Blogging with Martha

By Katie DiCioccio ‘10
Public Affairs Intern

On February 2, Assumption psychology professor Sarah Cavanagh appeared on television’s The Martha Stewart Show. Although the Emmy Award-winning show is focused primarily on lifestyle and the domestic arts, Cavanagh earned a guest spot as a blogger for the Whole Body Action Plan, a total mind and body wellness program.

Cavanagh talked easily with Stewart about her recent experiences as one of four bloggers selected to contribute to Martha’s Body Soul website. She has blogged about her struggles with temporarily giving up caffeine, new organic recipes she has tried, and the challenge of balancing a healthy lifestyle while juggling professional and parenting responsibilities.

Health and wellness have long been an important focus for Cavanagh. In her doctoral and postdoctoral work at Tufts University she examined how healthy people manage or regulate their emotions. This interest in wellness drew her to the Whole Body Action Plan blogging opportunity. “The focus was on being a well-rounded healthy person – eating right, fitness, meditating and journaling,” she explains.

In addition to juggling a full course load here at Assumption and making an appearance on national television, Cavanagh has also established a psychology research group here on campus. “The blog dovetails with my work in our new Laboratory for Cognitive and Affective Science (LaCASA). Both are focused on aspects of emotion and wellness,” she explains. “My overall research focus is on what factors predict wellness and resilience in people.”

Cavanagh hopes that her research into the factors that can lead to a balanced, happy and healthy life one day will lead her to publish on positive psychology and possibly share experiences on rejuvenation retreats with women friends. “I’ve always planned to write a book about how women gather to support each other and to relax.” But before sharing these stories with the world, she’ll continue to impart her extensive knowledge about creating a balanced, healthy life here at Assumption.

Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College @AssumptionNews