Health Equity or Health Disparity: Do Whites and Minorities Have the Same Health Outcomes?

Heels, did you know April is National Minority Health Month? So what does that mean?

minority

National Minority Health Month began in April 2001 in response to a national health promotion and disease prevention initiative called Healthy People 2010 . Since its inauguration over a decade ago, National Minority Health Month has been commemorated every year nationally. The purpose of National Minority Health Month is twofold.

1)      National Minority Health month raises awareness about health disparities, or gaps in the quality of health and health care experienced by racial and ethnic minorities. Some of these racial and ethnic minorities include people who identify as Black or African American, Latina/Latino, East Asian (e.g., Chinese, Japanese), South Asian (e.g., Indian, Pakistani), Middle Eastern (e.g., Israeli, Iranian) and/or Native American. For example, did you know there is an average 5 year gap in life expectancy between African Americans and Whites in this country (Arias, 2010)?

2)      National Minority Health promotes action to achieve health equity – when every person has the opportunity to attain their full health potential.

Raising Awareness

To give you a sense of some of the health disparities facing our nation, take a look at the 3 minute clip below of Dr. David R. Williams, Professor of Public Health at Harvard University School of Public Health, and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University.

Want to learn more? Below are some additional resources to raise your awareness about minority health and health disparities.

Minority Health Resources

Health Disparities Resources

 

Also, if you have 18 minutes to spare, check out this engaging video from Discovery called Health: When Sex, Race and Location Matter (part 1)

Taking Action

As you can tell from the aforementioned video and resources, we live in a nation with some disheartening health disparities. However, all hope is not lost. Our goal is to one day live in a world where every person has the opportunity to attain their full health potential. This year the Office of Minority Health has created a 5 minute clip (below) to promote this year’s Minority Health Month theme “Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity”.

 

There are many ways you can get involved with health equity work and make a difference both this April as well as throughout the year:

  •  Continue the dialogue: Continue the dialogue by learning more about health equity and sharing the information with your network of classmates, coworkers, friends and family! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

o   Visit our Inclusion and Health Equity webpage

  • Here at UNC Student Wellness we are committed to promoting inclusion health equity. This webpage contains information to help you become more familiar with helpful definitions as well current opportunities to get involved.

o   Visit our Diversity and Inclusiveness in Collegiate Environments (DICE) webpage

  • Additionally, here at UNC Student Wellness we also have a peer health organization called Diversity and Inclusiveness in Collegiate Environments (DICE) whose mission is to create greater diversity awareness and programming inclusiveness for Carolina students. This webpage contains information about DICE as well as ways to get connected with their list serve, website or social media.

o   Attend a Racial Equity Institute Training

  • The Racial Equity Institute facilitates 2-day anti-racism/racial equity trainings to help participants explore issues of race in the United States. This training is an opportunity to challenge yourself and others, break down misconceptions, and continue the dialogue

 

What other ways can you get involved with health equity? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

 

References

Arias E. United States life tables, 2006.National vital statistics reports; vol 58 no 21. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.2010.

 

 

Relax this Spring Break!

relax

Spring break is almost here, hooray!  Here at UNC Student Wellness we want to encourage all Carolina students to be happy and well over break.  One important aspect of being happy and well is relaxation.  Not sure what we mean by “relaxation”? Check out this 2-minute YouTube clip we found that explains how relaxation might be different things for different people:

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) relaxation may promote healthful benefits such as treatment of anxiety, depression, and some types of pain (NCCAM, 2013).  Additionally, the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  has outlined several benefits of relaxation such as decrease in blood pressure and muscle tension (The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011).

dimensions

Relaxation can also positively impact various dimensions of wellness. For example, when we relax we might feel better physically because our muscles aren’t as tense (physical wellness), or emotionally because we aren’t as anxious (emotional wellness). Similarly when we relax we might feel more in tune with our sense of meaning and purpose (spiritual wellness), or feel better able to connect with others (social wellness).

So now that you know all the great benefits of relaxation, you may be wondering how to get started. Although the media commonly depicts relaxation as going to the spa, or going on an exotic vacation, those are not the only ways to relax. Relaxation does not have to require a lot of money or time; it just has to require some intentionality and effort. As I was crafting this blog I came across the following photo that outlines 50 ways take a break. To me, this photo is helpful because it reminds us how simple relaxation can be.

