Above the Fray: Managing Emotions Through Pandemic Fatigue

January 19, 2021

We all experience stress to some extent—but since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears the likelihood of experiencing overwhelming emotions has risen. In our current stress-inducing climate, we are at a higher risk of experiencing anxiety, depression, loss and fear. Navigating these emotions can feel isolating, but you don’t have to do it alone. ISU WorkLife, University Human Resources hosted a panelist discussion where five expert panelists shared their expertise and insights about managing stress and emotional well-being in the midst of a pandemic. Meet the panelists and view the recording below.

Meet the Panelists

Brian Luke Seaward, PhD

Brian Luke Seaward is regarded as one of the foremost experts in the field of stress management and a pioneer in the fields of mind-body-spirit healing and corporate health promotion. The wisdom of Brian Luke Seaward can be found quoted in PBS specials, The Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, college graduation speeches, medical seminars, boardroom meetings, church sermons, and keynote addresses all over the world. He has authored more than twelve books, including the classic best sellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, The Art of Calm and Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward and the leading college textbook, Managing Stress (9E). Dr. Seaward’s mission, as expressed through his legacy of acclaimed books, documentary films and public appearances, is to make this a better world in which to live by having each of us reach our highest potential. His corporate clients include Hewlett Packard, Royal Caribbean, Wells Fargo, TransAmerica, Procter & Gamble, Conoco-Phillips, Motorola, Quaker Oats, John Deere, BP-Amoco, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Maxtor-Seagate, Organic Valley Dairy, US ARMY, The US Airforce and many others.  For 25 years he served on the faculty of the University of Colorado Consortium for Public Health and now currently he is a faculty member of The Graduate Institute. Dr. Seaward is the Executive Director of the Paramount Wellness Institute in Boulder, CO.  Former Good Morning America host, Joan Lunden says, “Dr. Seaward’s words have touched my life profoundly and helped me to find grace and dignity, the patience and compassion needed to navigate my ever-changing course. They have helped me understand that it is the way I choose to see the world that I will create the world I see.”  It’s been said several times that Brian Luke Seaward looks like James Taylor, dresses like Indiana Jones, and writes like Mark Twain. In the role of traveler, visionary, mystic, healer and mentor, Dr. Seaward has created a legacy in the field of wellness and health promotion for all to share. He can be contacted at www.brianlukeseaward.net

Dina Eisenberg, JD

Dina Eisenberg, J.D., a seasoned mediator, and former corporate ombuds for Bank of America, loves to help managers and employees to clarify their needs and goals then explore to workable solutions. Dina developed an understanding of the uniqueness of academic life from her time as Ombuds for Berklee College of Music. Dina can be reached at: dina-ombuds@mwi.org.

Doug Gentile, PhD

Dr. Douglas Gentile is an award-winning research scientist, educator, author, and is professor of psychology at Iowa State University.  His research primarily focuses on how children's media use influences health and wellness. He is the editor of the book Media Violence and Children (2 editions; Praeger Press), and co-author of the book Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents: Theory, Research, and Public Policy (2007, Oxford University Press) and the book Game On!  Sensible Answers about Video Games and Media Violence.  He has authored over 130 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, including studies on the positive and negative effects of mass media on children in several countries, video game "addiction," and mindfulness practices for reducing anxiety and increasing happiness.  

In addition to his scientific work, Dr. Gentile is also a certified meditation instructor and ordained Zen monk.  He leads mindfulness and meditation groups here in Ames and online.  He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and he was named one of the Top 300 Professors in the United States by the Princeton Review.

Jacob Meyer, PhD

Dr. Meyer is an Assistant Professor in the Deparmtent of Kinesiology and the Director of the Wellbeing and Exercise Laboratory at Iowa State. His research focuses on the associations between mental health and physical activity, exercise and sedentary behavior using both epidemiological and psychobiological approaches. His current work examines how exercise can be used in the treatment of depression and in the behavioral and psychological effects of the pandemic.

Connect with Dr. Meyer on Twitter (@WellEx_ISU), Facebook (WellEx.ISU), or Instagram (wellex_isu). To learn more about Dr. Meyer's research, visit https://research.hs.iastate.edu/wellbeing-exercise.

Joleen Frideres, MS

Joleen is a proud graduate of ISU, & has attained two Masters degrees in Counseling & Public Administration. With 25 years as a Mental Health Professional, Joleen specializes in: trauma healing, anxiety/ depression/ bipolar mgt, co-occurring disorder tx; Love & Logic parenting, & faith-based Counseling.

Joleen's clients enjoy extreme confidentiality, unhurried, & compassionate therapy, based on Positive Psychology In private practice & offering tele-therapy since 2013, her clients appreciate ease of access, as well as how quickly they feel relief.

Joleen has been a University Instructor for BVU for over six years. She has had a featured radio segment “My Mental Health Moment” on KLMC, & has been regularly featured as a writer for Women’s Inc Magazine. Joleen is a transformational speaker, bringing her inspiration to groups of all sizes.

Certifications include: Family Trauma Profession CFTP (ACES), Emotion Focused Therapy (Couples Therapy), ADHD-CCSP Professional, Depression & Mood Disorder (Bi-Polar) Treatment Professional (CDMDTP), Domestic Violence Advocate (IA-ICADV inactive), EMDR Therapy (tx PTSD), Certified Grief Counseling Specialist