What’s Working with & Missing from Your Winter Self-Care?

Yesterday morning I led an Instagram Live session in my cozy bathrobe that posed two questions.

1) What’s working with your winter self-care?

2) What’s missing from your winter self-care?

Watch my video to learn more.

If you need support starting and/or sustaining your winter self-care, sign up for my FREE winter mindful self-care webinars this month. Invite 5 of your family, friends, and colleagues to join you.

January 19th at 8 PM ET www.eventbrite.com/e/243141602077

January 23rd at 4 PM ET www.eventbrite.com/e/247404883667

January 26th at 8 PM ET www.eventbrite.com/e/243720373197

How are you planning to take care of yourself this year?

How to Handle Stress Caused by Uncertainty & the Unknown in 2022

2020 and 2021 were hard years for many of us due to the COVID-19 pandemic, personal and family health issues, the death of loved ones, racial injustice, remote work and learning, economic challenges, divisive politics, and more.

Perhaps you struggled with the basic decisions required to navigate daily life because each day was filled with new levels of uncertainty and the fear of the unknown.

The uncertainty and the fear of unknown may have created a revolving door of choices that changed how you handled your daily routines.

Keeping up with these choices and changes may have created or increased your stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, and/or physical and mental health issues.

What’s more, you may still face these issues in 2022.

How has it all impacted your life, relationships, and career?

How are you planning to navigate 2022?

Mindful self-care is one of the best ways you can nurture yourself as you navigate 2022.

So what does mindful self-care mean?

Let’s start with understanding mindfulness. Mindfulness is your birthright. That’s right. You were born with it.

Mindfulness is the ability to be aware of what’s happening inside and outside of yourself in the present moment.

Self-care is the act of nurturing your spirit, heart, mind, body, breath, and life in uplifting ways.

Like mindfulness, self-care is also your birthright that helps you outsmart stress when you experience pressure or a situation that exceeds your ability to cope.

Mindful self-care happens when you CHOOSE to pay attention to what’s happening inside and outside yourself in ways that nurture and uplift you.

CHOICE is the key word in your ability to practice mindful self-care.

Every year gives you a choice in how you show up in your life, relationships, and career. You get to exercise these choices monthly, weekly, and daily. Within each day, you get to choose how you show up.

Check out the amount of times you get to exercise your power of choice each year.

-12 months

-52 weeks

-365 days

-8,760 hours

-525,600 minutes

-31,536,000 seconds

That’s a lot of choices, right?

I invite you to use your power of choice to practice my signature mindful self-care exercise called H.U.G. today.

Before you get started, here are a few things you should know.

My self-hugging journey started during the first weeks of the pandemic in March 2020. When I realized I would not be able to see or hug my loved ones in person, I started to panic. Stress and anxiety from the fear of the unknown set in. My eating and sleeping patterns were disrupted. I spent way too much time online. My news consumption was at an all-time high. Every aspect of my well-being was suffering. In addition, my clients were also struggling in similar ways. When I checked in with them, I learned we all shared a common concern: unable to give and receive hugs.

In an effort to nurture myself and support them, I did some research on hugging. I learned that going without hugging for long periods can impact your emotional, mental, and physical well-being. I also learned hugging helps to boost serotonin, the happiness hormone that is produced and spread by neurons in the brain. Feeling more happiness strengthens your well-being.

All of this information inspired me to experiment with self-hugging. That experiment strengthened my well-being and led me to become a self-hug advocate.

Check out the benefits of self-hugging.

Hugging yourself is FREE and takes less than one minute. A self-hug is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

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.

What is H.U.G. and Are You Ready to Choose It?

Over the past two years, I have used my self-hugging journey to develop H.U.G., a one-minute mindful self-care practice that has helped my clients and Thriving Mindfully Academy members nurture themselves and navigate stress no matter what’s happening in the world.

H.U.G. is an acronym for


-Uncertainty & the Unknown with

-Grace, Grounding & Gratitude

Now it’s time for you to H.U.G. yourself!

There are many ways to hug yourself. Feel free to use my Thriving Mindfully Academy’s self-hugging tips below.

1) Open your heart and claim your birthright of mindful self-care. Why? Because you have GRACE. That means you don’t have do anything to receive it. You get it just because you are you. When you claim your mindful self-care birthright and allow yourself space to experience GRACE, you are also giving yourself a dose of self-compassion and self-kindness.

2) Take a moment to slow down and breathe deeply. Try 1-3 deep breaths. As you breathe, notice how your breath and body feel. Guess what? You are practicing mindful self-care and living in the present moment. That’s GROUNDING.

3) Give yourself a hug for 20 seconds or more. Breathe deeply as you notice what’s happening in your body during your hug. Feel free to gently rock back and forth while hugging yourself.

4) After you hug yourself, reflect on what you are grateful for. It will lead you to GRATITUDE.

