Pause, take a deep breath, and take in this present moment.
You have made it into the summer, and this is your reminder to make yourself a priority and not sabotage your emotional wellbeing and good habits.
To help you with that, we are sharing our Summer Glow Up Plan!
Glow Up means taking time to acknowledge and nurture your needs by showing up for yourself and your mental health.
Your Summer Glow Plan might look like this:
1) Figure out your daily routine. Add things you love or want to do for the summer into that routine. Without goal-directed action, it’s easier to lose motivation and fall into slumps of procrastination. We recommend starting your day writing in a journal to organize your ideas and embracing your phone calendar to keep you on task.
2) There is healing in community. Take time to connect. Call, text, or even write a friend to say hi, or offer a compliment. Social connections promote positive mental health outcomes. Another great option is joining an online group or finding events on places like Eventbrite to expand your social networks.
3) Move your body. Your body is craving to be noticed and to move. Try a free yoga application like Down Dogg in the App Store, find a 10-minute workout on youtube, or turn up your favorite mashup and dance like your office mate isn’t watching!
4) Set your alarm to get outside during the day. Walk, run or sit outside and get some fresh air and sun. To get even more grounded, kick off your shoes and feel the earth beneath you- we call this grounding “earthing.” As you ground yourself, use that time to think about a few reasons to be grateful.
Let us know which self-care tips you’ll be working on this week in the comments below!
Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R, is a Licensed therapist, speaker, and Mindset Coach for high-achieving women in business. Her joy is addressing mental health on multiple levels, from the boardroom to your virtual office
A blog around the key learnings after attending the Retreat
I recently returned from my first curated Retreat for minority women in business in Mexico: Renew, Connect, Restore, Retreat. It was more than I could’ve expected. I wanted to pause and share five things I learned from sharing space with 12 exceptional women.
What Was The Business Retreat About?
The Renew, Connect, Restore Retreat was birthed out of the Mindset and Motivation Community for Women Entrepreneurs of Color. It has been such an uplifting virtual space that it naturally made sense to transition it to a live experience. As women, we often struggle to set aside time for ourselves because we are busy supporting everyone else’s life, with little energy left to create, ask for help, or continue to stretch ourselves. When we attempt to work on ourselves, we are so wrapped up in our heads that things like procrastination, worry, and overthinking rob us of our potential.
The community is an intentional space to refuel, encourage, teach, and share. Along the way, we foster skills to grow your business and voice. What’s unique about the group is you don’t even need to have a business! Just good intentions and a true understanding of sisterhood. Those values are what I took and curated in Mexico.
The Retreat was four days of connection, workshops on purpose, profits, and self-care, all facilitated by women from the community. One of the facilitators was my good friend from UCONN Tasha Smith, MSW, MBA from Peach Valley Co (an inclusive Real Estate and Tech Company) who happened to be in Mexico and volunteered to do a workshop.
Here are five of the most powerful business lessons I learned from attending the Renew, Connect, Restore Retreat for minority women in business:
1. The importance of building a solid and supportive tribe. I was reminded that I don’t need to rely on others outside my circle to help deliver an experience. Instead, I can ask within my tribe for support.
2. It’s very encouraging to share space with like-minded women. These women did not know each other, but you would swear we were best of friends. Being around other black and brown women striving for similar goals and willing to serve as mirrors to listen, be honest, and help identify issues that maybe you didn’t want to see on your own created such a safe and healing environment.
3. The Retreat was an opportunity for personal growth and development. The speakers learned as much about themselves as the participants did. I had the chance to coach some of them on expressing their gifts in creative and tangible ways, which led to dynamic and effective handouts for the group.
4. Leveraging your skills and experience to create new business opportunities is possible. There is a huge need for us to learn how to think outside our well-constructed professional box. I challenged the idea of “an expert,” had them identify tangible skills, and walked them through how to use that to create a product. The women were challenged to think outside the box and use their professional skills to create new opportunities.
5. I am capable of so much more than I realize. Challenging yourself with new and complex tasks or concepts that seem outside your reach will only push you to develop those tangible skill sets that can open doors. Pouring out in this capacity also has a counter effect of filling you with things like joy, confidence, and contentment. This experience showed me that I haven’t even reached my potential as an entrepreneur.
The experience solidified my purpose and strengthened the value of community and how far we can go together. If you are a minority woman in need of a tribe, we extend an invitation to you and hope you will join us.
And yes, by request, we’ll be hosting the Retreat again. We are thinking of a tropical place like Antigua. What’s your favorite island?
Let me know in the comments. If you don’t want to miss an invite follow me at Ig@amanda.fludd if you aren’t in the community already.
If you need help defining and implementing a digital strategy as you start to build your business, let us know if we can assist you.
Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R is a Licensed Psychotherapist, Speaker, and Mindset Coach for high-achieving women and professionals venturing into business. Her joy is tackling mental health on multiple platforms and she is available for speaking engagements and training.
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Whatever this week has brought you, let that mess go.
It’s the weekend, and your mind has done enough backflips around expectations, criticisms, and judgments that it just needs rest.
