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Remote Ready Biology Learning Activities

Remote Ready Biology Learning Activities has 50 remote-ready activities, which work for either your classroom or remote teaching.

Women Living Well 2005 - Group A 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 !
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-03-17 16:42:48
Link to this Comment: 13593

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

Name: Cara Pasqu
Date: 2005-03-19 16:01:34
Link to this Comment: 13642

In all of our lives balance is an extremly hard thing to achieve. Balance is when we have everything we do proportioned out in a way that does not put stress on us or is bad for us. Balance is in what you eat, having the right amount of protein, fats and all that good stuff for you so your body can stay healthy. It is getting enough sleep, while doing your school work. In the world we live in today, balance is impossible to achieve, but we can get close. It is prioritizing and taking care of yourself, while getting the things done that are necessary in your job or in school. We prioritize our lives by our values. Some people think it is more important to do school work then have a scoial life. So they focus more on work than on other aspects of life. Some people like to drink and go out every night and have fun. We put more weight on the things on our life that mean more to us. A problem arises when you want to do everything, which is not possible since there are only 24 hours in a day. Throughout college and high school I think people's lives are extremly out of balance because there are so many demands. Throughout your life though, you can learn how to balance your life in a way that works for you. Some things will be more important but people will be able to live in a way that works for them. If not you end up being stressed out and have a break down. To get close to a blanaced life is very hard and it takes a lifetime of practice.

Name: Julia Cocc
Date: 2005-03-21 09:15:36
Link to this Comment: 13737

Balance is a very difficult thing to establish, yet it is something that each individual can define differently. Everyone can establish balance if it is their definition of the word. Some people may feel more or less balanced than others, but it is all a matter of perception. It is not so much a matter of gaining a complete balance, but rather achieving a state where you are happy and relaxed and to be able to accomplish your everyday tasks. Priorities are set in order for the most important things to get addressed first, yet these should never completely overule the things one wants to do, rather than has to do. A priority is a priority and there is nothing that will change that, therefore, it is important that they get done and put out of the way first so that there is time for more enjoyable things. Balance is especially difficult for us to attain, yet we should not strive so hard to be completely balanced, but rather be in a place where we feel comfortable and confident.

Name: Jackney
Date: 2005-03-21 19:15:09
Link to this Comment: 13810

One may be able to achieve balance at various times in different parts of their lives- but probably never achieving balance simultaneously in the various parts of their lives. Yet it sems that we can have balance in certain aspects of our lives like in our diet and exercise routines, but balance, an absolute balance in our lives, is non-existent. It is unreasonable to acheive a balanced state, and may actually be detrimental to our lives if we focus on balancing our lives it may actually become more stressful. Not that balancing is a natural process, but if we structure in time for ouselves to reflect, time for exercise, and eat healthy along with our everyday actvities we may be able to achieve some semblance of harmony in our lives and that is most important and more acheivable.

Name: Cara Pasqu
Date: 2005-03-21 23:00:32
Link to this Comment: 13837

In reading Jackie's posting, I agree with her interpretation that we can acheive balance in parts of our lives, but not in every part of our life. I think that is a really good thing to recognize so we dont go crazy trying to have an equal amount of everything in our lives, jusr enough to make us comfortable, happy and healthy. There will always be hard points in our lives that throw one area out of balance, but other aspects of your life can be balanced even though one is not.

Name: Jackney
Date: 2005-03-23 11:10:46
Link to this Comment: 13916

I agree with Julia that we all define balance in different ways according to what we give the most priority to in our lives. The trick is always to give weight to these priorities, but not to let them rule over our lives so that we can enjoy life too. I like that.

Date: 2005-03-23 11:36:10
Link to this Comment: 13920

Name: Heather Si
Date: 2005-03-23 11:40:50
Link to this Comment: 13921

Perfect balance is impossible to achieve, but as long as you keep in mind what is healthy and harmful for your mind and body, you can achieve the amount of balance that works for you. Stress is extremely unhealthy for both mind and body, so stressing about being balanced is much worse than not consciously trying to be balanced.

