Category Archives: Environmental
Environmental wellness is an awareness of the state of the earth and the effects of your daily habits on the physical environment. It consists of maintaining a way of life that maximizes harmony with the earth and minimizes harm to the environment. It includes being involved in socially responsible activities to protect the environment. Although you may feel a bit overwhelmed with the numerous environmental issues, every little change you make does count. If everyone made individual adjustments in their life, the impact on the environment would be great.
I’m going nuts. (Like, even more crazy than the norm.)
This winter is breaking my will. Yesterday I did so many “laps” around my house trying to find something to occupy my time that I started crying- CRYING!! After a series of questions from my husband and tissues, we determined that I’m stir crazy and just tired of being so cold.all.the.time. (Seems like a logical reason to cry, amIright?!)
My story is not unique. I think pretty much all have nearly reached breaking points in what has turned out to be a long, polar-vortex-ridden winter. It’s March and we’re still waking up to ridiculous-below-zero temperatures.
My friends… as much as we hate to hear it, to think it, or to believe it… we must press on and hold on to hope that warmer weather is on its way. And not just a “temporary warm up,” I’m talking about lasting above zero temps. In the meantime, I think it’s important that we take care of ourselves and each other.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing, and perhaps even more prominent this year. People suffering from SAD often feel tired, moody, or depressed for a length of time on an annual basis. It’s more common to see SAD around the winter months, but it may also be experienced in Spring/Summer. Treatments include light therapy, psychotherapy, and medications.
If you aren’t diagnosed with SAD, you might still feel the symptoms (and if you’re like me, you can add stir crazy and anxious to the list). This is the part where taking good care of yourself becomes really important:
- Drink plenty of water to keep flushing out your body and avoid dehydration. Establish and then keep a consistent sleep schedule- even on the weekends (make sure it’s enough).
- Fruits and vegetables are also an important part of staying healthy; vitamins and minerals from these foods will help you- inside and out, head to toe.
- Get off the couch and MOVE. When it’s -50 outside, the last thing anyone wants to do is jump in the car and go workout, but trust me on this one: just get there. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wanted to take a day
soff because of the cold, but I can tell you I’ve never regretted going. I’ve also “treated” myself to some new workout DVDs (dancing ones are my favorite, because we’re all dance stars in our living rooms) for those days where it is absolutely impossible to go anywhere (we’ve had our share of those as well).
- Do what delights you. Find your creative outlet and go wild. I’ve gotten quite a few puzzles put together this winter, and I couldn’t be more excited every time I open up a new one. (And if puzzles don’t scream “go wild,” I’m not sure that anything does!)
- Think positive. I know, this is one of thee HARDEST things to do when you live in a place where it hurts to breathe… but do your best. Surely there are GOOD things in your life that give you reason to be thankful and smile? If not- look harder.
- Make sure you are keeping in contact with the people who make you happy. Find fun reasons to get together and laugh (gym dates? trying a new sport like cross country skiing using equipment from the Outpost? lunch dates? book club?). Talk about life, or the Olympics, or the latest award show, or whatever you enjoy. Even though I’m a self-proclaimed social butterfly, there have been long spurts of time in the past few months when I just couldn’t bring myself to talk to anyone besides my husband and our dog- and even that was a struggle. In those moments, I’ve been thankful for the gentle nudges and lunch dates with friends and family- something that I could look forward to.
I’ve given you a few things to help you get through the final stretch of this crazy winter we’ve been having…
Now tell me: What would You add to the list?
Tags: drink water, enough sleep, exercise, fruits and vegetables, hobbies, Outpost, polar vortex, seasonal affective disorder, socialization, socializing, staying healthy, staying strong, think positive, Wellness, wellness center, winter blues, working out
Last time you heard from me, I talked about change; specifically, why I resist it with everything inside of me. I’ve never really been a risk taker, and so far it’s led me down a pretty decent “safe” path.
I’m not sure why, but I’ve noticed that the older I get, the more I have moments of “Let’s do this!” They come out of nowhere, leaving a giant pit in my stomach, and shortness of breath, and a desire to move. Sometimes those moments are for little things, like deciding to workout when I don’t feel like it or trying a new recipe. And sometimes those moments are for big things, like zip lining through a rainforest* or starting a new job. (*Full disclosure: I’ve never ziplined through a forest. Let’s be real.)
A few months ago, I decided to try something new in my professional life. I have a very unconventional path when it comes to the workplace. I graduated with a degree in Dietetics (the science of food) after dabbling in secondary English education. My first “real job” was as a NDSU Extension Agent in Benson County, focusing on things like youth development, living on a budget, overall health, and 4-H. It was a great mix of teaching and wellness.
