Archive Page 2

Take a break this spring break


With spring break coming up at the end of this week, I sat here wondering what Marquette employees do during this time off, I realized it probably looks very different from most students’ spring breaks. Many of Marquette’s employees that work in the offices on campus may not have time off at all. While Marquette’s professors will likely be working on grading papers and midterms, and preparing for their classes after spring break is over.

While I do have a few papers to write and tests to prepare for after break, grading hundreds of papers and tests or working full time during my break does not sound appealing in the least. I wanted to offer a word of advice for Marquette’s employees that do not get a “Spring Break.”

You may be busy during the time off from classes, but you should not be so busy that you do not take any time for yourself. Make sure you carve in some personal time to work on your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical wellness. Afterall, without having wellness in the forefront of your mind at all times, it can seem like a chore to do these things everyday.

No matter how busy my day is, I always make sure to take time to do something that betters myself in some way. Whether it is as simple as turning on my salt lamp, lighting a candle, doing some yoga and strength training, or simply eating an apple or a banana. These small measures have great effects in my life. I know that even if I’ve had a crazy busy day, I at least have one relaxing thing to look forward to at the end of my day. I want to encourage you to do the same. While you may be preoccupied during spring break, I challenge you to take some time for yourself, and your family. Set aside at least one day to work on your wellness. Do something that makes you happy. I don’t care if it’s binge watching a show on Netflix (everybody needs those lazy days), or if it’s taking time to spend with your family, or your pet. Book a massage for yourself, get your hair done, go for a walk, treat yourself to that new restaurant you’ve been eyeing up for weeks. Anything that will give your mind a break from the work is acceptable in my eyes.

I myself have used the excuse of not having time, but when it comes down to it, it was only because I was not prioritizing my well-being. Taking care of ourselves is so often seen as a burden, because yes it does take time, it does take determination. However, it doesn’t have to be this terrible burden. Taking care of yourself is a privilege, be glad to do something that is good for you. As I mentioned, it does not even have to be time consuming, if you absolutely have to, you can light a candle, drink tea, or eat an apple while you are busy with your day-to-day tasks, at least it’s a start!


Alicia Diedrich


Be quiet


When was the last time that your idea of relaxing was listening to the air conditioning pump waves of coolness through the room? Or staring blankly off into space while slouched in the couch in your living room? Or lying on the floor motionless and waiting until all you can see is the black behind your eyelids? These forms of relaxing aren’t what first crosses my mind when I need to wind down. But maybe they should be.

If you are anything like me, free time is consumed by the TV yammering in the background, maybe music faintly playing from my computer or the sound of my family’s voices or someone on the phone fills the quiet space of my house. Recently, though, I have been trying something new. Instead of dousing my calm-craving brain in more and more noises, I’ve sought silence instead.

At first, the quiet bugged me. I was tempted to at least turn on some music. But after really thinking about it, I realized that even if silence was irksome at the moment, maybe it shouldn’t be.

Especially in this day and age, everything we do can seem like multitasking. It may seem like our brains have adapted to our busy-bee life style, but having to take in and process information constantly actually really stresses our brains.

As part of my New Year’s resolution, I jumped back into habitual yoga. Most practice sessions end with corpse pose, shavasana, where you lie motionless on your yoga mat and space out until you don’t even realize that you are breathing. For a busy-body like me, this was a hard pose to do. Halfway through, my anxious, impatient self would want to look around, move around or at least tap my fingers to fill the blank, quiet space.

As I keep going to yoga, though, this pose has become easier and easier to settle into at the end of practice. The quiet lets my brain calm down, relax and stop having to put up with the constant stimulation I otherwise am putting it through. Lying in silence has taught me how to truly relax and has opened my mind to welcoming the quiet at other times of my day, not only when I am at the yoga studio.

I’ll present some crazy silence science later on in another post probably, but I wanted this one to just serve as a tip from me to you. If you are looking for an ultimate way to relax and escape, let your brain rest with some minutes of pure silence. Whether it be at your desk, on your couch after work or in bed before you sleep, try to take a second to let your mind go blank. I like to think about looking at the night sky. My brain eventually takes over and fills in the black you see when you close your eyes. Taking seconds of silence has helped me reduce my stress and maintain a more acute focus throughout the day. I hope that you might try being quiet, too.

Helping others helps you


Wellbeing is usually a balance of a healthy diet, exercise and rest, but we all use different ways of getting to this well state of mind and body. For me, one of the biggest contributors to my own wellness is actually helping others!

Throughout my life I have dedicated hours upon hours of my time to volunteering. And while the amount of time I spent doing so may have been slightly unhealthy, it made me a happier, more positive, and passionate person. You always hear people say that volunteering has a positive influence on the community around you, but you do not often hear people talking about the tremendous impact it has on the volunteer. I can tell you first hand how big of an impact helping others has had on me. While I was in various community service clubs, I sought out other opportunities within the community as well. I have done everything – serving food at homeless shelters, raising money, tutoring kids, teaching tennis, working in a hospital and more. Looking back, these were some of the best experiences in my life, and I only wish everyone could share these same experiences. I was able to see the differences that my actions made on other people. Seeing the smile on the kid who finally got that difficult math problem right. Or meeting new people who shared my passion for helping. Each and every part of my volunteering opportunities has helped me move forward toward living a life of wellness.

