Week 7 ~
“…by the way, Do you have the Time…?”
We are now into our 7th week of the “Take the Challenge” wellness program. This week we are striving to establish stress free time management.
The following are a few key words that have been mentioned in various articles on time management: categorize, organize, prioritize, recognize and delegate.
We were fortunate when Carole Basak, Associate Director of Academic Support, could take the time out of her busy schedule to advise us on the topic of time management. It was very easy to catch Carole’s enthusiasm during her dynamic presentation.
The handout, Time Management, includes this quote from Rita Emmett: “How do you spend your time? Time management doesn’t mean running around like a nut doing twenty things at once. True time management means actually spending as much of your time as you can doing those things you want to do rather than activities you don’t care about. It involves clarifying your values, deciding what is important, and working to spend your time doing that.”
Carole also recommends this book by David Allen, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
In Getting Things Done Allen shows how to: “Apply the “do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it” rule to get your in-box to empty” (Amazon.com).
In addition to Carole’s presentation, you may like to consider these two straight-forward articles, “How to Manage Time” and “How to Improve Time Management Skills as a College Student.”
How to Manage Time
Stress and disorganization go hand in hand. Lower your stress levels and become more productive by taking control of your time. Effective time management will not only help you accomplish your goals, but also improve your health by diminishing stress-related headaches, shoulder pain and digestive issues.
1. Start your day early enough to exercise and eat breakfast. Breakfast improves your concentration and productivity. Include milk, fruit and grains. Avoid sugary foods, such as donuts, biscuits and sodas. Eat protein snacks throughout the day to refuel your mind and body.
2. Think positively on the day. Empower yourself by not allowing negative thoughts to drain your energy. Shift your state of awareness when negativity strikes by getting out of your chair and moving around. Look at difficulties as challenges rather than roadblocks.
3. Plan long-term goals and break them down into short-term goals. Set aside time each week to review your goals and adjust your schedule.
4. Plan out your day, prioritizing tasks in order of importance. Focus on the most important tasks first — don’t be distracted by small tasks on the list. Allow sufficient time to do quality work for each task. Avoid committing to nonessential tasks and delegate chores that don’t necessitate you being there.
5. Break large, intimidating tasks into doable 10-minute sections. This may give you the momentum you need to finish the task.
6. Take small breaks throughout the day to recharge your energy. De-stress by deep breathing, stretching or taking a walk.
7. Check your progress in the middle of the day. Evaluate your list to ensure you complete the most important tasks remaining. For positive reinforcement, look at the progress you have made throughout the day.
8. Review the time tasks took you to complete throughout the day. Underestimating your time leaves you stressed. Overestimating your time creates gaps in time that you could use more constructively.
9. Get sufficient sleep. Lack of sleep depletes memory and concentration, thereby decreasing productivity (Elaine Bolen).
How to Improve Time Management Skills as a College Student
Developing effective time management skills as a college student is critical to your academic and social success in college. Your success or failure in college is greatly affected by your effective use of time. But being a college student is also a very time consuming job. Therefore it is important to learn good time management skills and habits that will not only help you on the road to academic success in college, but will transfer into other areas of your professional and personal life. The steps in this article will help you manage your time effectively, improve time management, and practice effective time management skills.
1. Plan enough time for study. As a general rule, in college, you should study at least two hours outside of the classroom for every hour that you’re in a class.
2. Develop the habit of studying at the same time each day. This creates stronger study habits.
3. Get a weekly or monthly planner – depending on your preferences – and write all due dates for assignments and test dates. Then, two weeks before the assignment due date, write “start on the particular assignment”. One week prior to the due date, write “finish such and such assignment”. This will allow for weekly reminders leading up to the actual deadline.
4. Use your free time immediately after class wisely for copying notes and reviewing the material.
5. Study for 20 to 25 minute intervals and then take a short break. Research shows that studying in shorter blocks or intervals of time and then taking a break is more beneficial than studying constantly for hours. Therefore, review material in smaller blocks of time.
6. Schedule a one hour weekly review and use weekends if possible.
7. Remember to have some unscheduled time and be flexible. This will allow you time to do things you want to do.
8. Participate in extracurricular activities. Plan to have some fun in college. You need a balance of both academic and social life to be a well-rounded individual (eHow Contributor)
Thank You for taking your time to read this blog –
it is very much appreciated!
Week 6 ~ WOW ~ Week of Wellness
We are beginning our 6th week of Take the Challenge. This week we will focus mainly on the dimensions of wellness.
Carol Smith, R.N, Assistant Director of Programs for Health and Wellness Services gave our Lunchtime Conversation presentation highlighting the many aspects of wellness. Sending out a warm “Thank You!” to Carol!
We have these links provided by Carol on her presentation and handouts on the Lifestyle Assessment Guide, worksheet and TestWell online assessment tool for the Holistic Lifestyle Questionnaire.
In addition to Carol’s presentation, the following supplemental information for the Take the Wellness Challenge may be of interest:
The Idea Health and Fitness Association website has this question posted,
“What does “wellness” mean to you?” Here is a sampling of their member’s insights:
The Definition of Wellness.com website has many intuitive links covering wellness.
