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Women Living Well 2005 - Group C Forum

Women Living Well 2005 - Group C Forum


Welcome! We live, work and study in an all-inclusive world. As undergraduate scholars your lives are not separated by activities, events or issues and you move effortlessly, balancing their intellectual life with the demands of community living and a large variety of clubs and organizations which enhance your lives and learning. The mind-body connection is a powerful one. The ability to create a physical, emotional and intellectual environment that supports ones well-being, is paramount to good health.

Comments are posted in the order in which they are received, with earlier postings appearing first below on this page. To see the latest postings, click on "Go to last comment" below.

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Week 1
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: //2005-03-17 16:43:43 :
Link to this Comment: 13595

What is balance. How do priorities get established and is it reasonable to think we can acheive a balanced state?


balance doesn't exist
Name: Camilla Cu
Date: //2005-03-17 17:04:34 :
Link to this Comment: 13599

I think that balance is the ability to lead a life where work, socializing, and other hobbies and interests all fit in. Allowing one single aspect to overpower the others is unhealthy. However, it is also unavoidable, especially when placed in a rigorous academic atmosphere. Sometimes I will inevitably have to spend more time on work than socializing and other times I will need a complete break from doing work, and then I just concentrate on spending time with my friends. Therefore, I think it is necessary to create a mental list of priorities which can change accordingly. I think putting pressure on ourselves to maintain balance is unnecessary. Instead I think it is more important to focus on getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising and surrounding ourselves with supportive friends and family.


Balance
Name: Bridget He
Date: //2005-03-18 14:02:13 :
Link to this Comment: 13625

For me, balance means prioritizing the things in your life such as work, friends, and family in such a way that you don't feeling you are neglecting anything you consider truly important. It is probably impossible to achieve true balance; however, I believe people should strive for a life that makes them happy. For example, I know that it may not be balanced to spend a large portion of time working on a paper and not seeing friends. But, when I consider my life as a whole, I feel pleased with the way things are going overall.


making time to relax/unwind
Name: Camilla Cu
Date: //2005-03-21 21:36:06 :
Link to this Comment: 13833

I agree with Bridget that it is important to make sure that you are doing things that bring you pleasure and happiness. Making sure to incorporate relaxing and enjoyable activities into your daily routine can ease stress. From something as simple as having hot chocolate or reading a good book in the evening, to taking a dance class just for fun, these little things can have a big impact on how you feel.


response to week one questions
Name: Bayh Sulli
Date: //2005-03-21 23:18:08 :
Link to this Comment: 13838

Balance is finding an equilibrium between what you want to do, what you have to do, and what you can reasonably accomplish. In other words, it is a matter of prioritizing all of the facets of our lives - everything from sleeping and meals, to school, jobs, extracurriculars, time with friends, and time for relaxation. I am pretty sure that it is impossible to acheive balance. Perhaps this is the inevitable fate of being a Bryn Mawr student, or a college student in general. But, I figure, as most of us do, that there will be time to rest when we are dead.


respnse
Name: Bayh Sulli
Date: //2005-03-23 02:07:53 :
Link to this Comment: 13906

I wanted to respond to the other women who seem to think similarly to me. I think it is important to find an equilibrium between work and those things that relieve the pressure of our college. For me, that means spending quality time with my close friends and making sure that we have time to destress. Watching movies, making dinner together, hanging out and taling - all of these things constitute spending quality time together, and these are the things that keep us sane and in prespective as we try and balance our academics with our Bryn Mawr academic commitment.


Week II Mindfulness
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: //2005-03-23 13:39:56 :
Link to this Comment: 13930

What is the difference between brooding and reflection and will mindfulness and practicing a meditative skill affect one's ability to be reflective? What is the connection to being mindful and one;s well being?


Balance
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: //2005-03-23 17:21:50 :
Link to this Comment: 13938

I think balance is composed of six different parts. First is time management. It is important to start that which needs to be done well before the deadline to produce the best product possible. It also involves setting aside time for myself. I make sure that I never do anything related to school on Sundays. This helps me to be more enthusiastic about schoolwork on the other six days of the week. Second is sleep. It is important to get as much as possible. For me, the ideal amount is seven to nine hours. Third is health. It is important to reduce the likelihood of contracting disease by washing hands frequently, eating healthy food, and maintaining low levels of stress. Closely connected to health is the need to maintain a positive outlook on life. Everyone has problems, but it is important to keep them in the proper perspective. Fourth is exercise. Personally, I find that half an hour in the gym does more for promoting my physical and psychological well-being than watching television or eating chocolate. In fact, there really is no comparison. Also, if I have neglected to get enough sleep, going to the gym will give me energy. It is true that I could consume caffeine, but I donít think that is especially productive. Fifth is religion. This has given me a source of strength. It has also taught me how to best live my life. Sixth is fun. I think that it is essential to do at least one activity that I enjoy every day. For me, these activities include volunteering at AIDS organizations in Philadelphia, reading a just for fun book (half an hour is a good break), exercise, and spending time with friends. Successfully managing all of these things will result in balance.



