Blog Posts

It is OK to plug in and unplug

I express often that the world we live in now has smart phones and tablets as the norm and is what I feel, a main occupation- the preferred method for communication, social interaction, and gaming for many individuals

I grew up in the early 80s. I had a see through corded phone with an extra long cord so I could travel to all areas of my room. I played outside until the sun went down. I played kickball, paintball, and capture the flag with my neighborhood friends. I would write notes to my friends and fold them in cool, unique ways – totally awesome OT activity by the way

We engaged with each other more. We hung out in groups and figured out what to do for the day by talking to one another, face to face or talking on the phone/3 way calling. We looked at actual maps to get from point A to point B. We went on adventures. We did Werid NJ stuff (such a cool book). All without smartphones and tablets

We did so much thinking in creative and problem solving ways. And without us even knowing it, we were also building the foundations within our central nervous system and overall development through these connections and experiences, setting us up for success within the educational setting

Look, we watch TV and I give my 2 year old a tablet. And yes, he has his own kindle. For the most part, Luke uses the iPad/kindle for up to 10 minutes at a time. We use a timer and set it for 5 min and he is allowed to ask for more time when the timer goes off. This strategy actually makes transitions soo much better and he is much more willing to give it up after he has asked for more time

And then there are some days, we watch TV and play on our phones all day. Because we are tired. Why are we tired you ask? Life. Period. And when we watch movies and play games on the phone, we are all together as a family. We are asking questions about what we are doing, snuggling, sharing our moments together and just being a family

Luke has actually learned so many words and concepts via the TV that now I actually consider it a blessing in moderation 😂😂 and trust me, even though we are such an active family – always out in nature – I still feel guilty when I am on my phone. I am learning balance does not exist. It’s more like I never know what each day will bring so I just try to be as cool, calm, and mindful as possible when deciding how plugged in for the day we are going to be

The moral of my story is, unplug as often as you can and do not feel guilty for the times that you you plug in. Your brain does need a break and it is during these breaks that true creativity and problem solving thought bubbles can truly occur. Take some time for yourself but also get outside, go on adventures, play board games, laugh with friends. And when using technology, try to incorporate human interaction as much as possible

Happy Saturday Friends!

Blog Posts

Mindfulness in Motherhood

by Danielle Delorenzo, OTR/L

Part 4: Postpartum and Beyond

Part 4: Postpartum and Beyond
**At one point I said “8 months” and meant “8 weeks” when referring to how quickly women are expected to return to work after a c-section ✌
Audio Descriptions of the following pictures
Exclusive pumpers are warriors!
My husband’s mini me💙
My tiny bundle of awesomesauce 💙
Just a few days old💙
1 week old – Dr. Nate rocks! The first day Luke latched💙
Nice and relaxed after his first chiropractor visit💙
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My first time taking Luke out for Cheesewalla and iced coffee💙
We spent 5 weeks together after Luke was born. It was amazing💙
Baby wearing my way through the 4th trimester💙
The happiest baby ever💙
7 weeks postpartum
Best. Dad. Ever.
Best baby at Modern Times, San Diego
Blog Posts

Mindfulness in Motherhood

Part 3: Labor and Delivery

by Danielle Delorenzo, OTR/L

*These audio clips go into detail about my birth experience. I share it all, and I mean ALL. So if that is not something you are interested in hearing, no worries! I just wanted to give you a heads up before you embark on listening to my birth story and get blindsided by it 🙂 *hugs*

Jasmine’s Website💙 https://www.jasminerosedoula.com/

Part 3: Labor and Delivery – Intro
Part 3: Labor and Delivery – My story
Getting tatted up by Jasmine
oxytocin ❤
The beginning
When sh*t started to get real
Luke Kevin Delorenzo
All the feels
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Best. Dad. Ever.
Rocking it Day 1 as Dad feeding our son💙
Our superhero

Thank you so much for listening to my story. Please tune in next week for Part 4: Postpartum and beyond. Sending everyone good vibes to make it a mindful Monday💙

Blog Posts

Mindfulness in Motherhood

by Danielle Delorenzo, OTR/L

Part 2: Pregnancy

Part 2: Pregnancy

For those of you who had the pleasure of being around me in person, you all know how brutally honest I was during my pregnancy.