The multiple links on this page, “Dimensions of Wellness”, covers topics ranging from the social to medical wellness.
This page continues with links on articles featuring the wellness wheel to benefits of healthy living. To enhance your week of wellness challenge you may consider printing off this chart, Weekly Wellness Planner.
In the 5th week of the “Take the Challenge” 7 weeks of wellness program we are focusing primarily on taking time in our daily lives for spiritual reflection and meditation.
“[…] a spirituality is a way of living in relationship with God. Within the Christian tradition, all spiritualities, no matter what their origins, have the same focus –
the desire for union with God, an emphasis on love and charity, and a belief in Jesus as the Son of God.”
(James Martin, SJ)
The above quote is an excerpt from Shaun Johnson’s presentation “Spiritual Wellness.” Shaun is SNC’s Campus Minister and we are very grateful for the time he spent with us sharing his insight of spirituality. Shaun states,
often can find ourselves in as we approach and encounter a violent and sometimes unforgiving world.”
“If there is one thing that I’ve learned about spirituality, religion, faith -whatever you would like to identify as adhering to and believing in an existence other than you – it is that spirituality is not cool. True religion and spirituality are not cool. I know that sounds kind of weird, especially from a guy who’s supposed to be helping others to understand their call and their relationship with their God, but I’ll let you in on the secret, it is true.
Being cool, as we can identify with passing fads and fashions, is temporary, it is fleeting. The relationship we are called to live and be in with our God and others is not. Sure we have good days and bad days – much like you have good days and bad days with friends or spouses – but spirituality and faith is not a smart button up shirt with flashy cuffs. It is a shirt that suffices to guard us against the harsh weather outside, but yet frees us to address the needs in front of with ample mobility…
Note I did equate spirituality with the well-worn sweater we crawl into as we cuddle comfortably and warmly with our favorite cup of coffee or tea and watch the world go by us. Faith and spirituality should give us a sense of peace, but never a sense of complacency or inertness. Faith, Hope, and Love – the three theological virtues, those things freely and openly given to us through the Grace of God – are unsettling. They cause us to continually be in dialogue so that we gain greater understanding of the presence and existence of our God. They force us out into the streets to encounter that living God in the people we meet and choose to either love or ignore in our everyday experience. They move us outside of situations of despair – situations we all to
Shaun’s presentation further highlighted these two quotes:
Spirituality is like a bridge. Every bridge does pretty much the same thing – gets you from one place to another, sometimes over perilous ground, or a river, or great heights. But they do so in different ways.”(James Martin, SJ)
“The spiritual life does not remove us from the world but leads us deeper into it.”
In addition to Shaun’s thought provoking and contemplative presentation, you may also like to consider the following:
The Emmaus Center provides direction to Sacred Spaces for Prayer and Reflection.
The authors that are quoted in Shaun’s presentation have several books that may be checked out at the Mulva Library (click on the author’s names below for complete listings).
Week 4 ~ Relaxation
This is our 4th week of Take the Challenge and our challenge for this week is to try to take time for mindful relaxation lasting at least 5 to 10 minutes most days.
These following motivational words of advice are brought to us by our guest speakers, Tom Doughman, LCSW, Assistant Director of CAPS and Lisa Burke, LCSW,
“Any amount of time spent practicing relaxation can help. Even 5-10 minutes each day. Using a guided imagery tool like what we saw on you tube can help you settle and focus on letting go of life’s stressors. It is deceptively simple to focus on nothing, but takes some practice to get good at it. Keep trying, the least you will do for yourself is spend a few moments unplugged. The maximum impact will be that you are recharged during your day!”
We are very thankful for the time that Tom and Lisa took out of their busy day from SNC’s Counseling and Psychological Services department.
Their presentation gave us visuals of relaxation and guided imagery. Along with sharing information about biofeedback, they provided us with this video link to Ocean Guided Meditation with Deepak Chorpra.
In addition to the above information from Tom and Lisa, these are a few relaxation videos with music or sounds that you may like to consider:
Classes are free and open to the entire Campus Community – students, faculty and staff. The Yoga/Zen Club on campus is co-managed by Jocelyn Russell and Alex Smith. Enrollment is not required, come when you can. Weekly reminders about the class are sent via the Yoga/Zen Club listserv.
Jocelyn has provided this information about the classes:
— Every Thursday from 7:00pm-8:15pm we have our weekly yoga practice in the Todd Wehr Reflection Lounge (behind the stained glass adjacent to the Bookstore). We provide mats (which are cleaned at the end of every practice) and cushions.
— We have a certified yoga instructor (Marc Kotz) come to campus and teach our lesson. He is absolutely fabulous and good at what he does. He makes us work hard at yoga, but also understands the importance of modification, which is especially key when practicing yoga. Marc also brings rubber dodge balls which are sometimes used to assist people in certain positions.
— As for type of clothing, comfortable clothes are the best. You don’t need fancy, expensive yoga pants and tank tops in order to have a good practice! Sweatpants or running shorts with a basic t-shirt are most commonly worn. Sometimes during the colder months, you see a few people wearing long sleeved shirts or sweaters.
