Unplug & Hug Blog

March 2, 2018

National days are great.

They give us the opportunity to focus on one important thing for 24 whole hours! 

While my favorite one, of course, is all about chocolate (but let's not go there), I was thrilled to find out that Friday, March 9 is 2018’s National Day of Unplugging!

That's right. Unplugging is actually 'a thing.' 

And the National Day of Unplugging is a perfect time to challenge ourselves to do just that. Think, turn it off, shut it down, put it on silent, close it out and disconnect!

But we've got an even bigger challenge for you: Host an Unplugged Dinner!
 

(That means no phones, iPads, laptops, TVs, etc.)

Here are the challenge details:

If You Recharge Best Alone

Do just a bit of planning. If you like cooking, then grocery shop ahead of time for your favorite meal. Or, if cooking stresses you out, order the most tantalizing take-out meal you can think of. (Or that you can afford, because let’s be real.)

When you get home from work or school on the 9th, turn off your phone, lap...

February 7, 2018

Valentines Day.

That one word can stir up lots of feelings and emotions.

February 14th brings with it excitement, anxiety and even sadness in some of us. And it doesn’t matter if you’re single or in a relationship. Feelings are universal. But one way everyone, no matter who you are or what situation you find yourself in, can embrace Valentines Day, is by embracing your most important Valentine: YOU! 

Self-love through self-care! 

Self-care is self-love, and here are some ideas for how you can practice it:

  • Put down your phone. Social media can often be a great source of human interaction, but disconnecting for an hour or two could be a good way to take an opportunity to take care of you.

  • Take a walk in the woods and think about all the positive things in your life, like how good you are at your job and hobbies, and what great family and friends you have.

  • Did someone say spa day?!?

  • Read a book. Reading is a peaceful and rewarding activity that opens your mind to new adventu...

February 1, 2018


When was the last time you allowed yourself to get lost in a book? While books are an easy choice for people who want to unplug, it is easy for even voracious readers to get distracted by life’s urgencies and leave the books to gather dust on their nightstands.

Working with customers, I’ve noticed people talking less about New Year’s resolutions, and more about New Year’s challenges. Some customers are committing to reading challenges, such as reading 25 or 50 books in 2018. Some are looking for new literary challenges (my personal challenge is to delve into poetry this year). Looking to simplify? Work smarter? Develop new skills?

There’s a book for that!

And then there are the escape artists among us – those who take advantage of the cold weather and long nights to curl up with compelling stories, whether contemporary or classics from days past.

A book-in-hand, no matter what the genre or topic, provides a simple way to slow down, find balance and restore calm. Give yourself permission t...

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! 

December 23, 2017

Like most kids, my internal countdown to Christmas was palpable.

The butterflies in my stomach and the agonizing wait for Santa’s Big Day, I wore on my sleeve.

Christmas couldn’t come soon enough.

My Mom and Dad, working hand-in-hand with Santa, did an excellent job filling my Christmas list every year. So, of course, the idea of new Barbies and Barbie accessories (all I cared about, really) factored in heavily to my idea that December 25th was, hands-down, the best day of the year. To sum it up very eloquently:

‘Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas, upon which the entire kid year revolved.’ 

- Ralphie, A Christmas Story

Santa has long moved on to a new generation of chimneys.

Yet, my heightened excitement for the holidays remains. As an adult, it’s obviously not about Santa and piles of presents anymore. Heck, who can afford an epic, Santa-level haul these days?

But, looking back, I don’t think it was all about the ‘stuff’ when I was a kid either.

I think what I love and have always loved ab...

December 2, 2017

So how many hugs do you get a day?  According to Virginia Satir, “Mother of Family Therapy”

We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.

Given the message to unplug and hug, twelve hugs a day will provide lots of opportunities for expansion.  Beyond growth, however, hugging can be a potent healer of the soul.  Hugs can be exchanged anywhere, no outlet required.  No tech device can claim that super power!

So, what’s in a hug? 

