pandemic? Susan David—a psychologist at Harvard Medical School—is here to offer us strategies. This show is an urgent response to an urgent moment—a support system, toolkit, and understanding voice during a time of great uncertainty.

Episodes

June 15, 2020 24 min

It’s possible to create extraordinary beauty in the face of stress, separation, and illness. Explore the value of music during this difficult time with Richard Kogan, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical Center, and noted concert pianist. Guided by the life story of Frédéric Chopin, one of the greatest composers in history, Susan and Richard reveal ways to move forward into an uncertain future.

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Join Susan for a guided exercise that can help you connect with how you want to move forward in the future. Ask yourself: What do I need to let go of? What parts of my life have not been working for me? What does the child in me need? And what does the future in me need?

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June 1, 2020 19 min

The conditions we live in under COVID-19 have put many of our goals in conflict — parenting vs work, comforting our loved ones vs social distancing, and more. They can feel like impossible choices in chaotic times. But there's a way to feel more confident in making tough decisions: getting clear about what we value. What's more, our present circumstances might actually offer us the opportunity to make choices that move us c...

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Even before COVID-19, many of us were teetering on the edge of burnout. With the pandemic ushering in changes to daily life, many of our stressors have only worsened. While we can’t change our situation, we can change the way we relate to it. Being intentional about when to grit and when to quit, and reassessing what goals are currently realistic can lead us on a path towards restoration.

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The pandemic is putting a spotlight on our loneliness. But by confronting it, and understanding how meaningful connection works, we can take steps to mitigate this difficult feeling. In this episode, Susan is joined by Dr. Steven C. Hayes, Foundation Professor of Psychology at the University of Nevada and one of the leading voices in modern psychology.

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Dr. Steven C. Hayes, Foundation Professor of Psychology at the University of Nevada and one of the leading voices in modern psychology, guides us in exercises that help us connect with our experiences of loneliness and loss.

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May 11, 2020 20 min

One of the best things that parents can do right now to help their children thrive is to teach them emotional skills. For parents, the most effective way to teach these skills is by practicing them yourself. Learn how to help your kids (and yourself) validate, label, and process difficult emotions.

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Practicing self-compassion is so vital right now that we consulted Dr. Kristin Neff on exercises for directing compassion inwards. Kristin is a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research and a co-developer of the empirically supported training program "Mindful Self-Compassion." Here she guides us on some self-soothing exercises and unpacks the research on why this approach is one of the most powerful sources of streng...

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Showing yourself kindness becomes even more important during life's difficult moments, and the current pandemic certainly qualifies. Learn why it’s a misconception that you need to be tough on yourself to succeed, and how practicing self-compassion can make you even more resilient.

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Many of us are separated from people we typically rely on. Others are sharing space in closer quarters than they're used to. How do we navigate our relationships under these tough new conditions? Susan is joined by Dr. Julie Gottman, the president and co-founder of the Gottman Institute and co-founder of Affective Software, Inc. As one of the world's foremost experts on relationships, Julie shares strategies for maintaining...

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April 20, 2020 15 min

Many of us are witnessing a tyranny of positivity right now — with calls to “find the silver lining” and “stay positive” amidst a global pandemic. But we are wired to feel negative at times. Contrary to what our culture tells us, accepting our negative emotions can have tangible and powerful benefits. Learn how to rethink happiness and positivity as paramount goals, and how to effectively cope with negative emotions.

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April 13, 2020 16 min

As life under COVID-19 tests our emotional bandwidth on a daily basis, we need strategies for managing grief now more than ever. Learn how putting your grief into language can help you gain a sense of organization and initiate a process of moving forward with it.

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A special coda to our last episode! Maintaining routines is so important right now that we decided to dive deeper. How do we maintain our stability when our routines are being challenged on a daily basis? Susan speaks with James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, to get some prescriptive, actionable advice.

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Many of us are feeling stuck right now, forced to adapt to a world that we have little control over. But if we focus too much on these uncontrollable aspects of our lives, we greatly increase our suffering. Learn why our routines and habits are so important to our wellbeing, and how there are ways we can exercise control even when every day feels unpredictable.

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If you’re feeling consumed by fear, panic, worry, or any other difficult emotion during this global pandemic, you’re not alone. But pushing these feelings to the side, or passing them along, simply doesn't work. Instead of rejecting your difficult emotions, learn the steps that you can take today to boost your immunity to these social contagions.

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