Wellness Wednesday Check-In

Happy Wellness Wednesday Groovy People!

I love Wellness Wednesdays because they give me a chance to check-in with myself and clients on how we are taking care of ourselves. That ‘s why I am reaching out to you today.

How are you doing this week?

How are you starting and ending your days?

What mindful self-care practices are working?

Who or what are getting in your way?

What resources do you need to take better care of yourself?

This week I started my mornings with my personal practice of prayer, meditation, reiki, and yoga. I also had an opportunity to lead two mindfulness meditation sessions at the Nonprofit Technology Network’s virtual conference. During the sessions, I reminded everyone we get 1,440 minutes each day. We can choose to use one or more of these minutes to practice mindful self-care. I encouraged folks to use the Spring Homework (mentioned in the graphic above) to check-in with themselves and recommit to self-care. 

Need more support with mindful self-care? Join me for the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Spring Virtual Retreat on Saturday, March 27th at 7-9:30 PM ET

During the virtual retreat, you will:

  • Practice mindful self-care with deep breathing exercises, a mindfulness meditation with self-touch, and gentle chair yoga
  • Learn how to align and manage your energy with the wisdom of the Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, Winter Solstice, New Moon, Full Moon, and crystal therapy
  • Participate in an intuitive movement exercise and a sound bath meditation that will help you open your heart to release and forgive
  • Reflect on and journal about what’s working and not working in your life and career, and what’s getting in your way
  • Set intentions and identify the resources, action steps, and accountability support you need to manifest who you want to be and what you want to manifest in your life and career
  • Create a self-celebration plan to appreciate your small, medium, and big wins

A Zoom video link will be emailed to you once you register for the online retreat. Get your ticket here: March 27th Retreat at 7-9:30 PM ET.

Create More Happiness in Your Life with Self-Hugging This Spring

Hey Groovy People!

Can you believe the Spring season begins on March 20th and the first quarter of the this year ends on March 31st?

How are you planning to welcome the new season and second quarter into your life, career, and/or business?

My Spring Self-Care Commitment & Personal Retreat

For me, Spring is about fresh starts, new beginnings, new ideas, and new possibilities. It is a time of rebirth and renewal. I welcome Spring into my life as my second new year. For the past several years, I have used the astrological calendar and moon cycles to create personal retreats during the Spring Equinox, New Moon, and Full Moon. My personal retreats help me rest, restore, and recharge my spirit, heart, mind, and body. They allow me to slow down, become still, breathe deeply, and practice mindful self-care. They also help me recommit to myself by reflecting on how I started the year, exploring the lessons learned, releasing what no longer serves my highest good, setting new intentions, identifying goals, and mapping out action steps for the rest of the year.

One of the things that has been coming up for me in my Spring personal retreat reflections is the need to to invest more time and energy on maintaining a healthy well-being with better boundaries around my sleep and news and social media consumption. Right after the domestic terrorist attacks on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, I started staying up later and later in the evenings to read articles and social media, and watch videos, movies, and live discussions about racial injustice, politics, and the COVID-19 pandemic. That choice was a disaster recipe for my well-being. It increased stress and anxiety levels in my body. It made it harder to sleep peacefully. It chipped away at my happiness.

Recently, I decided to recommit to my well-being with one daily mindful self-care practice this Spring: self-hugging. Why? Because I need more physical touch in my life due to COVID-19 social distancing and quarantining. Going without it for long periods can impact our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Also, hugging helps boost serotonin, the happiness hormone that is produced and spread by neurons in the brain. Feeling more happiness strengthens our well-being.

Self-Hugging: Why Does It Support Well-Being and Create Happiness?

Hugging yourself is FREE and takes less than five minutes. It offers you an opportunity to practice loving kindness and strengthen your resiliency. A self-hug is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. All you have to do is decide and set an intention to give yourself a hug or hugs on a daily basis. Once you set your intention, take action and watch how your self-hugs turn into acts of self-love and self-empowerment.

When you hug yourself, your body releases the hormone, oxytocin, the “love hormone.” Oxytocin helps reduce stress and tension by lowering cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the body. It also lowers blood pressure, slows the heart rate, and improves moods.

