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Self-Care Practices

How Do You Want to Live Your Life

I had a good life prior to December 14, 2012, the day of the Sandy Hook tragedy that took my six-year-old son Jesse's life. I was a single mom with a full-time job, a first and seventh grader, living on a horse farm with a wonderful mother/grandmother living nearby to help, and a supportive extended family. Always on the go, I woke up early, went to bed late, and would list the day’s accomplishments in my head each night. When I woke in the morning I would thank God for another opportunity...

Honoring and Remembering My Precious Son

June is Jesse’s birthday month. Each year, since my six-year-old son’s murder in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in 2012, people from all over the world continue to come together in the form of concerts, 5K’s, and online events to honor, remember, and celebrate all the lives lost on this tragic day. In a recent interview with a reporter, as we were talking about my organization’s annual Month of Fun fundraiser, he exclaimed how amazed he was that Jesse’s spirit seemed to continue to...

Free Mindful Music Group Lessons for Youth and Adult Survivors

Music Beyond Measure engages trauma survivors in arts-based, healing-centered programs that teach coping skills through music education, collaboration in songwriting, and empowerment through performance. Based in New Jersey and serving the tri-state area, MBM is a registered 501c3 organization dedicated to individual and community healing through the arts. We are so excited to present our new Mindful Music program, which merges quality music instruction with mindfulness techniques meant to...

Yoga for Trauma Recovery by Amy Osborne (Echo)

Basic yoga tools for anyone working with families impacted by toxic stress in their homes or communities, as well as for improving your own health and wellbeing. This training combines physical practice with the latest science on trauma and recovery. You will learn basic yoga and mindfulness techniques to practice in any environment – from the classroom to the office – to bring balance and peace to the mind and body. These tools provide a foundation for a practice that can alleviate and even...

Healing Meditation: 21 Ways to Soothe Your Mind and Body (wakeup-world.com)

Healing is a force of nature. It’s only natural for us to seek it out. Just as white blood cells flood to a wound to heal it and a tree releases sap to protect and cover damage and breakage, all of life is oriented to self-nourishment and repair. We are multi-layered beings living in a complex universe. Without actively taking care of our bodies, hearts, minds, and souls, we become sick. Perhaps one of the simplest and easiest ways we can call on the healing force within and around us is...

A Season to Focus on Growth

By March, I sometimes feel as if I am marching through winter. It has been cold long enough that the novelty of snow boots and mittens has worn off. Sledding, skiing, and skating have been fun but navigating the ice from the house to the barn for my daily farm chores gets wearing. March marks one long year of quarantining and social distancing, and it’s still an altered way of life we are required to continue. I noticed, however, that the purple and yellow crocuses have already bloomed in my...

How to Feel More Connected and Less Lonely Right Now (thriveglobal.com)

After nearly a year of living through the coronavirus pandemic, many of us have dealt with bouts of loneliness . The feeling stems from all sorts of places: you might be lonely because you’re spending time in actual isolation , or you might be lonely because you’re feeling disconnected from yourself and your pre-pandemic life. Whatever the cause, feeling lonely can be deeply unsettling, with negative consequences for our mental health. And while we can’t always control the circumstances that...

Resilience

This is a blog I posted a few years ago which I hope might be helpful to others, I have learned so much on my journey of healing childhood wounds and am so happy to see resources like this group available to help others. 15/11/2017 “If the only thing people learned was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world“ – Sydney Banks. While there are many words to describe resilience such as spirit, strength, toughness, buoyancy, no one truly understands just how many...

A Simple Practice to Strengthen Your Self-Love (upliftconnect.com)

Feeling Overwhelmed? Remember 'R.A.I.N' The RAIN of Self-Compassion The acronym RAIN is an easy-to-remember tool for practicing mindfulness and compassion, using the following four steps: R ecognize what is going on; A llow the experience to be there, just as it is; I nvestigate with interest and care; N ourish with self-compassion. You can take your time and explore RAIN as a stand-alone meditation or move through the steps whenever challenging feelings arise. The Truth of Who You Are The...

Transforming Anger into Love (lionsroar.com)

Thich Nhat Hanh offers advice on using mindfulness to take care of your anger, and ultimately transform it into love and understanding. When you are angry, close your eyes and ears and return to yourself in order to quell the flames. Smile, even if it takes effort. Smiling relaxes hundreds of tiny muscles, making your face more attractive. Sit wherever you are, and look deeply. If your concentration is not yet strong, you can go outside and practice walking meditation. Most essential is to...

Why Self-Care Isn’t Selfish (nytimes.com)

One of the challenges of 2021 will be to continue making self-care a priority once the pandemic has passed. If you’re someone who has always said you don’t have time for self-care, or that self-care seems selfish and self-indulgent, you’re not alone. “One of the things that you come across all the time is the idea that ‘I can’t invest in things that are good for me, because it’s taking away from my ability to be a good parent or do what I need to do at work,’” said Kelly McGonigal, a health...

8 Ways to Combat “Working From Home Fatigue” and Boost Your Energy (thriveglobal.com)

When many of us began working remotely at the start of the pandemic , there seemed to be some advantages to working from home : no lengthy and costly commutes, more family time, greater flexibility, and more time to exercise. Since then, though, we’ve discovered there are downsides. The truth is, working from home can lead to overwhelm , exhaustion, and even burnout . That’s partly the result of blurred lines between our work and personal lives. “‘Working From Home Fatigue’ isn’t all in your...

A Guided RAIN Meditation to Cultivate Compassion (mindful.org)

Michelle Maldonado guides us through a four-step practice to recognize, acknowledge, investigate, and sit with our natural awareness. Compassion is so powerful; sometimes it’s soft and cuddly, and other times, it is fierce. Paul Gilbert, the Compassionate Mind Foundation founder, says that compassion is one of the most important declarations of strength and courage known to humanity. We’re all at this moment where we get to choose how we show up next. With that, let’s turn our attention to...

Make December the First Month of the Rest of Your Life

This month many of us are heading into a holiday season whether it be Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or another notable day. It is traditionally a time when we get together with family and friends, open our hearts, and put our absolute best foot forward in hospitality and grace. The pandemic has changed the physicality of our lives but not the meaning and intention that lies beneath this very special season. The origin of the word season comes from the Latin word ‘satio’, meaning ‘sowing’ and...

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