Let’s Talk About Reflection

abendstimmung, ball-shaped, clouds

I hope this picture didn’t give you any false hope of green grass and sunny days. In case you missed our social media post yesterday, I’d like to remind you all that Marquette has some great indoor walking maps so you can still get your exercise in while staying dry on this rainy day! In keeping with the scheme of things, I would like to ask us all to engage in a little bit of reflection.

No matter what your wellness goals are, there is one important step in making sure that you are meeting your goals, reflecting on them and setting new ones. The thing about goals is that they are meant to be achieved, and once they are we need to set new dreams. And if we do not meet our dreams, there must be a reason. Self-improvement comes first from challenging ourselves and then from keeping track of our progress. As you may remember, my advice for keeping yourself accountable for the goals you set is by first defining them, and then keeping track of them. Write them down, keep a wellness journal, bring your goals to life! And there is a second stage to sticking to our dreams.

The next step in achieving our wellness goals is through self-reflection. There’s a saying that there is always room for improvement, and I have to agree that this saying holds true for wellness as well. Nobody is perfect, but we can always strive for better health and wellness. Taking a step, even a minor one in the right direction is worth celebrating. This is exactly why I believe reflection is so important in the wellness process. Self-reflection is not just about identifying how far you have come in meeting your goals, but how far you want to come as well. In this way, reflection is an important part of mindfulness.

Being mindful of our choices, actions, and life around us means so much for our overall wellness. Mindfulness is what keeps us in the present. Mindfulness and reflection can be achieved in any way that you want it to. You could include this as part of your wellness journal, practice mindful meditation, or discuss your progress with other positive, motivational people in your life. Having goals and finding ways to keep yourself accountable are what keeps us on the right track.

Next time you find yourself in a wellness low, keep in mind that self-reflection is a vital step in recognizing your progress and goals. If you are not keeping track of where you have been, how do you know where to go next? Have a safe, dry day, and happy reflecting, Marquette!

Alicia Diedrich

Strawberries & Cream Pancakes

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As you all may knowFebruary is the season of love. Love can be interpreted or displayed in various ways, but it is no question that it contributes to overall wellness and healthMost say that in order to love, you must love yourself first. What better way to show yourself some love than by treating yourself? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not start your day on a sweet note, without the guiltStrawberries & Cream Pancakes are the way to go!

All you need is:

1 Egg

¾ Oats

1 Banana

Dash of Cinnamon

Couple drops of Vanilla Extract

Strawberries

Whipped Cream

 

1. Heat a frying pan on a stove to low-medium heat.

2. Add the eggs, oats, and banana into a blender, I personally recommend using a Magic Bullet!

3. Season with cinnamon and vanilla. Continue to blend.

4. Spray a frying pan with coconut oil or other cooking spray.

5. Pour out the pancake mix onto the pan to your desired size (or even shaped if you want to go all out and make them heart shaped).

6. Let cook for 5-7 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the pancake.

7. Flip over and let it fully cook for 1-2 minutes.

8. Top it off with any desired ingredients! In honor of Valentine’s Day, you can never go wrong with shaping the strawberries into hearts and adding whipped cream!

This recipe is so quick and easy that it can be modified and applied to fit anyone’s daily routine. As you can see, you don’t have to sacrifice flavor in order to indulge in a healthy manner. Go ahead, play your favorite love playlist to get yourself in the spirit, and get your cooking on, whether it be with yourself or with a loved one!

Happy Valentine’s Day to All!

Love,

Diana Banzon

Get Your Heart Pumping

Kettle Bell Beside Adidas Pair of Shoes

I hope you have all started moving for the Go Move challenge. If not, there is still time, the challenge is taking place throughout the month of February. Get started today, and recruit your friends and colleagues to move with you! Moving is so important to our overall health, and especially necessary to keep our hearts in good shape.

