Building Healthy Habits for Mental Wellness

You have probably seen or heard lots of different suggestions on what to do if you are feeling down, depressed or anxious. I.e. “go outside”, “exercise”, “journal”, etc. It can be frustrating when we know the things to do, however, we just can’t seem to do them. Or we struggle to do them consistently. If you have ever found yourself feeling frustrated for “falling off” of a healthy habit, this is for you! 


First- Identify the healthy habit you are wanting to start.

Make sure it is small, measurable, and reasonable. 


Second- Identify why this habit is important to you.

Make sure your answer to this is personal and bonus points if you can identify what value it is aligned with. Try to avoid your reason being “because it is good for you” or “because someone told me to”. Yes, these can be the initial reasons, however, if the only reason we are doing something is because we “should” we are not likely to stick with it. Try to dig deep and find a personal connection to this habit/action. For example, if your healthy habit is to journal daily 1 positive thing and 1 thing you struggled with from that day. You might connect this with your value of balance or value of gratitude. By connecting our habits with a value, we have more buy in to continue to engage in the healthy habit. Another option is to align your healthy habit with a larger goal you have. This could be exercising or training for a race.


Third- Identify what time of day you are most consistent.

For some of us, we are most consistent in the morning because we have a morning routine we engage in prior to work. If you have a more fluctuating or busy morning, you might find more consistency in your evening routine. Once you have identified the time of day you are most consistent, pair your new healthy habit with an already established routine. This could be when you take your vitamins or medicine, or when you wash your face in the evening before bed. 


Finally- Be realistic with yourself.

You are not going to engage in your healthy habit 100% of the time. It is important to remember you are human. If you are too black and white, you will not be successful. If you miss a day, give yourself grace and re-commit for the next day. If we beat ourselves up for missing a day and give up, we are going to stay stuck. 


Remember, building habits take time. The more you connect and align with your habits, the easier it is to stick with it. Don’t forget you can always go back to the drawing board. If a habit is not working for you, come back to this and try again. You may have picked something too big or not aligned fully with your values. Start small, stay mindful, and you will succeed!




Amy Narusas, LCSW is drawn to helping clients process difficult events, find their meaning in life, heal from past experiences, and cope with anxiety, depression, and life transitions. She has a specialization in substance use and mental health and is trained in Cognitive Behavioral TherapyAcceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy.


Book with Amy

The Practicality of Energy Work

Hi, it’s Kim here, The Happy Hour’s Energy Practitioner. I am writing this blog to give you a practical take on how a session with me works. This is going to be pretty straightforward to outline how approachable energy work is, and its benefits to your overall health & well-being. 


First and foremost, schedule a session. All energy work offerings are posted on The Happy Hour website. You are also welcome to call to schedule. The first session is 75 minutes for the initial assessment to learn how the work can best benefit you. Follow-up sessions are typically 50 minutes. I find the 75 minute sessions are the sweet spot. 


In our first session together, we will discuss the intake form you filled out. The first session includes more talking with follow-ups generally being less. I try to limit our chat to 20 minutes for time on the table. Following our chat, you set an intention to guide the session.


Once on the table (fully clothed), I offer extra support (pillow, bolster or blanket) to aid in your comfort. I then assess your energy centers. I use a pendulum, which I often correlate to a doctor’s stethoscope. There are 7 main energy centers in my assessment to guide the techniques I utilize. I guide you through a short meditation and then administer the techniques. The techniques include light touch or touch over the body. It’s different from massage because I am not manipulating any tissue. 


Your job is to relax. Typically you will drift into a meditative space similar to before you fall asleep. Often you fall asleep, which is welcome. Once the session is complete, I guide you back to a wakeful state. We then have a short conversation to see how you are feeling. These conversations are beneficial as they often provide helpful insights that reinforce your intention. And that is it! 


The most common reaction to energy work is feeling deeply relaxed. In addition to energy work bolstering relaxation, it can also ease physical discomfort, produce clarity in a challenging situation, tune into intuition, and strengthen connection to something beyond our understanding. I am continually amazed by the outcomes. 