Name: Camilla Cu
Date: //2005-03-23 20:12:30 :
Link to this Comment: 13944

I found the lecture on mindfulness very interesting. I think that the difference between brooding and reflection is that brooding constitutes dwelling on negative thoughts and worries, whereas reflection is the acknowledgement and recognition of a certain emotional feeling/state of being. During the mindfulness practice we did today I was suprised by how easily I was able to not let thoughts about work and papers overwhelm me. Instead I was able to recognize the thought and then move past it, without letting it overpower my ability to relax. I definitely felt more relaxed after the meditative practice and I do think that this type of exercise can have a positive impact on a person's mental and physical health. As a society we are always so consumed by tasks related to work and family. Taking the time to give your mind a rest by being mindful and eradicating racing thoughts, is definitely a good thing.


Mindfulness
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: //2005-03-24 05:50:41 :
Link to this Comment: 13960

Brooding seems to refer to viewing some aspect of oneís life negatively. It also implies a perceived inability to act as a force of change. Reflection, by contrast, involves looking at the source of discomfort with a mind that is open for exploration, both in terms of what to do about the discomfort and in terms of how to perceive it. I have no difficulty being reflective. However, I found the little meditative skill activity to be impossible. Over the course of five minutes, I thought of ten things other than my breath. Each time, I turned the thought into an oversized mental picture and put it into a hot air balloon that floated up into the clouds and out of sight.

First, I wondered if I would be able to finish my philosophy paper that day. [I put my philosophy book into the balloon.]
Second, I wondered how much more time I would have to waste just sitting there. [My watch went into the balloon.]
Third, I though about my lunch that I hadnít finished. [Vegetables from my salad went into the balloon.]
Fourth, I thought about the 400 pages that I had to read for my English classes and wondered how many pages I could read that day. I decided that 100 would be a good amount. [Two books went into the balloon.]
Fifth, I decided that I didnít just want to sit around and that I would be able to better do the activity if I was moving around. [My white Nikes went into the balloon.]
Sixth, I thought about Friday and wondered if I could volunteer in the morning and make it to the Good Friday worship service at my church by noon. I decided that I could. [I put an oversized R5 train schedule into the balloon.]
Seventh, I wondered what the activity was supposed to accomplish. [I put a road map into the balloon.]
Eights, I though about how there were three more days after that day until Easter. Then I could have caffeine again. [My tea and insulated mugs went into the balloon.]
Ninth, I wondered if I would ever want to rely on caffeine to wake me up again. Currently, I like the idea of going to the gym much better now. [My tea and white Nikes went into the balloon.]
Tenth, I wondered if it was still raining and thought about how happy rain makes me feel. [I put my orange umbrella into the balloon.]

However, I think that it is okay that this activity didnít work for me. I can be mindful when I am exercising, chopping vegetables, or walking around campus. Those activities provide me with a source of directed focus that accomplishes a great deal more in terms of being mindful and meditative than sitting around paying attention to my breath ever could. There are two things that I know. The first is that I am compulsive about making sure that I make good use out of every minute of the day. The second is that when the day is done, I feel good about what I have achieved and am able to go to bed and be sleeping restfully within five minutes.


Balance is finding fulfillment
Name: Danielle M
Date: //2005-03-24 17:32:27 :
Link to this Comment: 13989

For myself, balance is feeling like a real person, like myself. It isn't about living in a state of simulaneity--of having, doing, or being multiple things equally--but about feeling contented. It's about feeling that what I do at any given moment is dictated not by a need to BE something but by a desire to act in a way that intrinsically feels right. I'm balanced when I'm listening to my internal voice (instinct) rather than to an external voice that wants me to be something particular. In other words, it's about acting in ways that I know are fulfilling to me and to others, and avoiding acting in ways that are about trying to be something someone else wants and to do so in the way that they want.
The biggest sign that things are in balance, then, is when I feel content with myself and in myself...

p.s. I just joined the class and haven't been assigned a posting group yet...so I;'m going to post on this one until someone tells me to knock it off :).


Mindfulness/Brooding
Name: Danielle M
Date: //2005-03-24 18:18:19 :
Link to this Comment: 13990

I've got brooding down pretty well--to me, it's latching onto a moment or thought that bothered you and internally adding it to a collection of other moments and thoughts that together seem to say something larger (and negative) about you. It's as though there's a jar of marbles and each marble represents a thought or event that you interpret as symbolic in some way of your failure. As you brood, you look for new marbles to add to the jar, and when you find one you stare at it toss it around, then put it in the jar and stare at it even longer, this time along with all the other marbles in the jar. You keep rattling that jar around, looking at it from new angles, adding to it...and eventually, if you don't move on, the jar overflows and you're innundated...
Mindfulness, though, is more along the lines of seeing the marbles for what they are--incidents in your life that bother you, but nothing more than that, not a sign of some overriding, profound inadequacy in your life. When you're mindful you don't have to collect moments of negativity to fixate on later; you acknowledge them, think about the way they make you feel and WHY...and then let them go.


