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 17, 2018


 

As leaders, we think we have to be available for our people 24/7. But disconnecting from my team turned out to be the best thing I could do for them.

The first time I went on vacation while leading my company, I was about to take off on a plane when disaster struck at Student Maid. I couldn’t answer my team’s frantic calls and texts because the flight attendants were giving me the stink eye--I had no choice but to power down my phone. By the time we landed, I thought my company would be in ruins (literally: I thought it was on fire). But instead, I was shocked to see texts from my team that said, “Nevermind! We figured it out! :)” It turns out that they didn’t need me after all. They were perfectly capable of solving the crisis themselves--I had just never given them the chance to try before. The best part was that my team was proud of themselves for handling the situation all on their own.

After that, I started to disconnect more frequently and make myself less available.

I didn’t tota...

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...

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...

November 10, 2017

The fire is the main comfort of the camp, whether in summer or winter, and is about as ample at one season as at another. It is as well for cheerfulness as for warmth and dryness. Fire is the most tolerable third party.

- Henry David Thoreau

There’s something magical about a fire.

(I’m talking about the good kind, of course, that you set on purpose in a controlled environment.) As a kid, when my dad would start a fire on a cold, wintry day, I’d be drawn in like a magnet. Or maybe no different than a moth to a flame. I’d sit with my back against the screen, my black lab at my side. And I’d let that warmth soak into my bones and the feeling of utter calm envelope me.

For years, I didn’t have a wood-burning fireplace of my own. But recently, my husband and I moved from the suburbs of Washington, DC to the country. There’s a centuries-old fireplace next to our house, still standing long after the house that once contained it fell. So, we built a patio around it. When we have friends and famil...

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...

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...

October 1, 2017

The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.

-Anne Frank

I am honored to be a guest blogger on Unplug & Hug! Thank you for reading.

Let’s get started by visualizing a pair of hands reaching out to feel a soft rain or waving to a friend.

Now, let’s rewind to a month ago when I received my first Accunect healing session.

During this amazing experience, the Accunect healer explored and assessed my key energy systems (Chakras) where stress could potentially be disrupting my natural functions. The point of this “hands-free” healing method was to help me unlock my body's natural ability to heal.

Long story short.

The healer shared images on which I should meditate, and told me where she sensed energy blockages or other interesting sensations. Her assessment resonated with me, so we proceeded with the session.

For example, during our time together, she mentioned a profound image of my hands producing and “giving” in the near future.  I found it comforting, settling and quite enl...

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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Annabel Olah

Wife | Mom | Teacher

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2017 | Unplug & Hug 

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