Posts Tagged 'mindfulness'

Forgiveness is wellness

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Every week I try to bring you the best in wellness tips and news on campus. I have discussed this concept of wellness lows and highs before, and at the beginning of the semester I made it my goal to make this my (and our) best year yet. Well, let me tell you, I was not prepared at all for what this semester has thrown my way. It has sent me spiraling into a wellness low, but that is OKAY! One of the most important things I have learned about wellness is that when you are not being as well as you can be (making poor nutrition choices, skipping workouts, or even not taking enough time to relax) you must forgive yourself.

It took me a while to not feel guilty about poor wellness decisions, or at least feel like I should feel guilty. However, I have come to realize that beating yourself up over past mistakes only leads to a hindered sense of emotional wellness. The only thing we can do when it comes to bad decisions (or just a wellness low we are experiencing that may be no fault of our own) is to learn from them and use that to work towards bettering ourselves in the present and future. So you ate two pieces of cake, maybe three, that’s okay. You skipped your workouts for the last week? Or you haven’t exercised in months, maybe years? That’s okay too. Remember how that made your body feel. We have one body to get us through the rest of our lives, and we should treat it as such, no matter how poorly it may treat us at times. I shared a quote on our Twitter account a while back by Jim Rohn, who says “[t]ake care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Despite how simple this is, it made a big impact in my mind because there is so much truth to that. Good wellness decisions may not cure our health problems, but it will 100% make the ride that much easier.

Proper nutrition, regular exercise and mindfulness, just to name a few, all help to put us in the state of mind we need to be in to tackle every day with our best and brightest selves. These simple things give us the energy to get up and do great things, to grow stronger and smarter, and to be the best for others in our lives as well. I have always been a firm believer that if you don’t first take care of yourself, you can’t be at your best for others in your life either.

This is just another friendly push to make this our best year yet, and to remind you that wellness setbacks can and do happen, and it is OKAY! Now, go do something that is good for you, you deserve it.

Alicia Diedrich

A quest for wellness

Hi all! This is the last blog of summer vacation, I can’t believe it went by so fast! I will be coming to you next week with a day and a half of my senior year under my belt. Because this is my senior year, I feel inspired to make this my best year yet, and I want to do that with you.

In my first blog post with the Marquette University Employee Wellness team, I shared my quest for wellness with all of you. One of the biggest aspects I focused on was that I always have highs and lows with my wellness journey. I would say that most of this summer was a wellness low for me, so I am ambitious about making this year a wellness high. Every week I blog about something we can all do to improve our wellness, but unless we are following through with these on a consistent basis, it probably won’t do much to help us meet our goals. I hope that you are all looking forward to making this year your best year alongside of me. Together, we can do this!

We have so many great resources on campus that will help you achieve your best year yet. Sign up for a group fitness class, the mindfulness meditation class, and/or take part in the National Bike Challenge. Pack a healthy lunch and snack in your bag every day, with the grand opening of Sendik’s on campus this week, it will be even easier to grab some healthy food to fuel our bodies between classes. (I don’t think I have ever been this excited about a grocery store in my life, we finally have one on campus!). Most importantly, I challenge all of us to be mindful of our everyday life, our surroundings, our decisions. If we stay mindful about our decisions, it really is just that easy. Make the mindful decision to eat the apple instead of the cake, or to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Anything you can do to give your mind and body a little healthy energy.

I am ready to take on my senior year at Marquette with a new perspective on myself and my life. I would like to encourage all of you to make this your best year yet alongside of me. Writing this blog every week will help keep me accountable for my wellness decisions, so I vow to bring all of you some great, new wellness advice every week in order to keep you accountable as well. Enjoy the last week of summer break, get in some rest and get ready for our best year yet!

Alicia Diedrich

Mindfulness Meditation

I hope this week finds all of you in a peaceful, calm, and relaxed state of mind. I am anything but all of these right now! I am moving to a new apartment today, and it’s only a block away from where I was living. Needless to say, my day is a little hectic! So even if you are finding yourself in the midst of some crazy life change like me or just any old stressful day, week, or month, I’d like to remind you it will all be okay. But make sure you’re taking some proactive steps to help yourself along the way to a relaxed mind so you don’t get too stressed out. We’re lucky here at Marquette because we have lots of great resources to help you work towards a life of wellness.

