Archive for the 'Lifestyle' Category

Beat the summer blues

Although it is summer and there have been plenty of warm and sunshine filled days, this year has been particularly stormy. And there are thunderstorms in the forecast for most of the rest of this week. So if storms give you the blues, then make sure you get outside today while it’s nice and hot to take in some vitamin D (and don’t forget to wear sunscreen).  

Personally, I really enjoy thunderstorms, but when it’s rainy every day or wakes me up in the middle of the night, it gets a little sickening. It’s summer, It’s supposed to be nice enough to enjoy a day at the beach or biking the trails. But this year has left us all wanting to close our blinds and stay in bed all day. Who wants to walk around campus in the rain? And although you may be tempted to stay in the darkness in the comfort of your bed, lift your mood by doing the exact opposite. Get up and move around the house, turn on lights to help you forget about the looming dark clouds in the sky above. I personally say get outside and enjoy it, rain or shine, but I realize this option may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

If you do decide to stay indoors because of rain, do something good for yourself at home. It’s the best excuse there is to clean your house from top to bottom, cook a delicious and healthy meal, do some yoga and meditation, read a new and exciting book, or spend some quality time with your pets and family. There are an endless amount of healthy and positive activities to fill your day so that you don’t have to give in to the gloomy weather.

No matter what the weather is, use it to your advantage. Use the nice, warm days to be active outdoors, and use the stormy days as personal days to work on improving yourself or your surroundings. Never let a day go to waste, find something meaningful to do everyday. Finding a purpose in your everyday life will help beat the summer storm blues.

Alicia Diedrich

Healthy you, happy 4th

Happy 4th of July to everyone! I hope you are all planning to spend some quality time with loved ones today. As we spend today celebrating our independence day, we must keep wellness in mind, just like any other day. It’s a great day to get in some exercise or spend some time cooking a delicious, healthy meal for the holiday. The weather is supposed to be beautiful all day today here in Milwaukee, so make sure to enjoy it!

When it comes to holidays, it’s normally a lot harder to keep ourselves active and well since there always seems to be tons of unhealthy food around and plenty of excuses to put off exercise until later. But I encourage you to instead use those very reasons as motivators to get up, get in some exercise, and take pride in eating something healthy. Do something for the wellness of your mind and body. If you have some extra free time on your hands, that’s exactly why you should do something good for you.

Since you may already be spending time with family and friends, you can easily make it into a fun group activity. If you want to do something fun and active, get in a bike ride or a swim, or pick up a ball and toss it around for a game of catch. If you just want to relax, do some yoga and mindful meditation. You’ll feel more relaxed and rejuvenated afterwards. Cooking or putting together a healthy snack can even be a relaxing activity, and you get to fuel your body with plenty of vitamins and nutrients at the same time. Berries are a healthy, delicious, and easy snack to make into a 4th of July themed appetizer, but there are an endless amount of options for eating something healthy. 

Most of all, it’s good to keep a positive attitude and know that just because it’s a holiday, that’s no reason to forget about taking care of your health and well-being. 

Wishing you a safe and healthy 4th of July!

Alicia Diedrich

Sweet dreams – the importance of sleep

We’ve all heard it before: sleep is important for your health and well-being. But for some reason, sleep seems to be one of the first things to take a back burner when life gets crazy. You just have to finish grading those papers, answering those emails, or maybe even just watching one more episode of your latest Netflix craze. I will admit that I too do these things. But I will also admit that because of that, I learned a hard lesson about putting my health and well-being before anything else. My freshman year of college, there was one week where EVERYTHING was due. I stayed up late working on my homework the whole week. But, that’s when classes got even more difficult because I got the flu. I was miserable the whole next week and had to miss a few classes. Bottom line is, is staying up late to finish something really worth it if it will later affect the same thing?

My answer is no. From then on, I have always completed as much homework as I possibly could within a reasonable time. I would rather take extra time on a project than turn it in in my sleep-deprived state, because it probably wasn’t done to the best of my abilities in the first place. Anything you have to do will still be there in the morning. My best tip is to learn how to practice good time management skills so you can get the beauty rest you really need.

If my personal story doesn’t convince you, then maybe some science will. According to the National Institutes of Health, a consistent loss of sleep can lead to struggling with memory, concentration, and slowed reaction time. These things are detrimental to personal and professional lives, not to mention getting into the driver’s seat of a car, or other dangerous activities. Sleep deprivation can increase the risk of accidents in the car, or just in everyday life tasks. These are only the beginning effects that sleep loss has on the body. Over time, prolonged sleep loss can lead to hostility, alcohol use, use of medications to stay awake, weight problems, poor decision making, and more

So really, just put down the work, the book, or the remote and get some shut eye. You will be a happier, healthier person both psychologically, and physiologically. And if you are having trouble sleeping all the time, you aren’t alone. There are over 40 million Americans suffering from over 70 different sleep disorders, so don’t be afraid to seek help from a doctor. Wishing you sweet dreams and a good night’s rest.