50

Here are some additional resources to learn more about relaxation:

Happy Spring Break! 🙂

References:

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (2013). Relaxation Techniques for Health: An Introduction. Retrieved from http://nccam.nih.gov/health/stress/relaxation.htm

The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2011). Relaxation
Benefits and Tips. Retrieved from
http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/units/health_ed/relax_benefits_tips.htm

Tar Heel Wellness Challenge: “Let’s Move”

THWCAs you may know, UNC Student Wellness is partnering with Campus Health Services, Campus Recreation, and the School of Nursing on the inaugural Tar Heel Wellness Challenge. The Tar Heel Wellness Challenge provides holistic health goals for UNC students, post-docs, staff and faculty to reach every two weeks. To learn more about this new initiative please click on the YouTube video below:

The current challenge (from January 27th– February 9th) is all about the physical dimension of wellness, particularly about being physically active.  Before we go any further you may be wondering: “What is the physical dimension of wellness?” Great question! Let’s define this term before we go any further.

The physical dimension of wellness involves the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life fruitveggiethat allows you to get through your daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. While the focus of the current challenge is centered on being physically active, it is important to note that physical wellness means many things and incorporates a lot of different behaviors. It includes the adoption of healthful habits (such as getting routine medical safetyexams/immunizations, eating a balanced diet,  engaging in daily movement, etc.) as well as the avoidance of  destructive habits (such as  tobacco, drugs, alcohol, etc.). It is also important to note that in the coming months challenges will focus on other aspects of physical wellness such as nutrition and safety. Now that we are all on the same page, let’s continue.

Being physically active is an important component of maintaining physical wellness. Research shows that physical activity has numerous health benefits such as preventing several chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis) and premature death (Warburton et al, 2006). Further research demonstrates that physical activity can improve one’s mental health by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2005).Moreover, physical activity promotes many psychological and emotional benefits as well such as boosting one’s confidence, distracting one from negative thoughts, increasing social interaction, and providing a healthy coping mechanism (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2005).

For the next two weeks our challenge as follows:

Get your free wellness screening at the Functional Movement and Fitness Center located in the Student Rec Center, and try at least one new exercise over the next two weeks.

After reading the challenge you might not be excited about the term ‘exercise’. Some literature suggests that some people dislike the term ‘exercise’ because of negative past memories (Government of Alberta, 2014). We don’t want unpleasant recollections to prevent you from participating in our challenge and reaping all the excellent benefits of physical activity, so we offer a different way of thinking about it: simply move more. There are many ways to increase your daily movement, and moving more might look differently for different people. We invite you to be creative and enhance your activity in a way that feels right to you. Below is a list of ideas to get you brainstorming activities that might work for you.

  • Take a walk with a friend between classes
  • Take a Group Fitness Class at the Student Recreation Center or Rams Head
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Walk to class instead of taking the bus
  • Have a YouTube Dance Party with First Lady Obama (Watch this to see what we mean!)

What are some ways you like to move more? Post a picture, video, or comment showing your participation in our current challenge with #THWC on the Tar Heel Wellness Challenge Facebook page for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Student Stores from the Tar Heel Wellness Challenge.

Also, check out the Tar Heel Wellness Challenge Facebook page for a schedule of upcoming challenges.

Happy Moving!

Sources:

Government of Alberta (2014).  Physical Activity Versus Exercise. Retrieved January 26, 2014 from http://www.healthyalberta.com/609.htm

Mayo Clinic Staff (2005). Exercise eases symptoms of anxiety and depression. Retrieved January 21, 2014 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495

Warburton, D. E., Nicol, C. W., & Bredin, S. S. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. Canadian medical association journal, 174(6), 801-809.

Be Good To Yourself

I love uplifting music with inspirational messages. Recently, I was listening to one of my favorite musical artists, Ledisi. She has a song called “Be Good To Yourself”, and the following lyrics from that song really resonated with me:

“Oh, when you’re traveling

Through the highs and the lows

Make sure you listen to your spirit

You gotta take care of your soul

Hold on, never give up

You can get through whatever

Always make time

For yourself, whoo”

 These lyrics resonated with me because they reminded me of a concept called the dimensions of wellness. Before we go any further, I’d like to define the term dimensions of wellness, in case you’re unfamiliar.wellness

Wellness integrates your mind, body and spirit. The dimensions of wellness is a concept used to express that integration. The model used by UNC Student Wellness integrates the following nine dimensions of wellness:

