Posts Tagged 'Family'

Gratitude and giving

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It’s that time of the year. Thanksgiving is just a few days away, the spirit of gratitude and giving is all around us. But there is more to gratitude than just Thanksgiving, November is national gratitude month. How exciting is that?! Not that we should need a day or even a month to dedicate to gratitude and giving, it should be something we practice and integrate into our everyday life. But, I would definitely say that having specific days, months, and movements dedicated towards certain issues helps to shine a much needed light on all of the issues that deserve the attention.

In today’s society, there is so much to be grateful for, yet so much left to be improved. Ironically, this is one reason I am so thankful for blogging and social media. It allows me to help spread gratitude and giving, something I have always been so passionate about. This year I have so much gratitude for all of the wonderful opportunities that Marquette has given me: including this internship with Marquette University Employee Wellness and leading me into my other internship as well. I am grateful for my friends and my family, and so much more. And although I am aware of my gratitude every day, being in the spirit of giving season feels great. I encourage all of us to express gratitude every day of our lives, but to take advantage of the amazing opportunities that arrive during this time of the year.

Every year there is a global movement called Giving Tuesday. There’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. This is such an amazing movement because the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has decided to match all donations given to nonprofits through Facebook giving tools. This is such a great way to show gratitude for all that life gives us and to pay it forward. So this year, instead of spending all of our money on things we only want, I say we skip Black Friday and Cyber Monday and put that towards Giving Tuesday. Let’s make this world a better place. It only takes a little bit of gratitude, but there are so many ways to make this world a better place. Donating is just one of them, but volunteering your time, or even just sharing and spreading the news goes a long way.

This year, join me in showing gratitude by making a difference in the world in any way that you can. Be grateful for what you have and give what you can. Let the season of giving and thanks make a new impact on you. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving break, and remember, everything in moderation, you can do it!

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

Tis the Season for… Empathy and Forgiveness.

By Jill- Going into the Christmas season it is easy to be overwhelmed with the financial burden and to forget what the celebration of Christ’s birth is really about.

At a sermon this past weekend, my pastor reflected upon the inevitable “Joy Thieves” of the season:  financial strain, house prepping, cooking, present wrapping, store shopping (and all of the fun things that come with that- trying to find parking, trying to find a sale, trying to make your way through a line, and then trying not to get angry at the person who took your parking spot, bought the last sale item, and pushed you on their way to the line).

The stress of the season is further compounded when having to face family members you don’t get to see all that much. The thought of seeing them and having to share a meal with them becomes even more stressful if your relationship with them has become strained over the years.

So this year for Christmas I propose a unique “gift” and I ask a difficult question:

Should you worry more about the “perfect” gift or “how much” it’s going to “set you back,” or could you focus on more valuable “intangible things,” such as repairing a fractured relationship?

Think about it. If it were you, would you rather receive another ugly shirt, inefficient blender, useless multi-tool, or box of cookies? (OK, maybe keep the cookies). Or would you rather a family member find the courage to come forward, bury the hatchet, and start your relationship on “new ground?”

A little bit of empathy can go a long way. Seeing a situation through each other’s eyes will provide both of you with perspective, and therefore, a new level of understanding. Maybe in understanding each other’s position, you can create a mutual solution to repair the relationship, and if not, maybe you will have to agree to disagree. Either way, take the time to have the conversation, so that both of you can move forward without the burden of negative emotions and stress. Then maybe, just maybe, next year at Christmas you won’t have to worry and stress about running into them. Who knows, by then, you might even be friends.

“If you don’t deal with your feelings, you have made the decision to live with them.”

Never underestimate the power of forgiveness. Forgive, and “give God a chance to work a miracle in the hard parts of your life.”

Is there a relationship you have attempted to rebuild in the past?  How did it go?  How did you feel going through it?  How do you feel on the other side?

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