Balance response
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: //2005-03-28 03:50:56 :
Link to this Comment: 14075

I disagree with Camilla and Bayh. I do not think that balance is impossible to achieve. Instead, it requies effort, just like anything else that is worthwhile. It seems as if a great many Bryn Mawr students are not willing to put forth that effort.


Mindfulness response
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: //2005-03-28 04:00:33 :
Link to this Comment: 14076

I agree with Camilla that it is a good thing to be mindful. I like Danielle's analogy about the marbles to describe the difference between brooding and being mindful. Personally, I find it much more productive to be mindful because brooding (when I did it in middle school) only made me increasingly unhappy to the point that I was depressed. Mindfulness, by contrast, is a means of looking at my life differently so that I might find a positive perspective on unpleasant aspects of my life.


Mindfulness
Name: Bridget He
Date: //2005-03-28 14:05:23 :
Link to this Comment: 14086

I think that brooding is when you become obsessed with the negative aspects of life and fail to be constructive and find a solution. On the other hand, mindfulness allows you to recognize such problems so they can be thought about rationally and solved. I found the mindfulness techniques at the end of the program to be very relaxing and was surprised by how easy it was to stop myself from dwelling on stressful things simply by concentrating on my breathing.


brooding and reflection
Name: Bayh Sulli
Date: //2005-03-28 17:49:32 :
Link to this Comment: 14102

Brooding is when one concentrates only on the negative aspects of one's life and does not use productive problem-solving techniques. Reflection is different because, while one is able to think about what may be negative in his or her life, he or she is also able to process possible outlets for negative emotions and energy and to develop trouble shooting techniques. In this way, mindfulness and meditative skills will definitely affect one's ability to be reflective, as demonstrated by the cerebral change in the meditative monks that Mark talked about. The connection between being mindful and one's well being is pretty self-explanatory; the more mindful one is, the healthier one's reactions to stress and negative emotions are. Being mindful and engaging in reflection is helpful for finding emotional and mental balance...


response II to brooding and reflection
Name: Camilla Cu
Date: //2005-03-28 21:01:49 :
Link to this Comment: 14114

Like many of the group members I think that brooding seems to result in a situation where you are swamped by negative feelings. I thought Bayh's comment about "developing trouble shooting techniques" was important. Reflection can be used as a tool to allow you to identify your feelings, and then once you have idenitified them you can make positive changes in your life. Also, this weekend I was talking with my mother who is a psychologist, about how people can retrain themselves to stop negative thought patterns. I think that the process of brooding is a dangeorus one, because it seems to generate a cycle of negativity that can often be difficult to break out of.


response
Name: Nadine
Date: //2005-03-29 01:39:42 :
Link to this Comment: 14129

I agree with what Camilla said about brooding. I also feel that it perpetuates stress (since people who brood tend to procrastinate as well), and that a balance cannot be achieved unless people think positively and rationally. The way I achieve balance is by making Friday and Saturday my no-studying days. I feel that having a social life outside Bryn Mawr helps to achieve that balance. During the week, I take time out to relax and work out the gym, which really helps reduce stress. Also, I agree with Kelseyís comment people need to take the time and effort to achieve that balance, which a lot of people in this school fail to do.


negativity
Name: Bayh Sulli
Date: //2005-03-30 00:30:30 :
Link to this Comment: 14155

I think that the comments about negativity are particularly important. Brooding produces excessive negative perceptions, and this is what perpetuates unhealthy coping techniques. If we can figure out a way to focus on the positive, this should be most useful to us in finding balance between the stress in our lives and the fun, easy-going moments that we find...


Week 3 Glenn Smith
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: //2005-03-31 10:08:56 :
Link to this Comment: 14185

Self-management and deciding what is urgent and what is important. How can the tools Glenn described be used to support our choices? How does this connect with Marc Schultz's talk?


Time Management
Name: Bridget He
Date: //2005-04-05 10:08:05 :
Link to this Comment: 14323

I found the lecture about time management very interesting. I particularly like how the way we spend our time was broken down. I never realized how much stress could be reduced by doing basic maintenece work before deadlines are impending and work becomes urgent. I also never realized how much time can be wasted doing unimportant things. I think the relaxation techniques that were taught the week before could be very helpful when it feels as thought there are too many urgent matters to be completed.


time and priorities
Name: Bayh Sulli
Date: //2005-04-05 15:04:47 :
Link to this Comment: 14326

I thought the information that Glenn provided in the Time Matrix was very interesting. I had never thought to break it down in that manner. I am one of those people who thinks she works best only when stressed out, or when there is a deadline looming. It is one of the reasons that I pack my schedule so fully, and then have trouble finding the time to relax, like Marc suggessted. Hopefully, with some of the information that Glenn provided, I will be able to reevaluate the ways in which I structure my week...I have already taken him up on his advice to make a weekly schedule, and that seems to be helping. Maybe by the end of the semester, I will no longer identify myself as the world's greatest procrastinator...