With my chaotic college life, I have found that I spend less and less time doing these activities that I used to love. However, when I once again set aside some time to take part in serving my community, my mood improves, and I tend to forget about all the other worrisome aspects of my life. All of these trivial parts of life seem to melt away when you immerse yourself into the act of giving. Due to this, I encourage you to take on a new community service project, even if it’s only a one day thing. It will help your community and give you a new and different sense of wellness and connectedness with that community. Sign up with your spouse, your kids, a sibling or a few coworkers. This will make for a day of fun and adventure while making a difference in the community and your own life.

Seeing the impact that just one person can have on another person, a family, a community and the world is absolutely inspiring. And if my passion for helping others encourages just one other person to get out there and make a difference in their community and their own life, then I will consider my mission accomplished.

The impact that volunteering has had on me is everlasting, and I hope that my accounts inspire you to dive into these amazing experiences as well.


Alicia Diedrich

Wellbeing Biography: My battle with a deadly disease

If you were to ask me to describe myself, I would probably say something like, “Hi, I’m Jason Trovela, I am a 4th year senior at Marquette University studying psychology and marketing. I’m not sure how else to answer this because I would usually tailor it towards the specific audience listening to me.”

When it comes to wellness, my life has been pretty well. I would consider myself someone that never had any major medical issue. I never had broken a bone or had any major illness. I have never even had the flu. The worst medical issue I’ve had before this are bad migraines (which didn’t even start until I turned 19).

This all changed pretty rapidly for me, though, when I was a sophomore here at Marquette. I wasn’t feeling well one day and, you know, I knocked it off as a cold. Typical student sickness. I had plenty on my plate – classes, fraternity meetings, work on the side. Now being sick wasn’t something I wanted to deal with so I tried to sleep it off. Only I woke up feeling even worse.

Once I could no longer move from muscle pain, I finally went to the hospital. I had no idea what kind of sick I had gotten but it was definitely doctor-visit-worthy. When the doctors from the ER came back with my blood test results, it almost seemed like a scenario that wasn’t happening in real time.

“You have meningitis.”

The words didn’t mean too much to me then but the doctors treated it with the utmost seriousness. Everyone else was extremely shocked, but I was unnerved. It needed to sink in.

Meningitis, if you aren’t aware, presents flu-like symptoms and is hard to diagnose without in-depth medical tests. This makes sense since I felt like I was just really sick, but with a really bad cold. I thought I was getting the flu for the first time. I was having physical joint pain, but I thought I just did something stupid over the weekend that caused me to hurt myself, so I thought the pain would pass. I got really nervous when I started developing red spots/rashes all over my body, but I have an allergy to sulfa. I had an allergic reaction to a medicine I had when I was younger, so I thought I just had to take a different medicine and it would go away. Turns out, these were all the tell-tale signs of deadly meningitis.

I was in so much pain that once I was in the hospital, things became very hazy. There were intense painkillers involved and many other intricate medical tests, procedures and seclusions.

Eventually, I realized what was happening to me. I was numb. It takes an incredible amount of luck to get meningitis. According to the CDC, the mortality rate for meningitis can be as high as 70 percent, and most survivors are left with some sort of terminal disability, such as neuro damage, loss of one or more of the senses or even the lost of a limb.

After a few months of recovery, though, I was cured. Unscathed.

Although this seems more like a sickness biography, this is my story on my way to a higher sense of self wellness. Once I was admitted to the hospital, and even though others felt that I was doomed to this sickness, it never once crossed my mind that I wouldn’t leave that hospital. I never stopped trying to get on my feet again. I was instilled with a new sense of life.

After surviving a perilous disease, I don’t take anything for granted anymore. I don’t complain of being bored any longer. After recovering from such a painful experience, it still feels good just to breathe.

I think of this as my second chance. I am constantly striving to go out and make something of myself. Of course I think of how lucky I am, it is always in the back of my mind. But I am determined to not waste my life. My second life. My new sense of life.

Ghost-written by Sarah Schlaefke

Boost your immune system!


With the stress of a new semester getting under way, it is not surprising that everyone seems to be getting sick. And while we are busy with everything going on in our lives right now, we need to take a step back and remember to take care of ourselves. Eating healthy is a great step towards taking care of yourself and is the easiest way to prevent getting that bug in the first place. Your body will thank you for being proactive about healthy eating habits. Here’s a few foods to boost your immune system:

Of course! We all probably already know that citrus fruit is packed with vitamin C. Make sure to start your day off with an orange, grapefruit, or a clementine, but don’t be afraid to try adding limes or lemons into your favorite recipes to add flavor and health benefits.

