Dealing with Grief ~ #MindfulnessMonday 7/1/2019

Today’s #MindfulnessMonday Tip: Mindfulness can be very beneficial when dealing with loss and getting through times of grief.

Three Mindful Strategies to Help You Recover from Loss and Get You Through Times of Grief:

  1. Quiet Reflection – Sometimes the best way to get past loss and deal with grief is by facing it head on. Find a quiet place to reflect on the lost loved one, remember them as they were in your life, hold onto those memories and allow yourself to feel the sadness and embrace it. Once you have accepted the grief you may find it easier to move past it. That loss may never go away, but your heart will start to heal making it a little bit easier each and every day.
  2. Center yourself – When the waves of sadness and grief fell overwhelming use slow deep breathing to get through the helplessness that often comes with the grief. This will help you stay grounded and bring you back to the present moment.
  3. Practice Mindfulness – Loss and grief are cyclical, like the seasons. Even when we are in the middle of an extreme winter, we know that summer will eventually come. We learn to push through those cold, sometimes unbearable, winter days because we know there is something to look forward to on the other end. The same is true for grief. Today, your grief may seem unbearable, but a month from now… six months from now… a year from now… little by little that pain will start to subside and eventually, you’ll be able to look back on the memories of your lost loved one with joy and not sadness.

Check out today’s #MindfulnessMonday video HERE!

Today’s Mindfulness Exercise:

60-Second Breathing Meditation

Your breath is a great tool to help train your mind to focus your thoughts, center yourself, and push through stress, anxiety, pain, loss, and of course grief. Whenever you start to feel your mind wander or become overloaded use this two-step meditation to bring you back to the present.


Step 1 – Notice your breathing. Pay attention to the sensation of the air around you; how it feels as it enters your nose then travels down into your lungs. Pay attention to the rise and fall of your chest and abdomen as the air moves in and out of your body. Don’t change the way you breathe, let the air move in and out as it normally would, just be aware of the sensations involved with the act of breathing.

Step 2 – Count your breaths. The first breath in and out is 1, the next breath in and out is 2, continue until you reach a full ten to fifteen breaths. As you relax, your breaths will get longer. This exercise should take you about a minute to complete. If you’re still feeling stressed after ten to fifteen breaths, continue the exercise until those feelings have passed.

Mindfulness Grief Journaling:

Step 1 Take 5 minutes to write down what you’re feeling.  There is no wrong way to complete this exercise so don’t worry about being judged. This is for you and you alone.

Step 2 – Take 5 minutes to write down how the person you lost makes you feel when you think of the memories you shared.

The point of this exercise it to acknowledge the grief and accept the feelings you’re having, but to also remember the good times and end on a positive note that honors your loved one.

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Check out my #MindfulnessMonday YouTube Series and don’t forget to click subscribe so you never miss an episode!

Dealing with Grief!

Stress Is A 6 Letter Word

Mindfulness Myths

Mindfulness Isn’t MAGIC!

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Would you like to take the 52-week challenge and experience a more mindful existence? Check out The Invisible You ~ 52 Weeks of Meditations, Activities, and Writing Prompts to Help you Discover You!

I’m certified in Holistic Stress Management and Mind/Body Fitness. I’ve been practicing Mindfulness for 10+ years and am passionate about helping others in their pursuit of a more mindful existence.

Photo by: Mikel Healy

#MindfulnessMonday 6/10/2019 – STRESS is a 6 letter word!

Today’s #MindfulnessMonday Tip: Remember to take time to enjoy life and those around you. So often we find ourselves working tooth and nail so that SOMEDAY we might enjoy our retirement. Make sure you’re taking time to enjoy life today… not just hoping to do it SOMEDAY in the future.

Check out today’s #MindfulnessMonday video where I talk about stress; what it is, signs of stress, what to do when you start feeling stressed, and how to protect yourself from stress! You can check out the video by clicking HERE!

Today’s Mindfulness Exercise:

Observation Communication

This is a partner activity. It can be done with a spouse, a friend, even your children. All you have to do is have a conversation that doesn’t have anything to do with work, school, stress, or anything else that has been bogging you down. For five to ten minutes, I want you to talk about only the things you notice around you. This is best done while taking a walk, sitting in a park, or even over coffee at an outdoor café.

If you’re having trouble starting the conversation or you find yourselves getting sucked into typical meaningless small-talk, try playing a game of eye-spy to get your started. You might just find the conversation takes on a life of its own, allowing you some time away from the daily stressors that tend to fill our minds throughout the day.

Don’t be afraid to let this conversation continue as long as is comfortable.

Mindfulness Journaling Prompt:

After completing the Observation Communication Exercise, take a few minutes to write down as many observations you made throughout the conversation. How many drew your attention back to work/school/stress related topics and how many were completely unrelated to any stressors in your daily life.