Week II Mindfullness
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-03-23 13:38:51
Link to this Comment: 13928

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 and mindfluness
Name: Cara Pasqu
Date: 2005-03-27 23:51:42
Link to this Comment: 14071

Brooding is when you are so upset with what is going on in your life, you miss why things are going on and your part in it. When you are down and things seem to be at their worst, you have the opportunity to refelct on what is going on and take something positive out of the experience. It is very important to be proactive in your life and take responsibility for what you can control or work on. Some things in life you cant control, like mental illnesses, but you can be proactive in learning out what is going on and constantly reflecting on the things going on in your mind and how you react to to them, but in a constructive way. From my own experience with depression, I have taken it as an opportunity to constantly examine my life. Yes it sucks a lot, but we all have to make the most of what we have. Meditating and alternative practices have really helped me. However, people want a quick fix, but I believe meditating is something you work on and it can really benefit you if you add it into your life on a regular basis.

Name: Julia Cocc
Date: 2005-03-28 11:56:22
Link to this Comment: 14080

Brooding is dwelling on something or not on anything in particular in an unconstructive way. Reflection is understanding clearly what needs to be done or what the situation is and handling it properly. Someone who broods all the time is not going to get as much accomplished as someone who is reflective. Meditation certainly affect's one's ability to be reflective. It allows one's mind to be more clear and focused so that what needs to get accomplished does. Being mindful allows someone to have set agendas and goals and accomplish these things in a timely manner, while still being able to enjoy life. Mindfulness, reflection, meditation are all ways of living a much more balanced existence. Additionally, when you are mentally more focused you are often more physically focused as well, which allows for a better well-being in general.

Name: Heather Si
Date: 2005-03-28 16:21:17
Link to this Comment: 14096

Brooding is when you are overwhelmed by the emotions of a situation that all you can do is rehash how you are feeling, sort of wallowing in your misery. Reflecting is when you are able to step back and objectively evaluate the situation. Mindfulness meditation allows you to recognize the emotions that you are having, but not to be drawn in and overwhelmed by them. The emotions are still there, but you are staying one step back from them so you still have that ability to reflect objectively.

Name: D. Sarzins
Date: 2005-03-29 12:02:40
Link to this Comment: 14136

i guess the difference between brooding and reflection ies in feelings and emotions accompanying each of them. brooding is more associated with feelings of anxiety and unease and sulking. if you brood about something, you are essentially "reflectivelly worrying" about it. reflection can be accompanied by these feelings as well, but it is more often just a simple rehashing, re-examination of events or thoughts, without deeper emotional involvement.

if meditation and minfulness were to affect one's ability to be reflective, they woud affect it positively in a way that they would help get rid of all the accompanying emotions of brooding, thus providing for clean thought to be examined and processed. however, this all depends on a person's ability to engage in these activities, as well as the problem one is thinking about.

mindfulness is being aware of your present moment, without judging, reflecting or thinking. you are simply observing the moment in which you find yourself. this can be beneficial for one's wellbeing in a way that it helps us focus on "right now" and "right here" and provides means and ways to make those two aspects the best they can be.

Response to Cara's comments
Name: D. Sarzins
Date: 2005-03-29 12:05:56
Link to this Comment: 14137

I would also like to agree with Cara that meditation or mindfulness is not a way to a quick fix. in addition to that, i don't think it's a fix at all. it is a way for someone (if they have mastered the skill) to find peace and silence within themself and reflect upon the problem or issue they are concerned about. it takes time, skill, and personal affinity toward sitting still for hours. personally i dont have the nerves or patience for it, but whatever works for you i guess :)

Response to other comments
Name: Julia Cocc
Date: 2005-03-29 18:47:09
Link to this Comment: 14147

I agree that meditation is not a quick fix, and it is not really a 'fix' at all. It is just a useful way to maintain some sort of balance in an often very hectic existence. If done correctly mediation and reflection can be extremely helpful tools for gaining some control. They help in maintaining some balance as we discussed last week.