About 2 years later, I took the job as the first Executive Director of the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals. This was a brand new arena for me, filled with new obstacles and experiences. I joked that I was still using my degree, because I had many coffee and lunch meetings, so I was still involved in the “food part.”
Two weeks ago I started a new position as Events Coordinator for Scheels in Grand Forks. A much larger store is opening in June, and it’s my job to find fun and useful ways for our store to be a part of the community. I have to be honest; this is another BRAND NEW place for me to be. As Executive Director, I did get some experience in event planning and execution, but I have a feeling this will be a bit different.
While attending a pretty intense job training recently, it hit me:
This feels right.
We all wait for that moment after deciding to try new things because of that possibility of failure. Sitting in the unknown can be almost unbearable, so when the moment of “ahhh…” hits, it’s pretty awesome.
I feel fortunate for my newest professional opportunity, and even more for that “ahhh…” moment. For several months I’ve thought “I THINK this is the right move… But how will I know??!” It has taught me patience, the beauty in courage, and confidence in myself and my abilities.
I can’t promise you every ending to a new adventure will be smooth or comfortable or even pretty. But unless you take a chance every now and then, you never have the opportunity to grow!
When was the last time you had an “ahhh…” moment?
Posted by substanceabusepreventionund
Word of mouth has led people to believe in many different things, such as big foot, the loch ness monster, and mermaids. However, these aren’t the only things we have been led to believe because of what we have heard from others. In the early 1600’s the hookah was created by a physician as a “safer” method to use tobacco- that same misperception has been upheld today. Although the hookah was created as a “safer” method to use tobacco, it has been proven that the same harmful ingredients are still present in comparison to cigarettes.
The hookah was originally made for men in the Middle East, but when the additive flavors were added to the tobacco, it then attracted women and young adults, as well. The revolution of the hookah has continually attracted young adults and has been presented as harmless in nature. Due to the nature of socially smoking hookah, individuals are actually more likely to take in a larger quantity of tobacco in one sitting than they would in just smoking a single cigarette. This demonstrates just one way in which hookah is even more harmful than cigarettes.
The lack of advertisements or publication of the negative effects of hookah has kept the belief alive that it is a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. Although word of mouth has led many to believe that it is “safer” than cigarettes, this perception is flawed and is potentially very harmful to those believing it.
If you or someone you know is trying to quit, the following resources are available through UND Health & Wellness and ND Quits:
•Free telephone, online or mobile app cessation support (ND Quits)
•Free nicotine replacement therapy (ND Quits)
•Free quit kits at the Health & Wellness Hub and Student
•Provider visits at Student Health Services, which are covered by student fees
•Quit medications available for purchase at the Student Health Services pharmacy
I am a creature of habit, and a craver of routine.
I find ways to make peace and feel balanced in my day-to-day, and when it “works,” I stick to it.
I’ve heard over and over that it’s better to “mix it up” at the gym, but I was hesitant. I like my elliptical- it’s safe, it’s predictable, and I can watch all of my crappy reality TV shows while working out.
This winter brought a few “bubbles” in my routine- via blizzards, vacations, and boredom.
The first time the Wellness Center closed because of weather, my heart dropped. It was totally throwing off my routine and I had no clue what to do. (I realize that this sounds totally ridiculous now, but I’m not known for always being real “mellow.”) I decided to dust on my Zumba DVDs and get my groove on.
AND IT WAS FUN!
I’ve made a commitment to staying healthy, and until it’s nice enough to hit the ski trails or go for a walk outdoors, I have to continue finding ways to keep my word.
As this seemingly-never-ending winter continues, my elliptical boredom is starting to set in. I decided to dust off another set of DVDs I had yet to even open after purchasing them over a year ago. Well, the new DVDs KICKED.MY.BUTT (and I like to think I’m in pretty good shape)! We’re talking dripping sweat in 1/2 the time of my machine routine. Not only that, but I was hurting the next morning- a great indication that I was effectively working out.
I started thinking about why it took me so long to open the package of those new workout DVDs. The answer rang loud and clear:
I struggle with it. It might be uncomfortable, or hard, or not as safe, or unsuccessful…
But seriously, who cares? If I fail, I will just have to find another way. And if you never try, you’ll never know.
So tell me, how are YOU going to shake up your healthy lifestyle routine this month?
Posted by madisonwessling
Free HIV Testing February 7th
Did you know that February 7th is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness day?
To help raise awareness of the day, UND Multicultural Center, Health & Wellness Hub, and Ten Percent Society are hosting a FREE HIV testing at the Loading Dock from 11am-2pm on February 7th, 2014.