Now, decide that you are the most important woman in the room, and let the next decision you make honor what you really need. Is it rest, to laugh, to sit idle on the front steps with a beverage and watch the sunset or the moon rise?
“The pain and stress and anger and sadness and loneliness and frustration and fear and cravings and irritations that we will experience today … they are made up. We can let them go as easily as they arise. They are unnecessary if we realize that we’ve created them for no good reason. Instead, see the beauty in every moment. In every person’s so human actions. In our own frailties and failures.
This world is a morning poem, and we have but to see it to be shaken by its beauty, over and over”.
It can be hard to permit yourself to let go and prioritize yourself. With that in mind, here are 13 mantras to support you as you release the week and reclaim yourself:
I’m living a purposeful life.
I trust the timing of my life, and I know that I am exactly where I am meant to be.
My life is becoming calmer
Loving myself is as important as loving others
I do not allow grudges to become a part of me
I release the stress of the week
I permit myself to focus fully on my self-care
I will not criticize myself. I will love myself for who I am, what I have become, and where I am going.
I am proud of myself
I am allowed to make mistakes. Mistakes are a part of my growth
I am resilient; I will get through this difficult time.
I am an amazing gift to myself, my friends, and the world.
I am not only enough, I am more than enough, and I get better and better each day.
Even 5 minutes is better than doing nothing
Taking a moment to self-nurture and embrace self-care can happen any time- sipping a hot cup of tea, laughing with a friend on the phone, gardening, and noticing the smell of the grass- it’s just sometimes we are so preoccupied, we miss it. The key is to take your 5 minutes, or whatever moment you decide, and show up fully, staying present in the moment and aware. In addition, since your thoughts play a part in your overall success and happiness, its important to find ways to improve your mindset. Adding affirmations to those moments can be encouraging because it shifts any negative thoughts you may be unknowingly entertaining and can help reframe them, supporting a positive mood, happy feelings, ideas, and attitudes.
The better version of yourself starts with challenging your limits. The magic in extraordinary goals is that it requires you to take massive action, forces personal growth, and the payoff — even if it’s an epic fail — is worth the risk.
Three reasons to set big goals:
1. Big goals require you to think on a higher level. It forces you to stretch what you believe is possible. To challenge your thinking, this level of goal attainment requires that you start with planning your approach and invoking a level of innovation and creative thinking that may not be necessary with small goals.
2. It requires you to take inventory of your skills and assess what you really need. Many of us are forever students, consuming information, hoarding our skills, rehearsing scenarios in our heads. Yet, we still feel we are too inadequate to act and execute our knowledge. This resistance to risk and embracing opportunities only feeds fear. However, have you challenged that lately? Fear doesn’t always give us an accurate assessment of danger, or in this case, how well prepared you really are. To determine that, you have to take your assets and use them.
Here’s how- Take a look at what you want to achieve, list 3 skills and strengths that you already possess that can get you there, and use that data to support following through on your SMART goals. Athletes are a great example of this. Each time they compete, they execute their plan that incorporates their training. Once the event is over, they reassess where they are based on their performance. Audacious goals require you to have a plan to take your training and compete at your highest caliber, then fine-tune your skill sets and get back out again.
3. It fosters a sense of mastery. The more you practice executing all that knowledge and skill you’ve spent all this time building up, the better you’ll get in your field of expertise. Even if you’ve recently experienced failure or rejection, shift your focus to the lessons you can learn that will support mastery of your craft.Repeated failure for example can indicate a lack of preparation – that some skill or combination of skills is missing. For example, I haven’t been as active I would like to be in the past year (pandemic and all) and if I get out and try to run 3.1 miles in 30 minutes, it’s just not happening (even though your girl is a Marathoner). However, it’s not that I’ve failed at running, I have to start over and focus on mastering an aspect or one piece of the puzzle that supports reaching my goal. In my case, it may be learning to manage my breathing again so I don’t pass out at .2 miles or setting a mini goal to build my physical endurance by adding CrossFit to strengthen my dormant muscles, which can then support that endurance towards the goal. Master the parts, get closer to the whole.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s scary as hell to set goals beyond your realm of comfort and in those moments our minds have a funny way of finding all the challenges to help you change your mind. This is where procrastination begins to set in: as we try to avoid what we perceive might be overwhelming or hard work, we find ways to get sidetracked and trick ourselves into thinking that we’re busy. So rather than working towards our big goals, we hesitate to commit, we ignore, we lose motivation, we settle, we quit.
If the goal doesn’t scare you a little bit though, it probably isn’t big enough. Big goals require a big commitment and will inspire you to become a completely different person than the one you are right now. In order for those big shifts to happen, that discomfort has to be significant enough to get under your skin so you consider something else besides that status quo.
Just know that when you do take that one small action towards what is required to achieve that next level of success, you short circuit that internal system built around fear, and if you do that enough that feeling of fear becomes a positive experience, making it easier to continue the small steps needed towards your goal.
We all have plenty of fears and excuses, but all it takes is to do that ONE thing. Embrace the big-ass goals and keep at it day after day, you’ll be surprised where it takes you personally and professionally.
How about you, what is your big audacious goal? What’s one step you can take towards it today or in the next week? Share it with us in the comments.