Time management
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: //2005-04-01 19:21:12 :
Link to this Comment: 14204

I can say that the tools that Genn described work effectively to structure my time. In the summer of 2002 (the summer before I started college), I read ďFirst Things FirstĒ because I knew that I needed to manage my time better than I had in high school. Every week, I print out a copy of my schedule template that I have saved on the server. I set it up with Monday through Wednesday on the front and Thursday through Saturday on the back (Sunday is my unscheduled time, so it is not part of my schedule because I donít use it for schoolwork.) Every day of the week is hi-lighted with a different color (Monday-pink, Tuesday-orange, Wednesday-yellow, Thursday-green, Friday-blue, Saturday-purple). Then I write in the meetings and special events that I have planned for the week. I also write the homework assignments for a given week around the edges. Finally, I hi-light them to indicate which day each item will be done. The I write the assignments into my schedule. I avoid being distracted by other people by doing my work in the morning or in the bottom floor of the library

My schedule method helps me to make sure that I finish all of the important items, usually well ahead of time. I also have time to go to the gym and to get plenty of sleep. Unfortunately, when I tried to get some of my friends to use my schedule method, they insisted that it would never work for them. Glennís talk fits in with Marc Shultzís talk because they both place the responsibility of living a balanced life on the individual. Both of the talks provide evidence for the phrase ďyouíve only got yourself to blame.Ē


Time Management
Name: Camilla Cu
Date: //2005-04-02 18:21:54 :
Link to this Comment: 14216

I found the Time Management Matrix to be especially interesting. I think that what Glenn said about the fact that we spend too much time doing trivial things that are just time wasters, is entirely true. Planning ahead is definitely my coping mechanism to avoid procrastination. As soon as I am assigned a project in a class I immediately detail a plan of how I intend to accomplish it by the deadline. My plans are either day to day or week to week, depending on the scope of the project. Even though I sometimes stray from the original plan, the fact that I have it forces me to do work. By planning ahead I can avoid a situation where I am frantically trying to finish a project in one night.

Another issue Glenn spoke about was the fact that as a culture we are obsessed with being busy, and the status that is attached to it. The clip from the film "Jerry Maguire" illustrated this obsession quite well. By constantly being preoccupied with the little things such as checking email, phone messages, and attending tons of meetings we lose our sense of priorities and what's really important in our lives.

I definitely think brooding is another way in which we waste time and procrastinate. Mindfulness can help us change the mindset from going through life on autopilot to really enjoying our relationships, which are ultimately the most important thing.


Time Management Response II
Name: Camilla Cu
Date: //2005-04-05 19:29:13 :
Link to this Comment: 14333

I liked Bridget's idea about using the meditation and relaxation exercises as a way to combat stress brought on by the overload of "urgent" matters. I definitely agree that this would help people have less stressful days in the office, at school, and at home. I also agree with Kelsey's comment about how it is up to each individual to manage their time well. People have such different ways of staying organized and coping with stress, so it is important to find which methods work for you specifically and implement those.


maintenance
Name: Bayh Sulli
Date: //2005-04-06 02:50:44 :
Link to this Comment: 14339

I like the idea of contstruing out time in terms of life management. I think Bridget was on to the right idea in her comment. If we can examine our lives in terms of ife mangement and what we view as most important, I think we will have a far better idea of how to identify our priorities, and how it manage our down time...


Time Management
Name: Danielle M
Date: //2005-04-10 21:47:31 :
Link to this Comment: 14435

The time management matrix that Glenn laid out in his presentation was as interesting in its form as it was for the content it was intended to present. Seperating out the small, time-consuming details of life from the more crucial elements--as the matrix did visually--is one of the biggest steps toward getting a handle on what you do in your time. Moreover, finding a way to extract the clutter allows you to work a kind of order from a disorganization that otherwise prevents you from seeing your life and the things in it with any real clarity. With the extraneous actually put to the side, the order of your life becomes easier to look at and begin to understand.

Like Mark Schultz's discussion about mindfulness, it becomes a matter of clearing out the clutter around you both physically and mentally, and re-directing your efforts toward what's really important.


Week 4 Mimi Murray
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: //2005-04-11 18:41:22 :
Link to this Comment: 14464

Mimi described good nurtition using the same language that Marc and Glenn used, of being mindful about eating, our choices and how much, of planning and making time for meals. How does nutrition affect balance and how is it possible to be mindful about our eating?