All UND students, faculty, and staff are welcome to get tested for a virus that can show no symptoms for up to 10 years or more. No matter what race, gender, or sexual orientation you are, everyone can contract HIV/AIDS. HIV is primarily spread through unprotected sex and intravenous drug use. This virus attacks the body’s immune system and can lead to AIDS, the late stage of HIV infection, when a person’s immune system is severely damaged and has difficulty fighting diseases and certain cancers.
Did you know that every year in the United States, the Center for Disease Control will identify 50,000 new cases of HIV? Within these new cases, 39% of them are young adults ranging from the ages of 13 to 29. Getting tested is a great way to know your status and to keep yourself and others out of the statistics.
Along with the FREE HIV testing, there will also be FREE FOOD and a Q & A table for anyone who would like more information on HIV/AIDS to keep you busy while you are waiting for a quick 20 minute test result.
Bring a friend and get a FREE HIV test and FREE FOOD! For more information on the event please click on the link below: http://und.edu/calendar/index.php/view/event/detail/25819/free-hiv-testing
After almost 7 months of marriage, the time finally came for my hubby and me to take our honeymoon in a tropical paradise. It’s no secret that this winter has been a rough one, so we were looking forward to it with great anticipation- even maintaining an hourly countdown to departure. 3 days before we left, almost-record low temps blanketed the area, leaving us stir crazy to say the least.
Before we left, I told my husband we were taking a break…
from technology, that is.
I asked him to commit to a whole week without carrying a cell phone or iPad around, tuning out the noise of the world. He reminded me that the cost of using phones were nothing less than outrageous for “being connected,” so the temptation to cheat would be greatly reduced. When we arrived at the resort, there were wi-fi hotspots and computer stations set up all over the place, but we remained committed.
We woke up each day not knowing what the weather would be doing.
We had no clue what was happening past the next 3 beach chairs.
Sports scores and Facebook statuses were forgotten and irrelevant.
It… was… AMAZING.
At first I was a little uneasy at the thought of leaving everything to chance, and we decided to keep a phone on for emergencies, but it stayed in the room and was rarely checked.
One of the first and most profound things that I noticed was how much TIME you have when you aren’t “connected” around the clock. We showed up early for most activities (and I tend to run at least 5 minutes late), and had plenty of time to really stop and enjoy our surroundings and talk about everything.
People say that our generation has lost the ability to converse. If you want to test yourself, leave your phone at home for a few days and rely on face-to-face conversations. Yes- it was challenging to come up with things to talk about at times, but in those moments, we learned how to be comfortable with silence- another Lost Art.
Being back home has been a bigger adjustment than leaving. I found so much enjoyment out of disconnecting that I’ve had a hard time forgetting to carry my phone! I’m setting a goal to continue consciously shutting out the noise of social media for a time each day in order to connect with loved ones and unwind.
I challenge you to join me- put down your phone and close your laptop for even an hour a day.
Trust me: YOU HAVE TIME.
And once you develop a routine, you may even look forward to it!
So… are you in?
I’m done with the whole “New Year, New Me” thing. Saying something like that would make me a liar. The truth is, I woke up the same on Wednesday, January 1st as I did on Tuesday, December 31st… well, I did pick up a nasty cold. But you get what I mean. My name was still Stacey.
For too many years, I told myself that I was going to make some sort of positive change on Monday (mainly to lose weight). Oddly enough, Monday never came. I would just allow myself to make a few extra less than healthy decisions the weekend before, digging a deeper hole, and never doing anything to reconcile it. I’m not sure why it was too hard for me to believe that I was capable of a happier, healthier life. I guess it was too easy to stay stuck. And so the weight just kept coming, week after week and year after year.
Sometimes I would actually start exercising or cut out a candy bar here or there, but by the end of day 1- MAYBE day 2- I was done. It was too overwhelming to think about the bigger picture- how much weight I really needed to lose, or NEVER eating chocolate again, or dealing with 2nd day exercise soreness… excuses were my easy out.
Every year around this time, gyms and produce aisles are flooded with eager “Resoluters.” They feel an awakened sense of determination to really make it this time. And to those people I say: “GO YOU! Welcome to a better way of life!” I encourage you to stick with it, even if a negative voice in your head starts to creep in and whisper lies and excuses. Know that you are stronger than that voice, and every.little.bit counts. It took me 16 years to get to 300+ pounds, and I assure you it will take me working at it the rest of my life to stay healthy.