Energy work works best when you commit at least 3 months. I recommend a session every two weeks to start. Once a month for 6 months is another option. We will check-in following the initial start to determine a next course of action that feels best for you. My goal is to help you find the tools to implement when difficulties arise. Then energy work can be a lifeline for extra care and encouragement when needed.


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I can be reached at: and you can book online here. I look forward to sharing this life changing practice with you.




Surviving SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder

It’s that time of year again…where the cold, cloudy weather day after day seems to go on forever. When it’s time to start the day, you realize you have no motivation to get out of your cozy, warm bed. And later, you’re convinced it’s time for bed, but then realize it’s only 4:30pm.  As wonderful as this time of year can be, for many, it is a season for feeling down, depressed, and blue.


If you’re feeling this way, there’s a good chance you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD shares many many similarities with a diagnosis of depression, but is seasonal dependent, striking people around the same time each year, late fall/winter months. While it’s uncommon, some people do experience SAD in the summer months (called summer pattern SAD). If you are someone who is impacted, you’re not alone, about 5% of people in the United States experience SAD.


Scientists believe that SAD is caused by biochemical imbalances in the brain prompted by shorter daylight hours and less sunlight in the winter months. Also, as seasons change, people experience a shift in their biological internal clocks (or circadian rhythm) that may cause them to be out of step with their daily schedule. Sunlight impacts our serotonin levels, which directly impacts our moods. (Can you start to see a pattern?) For most people, SAD lasts about 40% of the year! That is a large part of a year not feeling your best.


So what are the typical symptoms of SAD?

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed.
  • Changes in appetite; usually eating more and craving carbohydrates or sugar.
  • Change in sleep; usually sleeping more.
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue (despite increased sleep hours).
  • Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing) or slowed movements or speech.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Feeling worthless or guilty.
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide. Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.


The good news is there are a lot of options to support yourself when SAD occurs

  • Just like depression, SAD can be treated with both therapy and medications to help reduce symptoms.
  • Light therapy for as little as 30 minutes, can help encourage your brain to reduce the production of melatonin (hormone that makes you tired) and increase the production of serontin (hormone that affects your mood).
  • Vitamin D supplementation can impact mood, anxiety, and overall health.
  • Dawn simulators (devices that product light gradually like the sun) have shown to support people with SAD.
  • Essential oils like lavender, bergamot, and lemon could lessen symptoms by influencing the areas of the brains that is responsible for controlling moods and body internal clock.
  • It’s also important to stay consistent with a routine (same bedtimes, regular balanced meals, exercise/movement).
  • Take a look at your workplace set up. Are there ways to include more light? Also don’t forget to get out and move!
  • Reconstruct your thoughts about this time of year. How can you change your story around winter? Find ways you can appreciate the season. By identifying what you like, you can begin to create new pathways in the brain that are negative prone to positive.
  • Use affirmations to stay in the present moment and get you on the path to a more positive mindset. The more you repeat them to yourself, the more you will believe it.

Need a recommendation for a dawn simulator or essential oil? Check out our Amazon Storefront.


It’s important to note that SAD is not the “winter blues”. If you suffer from SAD, you notice significant impairments on your daily life so its crucial to get treatment. If you need support, make sure to reach out to a professional to get the help you need.


To help prepare yourself for this season, take a few moments to journal and reflect:

  • What am I most excited for in this upcoming season?
  • Who am I grateful to have in my life?
  • What aspects of myself do I love?
  • If I begin to have one or more symptoms associated with SAD, what will be my action plan to get the treatment I need? Which tools listed above resonate most with me?

Need some more ideas? Check out this blog, where our team shares some of their tips for surviving the colder months.





Four Cornerstones of Authentic Conversations

I am a new mom.


The journey into motherhood has completely transformed my life in the most chaotic yet beautiful way imaginable. As I lean into this new chapter, I find myself evolving into a different person – the post-baby me. To be honest, I had underestimated just how challenging this transition would be. My responsibilities have shifted dramatically. Now, every facet of my life is meticulously organized on my calendar to prevent forgetfulness. I find myself with minimal ‘alone time,’ and I’ve had to temporarily set aside my own interests and hobbies simply because there just isn’t enough time in the day. Moreover, my desire for friendship is evolving and changing too. I am looking for connections with other new moms who share my experiences and emotions. I am looking for authentic and real conversations.


