Alicia Bartosch, assistant controller for compliance, has learned that mindfulness along with physical activity can refocus and recenter her, benefiting her and her family during the COVID-19. Read her Q&A to learn more.
What have you been doing during this at-home time to improve your health, whether physically, spiritually or mentally? Why did you decide to do it?
I have been walking two to three miles every morning to give me some quiet time, space to think and time to plan my day before my husband and kids wake up. Plus, I’m getting in my extra steps.
I'm also leading five teams from UNC Charlotte in the State's Miles for Wellness Challenge 21, and my personal goal is 15,000 steps a day. I also go to CrossFit three to four times a week in the evening to keep up my strength and mobility, though I could still use some work on my endurance. On days that I don't go to CrossFit, I walk during my son's soccer practice after dropping off his sisters at their four-hour gymnastics training. We are a highly active family and put great value on our physical fitness and abilities. All of us have bikes and we go on family bike rides when we need a change of pace. I even try to fit in a Power Yoga zoom session with UREC at least once a week but haven't been very consistent. I wish I did it more. It’s one of the things I miss about being on campus. I also try to meal prep when I can (e.g., cut up strawberries, make a bulk salad, tuna salad, and trail mix) to help me watch what I eat, since I'm sitting for most of eight hours. I try to have a balanced low-calorie diet. Something new I’m trying is having the occasional smoothie.
I enjoy staying active, being motivated by a group working out and motivating others to stick with it. It's not just healthy physically, but mentally therapeutic.
What is/was the most challenging part of it? Most rewarding?
Since I’m not able to be with other people for the most part, it’s been challenging to stay accountable and motivate myself. There's been plenty of mornings when the alarm goes off at 5:50 a.m. that I could just roll over and close my eyes, but I choose to roll out of bed instead and start my day off meeting that challenge head on. Another challenge is being right next to the kitchen anytime I want a snack. On top of that, I've struggled with knee and foot pain since early August and have been routinely going to the chiropractor and massage therapy for treatment, which seems to be helping. Something I wish I did more of is reading. Back in the spring, I had a leadership/relationship book I was reading and cruised right through it in the mornings (sometimes while I was walking), but lately I haven't read anything. Luckily, that will change with the BA Book Club that just started up this month. I know it will be rewarding on both fronts (connecting with people, and reflecting personally as I read through it). Feeling a sense of accomplishment, connecting with/helping people, setting an example for my children and making time for me has been a great reward.
What would you say to encourage your colleagues during this time?
CHOOSE YOU and MAKE A MOVE! Set a goal, start small, strive for consistency and then challenge yourself to stretch that goal. Don't get discouraged if you fall off. Give yourself grace. Get back up. Never get settled for too long.
"If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living." - Gail Sheehy.
Someone wise recently told me to take someone with you. There is strength in numbers. Iron sharpens iron. So, encourage someone else, and help yourself in the process. You are worth it!
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