Unplug & Hug Blog

April 5, 2020

It’s very interesting to be the owner of this blog called Unplug&Hug during these strange times.

Right now we all need to be connected digitally to be connected. How ironic is that?!? We won’t be connected unless we have our devices? Wow! 

Buuttt, that’s only partially true! I have to say that we have had waaayyy more family time than ever which can be positive and challenging... lol. For example, we have never gone biking as a family outdoors and we have done that several times now and it was a blast! We have been hiking, walking and even cooking (a lot) together. (Hello Corona 15!) Cooking at home is always positive for overall health benefits even if I have been overdoing those gluten free brownies!

My daughter’s schedule is usually packed, too packed. Slowing down may be just what she/we needed. Now, we can make our own schedule! Being a teacher, a chef, a mother, a business owner-all, full time is a lot for many of us to handle. Worry is amplified right now especially because there i...

Hint: Don't get sucked into checking your email or social media until AFTER you set your intentions for the day!

One of the best-kept secrets for success is learning how to make the first hour of each day a launching point for productivity. The first hour should be fiercely guarded, used intentionally, and considered sacred. NEVER let your day get hijacked by somebody else's to-do list. Because that's what happens when you check your computer or phone BEFORE setting your own priorities. 


Stop being busy and start being more productive by creating a powerful morning routine.

1. Get out of bed when your alarm goes off. Letting yourself fall back asleep undermines your body's readiness to start the day. Don't let your mind talk you out of getting up, just DO IT!

2. Stay off your phone and computer until after you complete your morning routine. This is really hard for most of us. Technology companies have designed their products to be addictive and suck us in. Trust me, and don't take the...

The start of February is a real watershed. While at least six weeks of winter remain (whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not, we end up with the same amount of winter!) at least the daylight stretches past 5pm, bringing with it a much needed natural elevation of mood and a sign that spring and summer sunshine will be here soon.

Being inside too much fries my mind and spirit. I think that’s true for most people, whether they admit it or not. But when I unplug and step outside to enjoy our beautiful Mother Earth, it’s evident that we are treating her as badly as we are treating ourselves. 

Even in a town as beautiful as Vienna, litter from single use plastic stains our parks and roadsides, and eventually makes its way to storm drains. And as Nemo’s tank-mate Gill said in the famous movie, all drains lead to the ocean. Even in a town as beautiful as Vienna, litter from single use plastic stains our parks and roadsides, and eventually makes its way to storm drains. And as Nemo’s ta...

November 25, 2019

Evidently 2019 brings with it a ‘shorter’ holiday season because Thanksgiving is ‘late’ this year.

You might hear folks lament there’s one less weekend to enjoy the tree or other holiday decorations. You definitely know the retailers are feeling a pinch with Black Friday deals happening literally as I write this.

One might think these are all reasonable and legit reasons to feel cheated on twinkle lights. But I ask you: Is the holiday season really shorter? Or should we simply broaden our minds to the advantages that this year’s calendar brings us?

That is, there’s still a crazy abundance of holiday time to unplug this year.

Thanksgiving arrives right on time per the ‘last Thursday of November’ rule. Hanukkah and Christmas fall right in line, accordingly, too. We’re starting the story of Advent next Sunday, and I trust my church knows what it’s doing.

So, the challenge: Let’s flip this conundrum on its head and ask ourselves: Hasn’t ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ actually gotten...

September 8, 2019

Three ways to unplug and reconnect with yourself, your loved ones, your community, your world.

One of my favorite things about teaching family yoga on Saturday mornings is watching people interact with each other--laughter, smiles, conversations, eye contact. Families do partner poses, dance, play yoga games, rest during Savasana holding hands. I never have to tell anyone to put away their phones because they never take them out. Luckily, most people associate looking at their phone during yoga as taboo. And this gives them the chance to be in the moment with their loved ones, and that's what is at the heart of mindfulness. Just being here. Now. It's not anything complicated and doesn't require any type of yoga training. But there are so many distractions today compared to the past, which makes it more difficult and something we must consciously set an intention to do. TVs, phones, Xbox, Nintendo, Apple watches, laptops...there's always something new to learn or do at your fingertips. B...

August 1, 2019

I've been involved with the healthcare industry since I was a toddler, watching my dad in his medical practice and my mom in her dental practice.  My favorite memories were not only of just being in the same room with the patients, but of hearing laughter as the patients chatted about their personal family stories with my parents.  Frequently, the fun and casual chatter would supersede the time spent on the treatment itself.  As my parents each stepped into their retirement chapter, it was very emotional and bittersweet for each to feel like they left numerous friends behind that were part of their daily work during the past 30 years.  Looking back, I appreciated my parents as family doctors and it was only later in life when I understood that they were also entrepreneurs and ran businesses. The greatest lesson I learned was the gift of conversation and laughter and how it can transform the entire experience for all parties involved. As I grew up, I knew I wanted to be in a profession...

June 12, 2019

Useful Facts

  • EMF stands for Electric and Magnetic Fields. They are invisible areas on energy, often referred to as radiation, that are associated with the use of electrical power and various forms of natural and man-made lighting.

  • EMF's are produced by microwaves, ovens, computers, visible light, smart meters, WIFI cell phones, blue tooth, power lines and MRIs.

  • EMFs are high frequency - higher visible light toning radiation, UV, X-rays and Gamma rays.

Did you know?

You should always check out the company you purchase from. Do they have your best interest in mind? We live in consumer driven society so health seems to be held low on the ladder.

The radiation that emits from Smart meters that are placed on the outside of your home have been linked to some health issues such as neurological problems and worsened inflammation.

In an Ontario school, parents observed that children are becoming ill after the school installed WIFI.

Symptoms of EMF exposure

  • Insomnia

  • Anxiety


May 22, 2019

Please read to support phone policy change at Thoreau Middle School


We are writing to you as parents of future Thoreau Middle School students and we'd like to make you aware of a concerning issue many have seen at the school.  

Currently, students at Thoreau may use their phones throughout the day - during most classes, lunch, and hall time - to text, play games, check/post on social media, watch YouTube, and take pictures of themselves and others.  While teachers sometimes ask students to use their phones for educational purposes (Kahoot! for example), the administration is clear that cell phones are not required at school. 

According to research, cell phone use during school hours is hurting our kids - both academically and emotionally.  If you take time to research this important topic, you will find study after study linking cell phone use among school-aged kids to depression, anxiety, lowered executive function, shortened attention span, lower academic marks, and e...

May 10, 2019

I teach middle school music in Greensboro, North Carolina. Being a music teacher allows me to see my kids grow up in a way that other teachers don’t. I see one student grow from a 5th grader to an 8th grader, from a kid to a teenager. It often reminds me of how fun and confusing being a middle school student was.

Technology is a huge part of my students’ lives. Each of them has their own personal laptop for school. Most of their grades, homework, and communication with teachers are done through that laptop. By the time they hit 8th Grade, almost all of my students have a cell phone. Not just a cell phone, but a smart phone.

Once students get a cell phone, I notice some major changes- They huddle around their phone to watch videos, they talk about the importance of subscribers and followers, they dissect the social media of their peers, they all have their phones next to them when they’re in a social situation, they are expected to communicate with parents and friends instantly, their lan...

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Annabel Olah

Wife | Mom | Teacher

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2017 | Unplug & Hug 

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