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.
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