  1. Physical Wellness which includes the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows you to get through your daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress.
  2. Emotional Wellness which includes the ability to understand yourself and adequately cope with the challenges life brings.
  3. Social Wellness which includes the ability to successfully interact with people in our world, participating in and feeling connected to your community.
  4. Spiritual Wellness which includes your search for meaning and purpose in human existence.
  5. Academic Wellness which includes the ability to open your mind to new ideas and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions, group interaction and community betterment.
  6. Occupational Wellness which includes the ability to get personal fulfillment from your job or your chosen career field while still maintaining balance in your life.
  7. Financial Wellness which includes awareness of your current financial state.
  8. Environmental Wellness which includes the ability to recognize (1) your own responsibility for the quality of the air, the water and the land that surrounds you and (2) that your social, natural, and built environment affect your health.
  9. Cultural Wellness which includes the awareness of your own cultural background, as well as the diversity and richness present in other cultural backgrounds.

(To learn more about any of these dimensions please click on the hyperlinks above)

As I reflect on my own journey as a UNC undergraduate and now graduate student, I realize that the dimensions of wellness are often neglected during this time of year. It’s finals time: so there are exams, presentations, and papers galore! Lots of attention is focused on the ‘academic dimension’ of wellness. However, even in the midst of finals it’s still important to, as Ledisi said, “listen to your spirit”, “take care of your soul”, and “make time for yourself”.

In light of the connection between your mind, body and spirit, I encourage you to “Be Good To Yourself” during finals and think about the other dimensions of your wellness in addition to the ‘academic dimension’. Taking a short break to pay attention to your physical, emotional, social, spiritual, occupational, financial, environmental or cultural wellness can help you feel more balanced. At first glance, this list of dimensions may seem overwhelming so here are some simple ideas to get you started.

strechEngage in Activity: Research shows that becoming more active can make you feel better.  Here’s some simple ways you be more active.

  • Take a walk.
  • Take the steps instead of the elevator.
  • Turn on some music and dance around.
  • Take a stretch break.

books

                                                                          

Connect with Others: Research shows a powerful connection between social connection and well-being. Here’s some simple ways you can build your social relationships.

  • Have lunch with a friend. For a list of on-campus dining options click here
  • Call someone from your hometown.
  • Watch a movie with your roommate. Tip: You can reserve movies for free at the Undergraduate Library- click here to learn more.
  • Need to talk to someone else? Consider talking with a UNC CAPS counselor. They’re open for walk-in first time counseling appointments on Monday – Friday from 9am-12 and 1pm-4. Check the events calendar on the home page for any closures for holidays and breaks.circle

Chill Out: There are many wellness-related benefits of relaxation. Here’s some simple ways you can relax.

Havmusice other simple ideas for how to “Be Good To Yourself”? Share them in the comments section below!

Sources:

Brock, R. (n.d.). Kids in Action: Stretches and Warm-Ups Clip Art 18 PNGs. Retrieved from http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kids-in-Action-Stretches-and-Warm-Ups-Clip-Art-18-PNGs-869484

Fox, K. R. (1999). The influence of physical activity on mental well-being. Public health nutrition, 2(3a), 411-418.

Hicks, M. (n.d.). two friends. Retrieved from http://school.discoveryeducation.com/clipart/clip/friends5-color.html

Klein, S. (2012, April 16). Stress Awareness Day: 10 Health Benefits Of Relaxation. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/13/stress-awareness-day-relaxation-benefits_n_1424820.html

Perry, P. (n.d.) Music Clipart Image: Teenager listening to mp3 music player. Retrieved from http://www.computerclipart.com/computer_clipart_images/teenager_listening_to_mp3_music_player_0515-1003-0104-3355.html

Seppala, E (2012, August 26). Connect To Thrive. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/feeling-it/201208/connect-thrive

Terrigno, N. (n.d.). Friendship Globe Art + Border Graphics fro Multicultural Projects Retrieved from http://esl-multicultural-stuff-page2.blogspot.com/p/friendship-circle-clip-art-graphic.html

The Art of Being Present: Mindfulness

Hi Heels,

 

As you may know I am a second year Master of Public Health (MPH) student in the School of Public Health studying Health Behavior. One of the awesome features of my graduate program is that students have the opportunity to take a host of dynamic electives based on our interests. This semester I am taking a really fascinating elective course about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that has broadened the way I view health and healing. Before I go any further, I want to take a moment to explain CAM in case you’re unfamiliar with the concept.

