The Power of Affirmation

The last time I posted, I wrote about the impact setting an intention for the new year could have for you. Words have power, and with this in mind let’s talk about positive affirmations.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a positive affirmation is a simple phrase or statement you create and use to help you stay focused, overcome challenges, or fight against negative thoughts. It usually starts with “I am ___________,” and it’s up to you to decide how to fill in the blank. Positive affirmations should be about your character traits, not your physical ones. While a positive impact can still be felt by just bringing your affirmation to mind, it is more impactful for you to speak it out loud – even if it is only said as a whisper. It can be even more powerful if you are able to look at yourself in the mirror while repeating your affirmations. Take it one step further, visualize yourself being exactly what you are saying out loud, and then embrace that truth for your life.

If you are looking to incorporate the power of positive affirmations into your life, here are some tips to support you:

  1. Keep it simple. You can use an “I am” statement as described above or even just a phrase like “I work hard.” What’s important is that the focus is on you. Be sure to create your affirmation using the word I.
  2. Affirmations are all about you. This is why an affirmation should look like, “I am a good mother,” versus “I have good children.”
  3. Find ways to use your affirmation(s) multiple times throughout the day. Put them on sticky notes and hang them on your mirror, in your work space, and/or by your bed – but don’t just read them! Remember, speaking them out loud makes it more impactful and meaningful. You can also set a reminder on your phone so that you can pause whatever you’re doing for 30 seconds to speak your affirmation out loud.

As we journey through May and Mental Health Awareness month, try developing one or two positive affirmations for yourself and practice using them. My personal favorite is, “I am capable,” which I often say after taking a deep breath. Share your favorite affirmation in the comments. It will further cement it in your psyche and can serve as an inspiration to someone else. I look forward to reading them.

Setting Your Intention

Welcome to 2022! The last couple of years have been a roller coaster ride, and we are entering a new year with the pandemic still casting its shadow across our globe. For many people, the start of the new year is a time to create resolutions such as, “I am going to be a better person.” For others, they create specific goals for the new year such as, “I am going to work out at least three days per week.” This year, I suggest you try adopting an intention to guide you over the next 365 days (minus the few that have already occurred).

Why choose an intention over a resolution or a goal? Resolutions and goals are both focused on personal lack. To create the resolution or goal, you must first reflect and determine what is missing in your life or what needs to be improved. Resolutions and goals are also grounded in your achievements. If something happens that prevents you from accomplishing that achievement, you can end up feeling discouraged, disappointed, or even depressed. You start looking at yourself as having failed which can open the door for you to then focus your attention on other failures. This negative way of viewing yourself is unhealthy and will hinder your ability to flourish.

On the other hand, choosing an intention creates a positive focus point on which to build the foundation for your year. An intention keeps you grounded and present and at the same time it allows for you to practice self-care and self-love in a variety of ways. An intention allows for flexibility and forgiveness. Intentions start with your relationship with yourself which will then impact your relationships with others. Intentions are designed to help you feel empowered because they help create a shift in your thinking – which is something you can control – versus your circumstances – which is something you cannot control. Once you have set your intention, you can still set goals, but the intention helps you to remember that the journey along the way is just as important as the final destination.

For 2022, my intention is “Be.” I have always been a goal-oriented person. Although I have developed my practice of being content in my current circumstances, I also am constantly thinking about the next goal I want to achieve or milestone I want to reach. This personality trait has made the last couple of years difficult for me as many of my goals had to be altered, postponed, or discarded altogether (such as my goal of running 20 races in the year 2020). At the beginning of 2021, I set my intention of “Balance.” With all that had occurred in 2020, it was important for me to reset myself. So all throughout the year, I tried to keep this intention of Balance at the forefront of the decisions that I made. This helped me to be more patient with myself as the world continued to be a very confusing place. Working towards Balance is also why this year my intention is to Be. Whatever the situation, I want to be in it. Be Kind. Be Love. Be Hope. Just Be.

What is your intention for 2022? Please feel free to share it in the comments below. If you are looking for support in creating your intention and other strategies to help you be your best self, visit my website to see what services I offer. Together, we can make 2022 the best year possible. #icanhelp

Holiday Season Self-Care

While the holiday season is often full of fun gatherings and celebrating, this time of year can also be stressful and overwhelming for many reasons. It is important to be able to acknowledge this fact and then explore ways that can help you navigate through this time of year.

There are many reasons why the holidays might not be the most wonderful time of the year for people. Schedules getting uprooted, numerous social events happening, and the pressure of finding the perfect gift are just a few of them. Because of Covid, many families also grapple with the added worry around how to visit safely with our family and loved ones. It is also not uncommon for the holidays to be a triggering event for people due to trauma they experienced around/during or because of the holidays, and for those remembering the loss of a loved one the holidays can feel empty because that person is gone.