Hugging yourself for 20 seconds or more is a serotonin booster. Serotonin is known as the “feel good” hormone that is produced and spread by neurons in the brain. It helps you feel happy, calm, and confident.

Consider following the advice of family therapist Virginia Satir who is famous for saying, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

 

Let’s Welcome Spring with More Happiness Through Self-Hugging on March 20th, Spring Equinox and International Day of Happiness

Let’s use the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Happiness Moment Self-Hug Challenge that is rooted in the HUG3 self-care practice. HUG3 is an acronym that stands for:

H: Hold space for yourself with

U: Unconditional Love

G3: Grace, Growth, and Gratitude

6 Self-Hugging Tips

There are many ways to hug yourself. Check out the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s tips below.

  1. Fold your arms around your body. You can fold your arms across your stomach or just below your chest. Do what feels most comfortable.
  2. Take a moment to consider the type of hug you need in the moment. How do you want the hug to feel? Strong, intense, soft or soothing?
  3. Give yourself a nice squeeze with just enough pressure to create the hug experience you need.
  4. Feel free to gently rock back and forth while hugging yourself.
  5. If hugging isn’t your cup of tea, try giving yourself a gentle massage in the areas of your body you feel most comfortable with. You can start with your face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, chest or belly. If it feels good, try the entire body!
  6. Use the Thriving Mindfully YoutTube playlist to keep you company as you hug yourself. Warning: The music may inspire you to dance and hug yourself at the same time! Watch out for the Thriving Mindfully theme song, “Be the REAL YOU” by Garnet Jay of Footprint Productions.

Get Started with the Happiness Moment Self-Challenge Today!

Pick one of the challenges below and dive deep into your self-hugging today.

30-Day Self-Hugs: Try 1 hug for 20 seconds per day. Consider giving yourself a hug in the morning before you get out of bed. If the morning doesn’t work, take a mid-day hug break or end your day with a hug before you go to sleep.

60-Day Self-Hugs: Try 4 or more hugs that last 1 minute or more per day. Notice how the increase in hugs makes you feel. If it feels good, add more hugs to your day.

90-Day Self-Hugs: Make hugging a self-care maintenance practice with 8 or more hugs per day.

120-Day Self-Hugs: Take your hug life to the next level of growth with 12 or more hugs per day.

Need More Support?

Join me for the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Spring Virtual Retreat on March 21st at 2-4:30 PM ET OR March 27th at 7-9:30 PM ET via Zoom.

During the virtual retreat, you will:

  • Practice mindful self-care with deep breathing exercises, a mindfulness meditation with self-touch, and gentle chair yoga
  • Learn how to align and manage your energy with the wisdom of the Spring Equinox, New Moon, Full Moon, and crystal therapy
  • Participate in an intuitive movement exercise and a sound bath meditation that will help you open your heart to release and forgive
  • Reflect on and journal about what’s working and not working in your life and career, and what’s getting in your way
  • Set intentions and identify the resources, action steps, and accountability support you need to manifest who you want to be and what you want to manifest in your life and career
  • Create a self-celebration plan to appreciate your small, medium, and big wins

Click on the links below to buy your tickets today! Give a retreat ticket to a loved one, friend or colleague.

Celebrate Spring Season & International Day of Happiness with Mindfulness Practices on March 20th

Are you ready for Spring? It begins with the Spring Equinox and International Day of Happiness on Saturday, March 20th. You can open your heart and tap into your happiness with two mindfulness practices of smiling and gratitude.

SMILING PRACTICE: Start with a mindful practice of smiling a/k/a mouth yoga. Smiling is one of the best ways to create positive energy inside of yourself. When you smile mindfully, your positive energy can help open your heart to more gratitude. Also, your smile also has the power to brighten another’s person’s day! Watch the video and learn more about the power and practice of smiling from my Buddhist teacher Thich Nhất Hạnh.

GRATITUDE PRACTICE: Slow down and take some deep breaths. As you settle down, place your hand on your heart and bring to mind one or more things or people you are grateful for. If it helps, write your thoughts down. Go a step further and express your gratitude with a self hug or an act of appreciation for a loved one. Go here or click on the link below to listen to my Thriving Mindfully Podcast episode to get more tips.

