skip to main content
Back to Top

Supporting Resilience

 [from McMaster Organizational Development]

“People are understandably nervous and worried as our lives are being impacted in unsettling ways.  But we are also caring and thoughtful and it is the time to show our determination to take care of each other and our communities”.  ~ David Farrar

In these tough times, when the world is going through a major crisis, it’s hard for even the most optimistic among us to stay positive.  Although we need to take the coronavirus health crisis seriously, it’s counterproductive for us to stay focused on negativity.  Obviously, you need to stay informed about how to keep yourself and others healthy and safe during the coronavirus outbreak, but focusing on positive things will help you get the energy you need to manage your immediate challenges and prepare for the future.

We want you to know that we are thinking of you - whether you are working from home or onsite, or you are not able to work right now.  Our team is working hard to develop new resources and initiatives, which can be accessed online from wherever you are located.  Here are a few new supports we have developed for you, with more coming soon.  Watch our HR Events page for additional initiatives we’re working on.

Upcoming Virtual Events for McMaster Faculty and Staff

Live Stream Morning Yoga
Wednesday, March 25
 11 a.m. – 12 noon

Yoga is an ancient system of breathing practices, physical exercises, postures and meditation intended to integrate the practitioner’s body, mind, and spirit. Enjoy deeper levels of health and vitality while you build strength, improve your balance, increase flexibility and reduce stress and tension for overall wellness. Yoga is also tied to the Yin and Yang of Chinese Philosophy, with Yang being the more energetic poses of yoga and Yin being the poses with stillness, relaxation and letting go.

Jennifer Stanley is a McMaster employee and yoga instructor.  She will help you reduce stress and tension during this live streamed session on her Instagram page.  No registration required.  Please join us on Jennifer’s Instagram page @jennstanleyyoga!

Webex Workshop – Happiness from Home
Thursday, March 30 | 12 noon – 1 p.m.

With the frequently changing landscape due to COVID-19, the McMaster community is challenged with navigating the new realities of work and home. In this session, Kyle Armstrong will explore how you can achieve happiness and well-being, whether you are working from home or onsite. He will challenge the traditional definition of work-life balance, instead focusing on how the four happiest places on earth work to achieve this harmony. Participants will also learn how to apply this information to their particular work situation. Please note that if you are not able to attend the live session, a recording will be made available.  Register online to access this workshop.

Other Sessions Coming Soon!

In collaboration with our Centre for Continuing Education partners, we are currently finalizing details on addition workshops during the week of March 23 and March 30 including: mindfulness, staying connected & positive, yoga, meditation, and resilience & adaptability.  Please continue to watch our upcoming events page for these sessions!


Resilience Toolkit: A toolkit with tips and information for McMaster staff and faculty on how to stay healthy, engaged, and resilient during this difficult time.

30 actions:  Ways to look after ourselves and each other as we fight this global crisis together.

10 factors:  A guidebook on factors that are really important to our well-being and what we can do about them.

10 Days of Happiness: Join the free 10 Days of Happiness email-based coaching program.  Each day you’ll receive new ideas from the science of positive psychology and discover new ways to boost well-being for yourself and others.

The Science of Happiness Podcast: Learn research-tested strategies for a happier, more meaningful life, drawing on the science of compassion, gratitude, mindfulness, and awe. Co-produced by Public Radio Exchange and UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center.

Other Free Learning Opportunities

LinkedIn Learning: Active McMaster faculty and staff have free access to the LinkedIn Learning platform, using your MACID.  This is an on-demand learning solution designed to help learners gain new skills and advance their careers. LinkedIn Learning offers a customized learning experience that features instructional content relevant to the learner's professional interests and goals.

Greater Good Science Center – UC Berkeley’s The Science of Happiness Course: This free 8-week online course explores the roots of a happy, meaningful life. Taught by the Greater Good Science Center's Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, The Science of Happiness zeroes in on a fundamental finding from positive psychology: that happiness is inextricably linked to having strong social ties and contributing to something bigger than yourself—the greater good.

Responsible Optimism: What makes positive thinking so powerful? Thinking optimistically, rather than negatively or pessimistically, is a proven key to avoiding feelings of depression, persisting longer at challenging tasks, and facing each day with hope and excitement. This course provides users with the tools they require to change their thinking.  If you don’t already have one, set up an account on to access this (and many other) courses.

Need Help?

Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) - Homewood HealthIf you are feeling isolated, anxious, sad or depressed, please reach out to your health care provider, or Homewood Health for support.  Homewood Health continues to offer its telephonic counselling services.  The research that has been conducted over the last decade or more is very clear – the efficacy of telephone-based counselling equals that of face to face.


Deb Garland
Program Manager, Engagement & Wellness
Organizational Development, Human Resources Services
905-525-9140 ext. 24556    


© 201​​7 McMaster University  |  1280 Main Street West  |  Hamilton, Ontario ​L8S 4K1  |  905-525-​9140   |  Contact Us | Terms of Use & Privacy Policy