And when it comes to your heart rate, just like exercising, eating right, or anything else, you need to find your sweet spot. One of those cliche sayings that actually holds so much merit is, “everything in moderation.” There is a point where we can exercise too much, there is a point where we could be exercising too little (or not at all). There is a point where we can eat too much of one thing, even if it is healthy. When it comes to all of these things, there is a target we should all be aiming for. And just like these other parallels, there is a target spot for where our heart rates should be at when resting, and when exercising. The key to all of these “sweet spots”, is that they are different for everybody. It all depends on your age, gender, and of course any health conditions. The neat part is that you can find out where your heart rate should be while resting, and exercising, and then monitor it to ensure you are reaching your targets. And with modern day gadgets, you can use a smart watch or a Fitbit, or similar tool to monitor it for you, and of course you still have the option to accomplish this the old-fashioned way as well.

So, it’s great to know what your target heart rate should be, and that you can reach it with exercise. But maybe you cannot bring yourself to exercise, or you dread every single one of your workouts, or you make excuses. Hey, if this sounds like you, I promise you are not alone. It is great to be able to say that we understand we need to get moving and get our heart rate up, but it’s a whole different story to actually want to do these things. I would like to offer some advice: find something you love to do. There are so many options to getting in some physical activity, so there is bound to be at least one workout out there for everybody. Do some experimenting to find what works for you. There are fitness studios and clubs popping up everywhere, go to a class! Register for Try It Night, February 13th from 4 pm to 6 pm, to test out 3 different classes in one night. And don’t be afraid to experiment, love your body so that your body will love you back.

And trust me when I say grab a buddy! A lot of times it is easier to stick to something new when you have someone else there to encourage you, after all, we are all in this together. Let’s all set out on a mission to get moving, find what we love, and get our heart pumping! Have a wonderful, productive, and active week, Marquette. Go move!

Alicia Diedrich

Wellbeing biography: Diana Banzon

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Hello Marquette employees! My name is Diana Banzon and I am a sophomore studying Public Relations and Marketing. I was originally born in the Philippines, but moved to Rochester, Minnesota at the age of 2, which is where I currently call home. Words can’t express my excitement for joining a team that promotes overall health and wellness. I am whole-heartedly honored to be representing an organization that holds strong beliefs toward achieving the hope to inspire others in a life long journey to living the best life they possibly can. It is a mindset that is applicable to anyone, sometimes you just need a little motivation to get on the right track.

The importance of health played a significant role in my community growing up back at home, due to living in the same city where the world-renowned hospital of the Mayo Clinic’s original headquarters resides. It was convenient during times when I needed medical attention, which unfortunately, was often when I was younger. One day, I was shopping at my city’s local mall when I decided to throw my hair up in a ponytail. My brother immediately pointed out that I had a significant bald patch that extended from my left side wrapping its way around to the back of my head. When I finally had access to a mirror, I was in immediate tears. I had never felt so ugly in my life, knowing that my current state of health was reflecting the way I looked on the outside. Immediately, my mom scheduled a visit to the doctor, where she eventually came to the conclusion that I was suffering with a condition called Alopecia, which is when your immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.

Hearing the validation through the diagnosis of the condition made it feel very real. She eluded that the cause was still considered to be uncertain, but has been clinically linked to stress. I connected the potential cause to some bullying that I was experiencing at school during my early years as a child. It made finding myself beautiful, when I had no self- confidence or self-love to begin with, near impossible, especially with finding out about my current state of health that affected my physical appearance.

I knew that there needed to be change. I discovered a more untraditional approach to the idea of wellness, that many seem to disregard, or simply just find it to be superficial. It went back to how I viewed myself. I started to style my hair and really made an effort to make myself feel beautiful through the process of putting myself together every morning before school. Most importantly, I made an effort to no longer let the disease define me. That was when I finally started seeing results. It genuinely translated through my newfound self-confidence, and the way I dealt with the bullying to have it never let it get to me again. My hair eventually all grew back and I beat my Alopecia.