Nutrition and Balance
Name: Camilla Cu
Date: //2005-04-11 20:21:09 :
Link to this Comment: 14471

I think that good nutrition is an integral part of a balanced lifestyle. Mimi Murray discussed how important it is to eat from a variety of food groups and to do a fullness check while you are eating. If we eat well then we will feel better in general. Sleep, energy levels, mood, and concentration are all affected by eating habits. Therefore, if you make good and nutritious choices at meal times, chances are you will be contributing to an overall sense of balance and well being.

I also think that being mindful about eating is very important. Doing the fullness check so that you don't feel stuffed at the end of your meal is key. Also, enjoying the flavors, textures, and experience of eating can help to slow the process of mealtime down, so that you savor your food instead of simply shoveling it down.


Mindful Eating
Name: Bridget He
Date: //2005-04-12 12:07:09 :
Link to this Comment: 14511

I really enjoyed Mimi's lecture about mindful eating. Her comments about balanced eating were particularly insightful. It does not seem healthy to participate in a diet that requires extreme deprivation from either certain types of food or food in general. I learned that balanced eating means adopting a lifestyle that always allows you to eat until you feel satisfied. It is not necessary to be obsessed with every calorie as many people are but rather to keep in mind what your body actually wants and needs.


Deprivation
Name: Camilla Cu
Date: //2005-04-12 23:15:46 :
Link to this Comment: 14532

To expand on Bridget's comment I think that deprivation is especially bad because it creates a type of obsession with food. Depriving yourself of foods that you love will create a situation where you are constantly focusing on what you can't eat rather than what you can and should eat. Like brooding, it fosters a negative cycle of thinking. I think that it's really bad that our culture focuses much more on the negative aspects of eating, and points out all the foods that you shouldn't eat, rather than focusing on all the great options that we have to choose from.


nutrition and balance
Name: Bayh Sulli
Date: //2005-04-13 03:03:24 :
Link to this Comment: 14536

Nutrition affects how our bodies feel physically, and so is inextricably tied to balance in our lives. One of the reasons that I think I often feel so out of whack is due to eating poorly and without regularity because other things take priority in my schedule. If we apply the concepts of mindfulness and time management to our eating (so we aren't wolfing down lunch in 10 minutes between work and class everyday), we would be much healthier overall, and we would find ourselves less tired, more balanced physically, and better prepared to face the challenges we meet everyday.


nutrition and balance
Name: Bayh Sulli
Date: //2005-04-13 11:59:46 :
Link to this Comment: 14545

I think Bridget's comment is very insightful. Mimi's information on diet's (especially the example with the air diet) were really interesting. The yo-yo effect is one that I have seen my friends go through repeatedly, and they never feel better about their bodies. I think moderation and mindful consumption are two good rules of thumb to stick by. I have been trying to think about what I eat in order to be more balanced since I listened to Mimi's talk. I use the excercise that she suggested about pausing into your meal and considering if you are really still hungry. I have been surprised to realize how often I would have kept eating without still being hungry. That lecture was very useful, mostly because of the practical, applicable advice she gave.


Week 5 Get FITT Bryn Mawr
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: //2005-04-13 17:30:51 :
Link to this Comment: 14556

Matt gave a good talk on the three components of fitness. Flexibility, Aerobics and Weight Training. FITT - Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type.
Explain the rationale behind the overload principle and what this all means to developing a fitness plan. How is this connected to mindfulness, making choices of self management and good nutrition?


FITT
Name: Bridget He
Date: //2005-04-19 10:02:07 :
Link to this Comment: 14728

The overload principle helps improve fittness by encouraging the body to work just a little bit harder with each workout. This prevents the body from becomming accustomed to the workout. This has an important relationship to mindfulness. This principle is meant to push the body only slightly further each time. To avoid injury, people must be mindful of their own physical limits and how they are feeling during the workout.


Get FITT
Name: Camilla Cu
Date: //2005-04-19 21:16:38 :
Link to this Comment: 14740

It is important to develop a fitness plan that challenges the body and also one that is interesting and fun. Matt talked about how important it is to find a type of workout that meets your own specific needs. He explained that some people like to do active things in an outdoor environment while other people are content to work out on a treadmill in their own home. I think it is necessary to be in touch with your bodies needs, know your own limits, and know when it is necessary to step up your workout another notch. Engaging in the same monotonous exercise routine can not only be boring but can inhibit you from reaching your full physical potential as well. Paying attention to the signals that your body gives you as well as making sure to eat well and sleep well can maximize your workout.


ResponseII to Get FITT
Name: Camilla Cu
Date: //2005-04-19 23:21:47 :
Link to this Comment: 14742

I agree with Bridget that mindfulness can help you to not get injured while you're working out. A couple of times I have strained muscles after working out too hard. Sometimes it's difficult to know when you have reached your physical limits. I think working with a trainer can help to combat against this, as well as being able to recognize the signals telling you that you have reached your limit.