So, how do we best manage the next couple of weeks so that the holiday season doesn’t leave us feeling defeated or depressed? We need to put taking care of ourselves at the top of our Christmas list. Here are just a few ideas for how to do that:

  • Guard your schedule. It’s okay to not attend every single social function that you are invited to – especially this year. With so many trying to “make up” for the holiday experiences they missed out on last year, it seems like everyone is gathering even more. While being with others is fun, it can also be stressful. Be sure to give yourself downtime throughout this busy season so that you don’t feel burned out.
  • Not everyone needs a gift. One of the best things about last holiday season was that we remembered the most important part of the holidays was just being able to be together. Let’s not forget that this year. You don’t need to buy a gift for every single friend, co-worker, or even family member. Let’s remember that the gift of being together is the best gift of all.
  • Don’t feel pressured to attend events that cause you stress versus joy. Not every gathering is healthy, and if you know that there are people attending who might trigger negative reactions within yourself or that the environment might be unhealthy for you, it’s okay to skip it. Family dinner at Christmas or the holiday office party are not the best times to try to unravel hurts or air grievances, but attending these events while trying to keep your emotions suppressed will only cause you more emotional trauma. Choosing to not participate in triggering situations isn’t selfish, it’s practicing self-care.

As the 2021 holiday season is ramping up to its full height, I hope that you give to yourself the same love and support that you are extending to others. Happy Holidays!

Navigating The New (but only temporary) Norm

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In just a matter of a few weeks, the American way of life has changed dramatically. Businesses are closing down (some permanently), employees are working from home, children are being home-schooled as schools and daycare centers are being closed, and entire regions and even states have been told to “shelter in place.” People are worried about their health, their finances, and their futures. While this worry can be considered a normal response to a global pandemic, we cannot allow this worry to become our new normal.

During these times of uncertainty, it can seem difficult to remain optimistic, practice self-care, and engage in activities that help alleviate worry, but these are the exact types of things that we need to focus on in order to get us through this difficult time. Here is a list of easily accessible activities that will help you get through your day-to-day (and all are shelter in place/social distancing approved!)

  1. Journaling – writing about what you are experiencing during this historic time can be therapeutic for you. Your journal can be whatever you need it to be. Perhaps it is a place for you to express all your emotions in order to better manage them throughout the day. Or maybe it’s somewhere to record your day-to-day life and how it has changed. You can even use a journal to start expressing your hopes and plans for the future. However you decide to use your journal, remember that it is just that – Yours. Let it be a tool that helps you manage stress, not something that you stress about doing.
  2. Coloring/Drawing – now, I am the first to admit that I am not an artist. If you ask me to draw something, it will be basic, use stick figures, and lack any type of depth. However, I am also the first to admit that coloring is one of the most soothing activities I engage in, and research has proven that it can work for you as well. While it may not be possible for you to go out and buy some adult coloring books right now (yes, they really do exist!), there are websites you can order them from such as: Target,,,, or even just through Buy on Google. Notice I did not include Amazon. While Amazon does sell adult coloring books, I tried to offer websites that aren’t being overloaded with demands for medical supplies, cleaning supplies, and household goods.
  3. Exercise – all shelter in place orders allow for time outside. If you have to be indoors because you have an underlying condition that makes you more susceptible to being sick or maybe the weather just isn’t conducive to being outside, you can participate in indoor exercise. There are all kinds of videos available on YouTube; all you have to do is search for “indoor workouts,” “home workouts,” “yoga at home,” etc.
  4. Going Outside – as stated above, all shelter in place orders allow for you to still go outside provided you follow social distancing guidelines. Be sure to maintain approximately six feet away from other people and wash your hands thoroughly when you return home, but by all means, if you are able to get outside for even 15 minutes – do it!
  5. Connecting with others – social distancing does not mean social isolation. Let’s be thankful for technology that makes reaching out to others so easy. Don’t just text your friends and family. Call them, or even better, video chat with them. You can use FaceTime, download WhatsApp, or even use SnapChat so that you can share moments with others that you can’t do in person because of our current circumstances. For those of you who feel you aren’t tech-savvy, these apps are easy to use, and now is the time to reach out to someone who can help you navigate how to use them so you can stay connected.

There are many other ways to practice self-care during these trying times: deep breathing, meditation, taking a bath, lighting soothing candles or incense, cuddling with your loved ones, playing with your pets, and the list goes on. Give yourself permission to be kind and gentle to yourself. If you’re like me, you probably have made up an entire list of projects to complete while you are stuck at home. However, don’t get so caught up in checking items off that list that you don’t take time to embrace how you’re feeling in the moment. Take care of yourselves, because this too shall pass.

We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. ~ Dolly Parton