Amanda Fludd is a Licensed Psychotherapist, Coach, and Mental Health Consultant addressing the emotional needs of individuals and the work cultures that support them.
Are you happy? Most of us want to be, but your nature to demand a lot from yourself, and sacrifice sleep to fulfill one more obligation may be sucking the joy out of the room.
Happiness is often connected to achievement- with financial, family, and career ranking high on the list. The assumption is often with success you will automatically become happier. As we’ve seen recently with the decisions of Naomi Osaka, success does not guarantee lasting happiness. Work hard, do [exceptionally] well, and feel good, is a faulty equation, yet, we continue to pursue it.
Think about it, you probably got the most praise in life when you did something great like excel at a sport, graduate from school, got that promotion or got married, had kids, and found your white picket fence. Or maybe you remember the disappointment or shame you felt when you did not meet the expectations of others, like being asked why you aren’t married with kids at 38, or in need of a mental health day. Which experience do you avoid like the plague?
This is the beginnings of achievement equating to contentment, and our natural response to seek what feels good or conditional happiness.
Take a second and swallow that pill.
Conditional happiness is based on external circumstances and events, and how you decide to respond. A response that desperately seeks to avoid discomfort by searching for external validation, attention, and general feel-good moments that cannot be sustained.
Why? Because life and people are unpredictable.
The one predictable thing you have control over is you, but you might be what’s getting in the way of your happiness.
I often bear witness to this as I listen to my clients articulate how hard they push themselves to be what someone else wants them to be, and although successful, it comes with busy minds that won’t shut off, deep self-criticism, and unhappiness. Sound familiar?
Are you looking for more happiness daily? If the answer is YES, book a 15-minute complimentary session with me to find out how I can help YOU.
Let’s take a look at how else your response and reactions may be getting in the way of your success.
Five Things Getting in The Way of Your Happiness
This emotion is a significant barrier to happiness. Fear is a sign that your mind believes something is wrong, and we often think that something is wrong with us. This kind of unrest creates a thick fog between you and the possibility of happiness. You end up questioning whether you’re really good enough to be where you are, tend to over-analyze for days, and second guess yourself.
It’s important to address issues that cause feelings of fear and resolve them. There’s no room for happiness where fear resides.
2. You Pick Yourself Last for Your Own Team
You’ve spent so much of your life trying to hit all the right milestones, and making everyone else comfortable and not rock the boat, that you forgot to get out of the boat and enjoy the swim. All your decisions have been based on what would make other people happy, or even successful and to do that you’ve turned your needs, wants and voice so far down that you no longer know what defines you.
Who would you be if you took all of those roles and titles away (Manager, Wife, Mom, Doctor, CEO, Professor, The Go to Best Friend, Problem Solver)? The thought of what life may be without the title may provoke some natural discomfort, but the only authentic way out of this dilemma is to start to shift the focus from what has defined you, to find who you are.
Start with asking yourself how do you want to be defined? Explore what you enjoy, what makes you happy. Take a look at your calendar and see where you could plug in more time to discover you.
When you feel that your time, effort, and contribution to the world lack value, you’ll find happiness to be elusive. It’s draining to be in relationships that take more from you than they give. It’s time to figure out why you’re still there and what you may still need to learn as you work on your exit strategy.
Some thinking is useful, like learning from mistakes or making plans for the future. Most thinking is not, such as daydreaming about how you could quit your job today, reliving arguments, replaying choices you’ve made- thinking about what else you could have done or said, or putting off working on projects that really matter. To experience a more fulfilling life, try paying attention to not only your feelings, but also to your thoughts. Your thoughts contribute to how you feel; feelings contribute to how your respond (or don’t respond).
The beauty of your thinking is there are ways to learn to get out of your head and prioritize what’s on your mind.
When unhelpful thoughts accumulate in your mind, along with feelings like anger, hurt, disappointment and shame, it not only impacts how you show up in the world- but it can also trigger larger problems like anxiety, stress, and depression. Anxiety and depression struggle to coexist with happiness.
Determine the thoughts, behaviors and actions you can control in your life, and do your best to work on that.
Sometimes the biggest obstacle in your life is, well, you. To build a life that supports happiness you have to work on the place where most of these obstacles reside, within your mind. Take the time to learn new approaches to cultivate and use your mental muscle in a way that works for you. With practice, intention, and strategy you can let go of self-criticism, overcome your need for control, navigate disappointment and find balance. . .maybe even happiness.
“Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won’t have to hunt for happiness.”
– William E. Gladstone
How do you prioritize your happiness?
I hope this post has given you some insights into yourself, so you can work on changing the particular reactions and patterns that get in the way of you living your best life. You deserve to be happy. I would love to hear in the comments how you prioritize happiness. For some of us, that means gently unpacking what hasn’t worked and trying on something new.
If you want to take action now, in a meaningful way (beyond spa dates, and affirmations) try our Performance Academy with a few key tasks and the right amount of accountability to move you to calm, confident, and content.
Hi, I’m Amanda Fludd. I’m here to help you get out of your head so you can stress less and focus on your success.