FITT
Name: Bayh Sulli
Date: //2005-04-20 00:43:14 :
Link to this Comment: 14743

The overload principle is a matter of challenging oneself physically so as not to get bored or let one's body fall in to a rut and stop being fit. As one increases the challenge (heavier weights, more reps, etc.), one pressed the body to become more fit. This ties in to all the other aspects of health that we have talked about in class (mindfulness, self-management, good nutrition) because it is another level of maintaining health and balance in terms of the physical and the mental.


FITT II
Name: Bayh Sulli
Date: //2005-04-20 02:57:30 :
Link to this Comment: 14744

I agree with Bridget's idea of only pushing one's self as far as is comfortable and yet challenging. I think this is a good way to think about both one's mental and physical health. If attempts to acheive mental and physical equilibrium, it is more likely that we will find the ever illusive balance in our lives.


Response to Week 1 question
Name: Keti Shea
Date: //2005-04-20 20:01:01 :
Link to this Comment: 14751

What is balance. How do priorities get established and is it reasonable to think we can acheive a balanced state?

Balance is,I think, a relative concept. Everyone is familiar with the idea of finding a balance in your life: between work and stress, between socializing and being alone, etc. But what doesn't seem to be emphasized as much is that the balance needed for each individual is exactly that, individual.That is, each person responds to stress and other factors differently so acheiving a "balanced state" will reflect each person's idiosyncracies. This is how priorities are determined, by individual preference. I think the idea of a balanced state can be achieved but it takes a good deal of reflection in order for someone to realize what exactly it is they need to do to achieve balance.


Week One Response
Name: Keti Shea
Date: //2005-04-20 20:09:03 :
Link to this Comment: 14752

I found Camilla's comment about the impossibility of achieving balance in our lives interesting. I completely agree that we cannot put too much pressure on ourselves to achieve "balance" because instead of relieving anxiety, it might only heighten it. Some sort of balance between all our various interests, activities, commitments, etc. must be achieved in order to maintain sanity. But, focusing on achieving balance and prioritizing can also be unhealthy if it further adds to anxiety or stress. In other words, time management is not necessarily a good thing if it means transfiguring your entire life into bullet points. If we manage our time too much then there isn't any time left to actually live.


Response to Week 2 Question
Name: Keti Shea
Date: //2005-04-20 20:17:17 :
Link to this Comment: 14754

What is the difference between brooding and reflection and will mindfulness and practicing a meditative skill affect one's ability to be reflective? What is the connection to being mindful and one;s well being?

Brooding is more of an obsessive action whereas reflection is contemplative and can therefore be beneficial to your mental health. I think mindfulness can affect one's ability to reflect but only to a certain point. I say this because I myself am someone who tends to brood much more so than to reflect and I recognize how automatic this tendency is. In some sense, what makes people brood instead of reflect is hard-wired into their brain and it takes a lot to counteract this natural tendency. Being mindful definitely has its benefits: it allows you to contemplate and sort through your own issues in a contructive way. This is an important distinction to brooding which is more of an obsessing over a past mistake to the point where nothing constructive comes out as a result. Mindfulness and the ability to reflect affect both mental and physical health because it allows you to make better decisions.


Week 2 Response
Name: Keti Shea
Date: //2005-04-20 20:27:49 :
Link to this Comment: 14755

I really identified with Danielle's comment on the difference between brooding and reflection. I agree that brooding is often (at least for me) about judging yourself and past failures. That is why I said in my earlier response that brooding is not a constructive activity; instead, you end up reliving past mistakes or past moments of embarassment but do ont ever move beyond this. Brooding about something does not provide any closure because it is just a mental repetition of all your personal insecurities.
An interesting point I would like to add is that most people can identify the difference between brooding and relfecting and which of these activities they tend to do. Yet even those that recognize themselves as "brooders" do not know how to reverse this and make themselves more reflective. This goes back to the Week 1 question and how to achieve balance in one's life. I think learning to reflect as opposed to brooding is a necessary step to achieving balance.


Response to Week 3 Question
Name: Keti Shea
Date: //2005-04-20 20:40:14 :
Link to this Comment: 14756

Self-management and deciding what is urgent and what is important. How can the tools Glenn described be used to support our choices? How does this connect with Marc Schultz's talk?

I think this idea relates the earlier discussions on relfection/brooding and prioritizing. Glenn Smith made some interesting points about decision-making and the importance of effective time-management. I say "effective" time-management because I don't think we should let time management rule our lives. Making endless lists and writing in our daily planners, while it may help organize activities, doesn't necessarily benefit one's mental health. This relates back to Marc Schultz's presentation on mindfulness because I think we have to be mindful in order to make good decisions. This is what Glenn Smith was talking about: how we need to manage time in such a way that we can enjoy life and make the right decisions. I think a lot of people (myself included) make impulsive decisions because either a) you don't have to reflect on all the options before you make a decision, or b) you are so anxious just to decide that making a decision, any decision, seems more important than making the right choice. I know this second situation applies to me when I sign up for courses. Sometimes,I'm so overwhelmed by the choices that I end up picking classes impulsively because I don't want to have to decide.


