UNLEASHED (at work & home) with Colleen Pelar
Four Steps for Managing Uncertainty

Four Steps for Managing Uncertainty

March 19, 2020

Your thoughts, feelings, and actions are likely completely different today than they were just a week ago. Life is changing at a rapid pace, and it can feel overwhelming.

Your brain craves certainty, and currently nothing is certain. And the information that feels most certain is ominous. This is a recipe for anxiety and rumination.

This episode shares four strategies designed to help you calm your nervous system, refocus your mind, and choose actions that will support you in this moment and in the stressful days ahead.

Prioritizing your physical and mental health has never been more important than it is right now.

Perspective - Rachel Finney, CAWA

Perspective - Rachel Finney, CAWA

March 12, 2020

Forty percent of the factors that affect your happiness are within your control. Forty percent!

In this interview with Rachel Finney, CEO of Columbus Humane, you'll learn strategies for managing your thoughts, feelings, and actions to produce better results and greater peace of mind. https://colleenpelar.com

Resilience - M. Leanne Lilly, DVM, DACVB

Resilience - M. Leanne Lilly, DVM, DACVB

February 19, 2020

You don't have to feel resilient to be resilient. That quote from Leanne Lilly, DVM, DACVB, is worth embroidering on a pillow so you don't forget it.

It’s true, but somehow it doesn’t sound right.

Surely resilience is about being strong, purposeful, and able to leap tall building in a single bound. 🦸🏻‍♀️

But what if it’s not?

What if being resilient is having the courage to keep showing up for yourself, in big ways and in small?

What if it’s creating the internal and external support structure you need to live life on your own terms?

What if being resilient is about intention? Making a commitment to examine your thoughts, feelings, and actions so you can make wise choices about what comes next?

And what if it’s okay that it’s hard sometimes?

What impact would it have if you were certain that you are good enough, worthy, and more than capable of facing whatever comes your way?

You ARE resilient. Right now. Just as you are. And you can become more resilient. 

Listen to learn Dr. Lilly's suggestions for becoming more resilient and prioritizing what matters most to you. https://colleenpelar.com/67

Love is micro-moments of warmth & connection

Love is micro-moments of warmth & connection

February 13, 2020

Love, according to Barbara Frederickson, PhD, a leading researcher of emotions, is "micro-moments of warmth and connection."

She says love occurs anytime two or more people (even strangers) connect over a shared positive emotion (large or small).

These moments create changes in your brain and body that broaden your perspective, help you become more attuned to others, and allow you greater creativity and emotional regulation. Over time, little by little, these changes reshape your life for the better.

Learn how to get started creating micro-moments of warmth and connection with the people you encounter each day. https://colleenpelar.com/66

Why someone you love rained on your parade, and how you can avoid doing it to others

Why someone you love rained on your parade, and how you can avoid doing it to others

February 6, 2020

When something wonderful happens, who do you call? How do they respond?

Does that person celebrate with you and increase your joyful experience? Or do they dampen your spirits and leave you wishing you hadn’t called?

Research has shown that how people respond to each other’s good news is a better indicator of the quality of the relationship than how they respond to each other’s disappointments.

Even people who mean well can suck the air out of your sails by sharing their own experience with something similar, pointing out potential pitfalls of your awesome news, or being distracted or disengaged.

But not you. No, you won’t do that.

You can avoid that trap with a simple technique called active constructive responding. Learn about it here. https://colleenpelar.com

Aging - Lori Stevens

Aging - Lori Stevens

January 30, 2020

Each of us wants to be happy and healthy. Most people don’t see how closely the two are tied.

Yes, you can be unhappy and healthy. And you can be happy and unhealthy. But did you know that improving one of these states almost always has a beneficial effect on the other? They’re closely interconnected.

Lori Stevens is an expert in helping dogs age well, and I invited her to explore ideas of how pet professionals can age well also.

She says that health, mobility, and engagement are three areas she focuses on for her canine clients. She wants the dogs to feel, to borrow Kathy Sdao’s phrase, the “spark of joy” in their lives.

