Overall Wellness: Taking Some Time.

I’m alive, I swear! With moving day getting closer and closer and work getting crazier and crazier, it has gotten harder and harder for me to find time to get everything done in one day. 24 hours seems to fly by. I got off on my posting schedule and had a handful of really stress filled days.

But the good news is that I will be moving this weekend to a new apartment. And I am starting to see a dim light at the end of the tunnel at work.

I also want to announce that as I approach 100 followers, I am planning a bit of a wellness related giveaway as a little thank you to my followers. I’m still working on details (like what the giveaway will include and how to run the giveaway…I’ve never done anything like this before!) but the thoughts are rolling around the ole noggin!


Have a great Wednesday!

Overall Wellness: I Steal Ideas from Tumblr…

Today as I was aimlessly scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I saw someone had shared a tumblr blog post from user maryschmidt – 25 things I want myself to know at 25. It obviously sparked my interest as I to am 25. And so I felt inspired to do what I do best…steal the idea and customize it to mine. So here it is, 25 things I want myself to know at 25.

  1. Disconnect with the world. Everyday. Put your phone down. Get away from the computer. Get away from technology.
  2. Remember to know what is going on in the world. Not just the online world, but the actual world. News podcasts will soon be your friend.
  3. Let go of it. Life is to short to obsess over it. You have already wasted too many years having your life revolve around it. Just let it go.
  4.  Don’t let go of your dreams. Road blocks and set backs will happen. But never let go of what makes you happy. Remember that quote, “chase it relentlessly”.
  5. When you start getting comfortable in your everyday life, it’s time to do something different and something that will get you out of your comfort zone. Comfort is great. But conquering a fear? Conquering something that is outside your comfort zone? Awesome.
  6.  Value your health and take care of yourself.
  7. When you have the opportunity, travel. Travel cheap, but travel.
  8. Value a frugal lifestyle. Trying to have a more “extravagant” lifestyle and constantly buying more things didn’t do you any good in undergrad. Quit trying to fill the holes of your life up with things.
  9. Learn to look for the brightside.
  10. Make time for those who make time for you. Trying to force a friendship gets exhausting.
  11. Take risks.
  12. Learn from your mistakes. I repeat, learn from your mistakes. Mistakes happen. But quit being an idiot and repeatedly making the same mistake over and over again. Learn from them.
  13. Stay true to who you are. When everyone around you is trying to make you conform to who they think you should be or how they think you should be living your life…stay true to who you are and what you want.
  14. Explore cooking. It’s time to not rely on the microwave for all of your meals.
  15. Learn how to invest in things that will last instead of buying poorly made things that you will get rid of quickly. From clothes to kitchen ware to furniture…save your money and make the investment.
  16. Give back. Whether it is giving back money, giving back time, or giving actual things, just remember to give back.
  17. Enjoy the flavors of beer. Your college years are over. And you learned what you wish you would have known about college and drinking in grad school (aka no, not everyone drinks heavily in college, it’s ok to say no and to not drink.) But now is the time to explore different flavors of beers and savor them. Instead of pounding them.
  18. Let someone in and let them love you.
  19. Learn when to let go.
  20. Laugh. Every. Single. Damn. Day. Whether someone makes you laugh, you make yourself laugh by telling another bad joke, or you watch something that makes you laugh. Laugh.
  21. Stop. Comparing. Yourself. To. Everyone. Just stop it.
  22. Take pride in your German heritage.
  23. Ain’t no shame in having a clean, organized apartment/office/car/life. Take the time to make sure it happens. Because chaos stresses you out.
  24. It’s ok to be nice. It’s ok to be sarcastic because that is you. Don’t be anything you aren’t. It will come off as fake. But it is ok to be nice to people and not always be sarcastic.
  25. Respect yourself. Love yourself. Remember that you are kind of awesome, and that’s ok to be

Intellectual Wellness: What’s in a Word?

I was scrolling through my health feed on HuffPo last night as it became more and more evident to me that sleep was miles and miles away…so I figured I might as well read some news and I stumbled across this article about one of my favorite words to hate, diet. Basically this article presents research that supports my documented hatred for the word “diet”.

