Archive for the 'Alicia Diedrich' Category

So long Marquette

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, flower, plant, outdoor and nature

It is so hard to believe that I am writing my last blog to all of you right now. I remember writing my first blog almost two years ago when I started at Marquette as a transfer student. And now, it’s already all coming to an end. It is time for me to graduate!

Looking back over the time I have spent blogging for MU Employee Wellness, I realize how much I have grown myself. I knew right from the start that being well is more of a journey than anything else. It is not something you can just do overnight, but it is something we all have to work at. And although that can be hard sometimes, it is absolutely, 100% worth it. Being well means everything from physical, emotional, mental, social, intellectual, occupational, financial, spiritual, and more. Basically, wellness is anything that you want it to be. To me, wellness is anything that gives you life, not just simply surviving. My wellness is eating healthy, exercising regularly, creating a balance in life, making time for friends and family, spending time with animals, making art, enjoying the outdoors, and yes, relaxing too. Sometimes my relaxation includes binge watching Netflix, don’t tell anyone. But the point is, wellness is not quite what it first seems to be. It is not just about eating healthy and exercising, wellness is anything that makes you a better you.

My wellness journey has been anything but smooth, but I always manage to somehow motivate myself to get back on track. Wellness has played such an important role in my life, especially when trying to deal with health issues. And I am so thankful for everything in life that lead me towards always trying to better myself and to be well. I am especially thankful for having had the experience of sharing my journey and everything I have learned along the way with all of you. I am looking forward to continuing my wellness journey after I leave Marquette.

It is so bittersweet to be leaving campus and this blog, but I am beyond excited at the opportunity to grow myself and my wellness even further. I will be staying in Milwaukee (at least for a little while yet), so I hope to see you all out being well and enjoying Milwaukee’s summer.

I am off to accomplish some great things in life, I leave you all in the very capable hands of Diana. So long Marquette, it has been a great, although very short, two years with you.

Alicia Diedrich

Brighten your days with balance!

White Blooming Flower Under the Tree during Daytime

Spring time seems to be finally here in Milwaukee! And it is exciting that the weather is finally warming up as the semester is coming to a close. With the end of the semester, I know I have been seeing a lot of stress in everybody on campus. There are so many great ways to relieve stress ranging from healthy eating, to exercise, or to spending time with friends and family.

When people think about dealing with their stress, they often overlook who bonding and spending time with others can work wonders on stress reduction. Spending time with others is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Taking the time to be social and relax with friends or family can help us take our mind off of the parts of life that are stressing us out the most. I know it’s hard to think about carving out time to spend with the people we love when we have an important deadline at work, or when there are stressful situations going on, but it is so essential to make that time!

Surrounding yourself with positive people during the hardest times keeps us balanced. So many times during my time at Marquette and in my internship roles I have seen my students and colleagues that work too much (myself being one of them). However, as a person who is so passionate about wellness, I think I have done a great job of knowing when the extra work I am doing becomes too much. I have learned my limits the hard way, and since then have made conscious decisions to bring balance to my life. When I am in the middle of a bunch of work and I am extremely stressed out, I allow myself the permission to take a break! During crunch times it may seem impossible to take a break, but trust me, in the end you and your mind will be glad that you chose to have some down time.

Creating balance in our lives is important in everything that we do, but time is so difficult to budget in the modern craze of electronics and social media. This just gives us all the more reason to ensure we make time for those that we love. Spending time with friends and family builds our relationships and creates memories. And there are so many opportunities to spend some great, quality time with others, especially once it has warmed up outside. The warm weather invites us all to get out and go for a hike with our family, or to grill a healthy recipes and hang out in the sun, and in the end, it is the perfect opportunity for us to connect with others, create balance in our lives, and to take some of the stress away.

I encourage all of you to grab your friends and family, and get them all outside enjoying the weather, doing something active, grilling something healthy, and overall creating a balance in your life! Enjoy the last couple weeks of the 2018 spring semester, Marquette!

Alicia Diedrich

 

Be the difference: reduce

adventure, ball-shaped, blurEarth Day is coming up next weekend, so I am a little bit early with this post. But it’s never too early to start doing our part to save the earth. Earth Day is just one day and while doing something resourceful on that day is great, it is not enough to combat all of the problems that we are experiencing with the environment.

One way for us to be the difference for our earth is participating in cleanups, planting trees, or doing other “Earth Day activities.” However, we can do so much more that will make a greater difference in the end. And surprisingly some of the actions we can take to combat pollution lies in making very small changes in our everyday lives. On average, Americans produce 1,606 pounds of trash a year. That is a lot! And while we can do our part by picking up maybe 10 pounds of trash during a highway cleanup once a year, that doesn’t even make a dent in the amount of trash we are producing during that year.

A lot of the trash that we make comes from everyday things such as water bottles, plastic bags, paper products, coffee cups, straws, and the list goes on and on. The thing about all of these products is there are better options out there.