You deserve a spark of joy too.

You deserve to feel a deep sense of connection with others and the world at large.

You deserve to be excited and enthused by learning more about the topics that interest you and sharing what you’ve learned with others.

You deserve a body that feels good and works well. You deserve to sleep comfortably and deeply and to wake up refreshed. You deserve to eat food that is delicious and nourishing.

You deserve to spend time in beautiful surroundings, exercising and exploring, and also resting and relaxing.

You deserve all that and more.

Are you getting it? If not, what’s getting in your way? What choices—big and small—can you make right now that your future self will thank you for?

Creating small, sustainable habits is a powerful way of making large, lasting improvements in your quality of life.

It’s the best investment you can possibly make for aging well, happily and healthily. Lori shares lots of great ideas in this episode. I have no doubt you’ll be inspired to make a few changes that will support you.

You may also be interested in the list of short (15 minutes or less), medium (about an hour), and long (2 hours or more) activities that the members of UNLEASHED Resilience came up with in a learning lab session. Perhaps these will spark some new ideas for you. https://colleenpelar.com/68

Consultation - Alison Leslie

Consultation - Alison Leslie

January 30, 2020

Advocacy can be challenging, exhausting work.

This week on UNLEASHED (at work & home), Allison Leslie, LCSW, talked with me about "consultation" and its many benefits:

  • Less burnout
  • More engagement
  • Greater creativity
  • Less sense of isolation
  • Increased joy and ability to see meaning in your work
  • More FUN

That’s a win by any measure!

Consultation can be one-on-one (like in coaching calls) or done as part of a small group. The key is that it be a safe place to share your truth, knowing that the participants have your back and want what’s best for you.

You’ll be amazed at how having this support will allow you to ease the burden of your work and find ways to develop stronger and more effective skills so you can continue making a difference without burning yourself out.

Breath - Your Hidden Superpower

Breath - Your Hidden Superpower

January 23, 2020

Would you like an easy way to get more energy when you need it? How about a way to relax and unwind more quickly?

Listen in to learn an incredibly simple strategy that will help you manage your energy and your emotions better.


Vicarious Trauma - Leslie Stewart

Vicarious Trauma - Leslie Stewart

January 16, 2020

Burnout is normal—and fixable

  • Have you had the “Sunday night feeling,” the stomach-sinking realization that your break is over and it’s time to go back to work?
  • Have you become less patient and less interested in other people’s needs?
  • Do other people’s choices leave you feeling irritable or cynical?
  • Have you started making dumb mistakes? Letting things fall through the cracks that ordinarily you’d catch
  • Have you felt isolated? Had the sense that everyone’s counting on you, but no one really cares about how you’re holding up?
  • Does it feel like whatever you do is never enough?
  • Do you find yourself unable to leave work at work?
  • Are you replaying situations in your head long after they’re over? Do people tell you you need to “let it go?” 

If you answered yes to some of these questions, it’s likely you’ve experienced a period of professional burnout.

Leslie Stewart, PhD, LPC, says this is completely normal and to be expected.

Really. It’s normal. And expected.

In fact, most helping professionals (counselors, doctors, nurses, firefighters, social workers, and, yes, pet professionals) will have a few bouts of professional burnout in their careers.

Well, that’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that there are lots of helpful strategies you can use to set yourself up for success. You may not be able to completely avoid periods of struggle, but knowing what to look for and when to intervene will put you way ahead of the curve.

Visit https://colleenpelar.com/62 for the show notes and to download the Professional Quality of Life Scale, Self-Care Assessment, and recommended wellness activities.

Want to feel like you have more time? Volunteer!

Want to feel like you have more time? Volunteer!

January 9, 2020

When you are exhausted or burned out, it may come as a surprise to learn that volunteering your time and energy can be one of the very best ways to get your mojo back. It's counter-intuitive, but true.

Studies have shown that volunteering increases your empathy, builds social bonds, and leads to greater happiness. In fact, people who volunteer feel like they have more time than people who don't (even when they have the same demands on their time).