Keep this list and try this exercise when you are further along in your mindfulness practices and see if you do better.

Check out my #MindfulnessMonday YouTube Series and don’t forget to click subscribe so you never miss an episode!

EPISODE 23 ~ Live For Today!

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STRESS REDUCATION TOOLS!

Stress Less Cards – 50 Inspirational Mindfulness & Meditation Exercises | Helps Relieve Stress, Anxiety | Natural Relaxation, Insomnia & Sleep Aid

A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)

Stress and pain are nearly unavoidable in our daily lives; they are part of the human condition. This stress can often leave us feeling irritable, tense, overwhelmed, and burned-out. The key to maintaining balance is responding to stress not with frustration and self-criticism, but with mindful, nonjudgmental awareness of our bodies and minds. Impossible? Actually, it’s easier than it seems.

Would you like to take the 52-week challenge and experience a more mindful existence? Check out The Invisible You ~ 52 Weeks of Meditations, Activities, and Writing Prompts to Help you Discover You!

Hypnoser Weighted Blanket 2.0 for Kids, Adults, Men, Women, Heavy Blanket Providing Calm and Comforting Sleep, Sleep Faster (48″x72″ 12 Lbs, Dark Grey, Fit Twin Full Size Bed)

Boseen Palm Shaped 360 degree Metal Roller Massager- Handheld Body Massage Tool for Deep Tissue Stress Relief and Cellulite Reduction (Blue)


I’m certified in Holistic Stress Management and Mind/Body Fitness. I’ve been practicing Mindfulness for 10+ years and am passionate about helping others in their pursuit of a more mindful existence.

Photo by: Mikel Healy

#MindfulnessMonday 5/13/2019 ~ 5 Tips to Reduce Stress

Today’s #MindfulnessMonday Tip: Everyday stresses have a tendency to pile up, if we aren’t keeping them in check. Don’t let yourself get bogged down by stress, there are ways to avoid or reduce stress. Find out what works for you and stay consistent.

#MindfulnessMonday2

Check out today’s #MindfulnessMonday video for 5 Easy Tips for Reducing Stress in your Daily Life. You can check out the video by clicking HERE!

With that little piece of advice, I give you today’s Mindfulness Exercise:

Mindfulness Meditation – Stress Reduction!

Find a place that is comfortable, sitting or lying down and take a moment to connect with your breath. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Once you feel grounded and comfortable, I want you to think about what weighs you down. What causes the most stress in your life? Is it work? Money? Health issues? Or, maybe it’s a big change in your life, moving, graduating, marriage. Whatever the stressor is, it can be managed through consistent focus and balance.

Now, that you recognize your primary stressors, I want you to focus on just one as you take a few deep breaths in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. As you breathe in, repeat the words; I accept all that is good and right with the world. As you breathe out, repeat the words; I let go of what I can not control.

Repeat this process until you feel your body relax. Then, when you’re ready open your eyes and move on to today’s Mindfulness Journaling Prompt.

Mindfulness Journaling Prompt: After you’ve completed the Stress Reduction Meditation, take five minutes of quiet time to write out your stress reduction plan. This is the first step in deciding today how your tomorrow will look. Jot down three things you are going to commit to do in order to reduce your stress and the first step you’ll take for each idea. Some suggestions can be found in today’s #MindfulnessMonday video below.

Mindfulness journaling can be very private. However, if you are willing to share your thoughts with me and my readers, I would love to invite you to comment below and let me know how today’s exercise made you feel.

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Check out my #MindfulnessMonday YouTube Series and don’t forget to click subscribe so you never miss an episode!

EPISODE 19 ~ 5 Easy Tips for Reducing Stress in your Daily Life!

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Would you like to take the 52-week challenge and experience a more mindful existence? Check out The Invisible You ~ 52 Weeks of Meditations, Activities, and Writing Prompts to Help you Discover You!

I’m certified in Holistic Stress Management and Mind/Body Fitness. I’ve been practicing Mindfulness for 10+ years and am passionate about helping others in their pursuit of a more mindful existence.

#MindfulnessMonday 3/11/19

Today’s #MindfulnessMonday Tip: Stress can affect your body and your health in many different ways; headaches, upset stomach, increased blood pressure, chest pain, insomnia, muscle tension or pain, fatigue, change in sex drive, etc. Stressed caused by pent-up emotions that you don’t express or talk about can lead to what is called emotional constipation. Want to know more about emotional constipation? Check out today’s episode of #MindfulnessMonday HERE!

emotional c

With that little piece of advice, I give you today’s Mindfulness Exercise:

Body Awareness Exercise
The Long, Slow Stretch…

Take a second to just appreciate the sensation of your body stretching. You can do this exercise standing, sitting, or laying down. Move your body, stretching your arms, legs, sides, etc. Notice where your body feels tight and at what point, during the stretch, your muscles relax into the motion. As you relax out of the stretch, ask yourself how you feel. This exercise should increase your awareness of your body. Next, focus on the areas that are more tense or sore and gently stretch them a few more times until they have loosened. Be sure to use caution, not allowing yourself to over stretch or strain the muscles. It isn’t uncommon to feel emotional during this type of body awareness stretching exercise. Allow yourself to open up to those emotions, experience them, think about how they make you feel, and don’t be afraid to cry.

