Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge



What is self-care?

The “technical” definition is: the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider”.

I’m all about holistic or natural treatments so would you think I would have this down to a science, right?  NOPE!  I struggle with practice self-care, like I’m sure many do.  The benefits of better physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being should be enough of a reason for me to at least attempt it once a month, right?  Research suggests self-care promotes positive health outcomes, such as fostering resilience, living longer, and becoming better equipped to manage stress.  I definitely could use some more tools in managing stress!

Self-care can get pretty expensive but you don’t have to break the bank or carve out lots of time to reap the benefits.  These may seem like no-brainers BUT the truth is, how many of us actually do them?  


Vacations can be expensive, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some time off.  Did you know,  most Americans, cumulatively wasted 768 million vacation days in 2019. I know, then COVID hit so many used their vacation time to stay home to care for family.  Time off from work can improve your mental and physical health, give you a mental edge when it comes to productivity, and keep you excited about your job — and your life.

Vacation can be more affordable with a little bit of creativity. Consider going with friends or family and getting a vacation rental.  We loved the cabin we stayed in when we were in Florida.  Instead of shelling out for a hotel, share a comfortable home, condo, or apartment then enjoy everything your destination has to offer. When you save on accommodations, you can splurge on great local restaurants, music, and water recreation, too. 


No matter what your struggles are in daily life, speaking with a counselor might help. This one was always tough for me.  I was afraid it would be considered a sign of weakness.  Counseling helps people identify negative patterns, make changes to take control of their lives, and discover their personal strengths.  I’m grateful for the 12-steps in my recovery program to help me do this too.  Cost should no longer be a reason for not seeking help – if you have employer-sponsored healthcare, a policy through a health insurance exchange, or Medicaid, mental health is likely part of the package.  Check it out!


Did you know a lack of sleep can affect your mental health and your overall psychological state?  I know we feel grump, or at least I do, when we don’t get enough sleep.  I was surprised that it also worsens depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety issues, and ADHD.   Do you have a bedtime routine?  Remember how we always had one for the kids?  Guess what?  We need one too.  I have found  sticking with a schedule helps me decompress and prepare for quality rest. I may not get the recommended 7 – 9 hours sleep (who does) but I do average between 6 – 7 hours which definitely makes a difference for me.  Some tips for getting into a sleepy mood: journaling, reading or meditating before bed can help.  TURN OFF your electronics about an hour before bed.  I know this could be the toughest thing.  LOL. Try to keep your bedroom as neat as possible; if the place where you sleep is a disorganized mess, you may find this level of chaos is causing a spike in your stress levels, which can disrupt your sleep.


You know exercise is great for your body. However, you don’t need a gym membership to take advantage of the benefits  Plus, there are mental health benefits built into your sweat session, no matter where you have it. Physical activity can decrease depression and anxiety.  You don’t need to pay for a gym to lift weights or use machines. Old-fashioned bodyweight workouts require minimal, if any, equipment, and it can be just as effective as hitting the gym.  How many of you have exercise equipment (stationary bike, elliptic or something like this) you bought and it is collecting dust in the garage?  Pull it out!  We bought a stationary bike about 15 years ago and it wasn’t until we moved to our forever home I started using it every day for 15 – 30 minutes.  Not a lot but it is definitely making a difference.

Here’s a plus for seniors: If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you can take advantage of the SilverSneakers program, which allows you to enjoy workouts at participating fitness facilities without having to pay any additional fees. 


There are multiple benefits by walking in nature for your mental health — and it’s free. Spending time outside can reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and myriad other conditions.  No matter where you live, there’s likely a park or nature trail nearby you can take advantage of. Take a walk around your neighborhood. Enjoy the sunshine (things are warming up in NJ), smell the flowers (spring is coming), and start feeling more energized without spending a dime.

Although you can spend a lot of money on self-care, it’s not necessary. With these easy ideas, you can glean all the stress-reducing benefits of self-care right away.

What self-care strategies work for you?  Share your best tips with us.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Value in the Eyes of God

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7 (NIV)

As I reflect on the last 10 days, I am in awe of the way God has worked in my life.  This simple bible passage helps me to remember that no matter what I may see, God sees a totally different picture.

As I have mentioned, I had some God moments during the ETTM Power of Connection moment.  Sharing a past “secret” with someone who I didn’t know but felt compelled to share with was overwhelming.  The release of that “secret” that has haunted me for years was the beginning of a transformation that would continue the rest of the week.

My sponsor with Thirty One (who has also reached the highest ladder with Thirty One as an NED) Hope Shortt has an annual vision call.  It is during this call that she shares her heart felt story of her journey with Thirty One.  Every year, I cry and I am touched with her honesty, her humility and her success.  This year, I shared the recording with my hubby.  I wanted him to understand and see how AWESOME she really was.  His response to the call was surprising or should I say – SHOCKING!

When I started to talk about a recent struggle, he put up his hand and said “All I hear is blah, blah, blah!  You are your own worst enemy”.  Yes, it may have been a bit harsh but it is something that I have heard for years.  Counselors have told me, rehab counselors told me, family and even friends have said the same thing.  I know it!  I am my biggest struggle.  I get it but how do I get over it.  In a calm voice, hubby said, “l listened twice to the recording of Hope and I thought I was listening to your story.  You two could be sisters or better yet the same person”.  Okay, so I was a little shocked because I would never even consider myself on the same level with Hope (the other one).  Rob proceeded to tell me it was time to get through the block and find some help.

My first reaction was to get a “trainer” or life coach that I have met at the conference.   You know the ones that offer awesome programs that you know that if you take them, you will be awesome too.  Rob’s response was not what I expected – he said “you need someone who takes our insurance and can not only help you through this block but also coach you”.  YIKES!  Where was I going to find someone like that?  I had a million reasons (okay, excuses) when he said “you are just stubborn and standing in your own way of success”.  I have to admit, I pouted for a bit.  I got mad.  But I got busy looking for someone that would meet all of my requirements.  I was going to interview counselors and I was going to prove to him that there was no one out there that could do what I needed in my personal life and my business.

God had another plan.  I started pulling up all of the counselors in our network for insurance.  There were the usual ones that dealt with emotional disorders but than I came across one.  I was intrigued enough to do some more research on her.  I found out that she did counseling for women only and focused on self-esteem, weight loss, and was a life coach.  I called her expecting to get a machine or to have to wait a long time for an appointment.  WRONG on both counts.  She answered her own phone and gave me an appointment for Wednesday – this coming week.

Okay God, I get the message.  I have beat myself up long enough.  I have come close to success and backed away.  I have been that stubborn woman who doesn’t believe anyone can love her unconditionally.  I am ready to change.  I know it is not going to be easy.  I have to admit, now that I have made the appointment, I am a little nervous and tempted to cancel it.  I won’t because I am not only doing this for me – I am doing it for my marriage, my business and most of all because I believe that this is God’s plan for me.

You see, real value is in the eye of the beholder, and Christ is the Beholder of us all. Our value not only makes us precious to God, but it also makes us usable for amazing purposes in His kingdom that we would have never imagined.

I long to see myself in his eyes.  I am ready for this new journey….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!