Need more help?

Click on the buttons below to sign up for my FREE webinar on January 19th and January 26th at 8-8:45 PM ET and January 23rd at 4-4:45 PM ET. The same information will be shared in each webinar.

Invite 5 family members and friends to join you. See you in the webinar!


Click on the button below to learn how I can help you as a Thriving Mindfully Academy member this year.

Get your monthly subscription by January 31st. Membership doors close on January 31st.

Trust Your Body and Breath with Mindful Self-Care

On Monday night, I led the Thriving Mindfully Academy’s first Mindful Self-Care Class of 2022 (we meet twice a month). We focused on TRUST in our bodies and breath as we moved through deep breathing and gentle movement exercises, a sound bath meditation, and mindful journaling exercises. Watch the video below to learn more.

When you hear the word TRUST, what does it feel like in your body?

TRUST feels like a muscle in my body that helps me TUNE into my body and breath as I REST in knowing I am UNFOLDING in SPIRIT’S TIME.

Did you catch the T.R.U.S.T. acronym?

I build TRUST in my body and breath when I slow down and practice my birthright of mindful self-care.

How are you nurturing yourself with mindful self-care during the winter season?

Need help? Click on the button below to learn how we can work together.


Click the button below to sign up for my free webinar that will teach you 5 winter mindful self-care tips you can use to slow down and stress less.

The Secret Power of Winter

30 years ago I had a winter season like no other. My 1992 winter season gave me an opportunity to slow down and listen to my soul. That experience transformed my life, taught me how to embrace Thriving Mindfully, a heart-centered approach to being the REAL Me, and inspired me to write and publish my first collection of poetry entitled, My Soul Speaks. Watch the video below to learn more.

How are you navigating your winter season?

Are you slowing down?

Are you tuning into your body and breath?

Are you taking great care of yourself?

Need support? Click on the button below to learn how I can help you.

It’s Time to Take Off Your Mask & Embrace Thriving Mindfully as the REAL YOU with Human Design

When you were growing up, did you wear a mask and a costume to celebrate Halloween? Have you worn a mask during a masquerade ball or Mardi Gras? These masks were great disguises that prevented the world from seeing who you really are. 

During the pandemic, have you worn a mask to take care of your health and the health of others? It represents a mask of protection. 

Do you wear a mask to show up as the person you are expected to be by your family, friends, colleagues, clients, neighbors, or society? This mask limits you. It holds you hostage. It can even imprison you for a lifetime. In short, your mask prevents you from being the REAL YOU.

Human Design can help you come home to yourself, take off your mask, and thrive mindfully. Human Design spices up your life, relationships, and career from the inside out. As a self-discovery and self-INpowerment tool, Human Design offers you guidance on how to be present, well, and the REAL YOU no matter what’s happening in your life, relationships, and career. With Human Design, you travel through your life with a roadmap that helps you analyze your personality so that you can make better choices, informed decisions, and flow with greater ease. 

Photo Credit: Jovian Archive

Established in 1987, Human Design marries the principles of ancient wisdom systems including the African (Kemetian/Egyptian) science of astrology, the Chinese I Ching, the Hindu chakra system, and the Jewish Kabbalah along with quantum physics. 

Ready to learn more Human Design?

Go here to sign up for my Spice Up Your Life with Human Design: 5 Ways to Nurture Your Energy Type Class on October 31st at 8-9:15 PM ET. A replay video will be made available.

Before the class, you will NEED to get your FREE Human Design Chart (also called a BodyGraph) that uses your birth date, time, and place to identify your energy type and other core elements. You’ll need to know your energy type for the class. 

Go here to download your FREE Human Design Chart. 

During the class, you will:

  • Receive an introduction to Human Design that covers the 5 main energy types (characteristics and strategy)
  • Experience and/or learn about 5 mindful self-care practices you can use to nurture your specific energy type
  • Learn about resources you can use to understand your energy type
  • Identify 1 practice and 1 resource you can use in the next 30, 60, or 90 days
  • Engage in a group discussion
Go here to buy your Thriving Mindfully Academy monthly membership subscription and get access to the Spice Up Your Life with Human Design: 5 Ways to Nurture Your Energy Types Class. Membership doors close on October 31st at 11:59 PM ET.

Tune Into Spice Up Your Life with Fall Self-Care IG Live Series on October 20-27

The Fall season is a great time to spice up your self-care practices. Join me and my amazing “soul love” friends for some powerful conversations during the Spice Up Your Life with Fall Self-Care IG Live Series on October 20-27

Meet my guests and see the dates, times, and topics.

Facing Uncertainty & the Unknown

Hey Groovy Friend. Happy Monday!

