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Stéphanie's Picks

Stéphanie's Picks


Le club des sans diète

En naviguant sur Internet ou sur les différentes applications, il n’est pas rare d’être confronté à des propositions de diètes miracles ou encore à des programmes d’entraînement jumelés à un plan nutritionnel magique qui vous aidera à atteindre votre corps de rêve. Il peut être tentant de s’engager dans une telle démarche. Il est toutefois primordial de prendre conscience de ce qu’exige réellement une implication dans celle-ci tant au plan physique que psychologique. L’article proposé ici illustre d’une part les conséquences engendrées par la restriction, les régimes et les diètes et aborde d’autre part, l’ensemble des bienfaits qu’une alimentation non-restrictive peut apporter. Il vous propose également deux TED TALK intéressantes qui s’inscrivent dans cette philosophie. Est-ce que vous vous joignez à moi dans le club des sans diète?

Danit's Picks

Danit's Picks


Understanding the science of willpower

January is a time during which people reflect on the past and plan for the future. We ambitiously establish goals and take on new challenges. We feel more motivated than ever and look forward to a fresh start. However, a few months in motivation often begins to wane and our resolutions are tested. Understanding the psychology of willpower (hint: it’s a muscle!) can help shed light on this process so that we can become more effective. Check out the APA’s publication on willpower here: What you need to know about willpower.


The upcoming legalization of marijuana has important implications for all Canadians, yet it raises a particularly important question for parents— how do you talk to your teen about marijuana? Having an honest conversation is the key to keeping communication channels open and helping your teen understand and navigate important choices.  

Drug Free Kids Canada offers a user-friendly step-by-step resource for starting the conversation. The PDF guide can be found here: Cannabis Talk Kit Know How to Talk with Your Teen.


Like many events of a similar nature, the Parkland shooting brings to the forefront a painful reality: We cannot easily protect our children and loved ones from traumatic events or loss. Further, we are also faced with the question of how to handle grief in the aftermath. Teachers and adults in closest proximity to children often lack the time, resources, and training to guide children through processing emotions around such events.

To address this need, the Coalition to Support Grieving Students offers online resources. These include helpful information, advice, and other tools useful for assisting adults in leading conversations and supporting affected children.  The website includes modules, guides, videos, and resources shedding light on how to help youth process grief after crisis or loss.


I first learned about Shenpa in Pema Chödrön’s book “Getting unstuck”.  It is a Tibetan word that refers to our tendency to get “hooked” by certain thoughts and emotions, and our immediate urge to react or “scratch the itch”. By giving in to this temptation, we teach ourselves that we absolutely must react to our Shenpa. Often, this leads to reacting with behaviours that are harmful in the long term. We also forego the opportunity to observe the Shenpa and experience our emotions. Refraining from biting the hook is an important part of meditation—it paves the way towards observing, understanding, and being in charge of our experiences and actions. 

Read more about Shenpa: Shenpa and getting hooked

Getting Unstuck by Pema Chödrön (book)



In this stop-motion animation, Karen Chan highlights the way our fear can limit the way we engage with our lives. Although anxiety and avoidance have been researched and written about extensively (see Machell et al., 2014, or Dymond, 2009), Chan simplifies the complexity of ‘fear conditioning’—the (very adaptive) way we teach ourselves to keep safe by avoiding danger. However, beyond that, she brings to light the tendency to hang on to fearing old fears, even when they no longer present a threat. The questions at the end of the video prime us to take a deeper look at the terror we create with our thoughts and with our actions, as we continue to avoid what may no longer be dangerous to us. There is evidence that by doing this, we condition ourselves to keep living in fear even when there is no danger. In doing so, we may be missing out on important and enriching life experiences!


Roughly 80% of Canadians report drinking alcohol (Taylor, 2016). For many, alcohol consumption is a source of pleasure—enjoying a glass of wine with dinner, a beer with friends, a cocktail on a terrace. However, many Canadians drink in a way that puts them at risk for harm (physical or other), sometimes without even realizing that their drinking is risky! If you are curious about where your drinking stands, there is a tool to help you learn more about your drinking patterns. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) makes this brief survey available to all, and includes personalized feedback about your drinking. You can learn about how your drinking compares to others’, how much it costs you (not just financially!), and how quickly you metabolize the alcohol such that it is no longer in your system after you’ve had a drink. Check it out here.


Practicing Mindfulness is the art of bringing one’s attention to the present moment with purpose and compassion. Mindfulness has been linked to improved physical health and psychological well-being (Brown et al., 2007), and is often a first step in the journey of self-exploration and wellness.

You can practice mindfulness throughout your day-to-day activities, or, you can set aside time dedicated to mindful meditation. If you are looking to explore your own mindfulness and meditation preferences, there is a (free) app to guide you.

The Insight Timer app is a great tool for beginners and more experienced meditators alike.  You can browse through guided meditations or simply set a timer for your meditation and proceed without instruction. You can choose from a range of meditations, some lasting a single minute, to others lasting upwards of an hour!