I mean, I have no reservations about expressing my emotions on the regular and pregnancy was the most emotionally unstable time of my life.

It was a recipe for disaster.

When people asked me how it felt to be pregnant, I said horrible.

This tiny fetus was sabotaging my body and sucking my soul.

But it was actually amazing.   It changed me.  Not better. Not worst.  Just different. 

Pregnancy taught me that I am a warrior. I am in awe of what my body can do and what a bad ass I am. Pregnancy, you have evolved me in a way I never thought I could. Thank you.

#makeitamindfulmonday #warriormamas #mindfulnessinmotherhood

Blog Posts

Mindfulness in Motherhood

by Danielle Delorenzo, OTR/L
Mornings with an OT Mom

Part 1: Pre-Pregnancy

Bushkill Falls, PA 2007
Part 1: Pre-Pregnancy (1)
Part 1: Pre-Pregnancy (2)
Coal Region, PA 2009

I have been working on this series for months.

Saint Peter’s Village, PA 2012

Each day I would sit down and write a tad more. I just kept writing.

Joshua Tree April 2015

I had been trying to figure out how to put it all down into written expression and then decided, I just could not do it

1 week before we moved to Cali July 2015

If you had the chance to listen to my podcast appearance on @ot.4.lyfe, episode 51, https://ot4lyfe.com/51 , you got an inside glimpse of my personal and professional life colliding.

Now, let me take you on a quick trip in my tardis a few years back.

Making it DMV official – Residents of Cali August 2015

I just wanted to say Hi. Thank you for following along. You are amazing. I hope you enjoy. Sending everyone good vibes to #makeitamindfulmonday

Our last mini vaca before trying to get pregnant July 2016

Blog Posts

Make it a Mindful Monday

by Danielle Delorenzo, OTR/L

Mindfulness is so simplistic in nature that I fear it is the reason it is most often misunderstood or overlooked as a hot, new trend
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The last year and a half, I have been buried in mindfulness research, talking to anyone and everyone about all things mindfulness, and gathering the best-evidence to support my final capstone project for my OT doctorate
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The majority of people I spoke with had such a positive and warming association with mindfulness.  On the other hand, some individuals that I spoke with brushed it off as a hot, new trend.  Something all the cool kids were doing.  Or, they would mock “being present in the moment”.  When I would express that there are several hundreds of research articles on this topic, I was met with redirection, avoidance, and almost mockery
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As a researcher and life-long learner, I found the concept of mindset interesting.  Doesn’t everyone want to learn more about the things they may not quite understand when presented with new information, especially if there is evidence backing it up
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Mindfulness has been around for centuries.  In the late 70s, John Kabat-Zinn brought mindfulness to modern day practices with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs.  The history of mindfulness is overflowing with research and unfortunately,  that history can sometimes get lost
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It promotes better self-efficacy to ensure you are giving your body and soul what it needs while being present in the moment
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I have tried to incorporate mindfulness into my daily routine my entire life.  It was not until I completed post graduate studies and I received a certificate in Infant Mental Health from Chatham University, did I truly embrace how important being a mindful individual was
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It has been just over a year that I have embedded mindfulness into my daily routines.  I will tell you that mindfulness is not a cure for all things.  What it will do, is get you better at knowing what your body needs to maintain optional self-regulation, mental clarity, and better adaptive responses in stressful situations
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When you increase your self-efficacy of what your brain and nervous system prefers, you can begin to engage in meaningful occupations that support the optimal regulation of your body and steer clear of the things that you know sabotage your soul
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I created #makeitamindfulmonday because we get a new Monday each week.  A new opportunity to start the week fresh, rejuvenated, and full of positive intentions.  Some Mondays, you will not feel like that.  This is when you have to be mindful the most as to what your body needs to nourish its soul
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Tag your posts and share how you #makeitamindfulmonday
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Sending everyone good vibes and positive intentions for a fabulous week!