Week 3 Response
Name: keti shea
Date: //2005-04-21 21:42:13 :
Link to this Comment: 14774

I agree with Camilla's response about how we need to look at how we spend (or waste) our time. What I likes most about Glenn's presentation was how we talked about the fact that we often spend time doinf trivial things. It seems that we need to ocupy ourselves at all times in order to feel "busy", even when the activities we are doing are trivial and perhaps unproductive. I think many times people feel anxious about being unproductive so they invent activities/chores for themselves to do but sometimes these are unnecessary activities.


Response to Week 4 Question
Name: Keti Shea
Date: //2005-04-21 21:49:22 :
Link to this Comment: 14775

Mimi described good nutrition using the same language that Marc and Glenn used, of being mindful about eating, our choices and how much, of planning and making time for meals. How does nutrition affect balance and how is it possible to be mindful about our eating?

I think nutrition is extremely important to achieving balance in our daily lives. Eating well is important for maintaining overall well-being but it is not just about eating "healthy" foods but also about being aware of what you eat so that you feel good about yourself. I think many people at Bryn Mawr overlook nutrition because they are too busy or stressed out; for example, the fact that so many people get take-out from the dining halls instead of sitting down to a meal shows we are not mindful about eating. Mindful eating is, I think, a part of time management and mindfulness in general.


Week 4 Response
Name: Keti Shea
Date: //2005-04-21 21:58:13 :
Link to this Comment: 14779

I agree with many of the other comments about deprivation and how it is important to learn to eat until we are satisfied. Although this makes sense when Mimi was talking about it, practicing good eating habits can be hard to do in real life. Sometimes we are too busy to sit down to a balanced meal. Sometimes we eat out of emotional reasons because of stress or anxiety. Mimi's comments on not depriving ourselves of certain foods are also very important- eating habits should be connected to general mindfulness. Being mindful of what, and how much, we eat is necessary for developing the healthy eating habits which not only contribute to physical well being but also to one's emotional well-being.


Response to Week 4 Question
Name: Keti Shea
Date: //2005-04-22 10:07:13 :
Link to this Comment: 14785

Matt gave a good talk on the three components of fitness. Flexibility, Aerobics and Weight Training. FITT - Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type.
Explain the rationale behind the overload principle and what this all means to developing a fitness plan. How is this connected to mindfulness, making choices of self management and good nutrition?

The overload principle means finding a fitness routine that challenges your body at an appropriate level so you don't hurt yourself or fall into an exercise rut. This is related to the other presentations because we have to be mindful of our bodies when we work out so we don't injure ourselves- Matt gave the example of the difference between your muscles hurting after a hard workout and your knee hurting. We have to be aware while we exercise of how our body feels.


Week 4 Response
Name: Keti Shea
Date: //2005-04-22 10:10:33 :
Link to this Comment: 14786

I agree with camilla's comment that we have to listen to the signals our bodies give. I know I have experienced an "exercise rut" by doing the same workout every day almost automatically. It's important to remember that getting a good night's sleep and eating well are necessary to maximiz your workout.


Mindful Eating
Name: Danielle M
Date: //2005-04-22 19:10:35 :
Link to this Comment: 14789

When Mimi spoke about the range of fullness, with zero being famished and ten being about to fall over, her discussion really tied in to the previous discussions we've held about mindfulness and balance. The central point to remember seems to be connecting your emotions with how your body is feeling, understanding that what you feel physically--stressed, tired, tense--is closely connected to how you feel emotionally. We're often aware of how our bodies feel physically, but much less so of how those sensations affect or are affected by our mental state. Mimi's scale for hunger was a way of connecting those two aspects to create a sense of balanced self-awareness. When you're hungry, you should be conscious of the emotional state your in as well as the physical, and determine your eating by reflecting on both.


FITT
Name: Danielle M
Date: //2005-04-22 19:16:39 :
Link to this Comment: 14790

The concept of overload deals with the body's capacity for exertion, the idea being to push your body a bit further with each successive workout in order to avoid stasis. This relates to mindfulness through the idea of avoiding falling into a "rut" in which you begin to focus solely on the status quo, living on a sort of autopilot and without minding where you are emotionally or considering your capacity to extend beyond your current state. Likewise, the overload principle aims to make you conscious of your body's state, of where it's comfortable and of when its time to push just a bit beyond what its become accustomed to.


Week 3- Comment
Name: Nadine
Date: //2005-04-29 02:17:26 :
Link to this Comment: 14945

I found Glennís time management matrix to be helpful. It made me realize that I spend a lot of time on things that are not important and if I prioritize, Iím more likely less time on these trivial things.


Week 3- Response
Name:
Date: //2005-04-29 02:18:31 :
Link to this Comment: 14946

I agree with Camillaís observation about how we can become obsessed with trivial things such as checking emails, messages etc. Not only do we loose sight of what is important, but we also waste a lot of time. If we can recognize our priorities we will be able to manage our time more effectively.


