• The 7 Cardinal Rules in Life…


    1. Make peace with your past so it doesn’t ruin your present.  Your past does not define your future; your actions and beliefs do.
    2. What others think of you is none of your business.  What’s important is how much you value yourself and how important you think you are. 
    3. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.  Pain will eventually hurt less.  Scars make us who we are; they explain our life and why we are the way we are.  They challenge us and force us to be stronger.
    4. No one is the reason for your own happiness, except you yourself.  Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in others.
    5. Don’t compare your life to others.  You have no idea what their journey is all about.  If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we would grab ours back as fast as we could.
    6. Stop overthinking.  It’s alright not to know all the answers.  Sometimes there is no answer, not going to be any answer, never has been an answer.  Just accept it and move on.
    7. Smile!  You don’t own all the problems in the world.  A smile can brighten the darkest day and make life more beautiful.  It is a potential curve to turn a life around and set everything straight.
  • Stress can cause our muscles to become tense and tight. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is a relaxation exercise that helps us calm our bodies and minds by slowly and progressively tensing and relaxing our muscles, one group at a time.  Please follow the steps on how to practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation below…


    1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable, relaxed position.
    2. Take a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
    3. Begin tightening and releasing one muscle group at a time.  Inhale as you tighten, hold for 5 seconds, and exhale as you relax.
    • FACE – scrunch up your nose and mouth
    • SHOULDERS – lift your shoulders up as if you’re trying to make them touch your ears
    • ARMS -  squeeze them close to your body as hard as you can
    • FISTS – pretend you’re squeezing an orange or lemon
    • STOMACH – pull your belly button toward your back
    • LEGS & THIGHS – tighten them as hard as you can
    • FEET & TOES – imagine that your feet are in sand or mud

         4. Take several deep breaths and notice how loose and relaxed your body has become.  If there is any remaining tension in your body,               tense and relax those muscles, while breathing in and out.



  • Focused  breathing...   

    When our minds are filled with stressful thoughts, our bodies become stressed. Focusing on body processes can help calm mental activity, which in turn can result in physical relaxation. This technique will help you take a break from stressful thoughts.

    • With your eyes closed, shift your attention to the tip of your nose.
    • As you breathe in, become aware of the air entering your nostrils.
    • As you breathe out, be aware of the sensations of air passing back out. Do this several times.
    • Repeat several times: breathe in slowly… breathe out slowly… breathe in slowly… breathe out slowly

    When you feel anxious or stressed,  try this focused breathing technique. 


    Self-Care for Sleep:

    • Stay away from caffeine before bed.  Drink something soothing.
    • Make sure that you create an environment that lets you get good sleep.
    • Have a good night time routine that winds you down.
    • Set good boundaries around your bedtime routine.
    • Time going to bed so that you get a good amount of sleep for you.
    • Keep your phone on silent  when you’re trying to sleep.
    • Try reading or listening to nature sounds to relax.
    • Have a good morning routine to wake up to.


    5 Ways to Practice Mental Wellness….

    ENGAGE – Check in with the people you care about whether they are family members or friends.  Spend time with people who give you positive energy and help you give positive energy back.

    TAKE CARE – Diet, sleep, and exercise can make a huge difference in your emotional and physical well-being.  Eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water, sleeping for at least 6 hours and exercising once a day can make a big difference.

    RELAX – Unplug from social media and the internet more often to decrease your stress.  Try meditation, writing, reading, cooking, painting, drawing or getting your nails done.  Do whatever makes you feel more at peace with yourself and the world around you.

    PRACTICE MINDFULNESS – The Art of Mindfulness is focusing on the present moment.  Try thinking about 3 things that you are grateful for right now and remind yourself to do this several times throughout the day.  If you pay attention to who you are and where you are in that moment, you may discover that there is a lot to be thankful for.

    TALK TO SOMEONE – Talking to a licensed professional is always the best way to go, but in the event that you are not ready or able to access one, talk with someone you trust; be it a parent, a friend, or a mentor.  Do not be afraid to share when you are struggling. 


    7 easy ways to improve your mental health right now…

    1. Self-acknowledgement – Even when we’ve made gratitude a regular habit, we tend to focus it outward, on others.  Each day, remember to thank yourself at once, even for something that seems small, like getting out of bed and brushing your teeth.  Or something really big like successfully making it through a challenging day.

    2. Sleep – One of those powerful ways to support your mental and physical health is through sleep.  Experts say that most of us need about 7-8 hours per night.  A great night’s sleep can shift your outlook on life, and make things seem more possible.

    3.  Support yourself – Be aware of your self-talk.  Many of us say thins to ourselves we’d never say to others.  Instead, practice supporting yourself by speaking to yourself in the language of love, addressing yourself as you would your partner, pet, or best friend.

    4. Seek awe – Science shows that when we see a vast landscape, watch a baby giraffe learn to walk for the first time, or share a sing-a-long, we experience the mood-altering effects of awe.  Awe makes us feels both humble, and more connected to the world around us,  We can access awe in person, or via photos and videos. 

    5. Specify – When we label our negative feelings – either by speaking them aloud or writing them down, we defuse them.  Scans show that simply identifying, “I feel angry,” “I feel frustrated,” or “I feel disappointed,” quiets down the emotional centers in our brains.

