Unplug & Hug Blog

January 2, 2018

What’s a resolution? 

Is it losing weight, to save more money, to quit smoking, to travel more or to find more ways to unplug and connect with what’s important to you?

Well, no matter your resolution, think of the year as a fresh start. Releasing old, unneeded and unwanted patterns or ways of being, and moving into a new you!

A brand new year is an opportunity to start anew. How refreshing is that?!?

So, whatever that “new” thing is, think of this quote by the great Louise Hay who passed in 2017, and who was famous for her power of positive affirmations:

As I start the New Year, I focus on moving away from whatever has been holding me back. I declare that every negative thought pattern in my consciousness is now been cleared out and released. As I fill my mind with new, positive thinking, I take the first steps toward my bright future!

Cheers to a happy and healthy 2018! Make it your year to shine! 

November 18, 2017

At Thanksgiving, we think about togetherness and the joy of spending time with our familiy and friends. But at the same time, the holidays can also evoke feelings of anxiety. Making a holiday meal, for example, is such a great thing to do for your family, but making perfect turkeys, mashed potatoes and pies is a lot of pressure! 

Our use of and perception of time is the same way.

We want to enjoy quality time with others because we know that it might be limited. However, because of our busy lives, family obligations and jobs, our minds sometimes trick us into thinking that our time could be better spent taking care of the day-to-day things. 

Paying a bill vs. making a pie with my mom, for example. What’s more important, really? We all know that answer. 

So, wherever you are or whatever you’re doing this Thanksgiving, try to think of your loved ones (past and present) – and your time - as the real gift.

Your to-do list can wait. 

In other words, enjoy the nuggets of gold around you.  D...

June 26, 2017

As a Pilates instructor, I’m always looking for ways to marry the practice with the great outdoors. Nature is a great setting for this calming and introspective exercise.

Last week I got the opportunity to do it!

I was thrilled to be able to conduct a mat class on Vienna’s Town Green. And on a truly beautiful summer evening.

We had a great turnout, and the participants loved it so, I’m definitely incorporating outdoor Pilates into my class schedule. 

If you’re in the DC area, my next outdoor Pilates class will be Saturday, July 15 at 9 a.m. (location TBD). Follow my Facebook page for the latest updates and information: Align Pilates.

Outside of DC? Consider finding an outdoor class in your area!

June 21, 2017

NOVA (Northern Virginia, that is.) was hit with a major thunderstorm last night.

So, of course, our power went out.

Typically an annoyance (especially when it’s out for four hours!), we looked at it another way: Using it as an opportunity to have "power" family time. (Pun intended.)

So what did we do while waiting for the lights, TV and fridge to come back on? More importantly, what can you do? Here’s a quick list of ideas.   

  • We played tag candlelight.

  • We found our inner crafter.

  • We had a game of Uno. 

  • We dove for pennies in our backyard pool.

  • We took the tag game outside.

  • We caught fireflies!

Even though power outages are a pain in many ways, it was truly a beautiful and memorable night, and reminded me once again how important unplugging with my husband and daughter is in my life. Especially when we’re unplugged… literally.

Want more ideas? See how to not get bored when the power goes out.

May 23, 2017

We talk a lot about unplugging so that we can connect with family, friends and the world around us. But disconnecting also helps us to reconnect with ourselves - physically, emotionally and spiritually. That’s why I’ve incorporated Pilates, meditation and essential oils in my life.

So, how do I “hug” myself?

I practice Pilates.

I started practicing Pilates because I was looking for an exercise program to support my cardiovascular health, strength, endurance and flexibility. (And let's face it, I needed a way to get back in shape after having my daughter.) Additionally, because I have lower back pain and sciatica, I also needed an activity with therapeutic properties. 

Practicing Pilates, I realized an additional benefit. It gave me a sense of calm, inner peace and focus, particularly upon losing my brother unexpectedly the day before my daughter was born. The practice gave me peace, time to think and space where I could listen to my body and soul.  

My love of Pilates inspired m...

May 12, 2017

Do you know where the term, 'potty' came from? Read on...

Yesterday I chaperoned my daughter’s field trip to Colvin Run Mill, ‘the sole surviving operational 19th-century water-powered mill in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area… and a nationally significant example of automated technologies pioneered in milling and later adopted across American industry. ’

One of the most interesting (and enlightening) activities of the trip was a guessing game where the Colvin Run historians showed our group of 3rd graders common items used by the pioneers, and asked them, ‘what do you think these were used for?’ Here’s a handful of the items we looked at along with the kids’ guesses.

  • Carpet swatter? Snow shoe!

  • Boot jack? Airplane!

  • Old-timey curling iron? Scissors!

  • Washboard? Game board!

  • Clothes washer? Plunger!

You get the idea.

Granted, many adults might not guess correctly either. (Even I got stumped on a few.) However, the activity reminded me of the ingenuity, practical...

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Annabel Olah

Wife | Mom | Teacher

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2017 | Unplug & Hug 

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