While I’ve managed to adapt to the demands of motherhood, becoming pretty solid in the tasks that come with it, I’m still navigating the art of forging deeper friendships. What I really want to say to other moms is this:

“Please hangout with me and maybe let’s talk about being moms and how wonderful and hard this all is and also maybe not talk about our kids for a while cause that is all I talk about these days”


I know, it comes off as a lot… Enter Nicole Cramer and the principles that I use from Exactly What To Say®

Authentic conversations, I’m learning, are built upon four fundamental cornerstones:


Identifying Our Critical Conversations:

First I need to identify who I was seeking out. Where could I find fellow new moms, and how could I establish a stronger connection with them?



I realized that asking questions is a powerful way to disarm others and demonstrate genuine interest and investment in their stories. Authentic connections cannot be one-sided, where I simply unload my mom-woes on someone. I need to create space for their stories to be heard too. The best part, I can learn about myself by listening to others.



Empathy plays a crucial role in fostering connections. By empathizing with other moms, I acknowledge that our experiences are different but similar in so many ways. We are all struggling with so many different expectations, mom guilt, loneliness, and a general sense of feeling “Am I doing this right?” 


Curating the Flow of the Conversation with Questions, Not Responses:

I’ve come to understand that conversations should revolve around asking to connect. If this is not a cornerstone in your conversations, then you will likely be stuck in a surface level relationship. 


While I can’t claim to have mastered these principles just yet, I’m actively working on incorporating them into my everyday life. Their positive impact extends beyond conversations to various aspects of my life, including my professional relationships, family dynamics, and marriage. They’ve not only taught me the art of authenticity but have also allowed me to engage in conversations that I actually enjoy. 



Community Can Improve Your Life

We often hear that community can improve your life, but what is community? Defined, community is a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. It’s also defined as a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. For me, it’s the second part of the definition that resonates the most. Being part of a community gives us a sense of belonging. It allows us to share, relate, and even grow as we connect with others and the surrounding environment.


Personally, I’ve always been a big community person. Moving from Phoenix to Nashville 13 years ago was a big shift. I went away from everything and everyone I knew to a completely new environment. My journey to building my community was a unique experience. I was fortunate enough to move into the 12th South neighborhood, that already had the infrastructure set up to support connections. With many coffee shops and restaurants, a park, easy places to walk, and local events/activities that encouraged the neighborhood to be out and about. In addition to where I lived, I also work for an organization that supports building healthy communities with Blue Zones Project. Looking at the Power 9 (lifestyle habits of the world’s healthiest, longest lived people) such as purpose, belonging, and right tribe, you can see how each interrelates to support health, but most importantly, a sense of community can improve your life. 


To build a community, you have to be comfortable in the uncomfortable at times. Putting yourself out there, participating and engaging with people and events that might be outside of your comfort zone. It’s also about consistency. Finding spots that resonate with you and showing up regularly to build those relationships. I can be a creature of habit going to the same coffee shops on the same days, going to the farmers market, local boutiques, grabbing a drink up the street, and attending a gym daily that has helped me form bonds with people I wouldn’t have normally met. I love knowing I’ll see the same barista on Wednesdays or seeing the owner of my favorite French wine bar, or see my fitness pals every morning at 6:45am. 


Having a sense of community embraces spirit, character, and pride. It is a feeling that people within the community matter to one another with a shared understanding that their needs can be met through commitment and togetherness. Being a part of a community makes us feel as though we are a part of something greater than ourselves.


Community is unique to each individual as to what and how it meets their needs based off their own definition. Regardless of what it is, it’s important and central to the human experience. 


Journal prompts to help you better understand and build your community and how this community can improve your life.

1)     How do you define community? Are you experiencing that today, if not why?

2)     What aspects about your community do you love and interest you? 

3)     What are ways you can build your community? 

4)     What are 3-5 actions you can take to become more integrated into your community? 