Researchers show that when you concentrate on the “D” word, you start to fixate on which D is better and forget that when aiming for better health, lifestyle changes rather than just picking a D are more effective. They distinguished this as “what” to eat versus “how” to eat. Pagoto, a researcher from UMass Med School, encouraged a “three prong” approach to making lifestyle changes-dietary counseling, exercise counseling, and behavior modification (aka the most disappointing class in my undergrad career…how can someone make b.mods BORING?!?! No idea! But I digress). Pagoto’s approach gets to the root of a healthy lifestyle-portion control, goal setting, problem solving…all good stuff. Her thoughts of diets are spot on, “adherence is key, and the way to destroy adherence is forcing foods on someone they do not like, do not know how to prepare or can’t afford.” This sentiment is exactly why I am a huge proponent of making sure your nutrition matches your needs even if you are pulling from certain “diets”. I have said a number of times that I tend to follow more of a paleo nutritional outlook but one that fits me. I don’t om down meat at every meal. In fact, after a nutritional experiment/lent one year I have completely removed pork and red meat from my diet. It’s not about following a “diet” to a “t” as much as it is with adopting a lifestyle that is going to make it “easy” for you to  adhere to your nutritional intake. If you are doing a diet that requires you to buy certain foods/products that are ridiculously expensive, you might be causing yourself more harm than good.

So is it time for our society to drop the “D” word? Well, I think you know my thoughts on it. What are your thoughts?

Financial Wellness: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY :(

Well, here I am, yet again, with a car story. Not even a story. Just a, “why do all of my vehicles perpetually hate me?” rant.

About 10 days ago when I was driving home from work, my ABS light turned on (cue the joke about how I have been saying that I really want abs this year…ahahahahaha). In a vain shred of hope, I decided to give it a week to see if it was still coming on and what it was doing. Don’t worry, I read the owner’s manual to make sure it was semi-ok/safe and talked to some people and got feedback that it would be ok to drive w/ my ABS light on for a little bit but if if stays on, get it checked.

So Monday night when I was driving home and that little light was still on, I made the phone call that I didn’t want to make and made an appointment. I rushed getting ready this morning to drop my car off at the car place and prepared myself to part with my car and money. And now I impatiently wait to hear the prognosis.

I keep going back and forth with options on my car. I currently have a SUV which I bought because I knew that it would be useful for moving (I bought this car 3 years ago and since then I have moved, four going on five times…). But recently I have been exploring other options, more eco friendly and economical options. But I’m not sure what I want to do. I really don’t want to lease/buy a new car and have car payments because that is just another bill and another expense. But I am tempted to lease because of the “perks”. I have also thought about trading in my vehicle and getting a different one but one that like a straight trade or something. That doesn’t make any sense does it? Le sigh. I have also thought about just selling my car and buying a bike. But realistically, that really wouldn’t work very well.

I don’t know. I just want to be done w/ dealing with my car and all the issues. Because in addition to all of the stuff that has happened this summer, I also need to get new back tires, I put a new battery in it this year…it is just so much money that I spend on it all the time. I have been saying for a long time now that in an ideal world, I would live close enough to work and other places that I would need to go that I could walk or bike (on my imaginary bike…yup still don’t have one) and just not have to rely on a car any more. I could get rid of paying for car insurance and all the expenses that having a car bring. But then I would also have to deal with the “inconvenience” of not having a car.

This isn’t a post that gives advice or analyzes wellness information. It is just me ranting about the financial woes of having a car and that I cannot decide what to do. And me asking for advice and your experiences. Seriously. I need to be mentored on this.


Edit: something about something broken on my axel or something. It’s going to be $300 to fix. Which just an FYI means that JUST this summer I have spent $1000 on car repairs. Just this summer. Just car repairs. And to put that in perspective, I have spent an ENTIRE paycheck on car repairs this summer.

Physical Wellness: Lunch Time Workouts

I am one of the (I didn’t do the research so I don’t actually know how many) workers who sits at a desk all day and stare at a computer doing stuff. I try to abide by my own “rules” of getting up and walking around throughout the day, but sometimes I fail miserable (i.e. when I’m analyzing data). I also struggle with when during the day I should work out. If I work out in the morning, I feel rushed going through my workout because I keep thinking of how much time it is going to take me to get ready and then I rush through getting ready in the morning and I just don’t like to start my day off like that. I prefer to have a more laid back, calm, not rushed start to my morning. So that usually leaves working out at night. But sometimes (read:  winter time) working at out night is just as miserable. The sun may not be out, it’s cold…it’s just miserable.