Mindfulness and Brooding
Name: Jackney
Date: 2005-03-30 00:04:33
Link to this Comment: 14153

Brooding can be dangerous. It is not useful to concentrate too much
on a problem or a certain situation you may be having, instead you must
work on identifying your problems, if it is stress for example, and sometimes distracting yourself to allow your mind and body to relax and recharge. Deep breathing exercises are one way to begin the process of becoming mindful. These exercises allow the you to be mindful of yourself
and will allow you to reflect on your situation. Reflection allows you to
analyze your ssituation in a way that you look toward finding solutions and stepping back from the situation. Reflection allows you to have a more objective look at your problems. Meditation and breathing exercises will help increase your mindfulness and increase your ability to reflect objectively on your situation. Being mindful allows you to have a certain distance from your problems and find constructive ways of dealing with them.

Name: Cara Pasqu
Date: 2005-03-30 00:18:47
Link to this Comment: 14154

I agree with the response that meditation is not something that fixes everything but brings some inner peace and relaxtion. Meditation, however, can be used a method to bring yourself to a place where you can deal with the issues and problems that one is facing. It brings other benefits such as reducing stress which can add to any personal problems. Also, I think people have a stereotypical idea of meditation as being a monk sitting with his eyes closed for hours. Meditation practices can be adapted to fit ones life. Meditation can be just practicing breathing during a class or closing ones eyes for a few minutes. It is something that is possible to incorporate into your life in a way that works for you.

Name: Heather Si
Date: 2005-03-30 11:38:11
Link to this Comment: 14161

I think meditation should be given more credit than just a way to feel more relaxed. that monk that they talked about showed that meditation really does make you happier in the long run, and that may not make all your problems go away, but you will be much better equipped to deal with them. It's very hard to continue with a program of meditation unless you are very driven to do it, but if you can be persistent with it, studies we talked about in my psychology class have shown there are long term physical and mental benefits from the consistent practice of meditation.

Week 3 Glenn Smith
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-03-31 10:08:00
Link to this Comment: 14183

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?

Name: Cara Pasqu
Date: 2005-04-04 14:16:18
Link to this Comment: 14273

The tools that Glenn taught us can help us prioritize the things in our life. We can see what is really urgent and what isnt and the things that we need to make time for to keep ourselves sane. It is important to make time for yourself as well as time for the things you need to get done throughout your day. This can be useful to the talk the week before about brooding and reflectiveness. The space in the box in Glenn's talk, not urgent but important, is the time that can be used for meditating and reflecting in a constructiive way on the things in your life that you are havign problems with.

Name: Cara Pasqu
Date: 2005-04-06 09:27:10
Link to this Comment: 14343

In looking at my comment from before, it is definitely possible to combine what Mar and Glenn said in their talks in a way that compliment each other. This, howvere, is extremly hard and takes a lot of practice throughout your life. I think people will become frustrated as they try to do this, but it is important to know that their is no right or wrong way, just the way that works for you

Urgency and Importance
Date: 2005-04-06 10:22:23
Link to this Comment: 14344

I think in he second talk we heard about putting the most important things first, but also avoiding the "rush" of the feelings urgency. Urgency only makes us more tired and stressed because we are putting so much into the situation and not actually sitting down and prioritzing what things really need the most attention, but are not urgent. This relates to the last speaker on mindfulness and meditation because as we see the point is to take a step back and realize what is going on around us and how we can prioritize better in our lives- leaving behind as much stress nad drama as we can.

time management
Name: Julia Cocc
Date: 2005-04-06 13:14:34
Link to this Comment: 14351

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?

Glenn gave us some very useful pointers that will help us be more organized and have better control over our priorities. However, he stressed to us that would should not let our tasks that need to be done, overrule what we want to do. The common theme of balance becomes apparent again.

The talk about time management allows us to achieve more balance, and to be more mindful of what needs to be accomplished and accomplishing it, rather than brooding and procrastinating which only leads to more stress.

time management
Name: Heather
Date: 2005-04-08 13:18:28
Link to this Comment: 14384

Mindfulness meditation could be used to help one reflect (not brood) on what one has to do, and then kkbe better equipped to distinguish urgency from importance. I agree with Glen that a lot of people in today's culture, especially at Bryn Mawr, are addicted to that sense of urgency, addicted to being super busy and stressed out all the time. I feel personally that I am an exception to that rule, and I feel that my tendency is kind of the opposite of what glen was talking about, I definitely give priority to building relationships with others and having some relaxing time. I know I need those things to stay happy and I can only be productive if I am happy, so I would choose to spend time with a friend or take a relaxing shower rather than working an extra couple hours on an assignment. So that can have negative consequences as well, but it's not what Glen seemed to expect from students here.