Mindfulness Journaling Prompt: Take 5 minutes to reflect on the Long, Slow Stretch mindfulness exercise. Make notes about what you discovered about your body, what you discovered about your emotional state, how this exercise made you feel both physically and emotionally, where do you hold your tension, what areas of your body took longer to loosen up, what areas wouldn’t loosen up, etc.

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Check out my #MindfulnessMonday YouTube Series and don’t forget to click subscribe so you never miss an episode!

EPISODE 10 ~ 5 Signs You’re Emotionally Constipated!

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Invisible

Would you like to take the 52-week challenge and experience a more mindful existence? Check out The Invisible You ~ 52 Weeks of Meditations, Activities, and Writing Prompts to Help you Discover You!

*I’m certified in Holistic Stress Management and Mind/Body Fitness. I’ve been practicing Mindfulness for 10+ years and am passionate about helping others in their pursuit of a more mindful existence.

#MindfulnessMonday 2/25/19

Want to check out today’s #MindfulnessMonday Video? CLICK HERE

mindful

Today’s #MindfulnessMonday Tip:

Stress is just as harmful to your health as smoking and drinking. With that in mind, let’s talk about the common effects of stress on your body, mood, and behavior so you can recognize stress when it occurs and how to handle it.

https://youtu.be/LkEB8eCibaE 

With that little piece of advice, I give you today’s Mindfulness Exercise:

Exploring your thoughts!

Commit to five minutes, when you are sure you won’t be disturbed. Sit down, somewhere you’re comfortable, and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing as it enters your body and exits your body. Observe your thoughts through this process, without trying to control them. Imaging your thoughts like clouds in the sky just floating by. Let each thought come into your mind and then fly past without trying to grasp on to any one thought. Don’t analyze your thoughts, just recognize them and let them pass. Repeat this as long as you feel comfortable while maintaining a pleasant detachment from the thoughts themselves.

Often times our thoughts lead us to the stressors that are most prevalent in our daily lives. Glimpses into our mind, such as this exercise, can help you discover the source of your stress and help you to disconnect from it in order to start the healing process.

Mindfulness Journaling Prompt:

Take 5 minutes to reflect on the ‘Exploring your thoughts’ mindfulness exercise. Make notes about your thoughts, what they were, how they made you feel, if it was easy or hard to detach yourself from them, etc.

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Check out my #MindfulnessMonday YouTube Series and don’t forget to click subscribe so you never miss an episode!

EPISODE 8 ~ Let’s Talk About STRESS!

https://youtu.be/Mm4GBuAz2QA

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Invisible

Would you like to take the 52-week challenge and experience a more mindful existence? Check out The Invisible You ~ 52 Weeks of Meditations, Activities, and Writing Prompts to Help you Discover You!
*I’m certified in Holistic Stress Management and Mind/Body Fitness. I’ve been practicing Mindfulness for 10+ years and am passionate about helping others in their pursuit of a more mindful existence.

2015 – New Year’s Resolutions!

2015

OK, let me start by saying I am excellent at making New Year’s resolutions! I should also say that I’m not very good at keeping them, at least not passed a month or two. Like most people my New Year’s resolutions are usually filled with things like exercise more, eat healthier, give up sweets, and learn to cook! Well, this year I am doing something a little different. I read an article Your TED-inspired New Year’s resolutions and it got me VERY inspired. If you haven’t read this list yet – DO IT! You can click on the article title and it will take you directly to the website. You can also review my list below… I have adapted, to fit my needs, many of the resolutions from the TEDBlog list and added a few of my own.

So, without further ado – here are my 2015 New Year’s Resolutions:

  • Make time to WRITE! 

As an aspiring author (indie-Author) making time to write shouldn’t be that hard. I mean… it is what I want to do right?! Well, in reality, I have a family and two beautiful (ENERGETIC) children, work a full-time job, participate in community theatre, and of course wear the hat of wife, mom, cook, maid, chef, and so many other parts. So, finding a few quiet minutes to relax and write isn’t always easy. BUT I WILL DO BETTER! In 2015 I am committing myself to the following:

  1. Spending 15 minutes per weekday (minimum) writing/reviewing/editing/rewriting my latest novel (whatever that might be at the time) – EXCEPT while on vacations!
  2. Publishing no less than 1 blog post per week!
  • Walk MORE, sit LESS!

