The Church Pension Group (CPG, visit their website here) has recently launched Choose Well, a new podcast series featuring interviews with health and finance experts. The series provides insights and suggestions on topics that are particularly relevant today:
- financial wellness,
- cultivating healthy behaviors, and
- leading a balanced life.
You can listen to Choose Well on your favorite podcast app or CPG’s website (cpg.org/podcast).
“We are always looking for new ways to inform and educate our clients on topics of importance to their well-being, and we are pleased to be able to introduce this podcast series at a time when many are experiencing increased emotional and financial stress,” said Mary Kate Wold, Chief Executive Officer and President of CPG. “Our hope is that the topics covered in Choose Well will help our clients and others navigate these uncertain times.”
The nine-part series, hosted by CPG Senior Health Education Specialist Krishna Dholakia, emphasizes actions listeners can take to improve specific areas of their lives, which in turn can lead to a more holistic sense of well-being. It features practical steps listeners can take to protect themselves from investment fraud, cope with caution fatigue, weather financial strains, and help cultivate other healthy behaviors and lead a balanced life.
Choose Well Episodes
Episode 1: What Is Well-Being?
What is well-being, and why do we need to talk about it?
Krishna Dholakia, the podcast’s host, and Munirah Jones, its producer, have a frank conversation about what well-being means to them. Listen as they explore different definitions of well-being and explain why CPG created this podcast.
Episode 2: Our Changing Brains
Change is possible, but why is it so hard? In this episode, Krishna talks to licensed Clinical Psychologist Jody Horstman, PhD, about neuroplasticity and what it takes to retrain our brains.
The formation of neural “superhighways” in our brains allows us to change habits and adopt new behaviors. Repetition, small steps, and even failure can help us take advantage of our brain’s neuroplasticity and adopt healthy habits in all areas of our lives.
Episode 3: Building Financial Skills
How are you feeling about your finances?
Krishna is joined by her colleague Pattie Christensen, Vice President, Education & Wellness, and Janneke Ratcliffe, former Assistant Director in the Office of Financial Education at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to talk about building financial skills. Among other things, they discuss the need for “rainy-day funds” and invite us to think about “savings” as something you do, not something you have.
Episode 4: Overcoming Caution Fatigue
With concerns about public health front and center, you may be having trouble focusing or getting a good night’s sleep. What IS that? It may be caution fatigue—and you may be able to do something about it.
Rev. Barbara “Barb” Kempf, Associate for Intergenerational Ministry at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, leads Krishna on a journey through the toll that public health crises take on our lives. Speaking with both knowledge and compassion, she explores the potential impacts of social distancing and constant vigilance on us and offers advice on how to cope.
Episode 5: Building Your Ability to Weather Financial Strain
Who says you have to give up those expensive lattes to save for the future?
Join Krishna and CPG colleague Janet Todd, Director of Curriculum Development, Education & Wellness, as they welcome Gerri Walsh, Head of Investor Education at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Speaking from years of experience, Gerri offers an interesting perspective on why increasing our understanding of money matters contributes to overall well-being.
Episode 6: Avoiding Investment Fraud
How to spot and protect yourself from fraudsters.
Krishna and Janet Todd continue their conversation with FINRA’s Gerri Walsh. They talk about the tactics fraudsters use to target their victims, and Gerri explains why we’re susceptible to con games. She also reminds us that staying alert and informed is our best defense.
Episode 7: Financial Literacy and Financial Fragility
Knowledge can lead to better choices—and lower our anxiety about money matters. An expert connects the dots.
Annamaria Lusardi, Professor of Economics and Accountancy at the George Washington University School of Business, calls personal finance a “happiness project.” Being financially secure takes a big worry off the table and puts us in a better position to achieve our dreams. Krishna and Pattie Christensen speak with Annamaria to discuss the benefits of increasing our understanding of saving, investing, and savvy debt management.
Episode 8: Improving the Quality of Our Lives through Mindfulness, Part 1
We hear a lot about mindfulness, but what exactly is it—and why is it a cornerstone of wellness? The experts weigh in.
Being present in the moment can increase our resilience, compassion, and ability to focus, but it means learning new techniques. Listen as Krishna explores mindfulness with Jeffrey Zahn, MD, Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Mickie Brown, Registered Nurse and Clinical Manager for Education And Mindfulness at the Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health. They share mindfulness techniques and explain how intention, choice, and living in the moment can be game changers.
Episode 9: Improving the Quality of Our Lives through Mindfulness, Part 2
Krishna and her guests talk about incorporating mindfulness into programs aimed at reducing burnout.
Did you know that mindfulness training is now incorporated in physician training and used across healthcare to alleviate stress in patients and practitioners? Burnout is a growing concern in church ministry, too. Krishna continues to explore the topic of mindfulness with Dr. Jeffrey Zahn and Mickie Brown who offer tips for practicing mindfulness throughout the day.
Episode 10: Bonus Episode
Dr. Jeffrey Zahn leads a short exercise anyone can use at any time for practicing mindfulness.