Instead of thinking about all of the ways I need to change myself in 2014, I spent my New Year’s Eve celebrating the blessings that 2013 brought. I married a wonderful man, moved into our first home, fell in love with a black lab named Abby, welcomed my first nephew, traveled to new places, got to know some great people, and faced some health problems head-on. Good and bad, it all helped to shape me into who I woke up as this morning.
Let’s try something new this year. Let’s not wait for 2015 to work on that goal. Let’s not wait for Monday. Let’s just start now. Believe in yourself enough in this moment to take the first step… and then keep walking. (or skipping)
Did you know that in some companies there are up to 5 generations in the workplace? That’s an incredible span of knowledge, experience, energy, ideas, and possibility!
So, what does it take to keep a young adult in the workplace?
While it’s impossible to give you a checklist of “20 things for guaranteed success,” there are often commonalities that increase the likelihood of attracting and retaining young professionals.
Benefits like flexibility in scheduling and office space are becoming more important as Millennials enter and advance in their careers. There is also a stronger desire from young adults to be included in projects and decision making from planning to implementation regardless of experience; a chance to bring fresh ideas and energy as well as learn first hand from more experienced colleagues. (I would argue that this desire for collaboration and inclusion is not “entitlement,” as its often labeled, rather it’s a desire to contribute and learn. Ultimately we all strive for the success of the company as a goal, right?)
For the past 2 years, the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals has awarded an area business with the Grow Grand Award, a YP Best Place to Work Award. Our first recipient was Choice Financial, and last year AE2S took home the honor. It is encouraging to see all of the applications we receive each year, and more importantly how competitive it has become, evidence of a larger city-wide workforce culture more attractive to young adults looking to move into, or stay in the area. I choose to live and work in the Grand Cities because I see all of the opportunities for young people, both for my career and in the community.
It’s time for us to find our next recipient of the award, and ANY business may apply for the honor. Do you work at a cool place? Show them your appreciation by nomination them for our Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals’ annual Grow Grand Award! You can check it out on our website: www.ggfyp.com. Applications are due on December 27th, but you can apply right now!
What do YOU look for in a workplace?
I ran across this saying while looking for a festive picture this morning and had to laugh. It wasn’t long ago that I lived by that motto throughout the holidays. From the time I woke up to the time my head hit the pillow, I thought about what bar or cookie, side dish, or “main event” I was about to indulge in. I ate until I was ready to burst, and usually had one more bite- JUST to be sure I wouldn’t feel hungry in 10 minutes.
I think about that mentality now, and I just think: Yikes.
Although our society often makes this time of year about the food, the expanding waistlines, the food comas, and the once-a-year delicacies we are about to indulge in… I challenge you to do a little reframing this year. For me, Holidays have become more about the togetherness, the fun traditions (like digging out my “Festive” Thanksgiving sweater vest), and love of others, rather than the food on my plate. Don’t get me wrong- I have my favorite foods that I enjoy as well, but now I try harder to concentrate on the conversation rather than the fork-to-mouth ratio.
One of my favorite things is now a bundled up brisk walk around the block with my aunts and cousins mid-afternoon. I know, it sounds crazy when you consider the temperature and quite often the wind, but it’s a great way to catch up with each other, get energized and burn off some of those extra almond bark pretzels I’ve enjoyed.
I want to hear from YOU!
Have you made any changes to the way you approach the Holiday season? How do you stay on track?
This weekend I was able to get back in touch with the roots of my ancestors and spend some quality time with my parents.
Think back to your childhood: are there any activities that you looked forward to doing year after year? Making Christmas goodies, carving pumpkins, decorating the house, building a gingerbread house, watching certain movies with a mug of hot chocolate by the fire…
For almost every holiday meal, a thin, pancake-like delicacy topped with the perfect amount of sugar and butter or peanut butter is enjoyed by our family. There is still a fight for the last piece. I was shocked to learn that it was actually made with potatoes. Do you know what food I’m talking about yet?
Lefse is a Norwegian flatbread commonly found in the area, and if you’ve never had it I highly recommend you find some in the grocery store and try it out.
To effectively create this delicious treat, you’ll need a special roller, rolling board, sleeves, flipper sticks, and a griddle… oh, and flour. LOTS of flour- and there will likely be a coat of flour on everything in the surrounding area when you’re done.
When I was in high school, we did a lefse making and selling fundraiser for a history class trip. Its creation is often a group “party” effort because it’s labor intensive and MESSY- but that’s what makes it fun! In the end I think it made us all appreciate the love and effort that goes into this treat, and we’ve continued making it each year as a family.
I appreciate the way that it brings people together; it’s time to laugh, to talk, to connect and pass down. It took us a few years to start this tradition, but now it’s a family favorite.
What traditions do you take part in with family and friends?