Join Us for The Happy Hour Club

Starts April 19th


The Happy Hour Club. A new type of social club, open to anyone and built on our values of connection, honesty, vulnerability, curiosity and fun. Show up as your true self and connect authentically – this is not a networking group, no need to perform or be anyone but you!

The Happy Hour Club will meet twice a month, gathering at both the studio and for outings in our fun and beloved city. If you would like to connect with new and like-hearted people and are interested in exploring more opportunities in town, this is the place for you.


Month-to-month payment upon request. Call the studio at 615-953-3934.

Last Minute Wellness Gifts

If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping yet, we’re here to help with some last minute wellness gifts that are sure to make anyone on your list feel their best. If you have finished your shopping, you’re an organizational super hero and you deserve to treat yourself to a little pampering, so keep reading!


Gift Card to SOUND

Ann Sensing’s SOUND studio has so many great sound bath offerings for individuals, couples and groups of all sizes. If you’re looking to go deeper she also offers multi-dimensional healing. With gift cards to suit any budget, you can ensure the recipient will have an immersive and deeply relaxing experience.


Essential Oil from Thistle Farms

A great stocking stuffer or a little treat for yourself, the Balance essential oil from Thistle Farms is The Happy Hour’s signature scent for good reason. It’s a warm, centering blend of lemon, lavender and rose geranium. Available as a concentrate for a diffuser, or a roll on to keep in your purse for grounding in moments of frazzle – Trader Joes parking lot, anyone?


A Great Book – Bonus if you have a Book Club!

Our team has been so entertained and inspired by Matthew McConaughey’s ‘Greenlights’. This best-selling memoir teaches you how to identify and embrace the green lights in your life.

Bonus! Greenlights is our book club pick for January! With the guidance of Christa Booker, CHC, you’ll have the opportunity to examine and reflect on your own greenlights. Through guided discussion and coaching, we hope to help you see your past experiences as important lessons and your future as a set of greenlights you’ve yet to hit so that you can write your own love letter to life. A ticket to book club would make a great gift for your bookworm friend, someone new to town, or anyone looking for inspiration and community.


Bring the Outdoors Inside with a Plant

Both Gardens of Babylon and Flora have a wide range of plants and green gifts to clean your air, and bring a little cheer and nature into your space. Pro tip: Instead of a bunch of flowers, bring a small potted plant as a unique and long-lasting hostess gift.


Candles from Lemon Laine

Lemon Laine has a really great gift guide if you’re looking for some clean beauty. Our fave has to be the LOHN Holiday candle trio. We love scent for evoking a mood and sealing in memories. Seasonal candles are a great way to make your space feel festive, whether you’re entertaining, or snuggled up watching cheesy holiday movies.


Pampering with Little Indigo

A gift card for a facial with Emmy-nominated make-up artist and aesthetician, Sara Vaughn at Little Indigo is the ultimate treat! Insider tip: Gift cards are currently 10% off!


Gift Card to Pure Sweat Sauna

For some much needed relaxation and rejuvenation, gift the athlete, the man, or anyone with a tired body (aka everyone!) a sauna sesh at Pure Sweat Sauna Studio.


A Light Therapy Lamp

In our recent blog, our Medical Director, Dr. Frock, recommended using a light box from mid-September through February to help keep your mood and circadian rhythm in check. Perfect for anyone in your life who suffers from the winter blues or works long hours in an office.


Gift Card to The Happy Hour

Not just a shameless plug, our gift cards are a pretty perfect last minute wellness gift. They are available at a variety of price points and can be used on anything from our fun wellness events and workshops, to energy worknutrition coaching, life coaching, and therapy. Our Intention Setting Workshop would make a great gift for a loved one, or yourself. After all, who doesn’t deserve an intentional and happy 2023?




12 Life Lessons from my 37th Trip Around the Sun

I turned 37 on November 11th this year, surrounded by loved ones and filled with gratitude. Two days later, I went for a walk, and being all in my feels I flipped on Jay Shetty’s podcast “On Purpose.” And wouldn’t ya know it, after a few seconds of scrolling I landed upon his episode, “12 Lessons Learned in the Last 12 Months” written after his birthday reflection .  


