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Women Living Well - Spring 2005
Student Papers
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Women Living Well: Balance

Cara Pasquale

A balanced life is hard to achieve, probably impossible. There are, however, many things we can do in our life to help attain balance in certain aspects of our life. There are always going to be things out of our control, but we have the ability to achieve balance in some parts of our life to counteract the crazy things going on. The four speakers each focused on different aspects of our lives and how to accomplish balance within that part of our life. When one puts all of the advice from the different speakers together it gives a total picture of health and how to achieve a somewhat balanced life.

The first speaker was, Marc Schultz of the Psychology Department at Bryn Mawr. His lecture focused on mindfulness, reflecting and brooding. There was also a section on meditation in order to clear ones mind and relax. The content of this lecture discussed how to balance your mind and reflect on ones life in a constructive way that that does not lead to brooding. It is important to relax and take time for yourself and analyze your life. It must be done, however, in a way that is constructive and not self-defeating. We need to look at our lives and take responsibility. Meditating is a way to clear your mind, and decrease your stress level, so your mood wont become so negative or out of control. In order to live a healthy life, we need to take care of our minds. It is important to look at our methods of reflection and how we react in our minds because our mental state effects our entire life.

The second speaker was Glenn Smith, the Director of Facilities at Bryn Mawr College. His lecture focused on time management and making time for what is most important. He reminded us that we cannot do everything, and that we need to do what is most important first and then do all those other little things. This relates to balance because if we try to do everything, our lives will be crazy. We need to weigh what is important and what we can sacrifice. This time management relates to Marc Schultz lecture because while managing time it is important to make room for yourself, a time where you can reflect. Time management is an essential part of achieving balance. If we do not manage our time, then our lives will be a mess and create massive amounts of stress.

The third speaker was Mimi Murray, the Bryn Mawr and Haverford College Nutritionist. Her lecture was concerned with eating well and how that leads to a healthy and balanced life. Eating well is very important because getting the proper nutrients for the day helps keep our mind alert and gives us energy to deal with life. If you do not eat right, your energy will be low and you might start to feel bad about yourself. Eating a balanced diet helps make you feel better, and improves other aspects of your life.

The fourth speaker was Matt Brzycki, Coordinator of Stephens Fitness Center at Princeton University. He talked about the importance of fitness. He also broke it down into three categories, strength, aerobic and flexibility. All of these parts of exercise are important because you can be strong in one but weak in another. To promote overall health it is important to focus on all areas to achieve balance within your body. Also, exercising does not only help your body physically, but it helps your mental state too. Fitness is another essential part of the puzzle to living well. You do not need to exercise for an hour in the gym everyday, but just make sure you are active and pay attention to all the areas of your body.

All four of these speakers taught us something about balance. When you put all of their advice together, it is evident that balance is not just having one aspect of your life in order, but taking care of all the elements in your life. It might not be possible to have all aspects of your life in balance, but it is possible to attain a state near balance. Paying attention to the four aspects that these speakers discussed is an important step to understanding how your body can achieve balance.

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