Instead of using plastic water bottles everyday just to throw them out, go our and buy a nice reusable one. I for one believe that a reusable water bottle has the added benefit of helping you drink more water too. Instead of asking for plastic bags at the grocery store every time, buy a few reusable canvas bags and bring them with you every time you shop. They also hold up better, so you can fit more items in less bags, meaning you will have less trips from the car to the house to bring your items in with you. Instead of using paper towels, get reusable rags that will do the same trick. Instead of taking coffee in a to go cup every morning, get a nice thermos or mug that you can reuse. Plus, you can hold a lot more coffee in these and it will stay hot for a lot longer. You can’t say no to lots of hot coffee. Instead of using disposable plastic straws in your drinks, buy a reusable plastic or metal straw. Another pro tip is that drinking from a straw also helps you drink more water. So go out and get yourself some awesome reusable products so you can start reducing the amount of trash that you make.

I want to see you all out doing great things on Earth Day, but I also want to see a lot more reusable products in all of your hands around campus. Be the difference to the earth today.

Alicia Diedrich

 

Spring recipe: asparagus and tomato skewers

Image result for asparagus and tomato skewersSpring is finally here! It is definitely marked by the rainy, grey weather today. Only one more day until another short break, Marquette. I am back today with my usual seasonal tradition, a delicious, healthy recipe.

For this recipe, I’m banking on a little bit of warm weather. You need to fire up the grill for this one! This recipe is great for any occasion, or just because you want something tasty and healthy. I want you all to try these asparagus and tomato skewers with honey mustard-horseradish sauce this weekend! Incorporate them into your Easter dinner menu to try something new.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup clover honey
  • 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish, drained
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • Wooden skewers soaked in water
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • Olive oil

Once you have all of your ingredients ready to go, preheat the grill. Stir together the mustard, honey, horseradish and mint in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Let everything sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or more to allow the flavors to meld.

Next, push the tomatoes onto the skewers and add the asparagus. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the tomatoes on the grill and cook until charred on both sides. Grill the asparagus for about 2 minutes per side.

Lastly, put the vegetables on a platter and drizzle them with the mustard sauce. Serve them hot (my recommendation), or at room temperature.

The cool thing about this recipe is you could add in more veggies if you wanted. Try adding in carrots or potatoes, it would even be good with small bites of chicken too! I encourage you to try this new recipe and comment your thoughts on it below .I hope you all have a wonderful Easter break and get to spend some relaxing time with family and friends and healthy cooking!

Alicia Diedrich

7 Ways to Wellness

Free stock photo of landscape, nature, red, love

It is spring break! (Almost). It is almost time for us to take a much needed break from our crazy-busy lives. Whether you are enjoying a break at home with family, or going to a beautiful, warm vacation destination (I am slightly jealous), this break gives us the perfect opportunity to work on our wellness. The cool thing about wellness is that it means something different to everyone, and being well can be accomplished in so many different ways. The other neat thing about it being different for everyone, is that means everyone can do it! Everyone can be well in their own way. The trick is to find a way that works for you. I want you all to try something new over spring break, something that will fuel your wellness. If you don’t know where to start, I have a list of 10 great options ready for you.

Read a book.

And no I don’t mean any old textbook that you’re used to. Step outside of your comfort zone and pick up something completely different. Try out a new genre. You may end up loving it, and if you don’t, hey, you learned something new about yourself!

Get some sleep.

This is so important! Most people do not get enough sleep, and that is so detrimental to our overall health and well-being. You are not the only one that has struggled with getting the right amount of sleep. If you need to, seek help from your doctor, or recruit a family member to hide your phone from you at 9 pm every night!

Go outside.

Fresh air is a beautiful thing. Even if you are not planning a trip to sunny Mexico over the break, get outside. Wisconsin weather is pretty unpredictable, but in the end your body will thank you. Get outside and get some exercise!

Talk to a stranger.

Make a new friend! There are so many interesting and wonderful people in this world. You never know what is behind a stranger’s face. Everyone has the potential to offer you something useful, whether it be a simple piece of advice, a hard life lesson, or an amazing friendship.

Make art.

Be creative! Now, I may be biased since I am an artist, but you have to give it a shot! Diving into the creativity of art frees your mind and lets it wander. It lets you forget about all of your worries for a moment in time. Give it a shot, be creative!

Volunteer.

Put yourself out there and give back to your community. I am a strong believer in the power of service for everybody. Helping is a great way to lift others up and a great way to lift yourself up too. Helping feels good and it makes a difference. Be the difference!

Relax.

This may be the most important one of all. Actually allow yourself to take a break. Everything these days is always GO, GO, GO. And while it keeps our lives exciting, it can be exhausting. So please, allow yourself some much needed relaxation.

 

I hope all of you have a wonderful break, and please, please, please, try something new from this list! I would love to see you all do something to kick start your wellness over the next couple weeks.

Alicia Diedrich

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

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


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