Posts Tagged 'inspiration'

So long Marquette

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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

 

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

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


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