Blog Posts

Step out of your comfort zone

by Danielle Delorenzo, OTR/L

Chihuly Garden and Glass

I had a work trip planned for months to Seattle.  This would be the first time that I traveled without my family and the first time ever being away from my son.  While booking my tickets at work, I had tears running down my face because I had no idea how I was actually going to get myself there in one emotional piece.

Creator unknown

Also, I legit pack for a trip weeks in advance. I have several checklists created to ensure that when traveling, I do not forget to pack the gazillion essential items my anxiety thinks it needs.  Not this time.

The Beautiful Truth by Mark Anthony

I flashed back to the Ted Talk I had been listening to about being mindful and breaking bad habits.  Only this time, I wanted to switch out bad habits for anxiety responses.

I decided to pack the night before and finished up the next morning.  Every time anxiety tried to creep in my brain, I honored its concerns, and moved on with the day.

from the book Zen as F**k

We were late getting to the airport.  One woman made us feel horrible for being late and when anxiety/anger tried to creep in, I honored it, and kept on moving.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

We got to the gate with minutes to spare. We were greeted by a lovely lady and man who saw I was a tad overwhelmed.  I expressed that we were late because I was giving extra snuggles to my son and that it was the first time I had ever been away from him.

I mean, I could snuggle this kid for days!

He saw I was traveling with my friend and asked if we would like to sit next to each other.  I knew the plane was full and somehow, this amazing man got My (Mimi) and I two seats next to each other.  We were the last ones to  board the plane and off to Seattle we went.

The flight was perfect.  I read a book for a bit, engaged in meaningful conversations, and listened to my favorite tunes.

Once we were flying over Seattle, all I could see was different colored leaves for days.  It reminded me of the Pennsylvania rolling hills of oranges, reds, and yellows.  Even though I was feeling extremely nervous on the plane about leaving my boys, I stayed with the trees.

I stayed mindful in the moment and reminded myself that I had three days to explore Seattle.  I did not want to waste any of that time letting my anxiety dictate my trip.  And that is exactly what I did.

When we went to the rental place to pick up our car. I was secretly hoping to get an upgrade and sure enough, we were able to get a luxury-ish SUV.  We had not even set foot in Seattle for more than an hour and the stars were already aligning in our favor.

Pike Place Market

My and I got to visit with friends, explore the city, eat amazing food, and make the most out of our work trip within the short time we had in this beautiful city. 

The Pike Brewing Company

I stepped out of my comfort zone and had three days of Seattle self-care.  I was able to facetime with my family and still put my son to bed while showing myself, “Wow, I really can do this!”.

Pike Place Market

I could feel the new neural connections being formed.  I could feel my brain resetting its foundation with each affirmation of honoring my anxiety and then moving on, all without skipping a beat. 

This experience changed me, for the better.  I began to break the anxious cycle of fear and Motherhood guilt for having much needed “me” time.  Self- care is a necessity.  It is not something one should feel guilty about, rather, it should be incorporated into everyday routines to ensure you are giving your brain and soul the nourishment it needs to maintain optimal mental health.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Here are some of my favorite Instagram accounts, in no particular order because they are all amazing, that help me stick to my daily affirmations, nourish my soul, and support my rollercoaster of emotions on my journey as a mother:

@the.holistic.psychologist
@drsabina_phd
@joy.energy.time
@nurture_neuroscience_parenting
@synergy.gentle.parenting
@transformingtoddlerhood
@betterpostpartum
@journey_to_wellness_
@heyamberrae
@thrivinglittles

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Sending everyone good vibes for a fun-filled Sunday and Mindful Monday #nourishyoursoul #selfcare #stepoutofyourcomfortzone #sundayfunday #makeitamindfulmonday

Disclaimer: It took a village to make this trip happen. To my hubby, thank you for watching Lukey alone for three days. I love the new hot pink nail polish designs Luke added to the carpet😂 You are amazing. I love you.

My buoy, you are the reason I actually made it on the plane. Your friendship will be cherished by me for life. Cheers to the most organically flowing, much-needed trip, that was filled with a little bit of learning and a whole lot of fun. I love you!

Jen, thank you for always being amazing. Thank you for helping Chris with Luke’s first dentist appointment while I was away. We love you!