Posts Tagged 'Relax'

May Showers brings May Flowers

spring-decorating-tips

Spring is finally upon us and everything is coming into full bloom! Plants are finally budding and we should take advantage of them making their way back into our lives from the harsh, dormant winter. We should take time to stop and smell the roses in honor of the arrival of Spring and the warmth it has to offer us!

Relaxation

Many people already resort to gardening as a quick escape from reality to help find inner peace, but floral scents alone have the power to lower stress. Lavender and chamomile have soothing properties that can calm your worries away. A whiff of rosemary has the power to relieve headaches and tension. What can the power of Mother Nature not do?

 

Improvement in Emotional Health

Ever wondered why receiving flowers in the hospital were so common? It is because it is an immediate mood booster! Knowing that you are being thought of by others and having a constant reminder of that has the potential to brighten anyone’s day!

 

Improvement in Physical Health

Another reason why receiving flowers in the hospital is so popular? It can physically heal patients! Yes, physical but not in the direct way you would assume. Being surrounded by plants everyday has the capability of making a stressed person feel more relaxed. A more relaxed patient in the hospital typically heals faster than those who are constantly in a state of worry. So keep on sending in those flowers!

 

Memory and Concentration

Need a little something to jog that memory of yours? Look no further then to flowers! Plants oxygenate the air, which in turn boosts your brain cells!

 

Now go ahead. Take it all in. Stop and smell the roses – no, literally.

Happy Spring everyone,

Diana Banzon

 

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

No tension, no worries

Image result for massage therapy

Hi again, Marquette! We’re only a little over a week away from Thanksgiving break and only 4 more weeks of classes (including this week and the short Thanksgiving week) before finals week. As always, the semester is flying by. In the midst of this, it is sometimes hard to find some time for yourself and to wind down and just enjoy life. We are just trying to fit everything into our busy lives. We have work, and we want to spend time working out, eating healthy, relaxing, spending time with family and friends, catching up on a good book. And the list goes on and on.

One part of having such a chaotic life that I have always struggled with is the actual physical pain it leaves my body in. Yes, I know, I am 21 years old, I shouldn’t have so much pain. But, I tend to carry all of my stress in my neck and shoulders. A lot of it stems from my struggle with an autoimmune disorder that affects my thyroid. And if I am managing to fit in regular workouts, that muscle tension gets even worse. Today, I want to be the one that tells you to go ahead and splurge on something for yourself. If you carry a lot of your stress in your muscles like I do, then you are just as much in need of a massage as I am. I don’t get massages frequently, but when I do, it leaves me wondering why I don’t do it more often. Especially since it has so many great health benefits.

Massage therapy can help with everything from that stress and pain relief I was talking about, to anxiety, headaches, sleep troubles, blood pressure, and an endless list of other issues. This means there can’t possibly any downside to going for it. I also firmly believe that massage therapy on a consistent basis creates the best results. It gives you some down time to unwind and relax, to release the tension in your body and mind. And while massages can be expensive, they don’t have to be. Marquette offers a very generous massage therapy discount to students, faculty and staff. This means you can focus on the relaxation aspect instead of the frightening costs. And of course there is always the option of arranging a massage agreement with a loved one. It may not be the same as a trained massage therapist, but it offers many of the same benefits along with providing a bonding moment.

Allowing yourself something that makes you feel good is an absolutely essential aspect of wellness. Working out feels good. Eating healthy feels good. Mindfulness feels good. And so does taking time to take care of yourself. So go ahead, take some time for you and work on making yourself well.

Alicia Diedrich

Forgiveness is wellness

Image result for mindfulness pictures

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

Creating consistency

Image result for drinking water

We’re almost at the time of the year where we are going to be thrown into a completely different schedule as the semester begins. While a huge change can really mess with our bodies and minds, there are a few things we can do now to prepare ourselves for that schedule change.

An essential part to staying healthy and happy is getting your body on a consistent schedule. I really am the last person that should talk about consistent schedules. I am a student and a bartender, which means a lot of early mornings and many late nights. But because of this, having a routine is one of the things I want the most in my life right now. I would love to be able to wake up and go to sleep at the same time everyday. I know just how much my erratic sleeping and eating schedule can mess with me. However, there are still a few things we can all do to help our body establish some consistency.

There is one simple technique I hear about constantly: start off your morning with a full glass of water. Now, I definitely need to improve on this myself, but I am a firm believer that this really does make a huge difference in kick starting the mornings. Water is the best thing for our bodies, and since we need so much in a day, starting off the day with one glass is an easy way to get a head start. After a refreshing glass of water, it’s important to nourish our bodies with a healthy breakfast. Think protein and produce. Eggs, veggies and fruit make up the perfect, delicious breakfast. And after breakfast, I advise to always leave the house with a full water bottle. Ever since I started doing this, I have significantly increased my water intake, and it has helped me to avoid not-so-good-for-me drinks like soda and other sugar filled drinks. Adding these simple tasks into your morning will get you off to a great start for a morning routine.

Keeping a consistent nighttime routine is also essential to keeping our bodies in check. When you think about a night routine, try to think relaxing and winding down. For me this means a shower, lighting a candle, maybe reading a book, and of course, more water! Those are only a few of the things you could add to your nightly routine to help you wind down and get ready for a good night’s rest, so create a routine that works for you.

No matter what, establishing some consistency for your body will help you feel more rested and at ease. Start introducing yourself to a routine now so that by the time fall semester rolls around, we are already all set to take on our new schedules and challenges.

Alicia Diedrich

Take a break this spring break

relax

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

 

Shaking off the stresses

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With midterm exams coming to and end and a long weekend upon us, it is the perfect time to learn about stress relief. Stress is a very elusive term, especially when looking for a true definition. The American Institute of Stress published an article quoting the original definition to be, “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change.” They go on to explain that the word, almost immediately after it was originally coined, was used in the wrong context very commonly. This only added to the confusion surrounding this word, and in 1951, the British Medical Journal published a piece stating “Stress in addition to being itself, was also the cause of itself and the result of itself.”

As you can see, my research thus far has been very unhelpful in defining stress. I concluded that it doesn’t necessarily matter what it is, but determining what causes stress and ways to overcome it might be more helpful. So here is a list of the most common things that stress people out the most, and tips to relieve that stress:

The Money Issue: This is a big one. If you haven’t yet, go take a look at my blog about financial wellness, there is some great beginner information that could really help relieve some of this stress. I can basically sum up my past article with one word, budgeting. If you aren’t keeping track of every payment and expense you have, we have found your stressor. Ding ding ding.

Constantly Connected: Most people consider their smartphone to be an extension of themselves. They bring it everywhere, and if it dies or runs out of battery, they have a sense of emptiness and an unshakable feeling that they are missing something. You have probably heard this before, but taking work home with you and constantly answering emails is terrible for mental health. I would highly suggest setting predetermined which you will read and respond to emails. If someone (student, co-worker, boss) does email you outside of these times, have an automated message response that lays out your available times for email. If the message truly is urgent, they will call. If it can wait, it can wait!

Lack of Free Time: This is directly connected to the previous stressor. If you don’t have an established free time section in your schedule, Set aside some time right now. This is essential to being a productive worker. Even if you do usually have some free time in your schedule, make sure at least a half hour is alone time. Whether it be taking a nap, reading a book or listening to music, you need time to let your body and mind rest with minimal outside interaction.

There are obviously many more stressors that we experience all the time, but addressing these could have a huge affect on how we feel throughout our day. Make this list for yourself and see what common events stress you out most, brainstorm ways you can counteract this, and start living less stressed.

By Ben Eccles


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