It just goes to show that everyone’s journey to a state of health and well-being differs because there are so many components that contribute to it, aside from solely just exercise and diet. I am by no means a full expert when it comes to health. I am a normal college student who goes through those unhealthy, late night cravings and disregards sleep when it comes to procrastination to eagerly get my homework done. Despite this, you are never too late to recover by setting aside priorities that provoke stress, and focus on yourself and what makes you happy. Taking the first step to do so, has the potential to inspire self-assurance that can open the doors to greater success. Personally, getting myself all dolled up for the day and picking out an outfit that gives me confidence translates well into my overall happiness and performance in everything I do. What’s yours?

My wellness journey has only begun. Join me in continuing to find new ways to maintain and inspire others throughout this process to overall health and well-being. It doesn’t have to be done alone because we are striving for the same goal and we all in this together as a team!

Diana Banzon

Challenge Yourself

Image result for a goal without a plan is just a wish

We are one week into the Spring 2018 semester. I am excited to be back writing for all of you for my last semester here at Marquette, and even more excited to share that a new intern will be joining us this semester. You will be hearing from her very soon. And, I have to say that I have been thinking about writing this blog post ever since winter break started. Back at the end of the fall semester, I left you off with the December Kindness post. This post, along with New Year’s gave me the idea to challenge myself, and to challenge you to challenge yourself.

With a new year, a lot of us make New Year’s resolutions that we ultimately do not end up keeping. Some of us might still be going strong, while others of us might have fallen off the train already. I want to remind you, that it doesn’t need t be the beginning of the year to set new goals, or to work on bettering yourself. This is something we should all be doing each and every day. Having a minor setback during your workout goals, or healthy eating goals is not the end of the world. I repeat, this is not the end of the world. This sort of thing happens to all of us. If you skip a day, or just happen to have the perfect excuses, that is okay. I have a solution for all of us.

Challenge yourself. How can you do this and stick to it you ask? It’s easier than you think. First, you need to define your goals. And by this, I mean you need to make your goals as specific as possible. Saying that you are going to “eat healthy” is not setting yourself up for success. Define what you mean by eating healthy. Do research, define your goals and motives behind it. If you want to “workout more,” what do you mean by that? Specify how many times a week, set a routine, stick to it. And the most important part to sticking to your goals, is KEEPING YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE. I do this by keeping a journal. I write down my goals, I define them, I give them a specific time frame, and I keep track of my progress along the way. This really works, I promise! Sometimes conquering goals can be pretty tough, but working towards goals and feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride is always worth it.

One simple way to start a new goal is to challenge yourself with a one-month challenge. These can be anything from only taking the stairs, eating vegetables everyday, or starting up meditation, or writing poetry. If you have a goal, there is bound to already be a 30-day challenge out there to help you reach that goal. You can Google 30-day challenges including health challenges, hobby challenges, mindfulness challenges, spirituality challenges, anything you want to challenge yourself to, do it. I want all of us here at Marquette to challenge yourself to something new and positive in 2018, and at the end of the year, be able to say that we are happier and healthier than we were at the beginning of the year.

We take our lives one day at a time, one decision at a time, and we have the power to make those moments what we want them to be. Challenge yourself to a new, and improved self this year.

Alicia Diedrich

December Kindness

The Dalai Lama once said “be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” I find this quote to be especially inspiring because it brings light to a topic that is not often discussed. I feel as though a common view on kindness is that it is simply being polite and respectful. In fact, Oxford dictionary’s definition is “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.” And although I do find this definition to be true, I find there to be much more to kindness than just this.

A couple weeks ago I stumbled across the “Kindness Calendar – December 2017” and immediately shared it on our Twitter page. I loved the idea! I find it to be so creative and unique. Kindness is not often represented as something that requires much effort, and I think that’s exactly where the dictionary definition falls short. It is viewed as something that is more passive or just any basic human interaction. And this is why I say maybe there should be more thought and action behind our everyday kindness. There are so many monthly challenges out there that are great way to start up a new habit like eating healthy, working out, practicing meditation or mindfulness. And all of these actions require thought, effort, and consideration.