Inspired, I decided to reflect back on my year of deep dives and journaling to uncover my 12 life lessons. These nuggets of insight from my inner thinking helped me grow this past year. A lot of them aren’t new, but continue to be lessons of which I need to remind myself. Here goes…


Life Lesson #1 – November 2021

Love is our nature. Connect with self, and connect with others. This returns us to love, our natural state.

This notion came from a meditation I listened to that got me thinking, what is the point of all of this without love? Not just romantic love, but loving yourself, loving your community, loving the people with whom you spend your days. We were born loving and trusting and relying on unspoken connection to keep us alive. It’s instinct…do what you can to return to it. 


Life Lesson #2 – December 2021

Depth brings you home to yourself.

This month tested me with the holidays and covid scares, and I certainly didn’t exhibit grace and love at all times. I’m a work in progress and always will be, but lessons have layers and growth isn’t linear. I found myself holding onto some superficial expectations of the holidays that when parallelled with some personal grief and anger, made it clear how much more rewarding depth is than surface stuff. You can rewrite patterns or rules or expectations if that’s what it takes to come home to yourself, but you’ve got to know what being true to yourself looks like. It’s not the same as what’s on Instagram or whatever your neighbor is doing. It takes deep diving, introspection and honesty…which also means letting go of a lot of “shoulds,” which this time of year is chock full of. 


Life Lesson #3 – January 2022

Don’t let your mind make your life harder on you than it needs to be.

As Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing to fear is fear itself.” I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s so true! January started off with a beautiful Intention Setting workshop, in which I determined my word for 2022 would be “Beacon.” I loved this word and it was a much needed reminder of how I wanted to show up every day. It was followed by my second round of Covid, lots of snow days, and a skeleton crew at the office because of the above. I held on to my intention to help me not get wrapped up in controlling the uncontrollable. We also kicked off our inaugural Whole You program, which involved me creating 90 days of content for 7 different individuals, and I learned SO DANG MUCH. It forced me to practice what I was preaching and it felt amazing. 


Life Lesson #4 – February 2022

By being yourself, you bring happiness to others.

I love being a coach so much. I love working with my clients on such a deep level, and walking alongside them through their growth, hardships, all of it. I really have to check myself to not try to be everything to everyone. February was filled with new programming, new clients, and opportunities. I constantly had to remind myself of this lesson, so I didn’t blast off with excitement and over-doing. And it turns out it was true. Pro tip- turn this lesson into an affirmation: “By being myself, I bring happiness to others.”


Life Lesson #5 – March 2022

Go inward, do the work, and you can put it back into the world 10-fold.

Ok, I PROMISE this isn’t just a giant pitch to work on your personal growth. But it’s really true how much more you can give to the world when you invest in yourself. So many people I talk to say they just want to make an impact on the world. But you can’t do that if you’re not giving to  yourself. This description from Kim Kran’s archetype The Mystic spoke to me this month: “It may seem the mystic is inward-facing, yet its light beams back to the world with the strength of a thousand stars.” Some old stuff got rattled up for me this month, but as we know, you do the work…and then you do it again. The stuff you healed comes back at a different angle, because you have grown, and you now are ready to heal on a deeper level and give back to the world with the strength of a thousand stars. Be the mystic.


Life Lesson #6 – April 2022

Creativity is crucial for moving through emotions.

Let’s just face it, life is hectic and pulls you in so many different directions. All of these directions have big experiences that can stir up big emotions. I learned that I absolutely, non-negotiably, must have an activity or something that is only for me. Only for my pleasure and enjoyment. Not for my family or my business. In April I took a Masterclass on poetry and it was such a beautiful way for me to express myself creatively, with zero pressure or price tag attached to whether or not it was good enough, in fact, I never shared any of it because it was all mine. It helped me make sense of and move through some of these big emotions coming through other areas of my life. 


Life Lesson #7 – May 2022

Find wonderment and always keep moving towards your passion.