Stop right where you are and treat this moment as your personal invitation to make a mindful self-care commitment and check in with yourself during the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Spring Virtual Retreat on March 21st at 2-4:30 PM ET OR March 27th at 7-9:30 PM ET via Zoom.

During the virtual retreat, you will:

  • Practice mindful self-care with deep breathing exercises, a mindfulness meditation with self-touch, and gentle chair yoga
  • Learn how to align and manage your energy with the wisdom of the Spring Equinox, New Moon, Full Moon, and crystal therapy
  • Participate in an intuitive movement exercise and a sound bath meditation that will help you open your heart to release and forgive
  • Reflect on and journal about what’s working and not working in your life and career, and what’s getting in your way
  • Set intentions and identify the resources, action steps, and accountability support you need to manifest who you want to be and what you want to manifest in your life and career
  • Create a self-celebration plan to appreciate your small, medium, and big wins

Click on the links below to buy your tickets today! Give a retreat ticket to a loved one, friend or colleague.

Make Yourself A Priority & Sign Up for Spring Virtual Retreat on March 21st or March 27th

It’s been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic changed how we live, communicate, learn, work, shop, play, and do business in the world. So much has happened to us. So much continues to happen to us. One of the best ways we can move through these changes is to remind ourselves WE MATTER. We are worthy. We deserve to take care of ourselves first!

Do you know you are the most important person in your life?

YES YOU ARE!

You deserve to make yourself a PRIORITY this year!

One way you can make yourself a priority is with a retreat. A retreat helps you carve out time and space to see your full self in a mirror and in the present moment. It gives you an opportunity to come face-to-face with your vulnerabilities, challenges, wins, and losses. It can also help you set intentions and create shifts in how you choose to show up in your life, relationships, career, and business.

Consider this blog post a personal invitation to make a mindful self-care commitment and check in with yourself each season during the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter Virtual Retreats. During the virtual retreats, you will:

  • Practice mindful self-care with deep breathing exercises, a mindfulness meditation with self-touch, and gentle chair yoga
  • Learn how to align and manage your energy with the wisdom of the Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, Winter Solstice, New Moon, Full Moon, and crystal therapy
  • Participate in an intuitive movement exercise and a sound bath meditation that will help you open your heart to release and forgive
  • Reflect on and journal about what’s working and not working in your life and career, and what’s getting in your way
  • Set intentions and identify the resources, action steps, and accountability support you need to manifest who you want to be and what you want to manifest in your life and career
  • Create a self-celebration plan to appreciate your small, medium, and big wins

A Zoom video link will be emailed to you once you register for the online retreat.

Retreat Schedule

Check out the retreat schedule below. Buy your tickets today! Give a retreat ticket to a loved one, friend or colleague.

6 Tips to Get You Ready to Practice Digital Wellness During National Day of Unplugging on March 5-6

Happy National Day of Unplugging! National Day of Unplugging is an awareness campaign the Unplug Collaborative created in 2009 to promote a 24-hour respite from technology during the first weekend in March. It’s a golden opportunity to practice digital wellness and reconnect to your life and loved ones in real time. It starts at sundown on Friday, March 5th, and ends at sundown on Saturday, March 6th. Go here to get tips on how to participate.

Check out my six tips for creating mini unplug moments during your National Day of Unplugging.

  1. When you wake up in the morning, don’t check your smartphone for texts, email, or social media updates. Instead start your day with a breathing exercise. Place your hand on your heart as you inhale and exhale through your nose seven times.

2. UNPLUG and eat your breakfast, lunch, or dinner without looking at your digital devices.

3. While you’re working during the day, UNPLUG from your digital devices and take a one-minute break by inhaling and exhaling through your nose three times.

4. During your morning and evening commutes, UNPLUG from your digital devices and take FIVE deep breaths (inhale and exhale through your nose) before you turn your car or motorcycle/scooter, start to bike, or when you sit down on public transportation.

5. Spend one UNPLUGGED evening without your digital devices. That means when you get home, you turn everything off or place the sound on mute until the next day.

6. UNPLUG before you go to sleep by placing your digital devices on mute in another room.

Need more resources? Check out the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s digital wellness resources. Read my 2018 Washington AFRO article, “Discover the Power of Unplugging.”