Are Sleep Trackers Keeping You Awake at Night?

sleep Jun 16, 2021

If you have trouble sleeping, you know that can wreak havoc on your waking hours. But have you heard about digital insomnia: orthosomnia?

Step trackers. Calorie trackers. Now there are sleep gadgets and trackers to help us fall asleep while analyzing the quality and quantity of our sleep. You know what's ironic about fixating on achieving the perfect sleep or improving sleep scores? We're literally losing sleep over it!

I'm by no means an orthosomniac. Admittedly, I've had sleep challenges for many years, since starting grad school: I've had insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and post-menopausal sleep apnea. Sleep hygiene has become an integral part of my self-care practice. Forget the fancy gizmos and logging every breath you take. Here are my go-to sleep solutions, which I now adhere to nightly:

  • Blue light blocking glasses (I wear these while working at my computer or watching TV at night)
  • Wireless charger station (I keep it outside my bedroom on another floor of my house)
  • Apple...
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Which has more sugar - soda or fruit juice?

eat Jun 09, 2021

I discovered my newest obsession: FOOD LABELS. I now read food labels (Nutrition Facts and ingredients lists) like I read books.

It's like I'm on a scavenger hunt in search of hidden / added sugars in beverages. "No Added Sugars" listed on food labels can be a misleading claim, and not the same thing as saying "no sugar." Companies take real fruit, concentrate it into pulp or puree, and then use it to sweeten beverages. Because it comes from fruit, food labeling laws allow the sweetener to be called natural, and the claim "no added sugars" is permissible, even though the fruit is basically processed into sugar or syrup.

Here are 4 tips to help you think before you drink:

1. Read the Nutrition Facts: If Added Sugars are listed, look at the number of grams in one serving size.

2. Check the Ingredients List: If Added Sugars are not listed in the Nutrition Facts or if the beverage label says "no added sugars," then look at the list of ingredients. If you...

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​The Cicadas Are Here – Bringing Wellness with Them

Uncategorized May 26, 2021
​The Cicadas Are Here – Bringing Wellness with Them

I’ve had so many new experiences since I moved to the U.S. in 2014 – I’ve wrangled everything from politics to pests.

Now, I’m facing Brood X Cicadas season. After 17 years, these cicadas are emerging from the ground by the trillions in Washington, D.C. and in several other states, including Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, and parts of Delaware, Kentucky, West Virginia, Illinois, and New York.

Brood X Cicadas are everywhere! These winged, red-eyed, shelled exoskeletons attach themselves to trees and wooden surfaces, and then shed their skins. Plus, they’re all over the ground.

And while they definitely have that icky, “Ewww, gross!” factor – which is why I didn’t post a photo! – they do bring with them several redeeming wellness wonders. And since I am all about tapping into wellness through my Virtual Wellness Lounge offerings, I thought I’d share some cicada upsides with you:

1. They Provide White Noise

I LOVE the...

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Don’t Ruin a Perfect Day of Golf by Getting Hurt

Uncategorized May 19, 2021

Earlier this month, I attended and led a golf yoga stretch break at my second live, in-person event at the Association of Meeting Professionals annual Golf Day. There were 130 people who came out and reconnected for the first time in 14 months.

And it was fantastic - like a reunion!

Now that we’re heading into summer, more people are heading out to play golf – the perfect outdoor activity. However, the dynamic nature of this sport requires flexibility, stability, balance, and coordination.

Swinging a golf club creates repetitive wear and tear on the body, producing up to eight times your body weight in compressive forces to the spine. That's twice as much strain as when you're running.

It’s no wonder that 80% of golfers get injured while playing: Your body could be at risk for muscle, ligament, tendon or joint strain. Some of the more common areas golfers injure? The lower back, wrists, shoulders, elbows and hips.

That’s why you’ll want to do the...

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Even Elon Musk Could Use Some Social Icebreakers!

Uncategorized May 13, 2021

Did you catch Saturday Night Live on May 9, 2021, hosted by Elon Musk? I was in hysterics watching this skit featuring a bunch of people at a party who have totally forgotten their social skills. Why? Because it happened to me, and I’m betting you can relate, too.

Now that I’m fully vaccinated, I’ve been venturing out from COVID hiding for the first time in 14 months, attending ReConEx, a Potomac MPI chapter hybrid event, the AMPS Golf Day and DMVs Vaccinated Westies – a weekly west coast swing dance that recently resumed for fully vaccinated dancers.

It’s like we all suffer from pandemic-induced memory loss: I’m so grateful for name tags, because I would otherwise not remember peoples’ names or how I know them. I’ve been feeling like a bear coming out of hibernation!

