Mental Health

FISH! Lessons from the Dancing Traffic Cop

Have you ever heard of a man named Vic Cianca? If the name doesn’t ring a bell, don’t worry: he’s one of the many unsung heroes of the world who make their communities just a little bit better by virtue of being themselves. Vic Cianca was a traffic cop in Pittsburgh who was beloved for his, shall we say, unique ways of directing traffic every day on the job. Rather than just standing there, pointing the way with his arms, he truly made the job his own–from pretending to fall asleep when distracted drivers failed to move, to pleading with traffic to keep going, to even using legs and other limbs to direct cars, Cianca turned this one intersection into his own Jester’s Court every day he worked. He even gained some notoriety for his antics: not only did everyone in the city love him, but his passion and humor even made it into the hit 1980’s movie Flashdance, where he served as inspiration for Jennifer Beals’ would-be dancer. Sadly, Vic Cianca passed away in 2010 at the age of 92, but the way he approached his job can still inspire how we approach our own, every day of the week.

By |2023-05-16T13:35:53-05:00May 31, 2023|Blog|Comments Off on FISH! Lessons from the Dancing Traffic Cop

Giving and Receiving Criticism Using the FISH! Philosophy

Learning to give and receive criticism professionally and effectively is hands-down one of the most important professional skills anybody can learn, but also hands-down one of the hardest. Hearing we’ve done something wrong is a huge emotional trigger for most people, and conversely, most of us who pride ourselves on being generally nice and respectful people get huge anxiety at the thought of providing critical feedback to someone else. Criticism is an unavoidable part of life, whether in work, relationships, friendships, and family dynamics, and for good reason: constructive feedback is how we learn and improve ourselves and can lead to personal growth rather than emotional or professional stagnation.

By |2023-05-10T09:00:54-05:00May 24, 2023|Blog|Comments Off on Giving and Receiving Criticism Using the FISH! Philosophy

FISH! Philosophy in the Millennial Workplace

If it’s been a while since you checked your generational calendar, take a peek: The oldest Millennials are now in their forties, and even the youngest are generally past traditional college age. That means that if you haven’t noticed already, Millennials are likely a huge part of your organization’s workforce. Plenty of ink has been spilled about working with Millennials, but let us spill just a bit more: this generation isn’t made up of children, but rather regular human beings with the same feelings as the rest of us. But it is true that as they’ve aged into the workforce, they’ve also brought about a change in culture and a change in professional norms. So here’s some tips for how you can use the FISH! Philosophy to help you navigate the changing workplace with your new, younger teammates.

By |2023-05-04T10:59:18-05:00May 17, 2023|Blog|Comments Off on FISH! Philosophy in the Millennial Workplace

Practicing Mindfulness with the FISH! Philosophy

It seems hard to go through the world nowadays without hearing about the concept of mindfulness, but if this is your first time, let us be your introduction. Mindfulness is essentially just the idea of attuning yourself to the present moment and paying deep, close attention to your surroundings and tasks at hand, without letting your mind wander or letting intrusive thoughts serve as a distraction. Mindfulness is hugely popular in the world of wellness, therapeutic practice, and self-help, and it’s easy to see why. When we practice mindfulness, we align our minds and our bodies rather than letting them drift apart or allowing our minds to do what they do best: ruminating and anticipating that which might hurt us.

By |2023-04-27T08:18:46-05:00May 10, 2023|Blog|Comments Off on Practicing Mindfulness with the FISH! Philosophy

The Benefits of Being There

If you regularly read this blog, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the 4 core practices of the Fish! Philosophy: Be There, Play, Make Their Day, and Choose Your Attitude. These principles are at the center of everything we do, and they’re the foundations that make Fish! so effective in the school or workplace. However, just like any skill or piece of knowledge, it helps to revisit something you know intimately in order to re-establish the benefits and reinforce the importance of that skill. By spending a bit of time to refamiliarize yourself with something you’ve spent so much time practicing, it makes it salient again, allowing you to put front and center in your mind something that may otherwise have taken a back seat due to familiarity or confidence. So today, let’s take another look at the first of these core skills: Be There. We’ll discuss what it is, why it’s important, and how it can take your organizational effectiveness and personal happiness to the next level.

By |2023-04-21T10:15:31-05:00May 3, 2023|Blog|Comments Off on The Benefits of Being There

The Importance of Play in Mental Health

Far too often, we push Play to the side in our lives, and we wonder why our mental health suffers! When we feel depressed, anxious, irritable, or other adverse mental health symptoms, it’s easy to write it off as the result of us being too busy–too many responsibilities, too much job pressure, too many chores or errands, and generally too much being asked of our time. While this may be true, what if part of the issue was not that too much is being asked of our time, and more that we aren’t allocating our time to the things our brains truly need to thrive? It’s easy to hear “just spend more time playing” and file it away under other feel-good “self-care” suggestions like “take a bubble bath” or “have some chocolate,” but the truth is, Play is not just something that’s fun to do, it’s necessary to maintain our mental health. And play is far from just games and sports: as we’ve talked about at-length in the past, Play is about how we think and how we engage in the world. It’s about grappling with complex ideas, non-linear solutions to problems, and thinking creatively about the world around us. So how does that help our mental health?

By |2023-04-21T10:16:34-05:00April 26, 2023|Blog|Comments Off on The Importance of Play in Mental Health


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