Jocelyn sums up by enthusiastically stating,
“Honestly, people only need to bring themselves (wearing comfortable workout-type clothes) and some water! I have heard some people like bringing small towels to help cushion the knees when kneeling- something to maybe consider sharing when spreading the word about yoga! :)”
Week 3 ~ Eat those Fruits & Veggies!
Our SNC Take the Challenge continues to build our healthy weekly challenges as we strive to meet our last 2 week’s challenges – consciously tracking our healthy habits – some of our members use fitbit.com, loseit.com, or myfitnesspal.com. Any method that works for you is fine to use for tracking. We will also carry on the challenge of trying to get 30 to 40 minutes of exercise on most days as we did in week 2.
We were very fortunate to have SNC’s very own registered dietitian, Melissa DaPra, RD, CD to present our third week challenge kickoff – “5-A-Day.” This healthful challenge is to try to incorporate at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables into our daily diet. Melissa suggests that you may want to build up to the 5-A-Day to make this dietary transition easier on your system.
Melissa says, ” The best plate is at least half fruits and veggies…fill your plate with fruits and veggies first before adding other items.” Also, choose a variety of fruits and vegetables to provide your body with a variety of health benefits.
Melissa tells us that fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of certain health concerns such as cancer, age related macular degeneration, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Click “Maximize Fruit & Vegetable Intake to Maximize Your Life” to view Melissa’s presentation and to view 20 Ways to Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables.
In addition to the information from Melissa DaPra, you may find the following of interest:
Fruits & Veggies More Matters gives us a great selection of recipes – tempting us to treat ourselves to delicious combinations that have the added bonus of being nutritious!
Here is a video presented by the dietitan of Enjoy Fresh giving us ideas on “Easy, nutritious & tasty ways to eat vegetables.”
This soothing musical video lists the benefits of various fruits and vegetables and the significance of their colors.
Now, here are two videos that have a top ten count down for Veggies —>
And just to add a little more encouragement towards our challenge of eating 5-A-Day, here is a short video presented by the dietitian of University of Virginia Heart and Vascular Center giving us a tour at the grocery store in the (you guessed it!) —
– Heart Smart Shopping – Picking Out Produce!
If you just feel like reading a couple of excellent posts, the Harvard School of Public Health has Vegetables and Fruits – Get Plenty Everyday and Healthy Beverage Guidelines giving us substantial information from the experts!!
Week 2 ~ Physical Activity = Improved Health
Take the Stairs Challenge
We really want to motivate you to move!! In other words, try to incorporate physical activity, such as your favorite exercise, into your daily lives – striving for 30 to 40 minutes on most days.
Let’s start out with taking the stairs. If it is physically possible for you to do so, it is an activity that has benefits.
Click this link Stair Climbing vs. Running by RunSociety.com to learn more.
There is also an article titled “The right way to climb Stairs!” that gives us tips on just that!
Here is a video to watch, just for fun, of a stair climbing competition at the Willis (Sears) Tower. If anything, the music might get you pumped!
You may find this video helpful with tips and encouragement on “Walking Basics”
Scroll down on this link to see an extensive conversion chart from aerobics to yoga that helps you to count steps for other activities.
Here are links to “Dorm Room Workout” videos and articles:
Dorm Room Workout Routines – 5 toning exercise routines
Dorm Room Workout – about a 30 minute vigorous workout!
and add a little Stress Less ~
“If you’re not sure about becoming active or boosting your level of physical activity because you’re afraid of getting hurt, the good news is that moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, is generally safe for most people (CDC).”
the Fitness Center, the Wellness Room and SuperTracker…
Our first “Lunchtime Conversations – Workout Spaces” was a huge success. We would like to thank John Seckel, Associate Director of the Campus Center for his excellent tour of this impressive facility. Admission is free with student, staff or faculty ID.
The Campus Center has the following open hours:
Sunday: 11 a.m.-Midnight
Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m.-Midnight
Saturday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
If you are interested in times when there is less activity in these workout spaces (located on the second floor), stop in or call, speak to John or one of the student assistants for more information.
the Fitness Center
The place to find the aerobic machines: steppers, stationary bikes, treadmills, elliptical machines and the universal weight machine. Follow the links for information about the equipment.
Click this link to watch a video about using a stair stepper.
Click this link to watch a video about using spin bikes.
Click this link to watch a video about using treadmills.
Click these links to watch videos about the elliptical machine’s ergonomic design, metabolic equivalent speed, and user friendly design.
Universal Weight machine
“A universal weight machine is a system of weights and cables
set up for resistance exercises” (Livestrong).
the Wellness Room
This space features an aerobic dance floor. Aerobic classes, yoga and wellness classes are held here (click here for schedule of classes).
The Wellness room is open for anyone to use freely when the fitness classes are not in session.
Wellness Room equipment
Wellness Room equipment
Workout videos available
As you can see, a variety of workout equipment is offered for use in the Wellness Room. Video equipment and workout videos such as “Insanity” and “P90X” are available for viewing in this area, too.
The Wellness Room is also the place to find the recumbent bicycle and ab glider.
Click this link to watch a video about using recumbent bicycles.