This calendar is great because it encompasses so many different forms of kindness. We can be kind to others: family, friends, or strangers, but we can also be kind to the earth, to animals, and even to ourselves and our bodies. Keeping in mind all of these forms of kindness, it really does become a challenge to overall treat life with kindness. It is such a fitting theme for December because it is so often seen as a month of giving and presents. But this year, let’s take our kindness to a new level. Practicing kindness is something I want to challenge all of us to do. So, this month I want all of you to follow along with this calendar with me. That means tomorrow, all of us are going to do something helpful for a family member. And on Thursday we are going to be kind to the earth, and so on.

I hope you all have a very kindness-filled week, and please share the amazing results that your kindness brings to your life with us, let’s spread kindness!

Alicia Diedrich

Lifestyle is everything

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Welcome back from Thanksgiving break, Marquette! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, a relaxing, rejuvenating break, and some much needed family time. My short break was all of those things and more, just not long enough. But that brings me to my next thought though, there’s only a few weeks left of the semester. Less than two weeks of classes, and then we are into finals week. I cannot believe how quickly it has gone by, and I am sure you are thinking the same thing. And with that thought, comes some impending anxiety about the last push. In my case, all of the projects and presentations, all of the papers, and all of the exams. Maybe for you, all of the grading, or all of the other deadlines approaching.

I know I have said it before, but it is more important now than ever: step back and destress. Now crunch times can be stressful for anyone, but having anxiety can make deadlines and pressure all that more stressful. We are lucky to have some wonderful campus resources for dealing with anxiety, and other mental health struggles. Now, I completely understand that even thinking about talking to someone about anxiety would just give you even more anxiety, but I assure you, it shouldn’t. There are a lot of misconceptions about anxiety (or any mental health concern in general) that give it a stigma, making it seem like a bad thing, like struggling with mental health makes you weak. But these misconceptions are just that, they are wrong, and it is worth talking about. And, according to David Spiegel, Stanford University’s associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, “avoidance is not a good strategy.” Even I could have told you that, but when it comes from an expert on the subject, it reassures the idea even further. I have spent a lot of time running from my anxiety, but when I recognized and acknowledged it, I was then able to also recognize and acknowledge some great ways to help live my everyday life more fully and freely.

I am a big advocate for making lifestyle changes in order to deal with health related issues. This includes my struggle with an autoimmune disease, depression, and anxiety. And a lot has changed since I wrote that first blog over a year ago. I have come to terms with what I can do for myself through my lifestyle. There are more connections between lifestyle and health and wellness than people realize. When your body is given the proper care it needs and deserves, it is amazing what it will return to you. Eating healthy, exercising, and taking care of your spiritual and emotional wellness won’t solve everything, it isn’t a miracle cure. It seems as though many people expect it to be, and that makes it difficult to follow through on a lifestyle change. It can be disheartening to start eating healthy or to begin a new exercise routine and to not see results right away. It can take a while, but I assure you it is worth it. You may not see immediate changes in your health or how your body feels. In fact, you may even feel worse for a while, maybe you will be tired and groggy, or you will get headaches since your body is used to a lot of sugar, and other harmful ingredients. So, in spirit of what I assured at the beginning of the semester, let’s do this together and make this our best year yet with a lifestyle change.

You don’t have to do anything crazy or drastic if you don’t want to. Start off small to make it easy. Make a small change: eat more fruits and vegetables, cut your daily bowl of ice cream to once a week, get up in the morning and go for a walk or do some yoga, and don’t be afraid to get help from others, because we are not on this earth alone and we do care. Have a productive, but stress-free week, and I will talk to you next Tuesday.

Alicia Diedrich


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