By Andie Babusik
One thing we all love to do over in BC Health is talk about health! (cough, cough our whole #LetsTalkHealth campaign) But what does it mean to be healthy? How do we begin to talk about it? Everyone has their own ideas about what makes them feel good, but maybe that’s the trick. Health is what works for YOU. Healthy is whatever makes you happiest. We asked our professional, graduate, and student staff to chime in. These are just a few ways the hard-workers in our office feel healthy:
Elise Phillips, Director:
To me, being and feeling healthy is all about balance. When I feel balanced I am on top of my day, and if I don’t, I need to pause, set the reset button, and start again. I love the water and swim everyday, and when I combine that with my favorite foods and positive relationships–that is healthy!
Kate Sweeney, Nutritionist:
There is so much that goes into making me feel and be healthy including getting enough sleep, eating intuitively, cooking, spending time with friends and family, regular exercise, and more. In the past, I did more endurance training to feel healthy, as I was a collegiate swimmer and competitive triathlete. Nowadays, my body feels most healthy doing varied activities like rock climbing, sailing, ziplining, walking, hiking, and swimming. And, these activities are even better when done with friends, while traveling, and including food 🙂
Jeannine Kremer, Associate Director:
Healthy is living and enjoying every moment. Healthy is being and sharing my most authentic self. Healthy is finding balance in my work and home lives. Healthy is experiencing new things like goat yoga!
Makayla Davis, Assistant Director:
Honestly, eating a piece of chocolate everyday makes me feel healthy and happy! To me, healthy means always listening to what my mind and body needs. Often that’s a long run along the Charles River, getting 8 hours of sleep, having an iced coffee every morning, or calling a friend on the way home from work. It’s about finding joy in all that we do and appreciating what we already have rather than always wanting more. I believe living in the present moment allows us to access our true power.
Jemima Pierre, Assistant Director:
I am the person who loves making to-do lists and getting everything on it done in one day. However, being superwoman isn’t always the healthiest thing for me to do. So what truly makes me feel healthy is knowing when I need to just rest. Whether it’s going out to eat, spending time with my loved ones, or watching Netflix in bed, it gives me the chance to reset and refuel so that I can be the best version of me.
Evan Heatley, Graduate Assistant:
Listening to my body is what makes me feel healthy. That means almost never saying no to chocolate, but also eating plenty of vegetables. I try to exercise daily, but sometimes I need a day (or three) on the couch. Most importantly, I try to spend as much time as I can doing things that make me happy like cooking, reading, and hiking.
Elaine Miller, Graduate Assistant:
I feel healthy when I take time for self-care! My latest hobby has been playing with make-up. I love the artistry of watching youtuber gurus doing something fabulous with their products and then trying to recreate the look myself. I’m not amazing yet but I’ve definitely improved from my middle school emo days of raccoon eyeliner and 18 coats of mascara.
Amanda Kuron, Clinical Intern:
I feel the healthiest when I’m also feeling balanced! Balance, for me, looks like a combination of being productive in my school and work and taking time for myself. I love to exercise, read, travel, EAT, pray, and spend time with family and friends to keep healthy and to feel balanced.
David Carrigan, Clinical Intern:
What makes me feel healthy is being comfortable in my own skin. I spent so much time in the past thinking that healthy meant always working out and having a strict diet. However, no matter how many calories I cut or how many times a week I went to the gym I still never felt happy or healthy. That’s because I realized for me being healthy isn’t trying to force myself into societies definition of it. Healthy for me meant balance, acceptance, and support.
Hannah Ladesic, Graphic Designer:
I feel healthy when I’m doing things that make me feel strong and empowered physically, mentally, and emotionally. Growing up, I tried just about every sport out there, which has given me a desire to always look for new ways to stay active. Whether it’s trying a new fitness class, taking tennis lessons, or taking walks outside, I love to keep my body moving. Cooking and baking are also some of my favorite pastimes and I can often be found trying out new healthy recipes, going to farmer’s markets, and building up my loyalty points at Sweetgreen. To give myself a healthy mental break from academics I love reading, spending time with family and friends, and tackling new DIY craft projects.
Sam Ng, Graphic Designer:
My understanding of health keeps changing and growing as I learn more about myself and about various aspects of health. Right now, I feel the most healthy when I am present with my body. To me, this means trying to get to the root of why I am feeling a certain way and either changing or continuing what I am doing. For example, if I am feeling more tired than usual instead of just grabbing a coffee, I think about why I might be feeling tired – is it because I stayed up late finishing an assignment, or because I have not been fueling my body well, or am I feeling sick? Allowing myself to check in with my body makes me treat my body well and keeps me feeling healthy.
Maria Meyer, Tabling Representative:
Healthy to me is all about doing what feels right for you. Taking some time to relax by spending time with my roommates, having a girls night in with nail painting and Thai food after a long week of cramming on the 5th floor of O’Neill makes me feel healthy. But also, waking up early on a Sunday to go for a run around the Res and ending with an omelet full of spinach and bell peppers makes me feel healthy too! What makes me feel healthy is listening to my body and doing what it’s telling me it wants!!
Abby Whelan, Research and Development Specialist:
One thing that makes me feel healthy is making time to take breaks and get outside. Especially in the midst of a busy week and crammed schedule, it has always been important to me to find time for fresh air and exercise. Regardless of whether I can find 20 minutes or a few days to get away and get outdoors, a breath of fresh air always helps to clear my head. Any activity, such as running, walking, or biking, can help me to disconnect from technology and from the craziness of everyday life and find some peace and perspective. I feel healthier when I take a breath and give myself a well-timed break!
Andie Babusik, Social Media Manager:
Health is all about balance for me. Most thursday’s I have a kale smoothie for breakfast and the Rat’s mac and cheese for lunch. Somedays I go to the gym AND practice with my dance team and other days I binge watch ‘This Is Us’ in bed. I feel happiest when I don’t deprive myself or overindulge. I continuously reevaluate my definition and ideas of health to feel more balanced and ultimately happier.