CAM is a collection of “diverse medical and health-care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered to be part of conventional medicine” (NCCAM, 2008). Complementary medicine refers to therapies that can be used together with conventional medicine, while alternative medicine refers to therapies that are used in place of conventional medicine. Examples of CAM therapies include chiropractic, dietary, mind-body medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, healing touch and energy therapies, prayer, and herbal therapies. To learn more about these approaches please take look at the following reputable resources:

Now, that we’re all on the same page, let’s continue 🙂

One of the CAM class sessions that has resonated with me the most this semester was our class session on Mindfulness. Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally. To put another way, mindfulness requires remembering and awareness, it is a moment-to-moment experience, and it is open to whatever is. For more elaboration, check out the 5 minute YouTube below. It is an excellent introduction to the topic of mindfulness.

As I reflect, I realize that the Mindfulness class session resonated with me because it reminded me how busy life can be as a Carolina student. Take my own life has a graduate student as an example; a typical workday for me involves classes, work, group meetings, eating on the go, checking and sending emails from my computer and/or my iPhone, exercising, doing homework, checking my social media sites, calling my Mom and last but certainly not least, adding to my ever growing To Do list. Needless to say, multitasking has become a way of life for me. While this may seem excessive to some, on this campus, my daily agenda is really not that unique.  As high achieving Carolina students I am sure you can relate to having mounting responsibilities for your school, work and personal lives. Maybe you have even experienced an all-nighter or felt overcommitted. With all our priorities and crossing things off our endless To Do lists when do we take a moment to just breathe and be mindful? When do we pause and have “me time”? When do we truly live in the moment? The answer for me was unfortunately, not often enough. So, recently, I made a pledge to myself to make a conscious effort to be more mindful. Instead of making this another To Do list item, I am making this a continuous journey, something I will strive towards becoming better at – and I invite you to join me!

So how can you start being mindful? Well, I am no expert, but here are a couple FREE resources that have be helped me so far. Feel free to check them out and share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.
1.      5 Ways To Bring Mindfulness Into Everyday Life
This blog post explains how to be more mindful during routine day-to-day activities that we usually do on “auto pilot” such as taking a shower, brushing your teeth, commuting, washing the dishes and standing in line.
2.      7 Tips For Bringing Mindfulness To Your Work Day
This blog post explains ways to be more mindful at work including doing one thing at a time, being present in your interaction with others, and putting reminder stickers in your work space.
3.      The Headspace Mediation Podcasts
Series of short podcasts designed to help you use meditation and mindfulness to relax. Produced by Headspace as part of the Guardian’s Start Happy campaign
Sources
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) (2008, October) Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In a Name?. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Retrieved October 20, 2013 from http://nccam.nih.gov/

What has Student Wellness Done for You Lately?

Hi Heels,question

My name is Callie Womble, and my colleague Jani and I are Student Wellness Specialists here at UNC Student Wellness. If you are like most people you’re probably thinking: “Student Wellness Specialist? What does that even mean?” Well, if you’re wondering that – don’t fret, this blog is for you!

Our job description lists a lot of roles and responsibilities, but what it really boils down to is simple: We are here to help make Carolina a healthier and more socially-just place through research and practice. Now, some of you might be thinking: “That’s great for you all, but what does that have to do with me?” I’m so glad you asked! It has everything to do with you. We are here to make your life easier and there are three main ways we can do that:

 Has your student organization ever wanted to collaborate with other student organizations on a wellness related program or event?

Our office has four amazing Wellness peer organizations: Diversity and Inclusiveness in Collegiate Environments (DICE), Interactive Theatre Carolina (ITC), Live Well Carolina and One Act: each of which have their own expertise. If you wanted to reach out to one (or some) of our peer educators but weren’t quite sure which one or how to reach out, Jani or I could help you make that connection.  Simply email us at studentwellness@unc.edu.

Has your student organization ever needed help planning or evaluating a wellness related program or event?

Our office has created two resources to help you. Take a look at our Effective Programming Module here for tips and strategies for facilitating successful workshops as well as important guidelines for presenting health information. Also, check out our health programming guide here. Each module (see the left side bar) contains a combination of a presentation, several activities, a resource page, and handouts – a ready-to-go workshop!

  • If you need additional help after viewing these resources Jani and I consult with students all the time to help them design programs and evaluate their effectiveness. Want to set up an appointment? Simply fill out this form

Has your student organization ever needed funding to help make your wellness related program or event a reality?

Our office is in the process of unveiling a brand new mini grant application process for student organizations due out in Spring 2014! So stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter to be updated when we make the big announcement!

I hope this was helpful in giving you an idea of the types of things Student Wellness Specialists can help you with. If anything is unclear please feel free to shoot us an email at studentwellness@unc.edu. We’d love to hear from you!