One of these great resources is the free Mindfulness Meditation sessions that are held every week. Now I’ve definitely heard it before. “How is sitting there in silence and meditating going to help me?” And I have definitely been skeptical about it before, but this year I was given the opportunity and motivation to have a new experience with meditation. This past spring semester I took Theology 2310 – Explorations in Christian Theology with Dr. Nussberger. In this class we were assigned a project to spend half of the semester regularly performing or participating in any kind of prayer practice. I chose to do at least 10 to 15 minutes of meditation daily for the remainder of the semester. I did a quiet meditation where I focused solely on my breathing, allowing all of my other thoughts to escape my mind. And while this was not always an easy task with my crazy-busy, racing mind, it was well worth it in the end.

I could not believe what just a few minutes of silence could do for me. Letting myself turn off my brain from all of my worries and everything on my to-do list. Before my quiet meditation days I never realized just how necessary it is to give all of your body a break: yes, including your brain! Now, if you’re unsure how to get started on meditation, let’s backtrack to the Mindfulness Meditation classes that I mentioned. There’s just a few more weeks left of the summer session, so get started on your meditation now! Join this week’s Mindfulness Meditation on Wednesday from 12:15 to 1 in AMU 233. If you end up loving the Mindfulness Meditation, don’t worry that the summer session is almost over, we will surely be back with another session this fall! Mindfulness is just one step in the direction of living a life of wellness, but being mindful in your everyday decisions on nutrition, exercise, and a well mind are the key to overall well-being. Meditation is a great way to achieve a new level of mindfulness.

Hopefully discovering Mindfulness Meditation will allow you to find yourself in a new, relaxed and peaceful state of mind despite whatever craziness is going on in your life, just like it did for me. Happy meditating!

Alicia Diedrich

Me, myself and mind

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As an active person, sometimes the easiest thing you do each day is go to the gym or get your workout in. For me, this is just part of the routine; I usually have a worse day if I miss getting my daily pumping of iron. Most people don’t realize that there is another side to living a healthy lifestyle – intellectual wellness.

Just as important as it is to be physically fit, being mentally fit is a staple to a well life. Intellectual wellness stems from just feeling good, channeling curiosity and feeding creativity. Some vague terms, yeah? It can be hard to know what is actually curbing boredom or what is stimulating your brain cells. In all, anything that makes you really think is doing wonders for your intellectual wellbeing.

If you’re trapped at a desk all day or stuck in a job where you just go through the motions each day, try a few of these mind-pumping ideas in order to get the nerve juices flowing and keep your brain healthy and strong, just like your body.

 

Coloring – That’s kindergarten stuff, Sarah. No, friends! It is not. Mandala and destress coloring of really intricate pictures works as an awesome mind-winddown after a long day of intense, brain heavy work. Focusing on the hues and the lines is a sweet break after a long day of words and numbers. You can find oodles of adult stress-free coloring books in book stores.

Sudoku – Think you’ve had enough of numbers? Think again. Sudoku is a solid way to let numbers become a game. This helps the mind problem solve on a simple level. By perfecting the steps toward reaching the right answer of the sudoku puzzle, your brain adapts some thinking methods for real-life problems.

Poetry – Yup, that’s right. A quick throwback to high school English class with some ambiguous poems can be a great step away from the daily norm for your mind. By giving the descriptions a shot at interpretation, you test your head to think in a way that paints pictures in your mind. With colorful, detailed mental images, this helps cool down the firing neurons that have been working to boredom all day.

Optical illusions – I don’t know about you, but these frustrate the heck out of me sometimes. Optical illusions function perfectly as a challenge, especially if you haven’t seen the illusion before. While these can grow a little weary on the eyes, they dare your mind to think outside the box in order to pretty much change perception of the illusion.

Give these brain busters a shot and exercise your mind to keep it sharp and strong. Intellectual wellness is just as important as taking care of your body. Don’t be hesitant when it comes to feeding your curiosity.

Finding mindfulness in everyday life

While it may seem to you at times that feeling lost, overwhelmed, and worried are very modern problems, they have been around for a long time. Mindfulness is an ages-old tool that has been refined by practitioners in the 21st century to be practical and applicable to the digital age.

Paul Norton will introduce the background of the practice and give us introductory training in the valuable techniques of meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction. Dr. Norton is a pediatrician presently practicing developmental behavioral pediatrics. Paul is also a practicing Buddhist in the tradition of the Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a founding member and current president of the Mindfulness Community of Milwaukee and is a popular speaker and inspiring teacher.

Come get a taste of mindfulness practice!

When: Monday, November 5, 3:30-5:00 pm 
Where: Raynor Memorial Libraries, Beaumier Conference Center B/C

Sponsored by the Marquette Contemplative Community
Questions? Contact alice.gormley@marquette.edu


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