This sort of piggybacks off lesson #6. This doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and go full-time on your passion project, but you’ve got to have a passion that can manifest as a hobby at least. We had a lot of ideas at The Happy Hour in May. Being new and still in a growth phase, we were excited to say “yes” and try out so many new things. This is fun and all, but it can easily become a hustle or a checking of a box, and it doesn’t feel good trying to do all the things. So we honed in on what we are passionate about, that’s what created this place afterall. 


Life Lesson #8 – June 2022

You can listen with your whole body.

In June I started training to become a Certified Sound Practitioner (it will be official December 21st!). I learned that listening is so much more than what you hear with your ears. I learned that sounds that used to drive me crazy, could actually be powerful, when listening with my whole body. I sat still a lot more than ever before. I stirred some big stuff up in therapy, and my therapist said, “what would it look like if stillness were the antidote to fear?” Whew. Still thinking about that one. 


Life Lesson #9 – July 2022

Community is medicine.

I went on a week-long trip with five of my best friends in July and it lifted me up more than I could’ve imagined. One of my favorite memories was a car-ride to a hike that was a couple hours away. We belly-laughed the whole time and were completely tuned into our childlike wonder and silliness. It felt rejuvenating to be totally free and not so serious. I don’t think that feeling could’ve emerged in me without that community in which I feel completely free. 


Life Lesson #10 – August 2022

Don’t plan anything extra in August.

Tactical, yes, but August was a circus. Back to school and allll the events that go along with it (I’ve only had kids in school for the covid-era, so I wasn’t used to all this stuff), 3 year old son’s birthday party, planning hubby’s 40th birthday trip, sound bath training, planning 5 year old daughter’s birthday party, fabulous Mom’s Night Out event at work, oh and giving a presentation to 200 people for a little company called Google…plus all the day-to-day-stuff. P.S. – Google – if you want to plan something in August, I’m all ears ;-). 


Life Lesson #11 – September 2022

Alone time is non-negotiable.

No surprise that this one came through loud and clear in September as a result of August for this introverted, highly sensitive gal. Without alone time, all the noise blocks the ability to be clear for me. I started leading the Discover Your True North course in September, and gosh do I love groups so much (remember, community is medicine). Being a facilitator of these groups requires clarity and transparency, and thus so much alone time. 


Life Lesson #12 – October 2022

Slowness remembers and hurry forgets.

I gotta give credit to Mark Nepo for that line, but it rang through my head all throughout October…and still is, to be honest. Remember what the heart and body want, i.e. what feels good versus only considering what your thinking mind is telling you to be the answer. Your mind wants you to rush, it’s what it has become accustomed to. Put down the phone, let your mind slow down, take a step back and remember the bigger picture that is so hard to see amidst hurry. 


Want to work on your personal growth?

The Whole You program is designed to meet you where you are and catapult your growth and your total wellness. With the dedicated support of a Certified Holistic Coach, a Registered Dietitian and and Energy Practitioner, Whole You will kick start your 90-day lifestyle evolution.


From Dr. Frock’s Desk: Surviving the Holidays

In our new series, From Dr. Frock’s Desk, we sit down with Dr. Frock to gain a psychiatrist’s perspective, anecdotes, and tools on a variety of topics. This month, we are talking about surviving the holidays: how to navigate the stress that the holidays can bring.


What kind of things seem to cause stress around the holidays?

To start, traveling is hard. If you’re part of a big family, you might find yourself spending a lot of time in a confined space with people you don’t have the best relationships with. The obligation to attend large family reunions or gatherings with people you don’t stay in close contact with, and whose values may differ from yours, can bring a lot of dynamics into play and bring up emotional triggers for everyone involved.

In addition, the holidays are a time that most of us associate with family, so it becomes hard not to think about those who aren’t with us anymore. This can raise a lot of grieving emotions on top of what has already been mentioned. 


Over the holidays, it seems that feelings can be magnified for those who are having a hard time.

Absolutely. Think about the habits that make up your baseline that are being disrupted; from traveling, to changes in your sleep patterns, to eating and drinking differently, to not exercising as much as usual. 

In addition to the grief aspect I’ve already mentioned, I also find that folks tend to get a lot of anticipatory anxiety as the holidays approach. We can’t help but think about disagreements that emerged in the past and the likelihood they could happen again. 