Alicia Diedrich

Slather on the SPF

With the heat of summer finally hitting us this week, it is important that we keep a few things in mind to stay healthy and happy during this hot and humid season! I find that the two most important ways to keep yourself healthy in the summer are sunscreen and water.

Since your skin is your body’s first line of defense, it is essential to take great care of it. I know that summer tan would look great, believe me (I am about as pale as a ghost). But I have learned to embrace my paleness and I am so glad I learned my lesson about tanning. I may regret the few years I spent going to tanning beds and laying out in the sun, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take better care of my skin now. I know you’ve probably heard it over and over again, but make sure you are putting on sunscreen EVERY SINGLE DAY. I actually know someone who got sunburned through their long pants just a few days ago, so even if you think you’re covered, you may not be! It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your skin. So put on that sunscreen and protective clothing.

One of my best tips is to use a daily facial and daily body moisturizer with SPF in it. This way you’re not adding yet another inconvenient step to your routine, you’re moisturizing and protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays at the same time. However, if you’re spending many long hours outdoors, you should be applying SPF multiple times throughout the day, especially if you are swimming, or working out and sweating a lot. But you should also apply a few times a day even if this isn’t the case. You can find more sunscreen tips here.

Keep your skin burn-free and tan-free now and your body will thank you later. And don’t forget to drink a lot of water this summer. Here are some great tips on how to make staying hydrated easy.

Alicia Diedrich

Local produce for a healthy you

Hello everyone! I hope you have enjoyed a relaxing and rejuvenating first few weeks of summer vacation! I am back to bring you some awesome blog posts for the rest of the summer! Summer is such a great time to make sure you are living a healthy lifestyle. With the beautiful, warm weather and plenty of summer produce, there are so many ways to take great care of your body through exercise and eating right.

One of my favorite things to do in the summer to take care of myself is to go to farmer’s markets! It is the perfect opportunity to look for some delicious and nutritious foods, get some exercise, and support your local farmers all at the same time. You can load up on fruits and veggies to eat as a snack, or plan to make a healthy recipe with the colorful, fresh produce. There are farmer’s markets all over Milwaukee on four different days of the week so there are plenty of options to make it fit into your schedule!

You can find a list of the times and locations here. If you aren’t located in Milwaukee you can just search for farmers markets in your area, you are bound to find something. Hope to see you out at the markets!

Alicia Diedrich

Well, it’s been good, MU

one-door-closes-another-opens

Hey, Marquette Wellness community. Sarah here. And I would just like to let you know about what’s coming up for us here at Employee Wellness.

First off, our school year is almost through, which is great because summer is great and outdoors activities are great. But also it’s a bit sad, considering I graduate and have to take on real-world things instead of college-world things. That being said, I have to leave Marquette Employee Wellness behind. But don’t worry, I’ve left you in good hands with my protege, Alicia.

With the end coming near for me, though, I thought I would take this post as a chance to talk about moving forward and how it opens doors. I don’t have scientific evidence or research studies to back this up, but it’s something that my mom always said to me and your probably said this to you too. When one door closes, another one opens.

So if you’re like me and looking to move up and on from where you are in life right now, believe me I know that fear you may be feeling. Let this serve as a reminder though that it is all part of a plan. And while it can be tough to let a door shut behind you, remember that if you forward, there is probably a new door waiting to open right ahead.

I know I am writing this a little bit for myself, just to keep my anxiety at bay, but it’s not like what I am saying is useless. If your day or week or month or semester is scary because it involves moving on to unknown territory, hold fast. It will all work out.

“And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him.” Romans 8:28

Over and out – Sarah Schlaefke

How pets can make you happy and healthy

petsI cannot stress enough how much I would love to have about 20 dogs and 15 other animals living with me. Unfortunately, I live in a tiny little studio apartment, and I am only allowed to have fish. Maybe in a different lifetime this crazy dream of mine will come true. One can only hope.

While you do not need to be as crazy about animals (especially dogs) as I am, having even one pet will add something to your life you never knew was missing in the first place. Although, I have always had a pet at home since the day I was born, I know what it is like to live with and without pets, and my life is always better when there’s an animal in it. One thing for sure is that they make me a happier and healthier person.

One of the best benefits of owning a pet are the social and emotional benefits. While you can’t really take a cat or a fish to a park to socialize like you can with dogs, each pet will bring its’ own benefits to you. And with the recent emerging of things like cat cafes, there are options for you to get out in the world and socialize with a cat as well. I don’t think I can say the same thing for fish… yet. Along with improving your social life, pets can improve your overall mood and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Having my fish around my apartment definitely does help put me in a better mood. Another great thing about having a furry companion around is that they will encourage you to be more active. You can go for walks, hikes, runs, or bike rides (if you’re brave enough), my dog and cat will even do yoga with me when I go home to visit. Sadly, I haven’t yet been able to get my fish to do yoga with me. 

Having a family pet will put everyone in happier and healthier state of mind, and is a great step towards living a life of wellness. You can find more information on how pets will make you a healthier person here. If you decide that you want a pet, make sure you do your research on how to care for your new friend because they aren’t always easy, but they are always worth it.

Alicia Diedrich


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