I’m not much of a walker, I actually prefer to run, but this resolution is just to represent that I plan to make more of an effort to get out of my chair and be more active. Walking/Running has always been a great time for me to think through story ideas and work through writers’ block – So, this year I will use it as a preventative instead of a cure!

  • Practice gratefulness EVERY day!

To often I feel that I don’t say thank you enough, or show people how truly grateful I am. This year I plan to reach out and show my thanks more throughout the day not only for the big things in life but the little things that are all to often forgotten.

  • Practice patience EVERY day!

This is a big one for me. When I am stressed it tends to bleed over into my family life. I am promising myself, my children, and my husband that I will practice patience at home. I won’t allow my stress at work or with my writing to affect how I interact with my family.

  • Set realistic goals and allow myself time to meet them!

Like many of you I have lots of goals in life, some are realistic and others are pipe dreams. Instead of chasing the pipe dreams, this year I will focus on the realistic goals. By setting both long-term and short-term goals I hope to have a more productive and fulfilling year. I plan to post my list of goals in a separate post.

  • Allow my stress to work FOR me not AGAINST me!

When I was in college I thrived on deadlines. Even in the business world, when I was working outside of the house, I LOVED deadlines. With my current job I don’t get a lot of that. Now my work is pretty much self-motivated and self-created, except for the rare time when a proposal has to be created and turned around within days. Other than that deadlines are never very pressing. This year, by setting deadlines for my goals (to be posted later) I will allow the hustle and bustle of ‘deadline stress’ to work FOR me not AGAINST me!

  • Make time to READ!

I LOVE to read! In 2013 I read 17 books and in 2014 I read 23 books. I know that might sound like a lot to many people, but it really isn’t – not for me! This year, I will watch less television and read more. Reading sparks creativity and keeps your brain active. So, in 2015 my goal is to read 30 books. It isn’t that much higher than this year, but I’m taking baby steps.

  • Take regular breaks from the digital world!

It is my personal opinion that the digital world (cell phones, tablets, computers, laptops, video games, etc.) have taken control of to much of our time. So, I am putting time limits on myself. I use my cell phone, laptop, and iPad for work – that means while I’m working I have to be “plugged in.” However, I don’t have to be plugged in 24/7. So, I am committing to turn off all electronic devises at 5:00 every night. The only exceptions would be if I am not at home, my kids aren’t at home, or my husband isn’t home – In those cases I will keep my cell phone on so that we can stay in contact. Besides, we have a house line so if there was an emergency family can reach me there!

 

OK, there you have it – my 2015 New Year’s resolutions! What are yours? Please share them below and help to inspire those people who maybe haven’t figured out theirs yet.

Hello, my name is Nina and I’m a Workaholic!

I wasn’t always like this. At one time, I’m sure I was just your normal average run of the mill kid. I liked to play with my friends, go to the park, have sleep-overs, and all kinds of great things. Then when I took that first job… FoodLand grocery bagger it all changed. I went to school and worked. I liked making money, and actually being able to put gas in my car and buy the things I wanted.

When I started college I went to school full-time (which was like a job), worked on campus part-time, and worked off campus part-time. Not to mention I was in the theatre department and was constantly involved with a show which took up most if not all of my evenings.

After graduating college (in exactly 4 years) I decided to continue to work on campus full-time, and take a few more classes (just for fun) while working part-time at the local high school teaching tech theater and tool safety! Oh yeah, and I was still constantly involved with a show, but instead of it being on campus I was producing, directing, and acting in shows off campus with a theatre troop I helped found.

When I finally moved out to California to try to make it BIG (insert laugh here) I took on a full-time job along with daily auditions and twice weekly acting classes. But, I kept on trucking…

I left Hollywood, and started a family with my amazing husband! Okay, so just because being a mom doesn’t pay – doesn’t make it any less a job. I happen to love being a mom, and it’s a job I wouldn’t trade for the world, but it can be tiring and hard and stressful just like any other job, and you don’t get off after 8 hours of work its a 24 hour a day job for the rest of your life! So, I do that… and a full-time job, and a part-time job, and of course I am trying… when I have time… to be a writer.

Okay, so my progress in the writing field can’t really be seen over these last few months, but it is still a dream.

I have recently sent my latest version of book 1 to my editor Jamie Aitchison (haven’t heard back yet). I am working on book 2 rewrites… I plan to pick it back up in the second week of January. My goal is to have book 2 rewrites done by the end of February. Then I will start back in on book 3. I’ve already written about 10 chapters, but due to all the edits in the first 2 books, I think I’ll pretty much be starting from scratch, oh well.

So, you see… I’m a workaholic! Wish I wasn’t, but there just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything I need to do.

If anyone out there can think of a way to add two more hours to my day, let me know.

My Latest Endeavor