    6. Solitude – Spending intentional time alone where you’re purposefully disconnected from a phone or computer is a wonderful opportunity to get quiet and really hear yourself.  Research consistently shows that quiet time in nature, where you’re simply noticing the sights, sounds, smells, and textures around you, boosts our mood and our health.

    7. Serve – Research reveals that when we help others, we help ourselves.  People involved in service consistently report feeling a greater sense of meaning and purpose in life.


    15 ways in which you can protect your mental health...

    1. Therapy – talk it out with a professional
    2. Get to sleep!
    3. Move your body in a way that feels good
    4. Try a Mindfulness Meditation
    5. Use your paid time off!
    6. Take a Mental Health Day when you need one
    7. Set Healthy boundaries
    8. Get your bloodwork done to make sure you do not have any nutrient deficiencies.
    9. Boost brain health with Omegas (salmon, mackerel, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds
    10. Make sure you are nourishing your body
    11. Plan something to look forward to each week
    12. Treat yourself to holistic self-care (acupuncture, massage, float therapy)
    13. Spend time in nature
    14. Use your breath to de-stress
    15. Surround yourself with community


    Mindfulness is an ancient practice where you are completely aware of what’s happening in the present – meaning, everything that is going on inside of you and all that’s happening around you.  It means that you are not living in an autopilot mode, where you complete daily tasks without thinking, go to work, cook dinner, pick up the kids, attend meetings, think of 50 different things all at the same time, etc.  Instead, you are fully present in the moment.  Here are some tips to practice Mindfulness…

    1. TAKE SOME DEEP BREATHS -  Breathe in through your nose to a count of 4, hold for 1 second, and exhale through the mouth to a count of 5.  Follow your breath.  If your mind wanders, bring your attention back to the breath.  Repeat this several times.  The Calm app has really good meditations that talk you through Mindfulness.  If Kaiser is your health insurance company, you can access the app for free. 

    2. ENJOY A STROLL – As you walk, notice your breath and the sights and sounds around you.  As thoughts and worries enter your mind, note them, but return to the present (sights, sounds, and your breath). 

    3.PRACTICE MINDFUL EATING – Be aware of taste, textures, and flavors in each bite, and listen to your body when you are hungry and full.

    4. BE AWARE OF YOUR BODY – Mentally scan your body from head to toe.  Bring your attention to how each part feels.   I’ve done this through the Meditations in the Calm app.

    5. FIND MINDFULNESS RESOURCES – there are online programs and guided practices such as through the Calm app and Headspace.


    Quick Tips for When You Feel Stressed:

    • Take slow, deep breaths
    • Soak in a warm bath
    • Listen to soothing music
    • Take a walk or do some other activity
    • Meditate or pray
    • Take a yoga class
    • Have a massage or back rub
    • Have a warm drink that doesn’t have alcohol or caffeine


    Changes You Can Make in Your Everyday Life to Reduce Stress:

    • Get plenty of sleep
    • Stay connected to your family, friends, and other caring people in your life
    • Get regular exercise.  It can help you clear your mind and work off feelings of frustration and anxiety
    • Don’t drink or eat anything that has caffeine in it.  Caffeine can make you feel “wound up” and more stressed
    • Don’t smoke or use tobacco.  Nicotine can make you feel anxious
    • Don’t drink alcohol.  It can cause sleep problems and depression.


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    7 Rules of Life....

    1. Let it go!  Never ruin a good day, by thinking about a bad yesterday!
    2. Ignore them!  Don’t listen to other people.  Live a life that’s empowering to you!
    3. Give it time!  Time heals everything!
    4. Don’t compare!  The only person you should try to beat, is the person you were yesterday!
    5. Stay calm!  It’s OK not to have everything figured out.  Know that in time, you’ll get there!
    6. It’s on you!  Only you are in charge of your happiness!
    7. Smile!  Life is short.  Enjoy it while you can!


    5 quick strategies to improve your Mental Health

    1. Close your eyes and take three slow, deep breaths.

    This allows you to come back to the present and back to your body. When you shut out all the noise and tune inward, we can slow the nervous system down and calm the mind. Breathing also connects you right back to the present.

    1. Smile at a stranger. Maybe even throw them a compliment.

    We sometimes feel so isolated and lonely that we forget that people out there are waiting to connect! It starts with us. Spread some light even to people you don’t know and feel the difference it creates within you.

    1. Move your body!

    Get playful. Moving can mean dance, yoga, walking, working out… doesn’t matter. Listen to your intuition. The more you move your body, the more you get out of your head. This will help lower your stress level.

    1. Slow down as you eat.

    It’s so easy to just shove food into your mouth and not think anything of it. But if you can make it a practice to only focus on your food when you eat, you’re doing more than just nourishing your body – you’re cultivating more present-moment joy.

    1. Find one thing a day to be grateful for.

    Before you go to bed at night, think of one thing to be grateful for. It might even be helpful to write down your thoughts in a journal. The more gratitude you can cultivate on a daily basis, the more joyful and expansive you feel. Negative thoughts will always be there, but there will always be positive ones too. It’s all about what we’re focusing on.