how to take an effective break the mentor way

making breaks more mindful

A side effect of the pandemic I didn’t expect was how hard it is to not have designated transition times. We used to have built in commutes, walks to class, in-person after school activities and meetings. It takes extra work now to signify the end of one thing and the start of another making a lot of life a blur right now. 

During the Q&A portion of a talk I gave recently, a student asked: “How can I take a break?” The question struck me as incredibly important now that our lives are so digital. It reminded me of the tattoo story because what we connect to on our “off time” has become vital now that the pull of our devices is stronger than ever.

In full transparency, I haven’t researched how long a break should be or what the best activity is. I feel that’s super personal to who you are and what your body needs at any given time, but my mentor tip is a little different anyway. It’s to ask yourself this one question: 

What or with whom am I sharing my energy with? 

This question is really important to me because of an experience I had during my Master’s program. I took an art therapy workshop where we were randomly paired and taught a breathing exercise that included staring into our partner’s eyes for 20 minutes (so awkward!) then while my partner continued the breathing, I went to the art station and painted whatever I wanted. After I was done, we switched and my partner had to make an exact replica of my artwork.

When we finished, my partner told me I painted his tattoo which was wild because I’d never seen it before. It was covered by his t-shirt. This experience blew my mind and made me realize how connected we all are.

So what does this have to do with taking a break? 

You may have heard the saying: “You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” which is attributed to motivational speaker Jim Rohns. I don’t know how valid that statement is as I’ve not done experiments on it, but I do believe who you share your energy with is vitally important to your overall happiness. It means to become aware of who you are sharing your energy with during the times in your day you take a break. If your class ends and you just pick up your phone and scroll social, who is it that you’re sharing your energy with? 

Some reflection questions: 

  • Who are the five people you spend the most time with? 
  • Who are the five people you chat with the most? 
  • Who are the five people you watch or follow the most on social?
  • What are the five podcasts you listen to the most?
  • What are the five activities you do the most?

Are these people/things you want to share your precious energy with? Do you want to be picking up on their energy? To use this in real life, when you’re about to take a break ask yourself: 

Who or what do I want to share my energy with?

When I ask myself this question it helps me to positively filter my break. I always want to spend my energy or share it with something that’s recharging so maybe being in nature or moving my body. 

I make sure if I’m doing a workout it’s with an instructor I want to be sharing my energy with. 

If I’m on social or listening to a podcast, I follow things that are inspiring and additive.

If I’m talking to a friend I want to talk to someone who I’m okay with picking up their energy because there’s a transference. 

Who’s energy do you want to be a part of? What do you want to pick up on? Make sure it’s positive energy and it feels good to you. This will make your break feel additive. 

A few more basic mentor tips for living, schooling, and working in the digital realm: 

  • Take a break outside of the room that you were doing all of your stuff in. Whether you walk into a different room or get outside, changing scenery for even a brief amount of time, can be helpful.
  • Make sure your breaks aren’t always focused around snacks or eating. You want to make sure you’re eating because you’re hungry and not only because you need a break.
  • My suggestion for a mindful break would be to use an inner practice and make a break a ritual for yourself. Maybe you meditate as a break or you journal right at the end of your school work day in order to ritualize your move into your personal life. 

The important step here is to remember to ask yourself the question: who/what do I want to share my energy with? Wishing you a great week ahead! 


 

a pep talk for when you’re being hard on yourself

Two Tips for Managing Perfectionism

So many of my students are perfectionists and I really relate to this because I’m hard on myself too. If you put a lot of pressure on yourself this is the right episode for you:  

I was at a dance class once and we did an improv warm-up. The teacher was like, “move like you’re sad, move like it’s sunny, move like it’s windy, move like you’re happy.” She had all these different prompts and then I made a joke that we should move like you’re thinking about something weird you did in 2007. Everyone laughed because everyone related to bringing up something in your mind that you’ve done wrong before and replaying it in your head.

My mentor Megan McDowell always tells me that sometimes I don’t want to accept my humanness. All that means is that I have limitations and that as a human I fall short at times. It’s not even really that you’re falling short it just is that you are human. I did an interview with Megan here that’s on feeling big feelings and if you’re perfection-y I am SURE you’re working through some big feelings: 

If you’re someone who ruminates on things you’ve did wrong or something that you feel bad about, remember shortcomings are part of being human. Your limitations make you human; not something to continue to beat yourself up about.

When I’m being hard on myself, I find it really helpful to just identify my own humanness. I name the mistake as my humanness and in recognizing it for what it is, it sort of dissipates. I don’t hold the same standards for myself that I was the moment before I pointed out my humanness.

An exercise I do when I’m getting in a perfection-y rumination spiral is I have a chat with the 80 year old version of myself so it’s Grandma Maggie in my head. I have a conversation with this older wiser version of myself that has lived more life than I’ve lived right now and I kind of see what she has to say about it.  Whether it’s through journaling or meditation. She NEVER tells me to beat myself up more. She mostly just tells me to let it go. It’s always really helpful to have this loving conversation with the older wiser version of myself. You could even see it as maybe talking to your higher-self.