So what’s the solution? Is there a solution? I have found a bit of a compromise in working out over my lunch hour. It gets me out of my office and up and moving around and it gets my workout in as well. But like all the other times, it is not without fault. I can’t go too hard to get too sweaty because I am going back to work. What I have been doing the past couple of weeks is walking to the gym (5 minute walk), doing a 5 minute warm up on either the cross ramp or elliptical, lifting and then walking back to work. This gets me about 15 minutes of just cardio and I end up getting around 30 minutes of lifting in. It’s enough to get my heart rate up a little bit but not so much that I’m gross and drenched in sweat after my workout (read:  no I do not shower after my lunch time workout, that may be gross but I have medium length, thick hair…you understand if you understand…that made sense).

The point of this post is this. There are always excuses to not workout and to skip a workout. But with every excuse to not do the workout, there is a way to make it work. It may not be perfect, but getting your heart rate up a bit and getting moving. Lunch time workouts are not my favorite, not by a long shot (that is a three way tie between park workouts, swimming, and running), but they get the job done.

What are some of the workouts you do that you maybe don’t love, but they get the job done? Maybe workouts when you are short on time, don’t have the space to do a proper workout, missed the gym time, etc.? I realllllly would like to know. I’m always looking for new ways to get active (read: I almost bought another stability ball just to keep in my office…true story).

As always, ways you can let me know are as follows:

Comment below (wooooooo!)

Facebook:  Wellness Blogging

Twitter:  @wellnessbloggin

Email:  wellnessblogging@outlook.com

Mental Wellness: Moving Stress

Once again, my personal life is going to dictate a blog post, my days are officially numbered in my apartment as I impatiently wait to move into my new apartment (which will be a mile away from work, a couple hundred yards away from the boy, in a better neighborhood, and overall a much, much nicer apartment). I have 11 days left in my apartment and I decided last night to get a bit of a head start on packing.



I actually got a good chunk of my stuff packed up yesterday. I have been methodically planning out my move to make it as stress free as possible. I have moved every single year at least once since I was 18 (I’m 25), so I sort of know what works and what doesn’t. Here are my personal tips (through many years of trial and error) that I have found work for me to have as little stress as possible when moving.

1.) On your first trip to the new place, bring your cleaning supplies and clean the new place (so much easier to clean an empty place than a place full of stuff). Apply the same sentiments to your old place. I don’t bother doing any major deep cleaning until I am pretty well moved out. It just makes it easier to clean without other stuff being in your way. So what I do is on my first trip to the new place, I bring cleaning supplies and then when I go back to the old place to get more things, I bring back the cleaning supplies. Make sense?

2.) Pack with purpose. I’ll admit that I have a few boxes that are “Misc.” or “Random Junk” but for the most part, I try to make sure that everything that belongs in the bathroom is in a box, everything that belongs in the closet is in a box (minus the next tip I have…). And then label those boxes. I started packing 12 days before I’m going to move. There is no way I’m going to remember what is in what box.

3.) Use what you have. Instead of buying bubble wrap to wrap up my dishes, I use clean blankets and clothes to wrap up my fragile dishes. I find this works just as well as buying bubble wrap and then you don’t have to waste money on bubble wrap (even though it is insanely fun…).

4.) Plan ahead. I try to keep boxes throughout the year to help out with moving (especially if I know I am going to be moving). So I keep my coffee maker box, and the box my tea pot came in, etc. If you know you are going to be moving, start planning ahead as much as possible. Figure out if you can get boxes from work (ask first!) or ask friends if they can get you boxes from work. Ask around at stores if they have any boxes you could have (they can be broken down because you can just “invest” a couple bucks in packing tape). But really, there isn’t (in my opinion) any need to buy fancy nice packing boxes when there are a lot of options for getting free ones if you are willing to plan ahead and ask around.

