July was a powerful self-care month in the lives of three of my favorite women athletes, Naomi Osaka, a 23-year old Japanese-Haitian American world tennis champion and entrepreneur; Simone Biles, a 24-year old African-American Olympic gymnast; and Simone Manuel, a 24 year-old African-American Olympic swimmer. Each of these women of color have chosen to make their mental health, well-being, and self-care a priority. Watching them put themselves first above their demanding careers and public scrutiny has been a master class in what it means to embrace, embody, and express the radical self-care wisdom of African-American writer, womanist, and civil rights…


Last month, I led a training for the Sierra Club that addressed how people can tap into their resilience through a mindful self-care check-in. Since then, I have been reflecting on the ways I struggled emotionally, mentally, and physically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, economic instability, politics, and the elections in 2020 and the domestic terrorist attack by white supremacists on the U.S. Capitol during the first week of 2021. I remembered the stress and anxiety, and the way they triggered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) moments from living in DC during the first and second Iraqi…


Last year, I watched The Social Dilemma, a documentary film that paints an alarming picture of how technology and social media shape our lives, on Netflix. The film features interviews with tech professionals including former Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest employees who discuss the risks technology and social media bring to our emotional and physical well-being, mental health, human rights, freedom, and democracy. Watch the trailer below.

Given the fact the film was released in the midst of a global pandemic, mass mobilizations for racial justice, a major U.S. presidential election, and a new socially distant school year, I…


According to a 2020 survey conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of American Psychological Association (APA), more than two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) say that the 2020 U.S. presidential election was a significant source of stress in their life. The APA survey also reported that regardless of political affiliation, majorities say the election is a significant source of stress (76% of Democrats, 67% of Republicans and 64% of Independents). Read more here.

Do these statistics describe how you felt last year?

Do they describe how you are currently feeling in the wake of what happened on January 6th when…


How are you and your family, friends, colleagues, and clients taking care of yourselves this holiday season?

If you need support, I’ve got three special holiday gifts that will help you and your colleagues stay grounded and calm this holiday season.


In times of great change, I have often engaged in an internal boxing match where I resist and struggle with accepting my normal life has been altered. That struggle is a boxing match I always lose. Why? Because change is inevitable. It’s always going to happen.

In 2016, I gave a talk on how I used mindfulness to embrace change in the midst of career reinvention at the Nonprofit Technology Network’s annual conference in San Jose, California.

During my talk, I shared the four lessons I learned:

  • Lesson #1: Ask for help.
  • Lesson #2: Take great care of yourself.

Hugging yourself is a FREE self-care practice that requires less than five minutes of your time. It offers you an opportunity to practice loving kindness and strengthen your resiliency during the 2020 COVID-19 Holiday Season.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has changed how we connect with each other and our holiday celebrations. Many of us are unable to see, touch, and show affection towards our loved ones in person. Most of us have to follow mask and social distancing guidelines when we spend time with them. Living this way has left so many of us starving for physical touch.

Physical touch is a basic human need. Going without it for long periods can impact our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Giving ourselves daily hugs is one mindful self-care practice we can use to strengthen our well-being.


2020 has been a year like no other. So many things have happened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic instability, divisive politics, fake news, and the constant acts of injustice, oppression, police brutality, and violence against Black, indigenous, and people of color, women, children, the elderly, the disabled, and the LGBTQ community. Most of what is happening has occurred for years, decades, and centuries. COVID-19 has just opened the world’s eyes to see it all more clearly.

For some, it has created stress, anxiety, depression, fear, trauma, and other emotions. For others, it has amplified their disrespect and…


Last week, I cried when I heard the U.S. Election 2020 news that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris had won. My tears were intense and filled with deep gratitude and relief. I rode my bike down to Black Lives Matter Plaza to celebrate with the DC community. Seeing the diverse group of people celebrate and being a part of that celebration filled my heart with unspeakable joy and left me speechless.

This week, I have intentionally slowed down with some deep breaths and and reflected on how tough the Election 2020 season has been. I recognize I have experienced many…


We all need to slow down and celebrate World Kindness Day on November 13th given everything that has happened to us in 2020. World Kindness Day has become one of my favorite days to recommit to my loving kindness practices. It was launched in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of nations’ kindness nongovernmental organizations to highlight good deeds in the community that focus on the positive power of making kindness the norm and bringing people together to celebrate our common humanity.

I believe kindness starts in our hearts with an understanding and acceptance that we deserve it…

Ananda Leeke l Thriving Mindfully Coach + Author

Thriving Mindfully Coach, Artist & Author l Thriving Mindfully Academy + Community Founder l I help you nurture, transform & celebrate your life & career!

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