If you’re someone who identifies as a perfectionist I am holding space for you and I get it! Sending everyone so much love!


 

How to Cure an Emotional Hangover

For those of us that overanalyze…

Have you ever hung out with people, had a great time, only to wake up with anxiety about what you said or did? If you’re someone that replays every stupid thing you did in your head, this episode is for you. I share my major tips for curing an emotional hangover and how to cut yourself slack for being human.

10 Ways to Stop Anxiety before it Starts

how to deal with anxiety

Have you ever felt anxiety begin to creep up and then you start to worry about  feeling anxious on top of it? I get it. I’ve been there too. This anxiety checklist is what I go to first when I feel anxiety coming on. I take a look at this list, make some tweaks, and am able to help myself feel better.

infographic on anxiety

Here’s the meditation I do when I feel anxious:

lifelong wellness starts in college

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⁣::WELLNESS: Beginning of the semester check in: ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ How's it going academically?⁣⁣ How's your social circle? ⁣⁣ How do you feel emotionally?⁣⁣ What's your relationship like to your physical health? ⁣⁣ How do you feel about your finances? ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ On a scale of 1 to 10 what's your level of wellness? ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ If there's a section here that you would like work on, don't worry; that's normal! Balance is an ebb and flow. Checking in on yourself is an important part of caring for yourself (yes adulting!). ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Want more? ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ One-On-One Mentor Sessions: get that support! chat on the phone or hang in person ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Online Monthly Mentor Membership: never before heard podcast, meditation, self-care share, and journal exercises every month on relevant college topics ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ What a Time Podcast: getting you across campus one pep-talk at a time ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ All links in bio!⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣

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Do you Talk to Yourself?

Do you Talk to Yourself? ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I hung out with a long time student of mine yesterday and she described someone as, "he doesn't talk to himself,” to explain a lack of self-awareness. SO GOOD. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ How often do you talk to yourself? Like reaaaaally talk? What's your inner dialogue? How well do you know yourself? It's all part of caring for you! ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ There's sometimes fear around getting to know ourselves because we're afraid of what we might see. Shining awareness on the dark parts just makes them light. This is where my mentors have been so important. They help me see all of me from a higher perspective. Self-cultivation is especially important during transitions (like going to college, starting a new school year, trying something new, etc.) when you're inherently getting to know a different version of yourself. Wanna have a chat with yourself? These are things that help me start the conversation: ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ✨take a walk⁣⁣ ✨listen to music ⁣⁣ ✨dance ⁣⁣ ✨spend time with mentors ⁣⁣ ✨turn off the phone ⁣⁣ ✨pay attention to the world around you ⁣⁣ ✨journal ⁣⁣ ✨go be alone⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Let me know how the convo goes! ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ** Also not talking to myself in this pic, but laughing at @leshon and having my photo taken by the talented Maja Bakija @maja_bee **

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Do you Talk to Yourself? ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
I hung out with a long time student of mine yesterday and she described someone as, “he doesn’t talk to himself,” to explain a lack of self-awareness. SO GOOD. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
How often do you talk to yourself? Like reaaaaally talk? What’s your inner dialogue? How well do you know yourself? It’s all part of caring for you! ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
There’s sometimes fear around getting to know ourselves because we’re afraid of what we might see. Shining awareness on the dark parts just makes them light. This is where my mentors have been so important. They help me see all of me from a higher perspective. Self-cultivation is especially important during transitions (like going to college, starting a new school year, trying something new, etc.) when you’re inherently getting to know a different version of yourself. Wanna have a chat with yourself? These are things that help me start the conversation: ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
✨take a walk⁣⁣
✨listen to music ⁣⁣
✨dance ⁣⁣
✨spend time with mentors ⁣⁣
✨turn off the phone ⁣⁣
✨pay attention to the world around you ⁣⁣
✨journal ⁣⁣
✨go be alone⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Let me know how the convo goes! ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
** Also not talking to myself in this pic, but laughing at @leshon and having my photo taken by the talented Maja Bakija @maja_bee **

mentor faq

I wanted to try to answer some of my most Frequently Asked Questions, but it was very hard to do in a one minute video! Who is Mentoring For: Sometimes talking to someone in a personal way can feel weird, but just like you have an academic advisor if you’re in college or a guidance counselor in high school, why wouldn’t you have a person to talk to about your well being. I like to think of myself as a professional big sister. I work with college and high school girls (I used to work with more middle school girls when I also taught yoga) where it’s like a vent session with a friend who gets what you’re going through. What Do We Talk About: We can talk about anything! Many of my sessions focus on stress and anxiety, as well as school life balance. Social media is a huge topic!!!! My students can be academic achievers and get stressed over school work so we talk about different ways to find balance. Girls chat with me about friendships. We work on how to make and maintain a loyal, kind, inner circle. For my college girls, there’s handling roommates, but the foundation for all my work is to help girls feel happy, confident, and love who they are. Where do the Sessions take Place? Sessions are done either on the phone or in person. They are an hour long and can be booked whenever it fits your schedule. You can buy a one time chat or a package of four. It’s all about what works for you! Want to know more? Info on my website in bio! ✨✨✨

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