5.) Again with planning ahead, have a plan of how you want the move to look. So I usually prefer to move all the big stuff first and then start moving boxes but I’m adjusting since das boy (aka my boyfriend and Mr. Muscles) won’t be able to help until later. So I have a plan to make sure that I get all the little stuff moved so that when he helps me, it’s just a few trips of the big stuff (for me, mattress, futon mattress, book shelf, and a desk). I should be able to move everything else on my own.

6.) Label heavy boxes. And make sure boxes are actually able to be moved. I made this error when I was moving from Kentucky to Iowa and I put all (and I do mean all) of my books into one box. It’s a mistake I will not make again.

What are some of your tips and tricks to make the stress of moving, well, less stressful?

Physical Wellness: Would you Like Sugar with That?

Didn’t I say I was going to do a Gallup post this week? Well then, next week it is…

I have started to become a bit infatuated with HuffPo and the Washington Post solely for their wellness articles. They have distinguished themselves among other news sources because not every single article is about weight and losing weight and obesity and just weight related articles (one of my major pet peeves with “wellness” programs…wellness is more than your weight!).

WashPo (that doesn’t have the same ring to it as HuffPo does it?) recently published some new research on sugar. I’m oddly fascinated with sugar after watching “Hungry for Change” and how they linked sugar addiction to be similar to drug addiction (I have never been addicted to drugs but I have had my struggles w/ over consumption of sugar, so I sort of get it…sort of).

Anyway, this study used lab mice (cue animal rights activists here) and put them into control and experimental groups. Full disclosure, I’m reading through the research now and it is more science dense than I am used to reading so I may not get all the facts and data exactly right or interpret it correctly, but I’ll give it a shot. Basically, researchers gave mice in the experimental group a concentration of 25% kcal of sugar (which is equivalent to the sugar intake of around 20% of American’s). They then measured the differences that they found in the control and experimental group. They found negative side effects including female mice dying twice as fast and males not being interested in reproducing (if you get what I’m saying).

This is actually a really interesting study that Nature did (Jame Ruff is the first author on this) and if you have any interest in sugar or a really interesting research design, I recommend giving at least the Washington Post article a read.

I want to know if you have ever done experiments on your own with sugar? I gave up sugar for lent this year and struggled with it a lot but could tell major changes in my health. But even with seeing these major changes of my health, I haven’t been able to shake my sugar “addiction” completely. So what keeps us going back to something that is so bad for us? What are you thoughts on sugar? Is it a real addiction or is it just a mind over matter thing?

Mental Wellness: De-Stress Your Life w/ This?

I was chatting with a co-worker last week and he mentioned this little device to me that is something that can help regulate  your stress and emotions and try to help improve your performance. According to the ever reliable item description on amazon.com (you can go ahead and send me my award for best researcher ever), emWave uses changes in your heart rhythm (heart rate variability analysis aka HRV) to measure your emotional state. When you are experiencing stress-related emotions like anger, anxiety, etc., your heart rate becomes irregular which then negatively affects (effects…errr…this is the ONE word in the English language that I just don’t get)…IMPACTS (there, found a way around it) your brain and your overall functionality as a hu-mon being. When your heart is beating regularly, it is said to be an indicator of coherence levels which allegedly are linked to positive emotions.

If you can’t tell, I’m a little sketch on this…anyway, when my co-worker was chatting w/ me about it, all I could think of was the episode of “The Office” when Stanley Hudson has his heart attack and has to get that stress monitor…


Ok, so that’s not the exact episode…(whoops! SOURCE!) but you get the point. It just reminded me of that.

On Amazon, the emWave is going for around $160. But I wonder…what can you do for free or for almost free that has the same impact (see what I did there?) on your stress instead of buying some fo-fo device (that actually the more I look at it, the more tempted I am to buy…)? Some people say yoga, meditation, etc. But what about the people that just thrive off of stress? What about those people that just love having some of that good eustress and can just bust out work like it is nobody’s business? See the thing with stress is that it isn’t has simple and straight forward as it sounds (nothing ever is). Because there is bad stress (distress) and good stress (eustress) and it is trying to distinguish the difference between the two. It’s also trying to figure out your personality and how you respond to stress.

