Emotional fitness is vital in facing the mental health challenges exacerbated by the pandemic. But what exactly is meant by emotional fitness and how do you build it?

Emotional fitness is an analogous concept to physical fitness, but applied to our thinking and emotions - specifically how we manage thoughts and feelings to support our mental health, resilience, relationships and greater happiness. Emotional health and fitness initially grow from building your awareness of how your inner thoughts and feelings impact you and your outer world. …

In these strange days, here are some psychologist-curated mental health resources to support you, calm you, or give you a shot of inspiration.

Calm App

Calm is a very beautiful app with gorgeous nature pictures and sounds. You can just listen to a river or a storm if you want to, and I do want to!
Calm helps me feel instantly transported to a beautiful place.

There are stories to help you sleep, some of them read by interesting people; there are all manner of meditations with various foci — like calming anxiety, or mindful-eating reminders. You can watch and listen to a crackling open fire, rain on leaves, or a fountain in the forest.

One thing, if you use the ‘breathing bubble’ image for…

Companion reads with empathy, insight and heart

Photo Susan Yin on Unsplash

Here are 5 powerful books about love and therapy, to help you feel less alone if you’re going through therapy, or considering it.

Reading about others’ experiences of mental health challenges can give you greater clarity and self-compassion. Memoirs of therapy shed light on the yearning, love and deep connection that often happens between a patient and their therapist, which is healing, but difficult to give up when therapy ends.

So here’s are some good reads with empathy and heart to serve as companions in your journey.

In Session: The Bond Between Women and Their Therapists by Deborah Lott

Real strategies from a psychologist for surviving the heartache of losing a relationship

This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Heartbreak is an inevitable part of being human

That’s a half-smile quote I guess, from Elizabeth Gilbert. I mean, what can anyone really say when we’re dealing with heartache at the loss of a relationship?

It’s been a long time (thankfully) since I’ve experienced such heartache and I hope it will be a whole lot longer. But I haven’t forgotten how it feels, that devastation that goes right through you. Everything feels desolate for a while, and you wonder if you will ever love again. It’s the loneliest feeling.


On the surface, fear of success might seem ridiculous — what could be scary about success? But if you dig a bit below the surface, you might discover some powerfully limiting aspects of your own mindset.

Russell Bishop

It’s such a counter-intuitive idea of what we typically fear isn’t it - why would we ever be reticent to embrace success wholeheartedly?

But there’s lots of talk about ‘fear of success’ in coaching, and people swear they suffer from it, so it can’t be ignored. I’m a therapist, constantly exploring with clients, fears that sound inexplicable on the surface, which usually…

Sure, some online entrepreneurs have made a fortune. But the whole I’ll show you how to sit on a beach while the millions roll in line has misled a generation of wannabes into parting with their cash, for nothing but a dream.

Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash

A few years ago I dived into exploring the whole online entrepreneur world, because I love working from home solo, writing and communing quietly with written words. While I primarily write for the joy of my own self-expression, there are those damned financial realities…

So in my quest to learn how to reach the right people and help…

Practice on the mat is only scratching the surface without the conscious application of the underlying principles of yoga. In the popularization of yoga and mindfulness practices over recent years, there’s been a glossing over of the depth of contemplative practices and often unwitting ignorance of their depth and subtlety.

Photo credit: Isabell Winter on Unsplash

Over many years of teaching yoga, I’ve seen that what happens during practice is only worth something if we carry the principles off the mat and into our lives and relationships intentionally. Without understanding the why of practice and making conscious applications of the underlying principles, yoga, mindfulness exercises and meditation cannot show their true or lasting potential benefits.

Meditation, yoga, and mindfulness exercises, like any potentially transformative practices, are tools for cultivating greater awareness and integration in ourselves, for a clearer perspective and a more connected way of life. They’re paths, not a destination.

Let’s examine a handful of…

And what to do instead

There are coaches of every kind online, as well as an extraordinary number of training courses and coaches for coaches. Life, business, mindset coaching — it’s an unregulated industry, meaning anyone can use the title and charge whatever they like — which often seems to be a substantial amount.

This too can be you for a price ;) Photo credit: Ed Gregory

What do you get for your money when you sign-up with a coach? Going in, that’s largely unknown unless you can get your coach to agree to some Key Performance Indicators before you start.

Generally, what you’ll get will depend on factors such as whether the coach holds qualifications or experience…

And it’s about setting boundaries

I always thought the idea of Tough Love was a joke. A dinosaur of an idea. Mildly sadistic even. But I’ll come back to that. Let’s talk dogs for a minute because they represent for me, pure emotion. And it’s dawned on me that the place where tough love can be be necessary, is in working with pure emotion.

I anthropomorphise my dog. At least I did. Until today. This morning, for the second time, my grown puppy dragged me to the ground in a power-struggle to get to another dog. I skinned my hand, bruised my knee and wounded…

It can get away from you all too easily…

Last night, satisfied but really tired, I got to rest after a few days intense work. Helping people find acceptance and self-compassion is a big part of my job as a therapist. Many people are stuck in pain about the past, or anxiety about the future. Compassion and insight open the door to greater emotional freedom.

I help people get what they want, which often means getting free of situations, thought-patterns, or moods they find intractable, so they can grow. …

Debra Campbell

Dr Debra Campbell is a psychologist and author of Lovelands, a self-help memoir about becoming your own hero. You can find out more at www.drdebracampbell.com

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