Posted in Mental Wellness

Exercise more than your body…

Exercise comes in all different shapes and sizes. There’s yoga for more meditative and flexibility-focused individuals, Zumba for the dancers at heart and those that just love to move and grove to good music, HIIT for people who love to sweat their bums off and get the quickest bang for your buck, and the list goes on and on…

However, something that many of us tend to forget, is that your physical body (arms, legs, core, etc.) is not the only thing that needs to be exercised. Correction – I don’t think we forget this, I think we remind our students of this daily, but forget to practice what we preach. Think you know what I’m referring to yet??

Get ready for it…

YOUR MIND! That’s right – your brain, your noggin, your good old think tank. Your brain is ESSENTIAL to your daily life. College is prime time to exercise your noggin, which is why we consistently remember to encourage our students to think, think, think – but what about YOU? What do YOU do to workout that mind of yours?? It’s not just college students who need this, so below are three main ideas for anyone to workout the think tank without cramping your already busy and overwhelming schedule.



Read for pleasure, read for knowledge… read novels, read journal articles, read magazines… read as a group or read on your own… It doesn’t really matter what, why or with whom you do it, it matters that you do it!

One of the many student affairs focused books currently on my personal “to read” list

In the Student Affairs realm I often fall into the trap of collecting tons and tons of scholarly journal articles, names of books and authors that have written highly suggested books to help in our line of work, and even names of tons of books suggested by coworkers, supervisors, students and more. So, what’s the trap? The trap is… I never find time… correction – MAKE time … to actually sit down and read. My challenge to you — make the time.

Need a few suggestions? Join and connect with friends, coworkers, and family to not only track what you read, but see what everyone else is reading so you can get suggestions, encouragement and much more.


I’ve learned that meditation is one of those things that right away someone either says they love or they hate. What I’ve come to realize is it’s more like some have tried it and it’s helped, others have tried it, got frustrated and gave up, and others have never tried it and just don’t like the sound of it.

No, you do not have to be a zen-minded yogi to practice meditation. No, meditation does not have to require you to sit and listen to ocean music for an uncomfortable amount of time. Meditation is simply you taking a few minutes (or more if you are a seasoned meditator or simply a natural) to sit comfortably, sit silently, and focus on thinking about nothing.


New to meditation and need some guidance? Check out this quick 5-minute guided meditation for beginners on YouTube.

3. Reflection and Gratitude Practices 

Feel like you don’t have enough happy go lucky feelings in your life? Do you find your mind immediately going to negative thoughts when something not so great happens in your day? Wish you could see the positive in all things? The first step to a more positive outlook on your daily life is to take five minutes every day to reflect and practice gratitude.

Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, has tons of suggestions for activities to help you reach a more positive life. One that I default to and have found to be extremely effective is keeping a gratitude journal, by recording five things (big or small) that happened in your day that you are grateful for/ about. The key here, consistency! Make it a habit! Once this is a habit, your mindset could shift from feeling negative about small life events, to seeing the gratitude within them.

For more how to’s:


Featured Imagine found at: 
Posted in fitness, Mental Wellness

The First Step is the Hardest

It’s never easy to start a new lifestyle. Everyone wants that immediate result or the quick fix, but nobody wants to admit that the real way to get lasting results and the greatest way to earn results is to do so bit by bit and day by day. Changing a lifestyle is not easy and nobody will try to claim that it is; however, it is effective and it is possible if you just take that first step and take another small step every day after that.

I am currently enrolled in three mini-series webinars at my work, mostly to get points towards our health program to try to earn a $100 gift card (if I’m going to be honest!). This week two of the three programs focused on what are called “micro habits.” Micro habits are exactly what they sound like, they are small habits that a person can add to their lives bit by bit until they grow towards a large, main life goal. For instance – when I set out with the goal to run the Philadelphia Marathon last November, I did not set my goal to simply run a marathon because if I did that I would have tried to run as far as I possibly could each week and I would have not only burned myself out and possibly injured myself, but I would have lost hope in myself that I could make it to that goal. Instead, it is advised to use micro habits to slowly build towards that eventual goal. This is the reason why marathon and half marathon training plans start you at 2 or 3 mile long runs and not 17 miles. They understand that if you build slowly, you gain confidence in yourself and are more likely to stick with the program.

So, now that you got a little “insider information” into how to effectively work towards a large goal – it’s time to do it! AKA — Here’s the hardest part, TAKING THE FIRST STEP! So get up, get out and do what you want the most, just do slow day by day and bit by bit. Be proud of yourself along the way and smile because you’re making a big difference in your life!

Posted in Mental Wellness


It’s six am on Friday morning, what is going through your head? Doubt? Desire to go back to sleep? OR motivation to kick start your day with a fantastic workout to push you one step closer towards your 2017 New Years resolution of getting more fit!?

I know many of you probably related more with the first two, but I’m here to tell you why it is beneficial for you to begin changing your thought pattern to relate more to the final idea in order to see more results.

Progress is mental. Success is mental. Physical strength and endurance can even be mental! It’s. All. In. Your. Head! (Which is both a good thing and a bad thing). It’s all in your head, so therefore YOU are the one in control. BUT… it’s all in your head, therefore if you do not have a strong grasp on your own self thoughts, this is not going to be an easy feat.