Week 3- Response
Name: Nadine
Date: //2005-04-29 02:18:56 :
Link to this Comment: 14947

I agree with Camillaís observation about how we can become obsessed with trivial things such as checking emails, messages etc. Not only do we loose sight of what is important, but we also waste a lot of time. If we can recognize our priorities we will be able to manage our time more effectively.


Week 4- comment
Name: Nadine
Date: //2005-04-29 02:19:26 :
Link to this Comment: 14948


I found Mimiís talk on nutrition very interesting. I feel that stress contributes to eating unhealthy, as people are more likely to binge then. Planning meals is a good way to avoid that, and using chocolate or other unhealthy food as a reward works out better.


Week 4- response
Name: Nadine
Date: //2005-04-29 02:19:52 :
Link to this Comment: 14949


I agree with what Bayh said about how eating well is linked to balance in our lives. Eating healthier makes you feel stronger, and you have more energy to manage your work and the activities you are involved in.


Week 5-comment
Name: Nadine
Date: //2005-04-29 02:20:17 :
Link to this Comment: 14950



I really liked what Matt said about the overload principle. I think its important because you push yourself a little harder each time you exercise, and by doing that you feel a sense of accomplishment which motivates you to keep working out. It also makes your workout a bit more interesting, especially if you work out at the gym, which can get a bit monotonous. Also, it helps attain balance, as you feel healthier when you are physically fit.


Week5- response
Name: Nadine
Date: //2005-04-29 02:20:43 :
Link to this Comment: 14951

I liked what Camilla said about working out in a way that is more interesting, as well as specific to your body. A lot of my friends stop going to the gym after a couple of weeks because they get bored, so I feel that playing a sport is more challenging and fun.


Nutrition
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: //2005-04-29 10:31:37 :
Link to this Comment: 14954

Nutrition impact balance by impacting how much energy a person has as a result of what they consume. For example, if a person ate a bowl of chocolate chips and a glass of soda for breakfast, the result would be immediate energy. However, the energy would be ephemeral because it provides nothing in form of whole grains and little in form of protein. By contrast, a breakfast of a bagel and some sausage would provide a source of energy that would last longer. If a person wanted to consume a better breakfast than the second one, a good choice would be oatmeal, omelet, and two kinds of fruit because it has variety along with multiple servings of fruits and vegetables. Mimi also indicated that variety was a good idea for proper nutrition. She said that a person didn't need to have healthy food all the time and that it was acceptable to have less nutritious foods 10% of the time. Therefore, it is fully acceptable to have a few chips at lunch and a desert with dinner.

Another important part of Mimi's talk about nutrition was how balance is not exclusively about the types of foods that are consumed. It is also about the amount of food that is consumed and how often it is comsumed. Ideally, a person should eat until she is satisfied (not full and certainly not stuffed). She should also not go so long without food that she becomes empty. In this way, balance is attained.


Time management response
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: //2005-04-29 10:41:48 :
Link to this Comment: 14955

Like Nadine, I found the time management matrix to be helpful. However, I don't think that I would necessarily write everything down that I do. Instead, I find it more helpful to plan out my weeks to make sure that everything gets done in a timely manner.


Get F.I.T.T. Bryn Mawr
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: //2005-04-29 14:03:14 :
Link to this Comment: 14983

The overload principle is based on the necessity to continually challenge the body so that fitness can be improved and the workout can remain interesting. For flexibility, this could mean to go a little further with stretches. For aerobics, this could mean going faster or further or for a longer period of time. For weight training, this could mean lifting more weight or doing more repetitons. No matter what activity an individual is doing, it should never be done to the point of pain in the joints. A small amount of soreness in the muscles is sometimes inevitable and is completely acceptable. Matt's talk is connected to mindfulness because it is important to be conscious about how the body is responding to the workout and to plan accordingly. Success at doing so will allow the individual to receive the maximum amount of benefits from her workout plan. It will also allow the act exercise to remain interesting because it will continually change. Nutrition is important because an individual needs to eat food that is healthy enough so that she can have energy for exercise. Calories are also important because if the body does not have enough, it will canibalize itself.


Get F.I.T.T. Bryn Mawr response
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: //2005-04-29 14:08:28 :
Link to this Comment: 14984

I agree with what Nadine said about gaining a sense of accomplishment from working out and how this provides motivation to continue to work out. Emotion and attitude are important in every aspect of life, but they are especially important in phyical fitness because if a person has a bad attitude, she will be less likely to exercise frequently.


Nutrition response
Name: Kelsey Smi
Date: //2005-04-29 13:42:51 :
Link to this Comment: 14980

I agree with Danielle that it is important to connect the physical aspect of hunger with the emotional aspect. The result will result in a greater amount of balance in reference to food.