This paper reflects the research and thoughts of a student at the time the paper was written for a course at Bryn Mawr College. Like other materials on Serendip, it is not intended to be "authoritative" but rather to help others further develop their own explorations. Web links were active as of the time the paper was posted but are not updated.

Contribute Thoughts | Search Serendip for Other Papers | Serendip Home Page

Women Living Well: Mind/Body Connection - 2002
Student Papers
On Serendip

Making Choices: Learning to Take Care of Mind and Body

Irum Ali

For me, the mind and body have always been inter-related. However, it was a connection that I was dimly aware of, and did not acknowledge as essential to the way I functioned. For me, life was always mind over matter ? if you put your mind to it, there was nothing that you couldn?t do, no matter how tired you were. Four years in the high-stress, extremely demanding atmosphere of Bryn Mawr has taught me differently. How I feel mentally always effects how I feel physically. Just as importantly, how I feel physically undoubtedly effects how I feel mentally. It is an undeniable fact. One cannot consider one to be more important than the other. Just as we nourish our bodies, we must nourish our minds. Balance is imperative. It is one of the most important lessons that I have learned while at college. A lesson that was made clearer and the goal of balance more attainable through the strategies I have learned in this seminar.

In college life it is very easy to fall into a pattern where we focus on one aspect of our beings to the detriment of the other. We so often hear people say things like: ?I haven?t had time to eat today?/?I haven?t slept in days? or ?I don?t have time to think about how upset I am?/?I don?t know how to express my emotions?. To me, each of these things is as unhealthy as the other. To be well, rounded, healthy and happy individuals, we must take on the responsibility of caring for ourselves.

Although caring for ourselves can encompass many things, this seminar has helped me learn specific ways to care for myself. It was easy at first to dismiss most of the things that the speakers were saying as common sense. However, as time went on, I asked myself the difficult question ? if its such common sense, then why aren?t I doing half the things that I should be doing to take care of my body? I told myself that I had priorities, that I was a Senior and I needed to focus on my work, on finding a job, on preparing for the challenges that would undoubtedly lie in store for me in the real world. Then it came to me ? learning how to make taking care of myself a priority was not only a key to doing better academically and being a more dynamic person socially, it was the best preparation for the real world that I could ever learn. This would be what the real world would be all about ? learning how to be at your best, mentally and physically so that you can maximise your performance and happiness.

After years of always staying up all night to get it done, I have learned now that sometimes you have to sleep ? or sometimes you have to give up something else in order to be able to get enough sleep. I have learned that eating healthily is more important than being thin. I have discovered that taking fifteen minutes to take a walk or that taking a dance class makes me a happier person. I have learned that there are options out there ? that are ours for the taking. We can let life dictate the terms, or take life and live it our way ? and be happier, healthier ? and less sleep deprived! It?s about making choices ? the right ones for us.

| Forums | Serendip Home |

Send us your comments at Serendip

© by Serendip 1994-2007 - Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-May-2018 10:51:17 CDT