Garlic is one of those classic ingredients that we find in an endless amount of recipes. This makes it easy to make sure you’re eating plenty of it, and this gives you a great excuse to eat some garlic bread! And while you’re eating it the sulfur compounds found in garlic will work to boost your immunity.

Red Bell Peppers
Who knew that red bell peppers had more vitamin C than citrus fruit?! They actually contain two times more! Get some in your diet for an afternoon snack or use them to make some delicious fajitas or stuffed peppers.

Sunflower Seeds
I’ll be the first to admit I’m slightly obsessed with sunflower seeds. And I guess this turns out to be blessing in disguise because sunflower seeds contain plenty of phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B-6, and vitamin E. Not only will this keep illnesses away, but the magnesium will help ease tension from stress! Plus, sunflower seeds make a great snack in between classes.

Both green and black tea have antioxidants which will boost your immune system. I love tea! I have personally found that herbal tea to benefit my health. It is relaxing for your body, helping you sleep better at night. Plenty of sleep is also a major key to keeping the illnesses at bay.

And lastly, make sure you are drinking plenty of water! Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to keep your body healthy and happy.

There are so many other great immune system boosting foods out there so pack a few of them as snacks for the day and add them to every meal and you will be well on your way to avoiding sickness all together! You can find more information on immune-boosting foods here.
-Alicia Diedrich

Get moving with Go Move!


At last, January is over! One day closer to spring, you know what I mean? But until then, we have to get creative on how we get active so that we don’t have to freeze solid every time we want to workout. Lucky for us, Marquette Employee Wellness is throwing the Go Move Challenge all of February in order to get us up and out!

So if you’re as excited as we are about this, be sure to come over to the Helfaer Rec Center gym tomorrow, Wednesday, February 1 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in order to celebrate with us! We will have all kinds of fun activities, including pickle ball, free throw contest, futsall, volleyball and more! We will even be getting a visit from adidas Terrex with some shoes to tryout!

Then, for the rest of the month, we will be counting every single minute of physical activity to compete against 18 other Jesuit institutions! Going for a walk? That counts! Biking to work? That counts, too! Playing basketball with the kids? Also counts! The options of activities is endless!

We will also be offering a whole calendar of free activities that you can do all throughout the month. From working out for free in the Rec to yoga, our calendar has it all! So if you’re having a hard time getting creative, we’re here to help you out!


Wellbeing Biography: Alicia Diedrich


Hello Marquette employees! My name is Alicia Diedrich, and I am junior transfer student studying Communication Studies and English, with a special interest in Spanish. I wanted to start off by saying that I am very excited to become part of the Marquette University Employee Wellness team. As I am joining this team, I thought I might share with you the story of why I am passionate about wellness.

When it comes to wellness and healthy living, my journey is just merely beginning. In November of 2015 when I finally discovered what had been causing me to go through life living like a zombie, my quest for wellness began. I had spent months, probably years struggling with undiagnosed hypothyroidism, and an iron deficiency. Now, both of these issues have many of the same symptoms, so I like to believe that my symptoms were just amplified. Once I knew, the weight that had been sitting on my shoulders for what may have been four or more years started to lessen. Of course, we threw medications at it, but it continued to get worse with each and every blood test, my symptoms returning sometimes even worse than before.

I had gone far too long just dismissing my symptoms as normal. I was too tired to function most of the time, getting out of bed was the most difficult part of my life every day (even more so than working 35+ hours a week and going to school full time). I had always written it off because I was a teenager, and a college student – I was supposed to be tired. But was I supposed to be so exhausted that I could barely function? Was I supposed to have no energy or passion to do the things I loved to do?

I was beginning to realize that I had to make a change in my lifestyle. I had to get out of this menacing cycle. I decided to take matters into my own hands. Alongside my mother, who has struggled with the same issues, I set out on a journey to regain control of my life. Endless amounts of research went into taking better care of myself.

Since then, I have taken pride in eating healthier, being more active and overall putting my well-being above everything else, yes, including work and school. It started to make sense that if I was not well, then I would not excel in the other areas of my life either. I have had uphill battles, and downhill battles with my health, but I’m glad to say that my new found sense of wellbeing has made these battles significantly easier. Since I have made an active choice to be well, I have no longer had to stay home sick while missing an exam, I have no longer skipped my morning classes because it was simply too difficult and terrifying to face the task of getting out of bed in the morning.  During this quest to be well I have encountered setbacks, but that’s okay. I am still learning about wellness.

I reinvested in myself, and in my future. Taking care of myself now means being happier and healthier in the future. It is never too late to begin taking care of yourself. I repeat, it is NEVER too late to begin taking care of YOU. Make yourself a priority.

Now, although this is where my wellness journey began, it is certainly not where it ends, and I am constantly searching for ways to improve my health and well-being. I am in this journey with you, and I cannot wait to share what I learn along the way with all of you.  
Alicia Diedrich

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