Hugging actually stimulates certain brain chemicals.  Oxytocin is what makes us social beings and allows us to feel empathy for others.  The boost in oxytocin resulting from a hug can ease feelings of loneliness and isolation, and even reduce feelings of anger.  Have you ever tried to stay mad at someone when you are hugging?  I find it virtually impossible.  Serotonin, one of the “feel good” hormones, is also released when embracing for an extended period, elevating our mood and creat...

November 5, 2017

Hi, Unplug & Hug readers. I'm so excited to be a guest blogger on this great website, which happens to be founded by my awesome sister and Unplug & Hug founder, Annabel!

I’m a senior at Radford University in Radford Virginia, pursuing a Social Work degree. Based on my studies and personal observations, I can see that mental health issues pose a major problem to college students. Particularly when they are constantly plugged in to social media, texting or being inundated by so much information in our digital world. 

For example, one in four college students have an undiagnosed mental health issue that stems from a variety stressors, including school, work, their social lives and a multitude of other responsibilities. Alone or combined, these things can lead to an array of problems, which are exacerbated by too much time spent using digital devices.

The majority of mental illnesses that develop in college are anxiety, depression, addiction and eating disorders. All of which I believe have a...

November 4, 2017

The holidays are just a month away! And that means holiday shopping! 

Yikes!

If you're like us at Unplug & Hug, you might cringe at the idea of holiday crowds, or even the idea of venturing to a mall. And, if you're REALLY like us, holiday shopping might make you want to just take a moment to meditate!

So, we're offering a great alternative to the holiday hustle and bustle.

As you make your list (and check it twice!), why not give the gift of unplugging to your family, friends and coworkers with one of our exclusive tanks and tees! 

Because no matter who's on your list, we think they'll love to take the time to disconnect to connect. To unplug and hug. And wear it proud!

All proceeds from our tanks and tees go towards Unplug & Hug-sponsored community events.

Ho ho holiday shopping! 

October 1, 2017

I think that I shall never see. A poem lovely as a tree. 

- Joyce Kilmer

A writer writes. And so do I. Poetry to be specific. I find putting pen to paper an extremely therapeutic exercise, and a way for me to capture the beauty I see in the world around me. And it's also one way, and a great way, for me to unplug. 

So without further ado, I'm so happy to be able to share my poem, "Tree Bird Sun," with you. I hope you enjoy it, and perhaps you'll be inspired to capture in words, all of the the beauty you see in your life.

Tree Bird Sun

I walk.

Mouthwatering deliciousness for the eyes;

Eyes tell heart where to go;

Heart says yes.

I am no longer the walker.

I am Tree Bird Sun.

I ask Tree, “what is it like to be thee,

nestling in ground, leaves making sound,

swaying in wind’s caress?”

Tree says to me, “I am me,

most tree, free to be as I am,

in a forest of we.”

I ask Bird, “what is it like to be thee,

soaring low and high, turning on nigh,

floating and billowing above?

Bird says to me, “I am me,

most...

September 10, 2017

Cooking!

Whether you’re following your grandma’s recipe, trying one you found while surfing the web, or just winging it, cooking is a fantastic way to get culinary-creative.

It’s also a great way to unplug.

Cooking for one (you), is calming, and even therapeutic. It's perfect for unwinding after a busy day, or putting a stressful situation on hold for a couple hours. Cooking for (and with!) your spouse, your partner, your kids and your extended family is a subtle way to show them you care. And cooking for friends is a terrific excuse for catching up and having some laughs. Consider starting a cooking club or a progressive dinner tradition with them!

Here are a few places to find winning dishes.

The Chew, Annabel's all-time favorite cooking show, demonstrates how to make delicious chef-approved recipes that I love. Plus, the hosts make it fun, creative and easy.

Terra's Kitchen, a meal delivery service, drops unique, healthy ingredients on my doorstep every week. (Opening the box is super f...

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February 9, 2019

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Annabel Olah

Wife | Mom | Teacher

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2017 | Unplug & Hug 

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