All the wonderful benefits of practicing mindfulness also extend to the workplace. In this context, mindfulness has been linked to enhanced performance, smoother interpersonal interactions and improved relationships with clients (Good et al., 2016). Taking a moment to slow down is essential in the world of multitasking and information overload. In fact, just a few mindful moments a day can stimulate creativity and insight in the workplace. 

Check out this article to learn more about mindfulness as a way to jumpstart creativity at work.

Ava's Picks

Ava's Picks



I have been listening to a lot of podcasts recently and this episode of Love and Radio has been one of my favourites. I love it because for me, it really drives home a couple of things. First, always close your blinds! Second, and more importantly, even when you feel alone, someone, somewhere is pulling for you and wants you to be okay :) Knowing this can be helpful, given that research has long shown the importance of social support (Cobb, 1976). Just an FYI, you may want to cry while listening to this...


We all want to be happy but for some it can seem really difficult to achieve. There are many reasons why, and this article discusses a few of them. The good news is that because much of happiness is under our control, it is possible for us to get there with some changes. See Andrea's blog post for ways you can increase your level of happiness.

So many people come in and ask “How can I be happy?!” There are many facets to it, and it means something different for everyone, but research has shown that there is a meaningful link between gratitude and well being (Sansone & Sansone, 2012). I believe very strongly in practicing what I preach, which is why I take time at the end of every day to reflect on what it is that I am grateful for. In this TED talk, David Steindl-Rast speaks about the relationship between happiness and gratefulness in a way that has really stuck with me. (And check out Andrea's blog post, "Want to Maximize your Potential? Get Happier!" for more tips on how to increase happiness!).


I am huge fan of apps, especially the free ones :) One that l have been recommending a lot lately is Stop, Breathe & Think, which is described as a “free meditation app to help you be more mindful and compassionate”. It has a number of different guided meditations available that I have found really helpful when looking for something to help me take a pause in my day. Available for both Android and iOS!

Annélie's Picks

Annélie's Picks



Born a Crime is an audiobook autobiography of Trevor Noah’s journey from a boy born in South Africa during apartheid to the man hosting the critically acclaimed Daily show. The way he delivers his story with wit, socio-political references and emotional depth enables the reader to bear witness to his journey and most importantly relate to it. While we have not lived through apartheid, many have encountered traumatic life experiences, faced ostracism, feared rejection and struggled with one’s identity or finding purpose. Additionally, many have also learned how to rise through and above their life circumstances to not only survive but live. Trevor Noah’s storytelling style will make you laugh, cheer, angry, sad and knowledgeable. Have a good listen!


On me pose cette question au moins une fois par jour que ce soit un collègue, une amie, un membre de ma famille ou un client. Je suis persuadée que mon entourage se fait poser la question aussi… peut-être même par moi! Ce n’est pas toujours facile de trouver la référence appropriée. Voici une ressource qui, j’espère, deviendra une référence indispensable pour bon nombre d’entre vous. Il s’agit du 211 Grand Montréal. En composant ces trois chiffres ou en visitant le site web, vous aurez accès à plus de 5000 organismes dédiés à fournir des ressources sociales et/ou communautaires (emploi et revenus, sports et loisirs, soutien psychosocial, enfance et famille, etc) gratuites ou à faibles coûts.

Il s’agit d’une ressource fort utile alors jetez-y un coup d’œil!


Clients, collègues et amis
Si vous ne connaissez pas le Dr. Sonia Lupien, Ph.D, je vous invite à visiter son site web Dr. Lupien est une chercheure/conférencière/auteure émérite en neurosciences. Ces études portent sur le mécanisme du stress et l’impact de celui-ci sur diverses sphères (la mémoire, performance au travail, santé physique, santé mentale chez les jeunes et les adultes). Les recherches scientifiques ne sont pas toujours accessibles à tous. Cependant, Dr. Lupien utilisent plusieurs plateformes médiatiques afin de vulgariser l’information, démystifier ce qu’est le stress afin d’éduquer le public... Nous! Son site web est une mine de renseignements sur la définition, les causes et les stratégies pour gérer le stress. Jetez-y un coup d’œil!

Why should we strive for more self-compassion rather than a higher self-esteem? Kristin Neff discusses how it is a good thing to have a positive global evaluation of oneself. However, seeking high self-esteem can be problematic depending on how we go about it, and it is contingent upon success (Neff, 2011). If said success is not reached, self-criticism tends to rear its head. In such settings, she encourages us to be more compassionate and less harsh towards ourselves. Her definition of self-compassion describes 3 components: self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness.  To find out more about these components, check out Krisitn Neff’s talk at TEDx Centennial ParkWomen.


CBT- I Coach is a mobile application provided by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It is based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Insomnia. This application is designed for people in therapy for insomnia with the CBT approach. However, it can also be used by people struggling with insomnia and seeking helpful tools to improve their sleeping habits (winding down, schedule worry time, change your perspective, breathing technique). It is noteworthy to mention it is not intended to replace therapy. Strong evidenced-based data suggests CBT-I is effective (Siebern & Mander 2011). Check it out! (And check out Ava's blog post, "Getting Back to Bed" for more tips on dealing with sleep issues!).