There’s never been a better time to use social icebreakers, which promote inclusivity and engagement while stimulating discussion and strengthening team...

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How My Dog Inspired Me to Make Important Changes in My Business

Uncategorized May 06, 2021

Back in February, I shared my belief that attendee engagement in 2021 is all about focusing on the human element: Building empathy, compassion and kindness into our programs that feed the human operating system.

Two weeks ago, something happened that brought this belief system full circle. Ironically, it coincided with 4/20, National Weed Day.

That morning, my dog, Benji could barely open his eyes, and when he did, they were red – like he was stoned. He was sleepy all day, and had no energy, even for a walk. His eyes were so sensitive to sunlight that I gave him my blue-ray light-blocking glasses, which I use as part of my sleep hygiene routine.

Check him out:

Benji, Chief De-Stress Officer

Benji seemed better the following day, so I chalked it up to allergy season. I figured that if allergies affect people and I pretty much treat Benji like a person, he probably had allergies, too.

But I was way off base.

That weekend, Benji’’s red eyes also took on a bluish...

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Confessions for a Netflix Addict

Uncategorized Apr 28, 2021

Like many of you, I spent way too much time binge-watching Netflix and Amazon Prime during the pandemic. But I’ll bet my playlist was quite different than most: I watched Shtisel, Unorthodox, Fauna, Tehran, When Heroes Fly, and Srugim. I also watched an Indian film, Queen, and Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont.

Notice a common theme here? Everything I watched was in a foreign language with English subtitles.

Now, I’m not a TV person. You might remember that I literally cannot sit still. At movie theaters, my restless leg syndrome would kick in, so I’d get up halfway through the film to walk around and stretch in the entrance way aisle. I couldn’t even make it through 50 Shades of Grey, leaving my husband to watch half the movie alone!

I make a point to only watch foreign-language shows because:

  • I can’t multi-task while reading subtitles, so no working, texting or talking.
  • It compels me to be fully PRESENT and in the moment so I can focus on the...
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Progress, Not Perfection During the Pandemic

Uncategorized Apr 21, 2021

I’ve discovered something pretty simple: When we allow stress and anxiety to take over, it affects our minds and bodies big-time. Since we’re all still grappling with the stress of a global pandemic, it’s crucial to keep our health in check.

In my recent guest appearance on the Dare to Interrupt podcast with Courtney Stanley, I shared:

  • Why I took a two-year sabbatical from my work in the meetings industry.
  • How I pivoted from professional speaker to online course entrepreneur.
  • How a silent retreat helped me find focus and inner peace in silence and self-reflection.
  • How I incorporated the 5 P’s: Pause, Ponder, Patience, Progress and Pivot.

This podcast provides candid, authentic, straight-from-the-heart insights into how stress and anxiety impacted my professional and personal life.

I discuss how I leaned on my expertise and ultimately rebalanced my mind, body and business.

I discovered I was perfectly positioned for the pandemic: My strategy involved...

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How to prime your participants for virtual / hybrid events

Uncategorized Apr 16, 2021

I came across Dr. Ming Wang a Harvard & MIT MD/Ph.D's short video about the "pre-lead" period in dance. He talked about the brief period leading up to the dance where there is a pause and expansion in the body to indicate the dancer's intention:

  • the awareness of another human being
  • sensitivity toward the partner's physical and emotional position
  • how the dance couple expresses music together and the connection to another human being

The dance is all about the compromise, the negotiation, with two people working together to form a unified experience.

This got me thinking about the need for a pre-lead or priming period for meetings: to prime participants to be in the best frame of mind and body to fully enjoy the conference and/or tele-working experience - energized, focused and engaged.

Here's the thing: when you prime the mind and body, you're also priming the day. You inject ENERGY that drives attendees into a peak performance state, leaving them...

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Pandemic Dark Cloud to Silver Lining… The Sequel

Uncategorized Apr 09, 2021

(Check out the first part of my story HERE).

Following the death of my father, I realized that I was totally burned out, and not just from grief. I’d been traveling extensively for my job as a professional speaker in the meetings industry, and the truth hit me hard: You know you’ve reached your expiration date when you’re living out of a suitcase on autopilot – so much so that you go to the wrong airport in your own city!

My decision soon afterwards to pivot my business to a home-based, virtual one turned out to be the right one because it positioned me perfectly for the pandemic.

Do as I say, not as I did!

My burn-out probably resulted from being too busy teaching other people how to practice self-care and not taking my own advice – I struggled with undiagnosed sleep apnea and high cortisol levels, which led to pre-diabetes and weight gain, among other health issues.

I needed to make a change. Immediately.

I transformed my virtual Eat, Sleep,...

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