Now that you have made it to the middle of October, take a moment to check-in with how you are feeling and what you are thinking about. If you’re anxious about anything, facing uncertainty or dealing with the fear of the unknown in your life, relationships, and career, give yourself a hug and breathe deeply three to seven times. Place your hand on your heart. Notice your heart rate. Observe and listen to your breath. Use these self-care practices to come home to yourself. Watch the video for more tips.

Wanna take a deeper dive into being present, well, and the REAL YOU?

Need support and accountability in your wellness and personal growth journey?

Click here to learn more about and buy your Thriving Mindfully Academy monthly membership. FYI Membership doors close on October 31st at 11:59 PM ET. 

Membership benefits include:

  • Mindful Self-Care 102 Library
  • Monthly Thriving Mindfully 101 Master Classes in October-December: The next class is Wednesday, October 20th at 8-9 PM ET.
  • Spice Up Your Life with Human Design: 5 Ways to Manage Your Energy Class on October 31st at 8-9:15 PM ET
  • Monthly sound bath meditation classes (replay videos of 30-minute class available)
  • World Kindness Meditation Day Class on November 13th at 9-9:30 AM ET
  • Replay video for the Fall Virtual Retreat
  • Spring Virtual Retreat in 2022
  • Self-Care Challenges including the upcoming Be Kind to Yourself 21-Day Self-Led Challenge on November 1-20 and all of the content (videos, audio recordings, and guide) for the Exhale + Simplify Yourself Challenge: 5 Ways to Thrive Challenge that was held in September
  • Monthly digital self-care package that focuses on self-care practices that align with the monthly theme: Be Kind to Yourself in November and Understand Yourself in December (beginning in November)
  • Special discounts on coaching packages, courses, classes, events, and more 

If you wanna go deeper in your personal and professional growth journey with my support, become a member of my Thriving Mindfully Academy by October 31st at 11:59 Pm ET.

Contact me if you have questions. 

Blessings & Gratitude,


Slow Down & Say YES to Yourself During the Fall Season

Hey Groovy Friend!

Can you feel the change of seasons yet? What about the astrological energy of Mercury Upgrade (Retrograde) that started on September 27th? I definitely can. That’s why I decided to slow down and say YES to carving out time for my personal retreat this week.

One of my retreat activities is taking walks in my favorite park, Malcolm X-Meridian Hill Park. Being in the park yesterday gave me a chance breathe deeply, become still, and reconnect with myself and nature. Having that time helped me release the need to pile up my to do list with a bunch of tasks. Instead I decided to breakdown the tasks into a few weekly priorities I can tackle over the next three of four weeks with greater ease.  

A retreat helps you carve out time and space 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.

Before you dive deep into your Fall season, I encourage you to slow down and get still for a moment. Breathe in and out three times. Now touch your heart and ask yourself how you need to show up and what you need to embrace, release, forgive, and do to navigate the final months of 2021 and 2022. Need more support in slowing down, reflecting, and exploring this question?

I invite you to say YES to yourself by attending my Thriving Mindfully Academy’s Fall Virtual Retreat on October 2nd at 2-4 PM ET.

Watch the video below to get more details about the Fall Virtual Retreat. .

Wanna go deeper in your personal and professional growth journey?

Wanna get a complimentary ticket to the Fall Virtual Retreat?

What Does Simplify Yourself Mean?

Hey There Groovy Friend! Happy Friday! How are you doing now that the fall season is about to begin?

I am in the process of simplifying myself with mindful self-care. Watch a video about my process and the lessons I am learning.

Need help simplifying yourself and making self-care changes?

Sign up here to join my Thriving Mindfully Academy’s EXHALE + SIMPLIFY YOURSELF: 5 WAYS TO THRIVE CHALLENGE that begins on September 20th and ends September 24th It’s FREE to join. See you in the Challenge!

IG Live Conversation with My Biz, Creativity & Life Coach Marilyn Fontaine on Sept 17th at 8 AM ET

I am super excited to have my amazing life, creativity, and business coach, Marilyn Fontaine, join me for the Thriving Mindfully Community’s Summer of Self-Care IG Live Series on September 17th at 8 AM ET (DC) and 1 PM BST (LONDON): www.instagram.com/anandaleeke

Join me and Marilyn for a conversation about the importance of transforming your life and business through coaching, creativity, and self-care. We’ll talk about Marilyn’s powerful approach to coaching and how she has helped women entrepreneurs like myself to experience transformation in our lives and businesses. 

PS: I met Marilyn on Myspace in 2005 or 2006. We were able to support each other as artists and healers for many years. In 2014, I traveled to celebrate my 50th born day and had an opportunity to eat dinner, hang out, and take a yoga class led by Rosemarie St. Louis with her. Since then, I have watched how her life, art, and coaching business has grown and blessed so many. Earlier this year, I struggled with taking my life, creativity, and business to the next level. Marilyn is helping me with her coaching support and wisdom to grow and glow.