When I began training for my first marathon, whenever I hit a wall during a workout I immediately thought it was because my body was not in shape enough to handle what I had hoped to achieve that day. It took until my 15 mile long run to realize that what was actually happening was if I told myself I could run 15 miles, I ran 15 miles. If I doubted myself and thought 11 would be the furthest I could go that day, wouldn’t you know – that’s how far I would go.

Working out can be such a mental game to play with yourself. Starting with the mental game of whether or not you are feeling up for and motivated to workout in the morning. DO IT! WAKE UP and get your butt into some workout clothes and get to a gym or outside for a run. There is no greater feeling of accomplishment to start your final day of the work week off with then overcoming your mental doubt and doing something physical. Get those endorphin’s flowing and start your FRIYAY off right!


Posted in Mental Wellness

Go fast… but go slow…

As a runner in training, I feel like I constantly battle with this quote. Marathon running is not a joke and recently I’m learning – neither is marathon training. I’m not a speed demon. Honestly I’m lucky if I can keep with a 10 minute/ mile pace while running lengthy distances. Which means, a “measly” 17 mile run takes me close to three hours to complete. I repeat – THREE HOURS. That’s three hours of my Saturday or Sunday that I am spending running through streets, staring at houses, and dreaming among the trees. So, needless to say Jimmy Buffett sparked my interest with this particular quote.

“Go fast enough to get there, but slow enough to see.” As exercisers, I think we often focus on the end goal: completing the workout, getting to that desired number of reps, or finishing that race. The real question is – do we enjoy the time it takes to get to that finish line? Yes we watch the road go by as we race through our desired distance, but are we truly seeing what is in front of us? The beauty in nature, AKA the beauty in the journey, can be just as beautiful if not MORE beautiful than the destination or that feeling of completion.

Lately in all of my long runs I find myself thinking… Thinking about what I’m going to do for the remainder of my day, thinking about how  much longer it is going to take me to finish the run, thinking about what I’m going to eat for my meals that day. Then I stop and I begin to see what I’m running past and suddenly, the run flies by before my eyes. Before I know it, 17 miles are over. Being in the moment, even in a workout, makes the time fly. It makes you remember the beauty of what you are doing and the beauty of what is around you. It helps you appreciate all that nature and the world has to offer and remember that the world is much bigger than those 17 miles.

It’s not enough to just look when you workout, it’s important to actually see what is around you. Pay attention to the here and now before time passes you by. Enjoy the journey, not just the destination.

Posted in fitness, Mental Wellness

Love > Shame 

Step 6 in Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas’s Training Jounral – Body Image and Respecting Yourself

I am not going to lie to you all and preach at you that I am some perfect human who has never once shamed herself or her body. If I told you that or pretended that was even slightly true, I would be doing a disservice to myself and to you all, as are each of you if you are not admitting to the fact that in your past you have shamed your body.

Body shaming is not something to deny happened or something to be ashamed of admitting happened, but something to admit, embrace and move through and forward on from. It’s something that many people can relate to and have experienced before. It makes us human, just like a lot of the faults I have talked about previously, but it means we have something to work on. It means it is time to admit to these negative thoughts and work towards conquering them. If you can get control of your mind and diminish these negative thoughts – you can do almost anything!

This isn’t easy and this isn’t fun. It’s hard work! But it’s worth it, 100%.

Speaking from personal experience, no more than six months ago I loathed my body. I thought I was overweight, flabby, disgusting and unlovable. I thought the reason people kept walking away from me was because of my appearance. I thought I was pushing people away because of my thickening arms and cellulite-covered legs. Then one day, instead of staring at my image in the mirror and telling myself all the things that were wrong with my body, I stopped. I turned around, grabbed my workout gear and got my butt to the gym. Day by day I reminded myself that hating my body was going to do nothing for me. Hating my body was not going to make my arms get toned or eliminate the cellulite from my legs. The only way I was going to see progress was if I took action. And that day, six months ago – I did exactly that. I threw on my workout clothes, tied up my sneakers and ran. Now, I’ve been running ever since and I am starting to feel wonderfully about my body. (Key word – STARTING).

Six months have gone by in which I have been working out on average 5 or 6 days a week and I’m still not 100% in love with my body. But hey – I’m loving myself and my body 100X more than I was six months ago when I was doing nothing but hating on my reflection. I’m not saying start running today and it will fix all your problems. What I’m saying is – start working now so that you can begin your journey towards loving your body, because in order to change your thoughts, you need to change your actions.


Posted in Mental Wellness

Anger Fueled Life Changes….

When life throws a wrench at you, do you duck and run away or catch that wrench and use it to spruce up your next door? In the past, I’ve ducked and ran, but not anymore. This time I caught my wrench and I’m sprucing up the next door perfectly before opening it.

Let me guess, you’re thinking, “what the heck is this girl talking about?”… That’s understandable. Well, let me explain…

Two days ago I experienced an unexpected break up. Did I cry and cower in the corner for a few hours? Of course! I’m only human! I was heartbroken… until it hit me… If there’s one thing that fuels me more than anything, it’s knowing that somebody has more control over my emotions than I do and I was not alright with allowing him to have that control. So, I changed my tune and did some research for break up advice on the internet, because who doesn’t Google an answer for everything these days? As silly as it sounds… it worked! The best advice I read was to use your emotions after a breakup to kick start a completely new workout routine, especially if that routine is anger driven…


Anger Driven Workouts ROCK! If you don’t trust me, next time your hate fire is flaring up.. grab your gym bag and hit the punching bag… because you’re about to KICK BUTT!