Do you have some tips to help cope with all of that during the holidays?

Setting clear boundaries for family gatherings can be a great way to minimize conflict and emotional triggers. Like no politics, religion or money, and being clear about conversations or activities you’re not willing to engage in. We can also set boundaries for ourselves – consciously remembering that we can choose what to get upset about. You know Uncle John is going to say some crazy stuff, but you can choose whether you want to light that fire with him or not.

Also find ways to anchor yourself by taking care of your baseline self-care. If you’re a runner, bring some cold gear with you and make that run happen. 


Can you tell us about S.A.D., what it stands for, what to look out for, and any strategies to help cope with it?

S.A.D. stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. “Seasonal” is what it sounds like. “Affective” is just a more academic way of speaking about someone’s mood. And then “disorder” implies that it’s a diagnosable condition. 

We go from summer where the light is bright, we’re outside doing active things, to fall where it starts getting cold out, the sun is setting earlier, and you’re getting legitimately less sunlight in the fall and winter months. So it starts in September and builds for a few months, and can become something like an actual condition with symptoms including: like feeling less motivated, changes in appetite (often eating more), being less active and feeling sluggish, and not enjoying things that we used to. 

Nashville is very unique in that it’s the furthest east major metropolitan area in the Central Time zone, so we can really be affected by S.A.D. In fact, there is a strong argument to be made that we should be in the Eastern Time zone. In the winter, the sun starts setting before 4pm, which leaves most office workers not getting enough sunlight and it can cause a vitamin D deficiency. This is actually much more significant in Nashville than in other places I’ve worked.

Fortunately, it’s very treatable. There are some medication options, folks can also find some benefit with Vitamin D supplementation, and using a light box from mid-September through February can be helpful for many people. Using the light box can trick out brains into thinking we are actually getting more sunlight than there is outside.  


Key takeaways for surviving the holidays with minimal stress:

  • Try to keep to your routine as much as possible. 
  • Set clear boundaries with yourself and others.
  • Get outside in the sun as much as possible.
  • Know that you’re not the only one struggling.
  • Give yourself some grace.

What is Blocking Your Intuition?

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.

Albert Einstein


The quote above may make you think that scholars like Einstein are trying to speak poorly of reason, but the truth is quotes like this are meant to remind us how much we as a society rely on thoughts over anything else. The rational mind is not meant to be done away with or ignored…it helps us with a lot of things. The rational mind is here to protect you and keep you safe. The problem is, we as a culture have relied so heavily on reason and have put so much influence on people outside of ourselves that it is hard to hear our own calling, our own intuition.


Listening to your intuition is not always an easy or smooth path. It also won’t be perfect. Oftentimes our intuition will want us to take the road less traveled or ask us to go against the grain. A lot of fear can come up while working with your intuition. Through my experience with myself and working with clients I have come up with a list of common blocks to intuition and ways to nurture your intuition. 


What is blocking your intuition:


As mentioned above, we are taught to value fact and reason so much in our society that anything within the unknown is automatically labeled as fiction. If you have spent your life criticizing yourself or wanting to have all the right answers, working with your intuition can bring up a lot of self-criticism. 


Fear of Being Wrong and Perfectionism

Perfectionism is one of the first blocks I see when trying to access intuition. If you have spent a lot of your life wanting to be the best at what you do (haven’t we all been there?) or have all the right answers, starting to trust your own inner knowing and body can bring up a lot. Practices that help release perfectionism like taking moments to just be messy, therapy, and saying affirming words to yourself are some ways to combat this. If you need an extra push to continue to start the process of learning to understand your own intuition, remember that the process will help you release perfectionism. Because your intuition, just like everything else will never be perfect and learning to become okay with that will help bring you peace. 


Forcing an answer

Your intuition doesn’t work in right or wrongs or yes’s and no’s. Your intuition may speak to you as an inner knowing, colors, feelings, songs, etc. Your intuition is unique to you. Intuition is a subtle energy that takes some time to get to know. If you don’t feel a lot of self-trust or trust of your intuition don’t fret. It doesn’t mean you won’t get there. But just like any relationship you have to build it and tend to it before getting everything out of it. You wouldn’t make a new friend and demand that they tell you everything about themselves on the spot. You build a relationship, and over time you will begin to learn. 