How do you de-stress your life? Would you ever be tempted to use one of these? Do you own an emWave? What are your thoughts on it?

Spiritual Wellness: Find Your Way.

One of my first blog posts was on spiritual wellness and detailing how running is my way to hit the reset button on my day and find my calmness. Since then, I have not written about spiritual wellness because, much like social wellness, spiritual wellness is a topic that I often have “impostor” syndrome. I don’t know a lot about it and even though religion is a topic that fascinates me, I am not religious by any stretch of the imagination. I guess religion isn’t want fascinates me as much as people’s differing views of the world and how religion shapes that (if that makes sense).

So why am I writing a blog post about finding your way in spiritual wellness? Beats me, but sometimes I like to just start the conversation and see where it goes. Even though I’m not religious, I try to not be close minded about religion and respecting of those around me who chose to be religious (to an extent-I mean I’ll be respectful but please respect my decision to not be religious and don’t recruit me into your religion). I like to open those conversations but in away that doesn’t make someone feel like they are being attacked for having a belief or being laughed at/judged for having a belief that is different than mine. I’ll admit, I struggle with it. I come from a scientific background so sometimes it is hard for me to wrap my head around religion. (Uh, disclaimer, this post may just be me word vomiting all over the place…)

So, my question to you, is how did you find your way with spiritual wellness? Did you just grow up in the environment or did you chose the spiritual path as an adult? What factors went into your decision making process? Did you want to keep tradition alive (ex. everyone in your family is Christian, so you value family and tradition and you are Christian as well)? How do you approach someone who is of differing religion/faith/spirituality than you? Why do you keep in your religion/faith/spirituality? What keeps you active in it? What doesn’t?

So many questions. I’m a curious mind. I always have been. I like to pretend I’m still a 2 year old that always asks, “why”. And more than that, I have found that talking to individuals about their views on spirituality is more exciting than reading research on it.

Emotional Wellness: Stop Just Going through the Motions.

We have all had those days. Those days where you don’t really know what you even did all day but somehow it’s night time and time for bed. We just go through the motions of the day and forget to experience the day. Some people may say that this is a sign of the dreaded “stuck in a rut” phase. Erin Cox, a blogger for HuffPo among other duties, wrote an article Sunday on some of her tips to get out of being in a rut. Erin’s article concentrated more on stopping things that stop you (getting over those pesky little road blocks). But I wanted to share today my personal tips for getting out of ruts.

Switch it up. Whether it is how your office is set up, how you structure your day, the workouts you do, even the music you listen to, switch it up. Change is a great and healthy thing and can often be motivating. I recently rearranged my office and re-motivated my workself to be a bad ass worker and get stuff done again. Sometimes you need a big change. Sometimes just switching my Pandora station helps. Regardless, I know that change helps me.

Treat yo self. This is completely stolen from Tom and Donna from Parks and Rec, but seriously, treat yo self. Sometimes you can’t always change what you are doing, but it helps to know that there is a prize at the end. Take a day off after finishing a huge project and just enjoy having the day off. Whatever it is that will keep you motivated and help you see the light at the end of the tunnel, do it (I mean, within reason…I don’t want any cops knocking on my door saying I said do ANYTHING…). Sometimes there is just nothing you can do about the rut and you just have to trek through it, but if there is something on the other end of that rut that can keep you motivated…make sure you keep your eyes on that.



Take a break. Sometimes walking away from the rut and doing something else, even for only a couple of minutes, can really help you re-focus.

Nothing I am writing here is groundbreaking. This isn’t brand new research. But that may be because I sometimes feel that getting stuck in rut may not always be in your control (even though I feel like you should have complete control over your life…) but sometimes things are outside of your realms of control. The important thing is to make sure that you continue to be in the driver’s seat of your life and you can dictate how you deal with being in a rut.

Or maybe I just need to redefine my definition of rut. Operationalize that. Because Erin and I both used different definitions and I’m sure you have a different one too.

In other news, I’m working on a blog post about growing up-pros, cons, is it all it is cracked out to be, etc. and I’m looking for some input. If you want to share information-stories, wisdom, thoughts, etc., please email me at wellnessblogging@outlook.com so I can start compiling information.

Have a great day!