Week 4 Mimi Murray
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-04-11 18:40:21
Link to this Comment: 14462

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 mindfulness
Name: Heather Si
Date: 2005-04-12 14:40:03
Link to this Comment: 14519

Good nutrition will help with balance by keeping our body healthy. Being mindful of our eating is, again, reflecting but not brooding, meaning that we should think about what we are eating, but not be obsessive about it, because that only leads to stress, which can possibly lead to abusive eating habits. So we shouldn't berate ourselves if we eat too much fats on one day or something, the food pyramid is just something we should try to keep in mind when making our food choices for the day.

Date: 2005-04-12 18:38:44
Link to this Comment: 14529

Nutrition affects every facet of our lives. It gives us the energy and strength to meet the demands of our very hectic lives. Without proper nutrition our bodies can not function properly, and we are not able to be mindful. In addition to everything else in our lives it is important to be mindful about eating as well, and remember to eat well so that we may work well.

Name: Jackney
Date: 2005-04-12 23:44:22
Link to this Comment: 14533

Nutrition is an extremely important factor in balancing our body and our mind. Without the proper nutrition we can not get the maximum, efficient output from our bodies. Nutrition is not just eating meals, but eating a meal balanced in nutrition and low in fat. High fat, high cholesterol foods decrease our body's efficiency to burn fat and without exercise this may be detrimental to our health. We must be mindful of the foods we put into our body. We can not have the ice cream everyday, but we can drink the water everyday. We must be conscious of what we are eating and what we are not!

Week 5 Get F.I.T.T. Bryn Mawr
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-04-13 17:29:47
Link to this Comment: 14554

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?

Name: Jackney
Date: 2005-04-18 17:02:11
Link to this Comment: 14688

The overload principle is to help increase one's physical capacities. By gradually adding more weight to resistance training or increasing one's range while stretching will help to increase one's overall physical capacity. This is important to combating that plateau that we sometimes reach where our body becomes comfortable with the workout and so we do not get the same benefit. We have to up our resistance training, flexibility and Aerobic workouts. we have to change our routine to increase the benefits to our bodies--- we have to be mindful of and aware when our bodies no longer respond to our regular routine. This is very important to developing a fitness plan that works for your body, not just in losing weight for an event, but for keeping ourselves healthy.

Name: Cara Pasqu
Date: 2005-04-18 22:18:34
Link to this Comment: 14709

Having an overall work out plan is important. You need all of the components of flexibility, strength and aerobic training to be fit all over. This is part of mindfulness and respecting your body. Exercising and taking care fo your body can promote mental as well as physical health and it is important to pay attention to all aspects of your body.

Name: Cara Pasqu
Date: 2005-04-19 18:50:01
Link to this Comment: 14737

I agree with Jackney that we need to up our resistance, flexibility and aerobic training to increase what ones body can do and be the best that we can. It is also important to mindful of the limits of our bodies and to gradually increase certain things and to not damage your body. It is important to be respectful of our body, to learn its limits, but also push it to be the strongest it can. This is part of maintaining overall health and helping yourself feel good

get fitt bryn mawr
Name: Julia Cocc
Date: 2005-04-20 09:46:20
Link to this Comment: 14747

In oder to have a fitness plan that is useful it is necessary to really work all the parts of one's body. It is not enough to follow just one form of exercise, plus the benefits are not as good. Additionally, to work all parts of the body enables us to be mindful of our body and how it functions. If we have a better understanding of how our bodies work and what they need to function properly, we will also be more inclined to not stress as much and have a balanced diet that supplies the nutrients necessary to live.