A major block to intuition is codependency. When you are in a codependent relationship/s we lose connection to our own feelings, desires, and self-trust because you put the other person’s wants and needs before your own. When working with intuition, it is important to start to take note of how often you put others’ needs before your own. Everytime you allow someone to dictate how you should feel or what you should do, you lose a little bit of self-trust and connection to your inner knowing. Books, like Codependent No More by Melody Beattie, are a great resource for codependency. Another resource could be seeking out help from a coach or therapist. 


Remember, everyone has the gift of intuition. There is not one person in this world that doesn’t have access to it. Everyone can hone in on their own inner knowing, it just takes a little practice and maybe some trial and error. Join me, Massey Armistead, and Kim Breese for Intuitive Integration, a two-part workshop on October 7 and October 21 to start the process of deepening your intuition! 



Tune into Your Intuition

Instinct, a gut-feeling, spidey sense… whatever you call it, you’ve likely experienced the feeling of your inner wisdom communicating with you, but how do you tune into your intuition when you need it most?


By definition, ‘intuition is the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.’ Conscious reasoning is located in the mind, and while the mind is a very useful and necessary tool, it can often get in the way of our intuition. Intuition is one of those things that can be tricky to understand, and often gets pulled into the ‘woo’ category’, but there are practical ways to access it. 


The psychic clairsenses (you’re probably heard of clairvoyance) correspond with the 5 senses of sight, smell, taste, hear and touch. One of the simplest ways to access your intuition is through your senses. Paying close attention to the senses, can make you more present in your body as well as the present moment, which helps to support the opening of the sixth sense.


We all have a prominent clairsense that helps to guide our intuition. This clairsense is the cornerstone of our inner wisdom and directs our wants and needs. It also provides insights into our outer world and can be a foundation for how we move through life. The more we understand it, the more we can practice getting in touch with it, the more we can use it to feel grounded and confident in our daily lives. 


Let’s take a closer look at the clairsenses:


Clairvoyance means clear seeing. Images or visions from past, present or future come into the mind’s eye much like a daydream. This could be eating an ice cream cone or building a campfire or making a spaghetti dinner. It often shows up as a metaphor and has relatable meaning for the individual.


Clairaudience means clear hearing. Words, sounds, or music enter the mind’s eye when it is inaudible. It can often show up as a voice singing a song or sharing a meaningful phrase, sometimes just a word or number. The tone of the message will be even and calm.


Clairsentience means clear feeling. Feeling another’s emotions or physical sensations within your body. This could be in the form of a gut instinct or sensing the energy in a room before entering. It can also show up as a physical ailment like an ache in the knee or tight throat. 


Clairalience means clear smelling. Smelling odors that don’t have a physical source. Smelling a rose when there isn’t a rose in the room or coffee brewing that brings up a childhood memory or fresh cut grass in the middle of winter. 


Clairgustance means clear tasting. Sensations in the mouth of tasting something that is not there. This could be a taste of chocolate or lemonade that stimulates the taste buds. Sometimes it can be metallic.


Claircognizance means clear knowing. Knowledge of people, places or events that you would not otherwise have any insight about. It is an immediate download of knowing something without any conscious reasoning. It could be knowing your friend’s grandmother died before being told or knowing the flight is going to be canceled then get a text telling you so or thinking of a friend and they call you the next day. 


We all have intuition. We all have the ability to access it. We all have the ability to trust it.



Developing our intuition is very much like a muscle that needs to be exercised in order to build strength.

Join us for Intuitive Integration, a fun and enlightening two-part workshop on October 7th and 21st. We’ll be doing a deep dive into intuition with not one, but TWO experts in the field, Kim Breese and Massey Armistead

This intimate two-part workshop includes an exercise to discover which is your strongest clair sense, practical tools for strengthening and trusting your intuition, meditation, energy work, and oracle readings. Open your heart and mind while learning practical ways to connect more deeply with your inner wisdom.