Response to Get FITT
Date: 2005-04-25 15:53:31
Link to this Comment: 14851

Exercise helps your body to be physically healthy. It also raises self-esteem because you feel like you are accomplishing something, and because your body looks better when you are toned and healthy looking. THis is why you need the overload principle, so that your body continues to improve, rather than stagnating. Exercize also promotes mental health, it helps you to get your mind off of your problems, and it is an outlet for your negative/anxious energy, and the endorphins released afterwards make you feel happier. I have heard many people who have a tendency to get depressed say that going for a run or working out at the gym is extremely helpful to them when they are feeling depressed.

Name: Heather Si
Date: 2005-04-25 15:54:19
Link to this Comment: 14852

oops I forgot to put my name but those are my comments above

Week 4 comment on nutrition
Name: Cara Pasqu
Date: 2005-04-26 00:16:53
Link to this Comment: 14863

Eating well is very important in balancing your life and feeling good in general. What we eat can effect our moods, and the way our bodies function. If we eat only junk food, we wont feel as healthy and can at times feel sluggish because our body isnt getting the essential nutrition that it needs. It is possible to be mindful about eating by making sure we get the proper amounts of fruits and vegetables. It is also important to not deprive yourself of things that you want. It is okay to eat chocolate or have ice cream, but in moderation. Overall, eating well is important, but we also need to feel good about eating in general.

Response to 14529
Name: Cara Pasqu
Date: 2005-04-26 00:22:13
Link to this Comment: 14864

I agree with response 14529 that "nutrition affects every facet of our lives". Eating the amount of food and also getting enough nutrients that your body needs is essential to keeping up your energy level and give you strength to get through the day.

Name: Jackney
Date: 2005-04-28 19:45:05
Link to this Comment: 14939

I had forgot to put my name on my comments # 14344. It was a while back but wanted to make sure. As well I think all these talks were important in conveying the importance of balance. We need mindfulness to do that. TO make sure we eat well, exercise, and keep ourselves aware of our emotional and mental state.

week 3
Name: D. Sarzins
Date: 2005-04-29 11:23:57
Link to this Comment: 14956


Glen's talk was really inspiring for me because I constantly have trouble prioritizing. He tried to convey a message that we must take a look at the complete spectrum of our activities and make a conscious decision about what is really important and what isn't. to do this, we need to group the activities into categories, based on the sense of urgency. it connects to Matk's talk in a way that it allows for thinking about the activities we have to do each day in a mindful way, and outs brooding at the bottom of priorities.


I agree that it could be hard to master the correct application of both mindful thinking and prioritization, but once we do, it helps so much in everyday life. i can't say for myself that i believe that mindfulness is the only way to go to be sucessfull in prioritizing, but it could help.

Week 4
Name: D. Sarzins
Date: 2005-04-29 11:37:41
Link to this Comment: 14957


Correct nutrition helps us get the maximum out of our body by providing the nutrients we need to function properly. Wow, that was one loopy sentence, but anyway. Correct nutrition is findng the balance between all the necessary nutrients. the way it connects to the previous talks is that Mimi talked about avoidance of brooding over what we eat and application of midfulness to it. this helps to avoid the stress which is potentially caused by fussing over what we ate.


I rally for ice-cream every day! plenty of water and a little bit of ice-cream every day, when combined with a proper nutrition and an adequate work out plan can only make you feel good. i think it's all about balance and the attitude you have toward what/how much you eat and how you eat it...

Week 5
Name: D. Sarzins
Date: 2005-04-29 11:59:43
Link to this Comment: 14967


Th eprinciple of overload is to steadily increade the components of F.I.T.T. in order to provide challenge to one's body. If we keep the frequency, intensity, time and type of exercise the same all the time, our bodies will get used to it and we will not be able to get out of our exercise what we want. Proper fitness techniques are obviously closely related to propper nutrition intake since even if you work out all day, if at the end you go and eat a whole pizza and 3 milkshakes, it really doesn't do much. prioritization and time management are also important because one cannot allow the exercise to be the main thing in their life and we also shouldn't leave it at the last priority because it IS important. being mindful about your own body and its limits is also very important because you need to know when to stop and when to push harder.


I like the way you mention exercise being the outlet, something that gets your mind off of other things and problems. Essentially, it helps you not brood :)

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