Happy Monday-before-Fall-Break Tar Heels 🙂

Nontraditional Valentine’s Day

valentines

As you may know tomorrow is Valentine’s Day which is often equated with a surplus of teddy bears, roses and chocolate candies. But what if you’re not into the traditional Valentine’s Day hoopla? There are plenty of nontraditional ways to celebrate love today and every day.  Here are some ways to spread the love for Valentine’s Day:

1.      Show the Community Love…..Volunteer

What better way to show love than to give your time and energy making your community stronger? Whether you want to participate in a long-term projects over several weeks or months, or short-term projects for a day r there are various nonprofit organizations here in the Chapel Hill area that would love to have you lend a hand. Check out the town of Chapel Hill’s volunteer listing , Volunteer Match  and the UNC Calendar of Events to find local volunteer opportunities. The Carolina Center for Public Service also has a list of on campus service organizations that you might want to get involved with.

2.      Show Yourself Love… Have Some “Me Time”

 selflove

As busy college students it’s easy to prioritize coursework and extracurricular activities, over relaxation and rest. Even for successful students actively involved in campus life and academia, balance is key to overall well-being. In her article, Patricia Walker, Ph.D. explains that balancing our professional and personal lives can make our lives happier and more enjoyable. Take time to discover how you enjoy downtime, and then make yourself a priority. After all, Valentine’s Day is about love, right? Having some “me time” is a way of loving yourself.

Below are some ideas to get you started:

  • Download some of our free iTunes Relaxation Audio Files and set aside time to listen to them with no distractions.
  •  During lunch, take 10 minutes to engage in meditation and mindfulness . Want to know how? Try this.
  • Before bed, journal activities that you enjoy and try to do at least one activity each week. For example, if you like to read for fun, try reading a new novel on Saturday mornings.

3. Show Your “Circle” Love… Hang Out

Remember, Valentine’s Day is about all kinds of love: friendships, family relationships and romantic love! Don’t forget to spend time with those nearest and dearest to you, whom I like to call your “inner circle”. Your inner circle can consist of best friends, coworkers, classmates, boyfriends/girlfriends, buddies, and the list goes on and on.  Here are some fun ways to spend time regardless of your relationship status.

  • Have a movie night in (Tip: You can rent free movies from the UL here)
  • Go to lunch on Franklin Street
  • Call/Skype friends/family that live far away
  • Have a game night

How are you spending your Valentine’s Day? Have an idea that’s not on the list? Share the details below! Happy Valentine’s Day, Tar Heels! 🙂

Sources:

Walker, P. (n.d.). Create a Better Work-Life Balance and Enjoy a Happier Life (1.) | 4therapy.com. 4therapy.com | Changing Minds. Changing Behaviors. Changing Lives.. Retrieved January 26, 2013, from http://www.4therapy.com/life-topics/family-relationships/create-better-work-life-balance-and-enjoy-happier-life-1-2732

Here’s to a Healthy Heart!

healthyheart
Friday marks the first day of February which is also the first day of American Heart Month. American Heart Month strives to raise awareness of the leading cause of death for both men and women, heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year nearly 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States. To put that figure in perspective, that is the equivalent of 1 in every 4 deaths!

As college students I’m sure most of you reading this might be thinking: “That’s good to know but what does that have to do with me? I’m a healthy young person!” Let me assure you it has everything to do with you. You’re never too young to take care of your heart. The health behaviors you develop during your college years can impact you later in life thus increasing or decreasing your risk of heart disease.

Many lifestyle choices and health conditions can increase one’s risk of heart disease such as diabetes, overweight and obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol use. Fortunately, UNC has a host of resources to help combat these risk factors and empower you to make healthier choices.  Don’t believe me? See the examples below:

Example 1: No luck eating well on a budget? No problem!
Check out the Carolina Dining Services website for delicious and nutritious ways to eat well in college, or even schedule a free appointment with a nutritionist at Campus Health Services.

Example 2: Unmotivated to exercise? We got you covered!
Take a group fitness class with a friend or bike to class instead of taking the bus.

Example 3: Concerned about your alcohol use? Don’t fret!
Familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of problem drinking, and learn small ways to reduce your chances of having alcohol-related problems.

In addition to the resources here at UNC, there is also a plethora of interesting and informative tools outside of our wonderful university, including information about Preventing Heart Disease – At Any Age,  Heart Health Month: 8 Surprising Heart Facts We Learned Over The Last Year
and Wear Red Day Feb 1 2013.

Sources
CDC – DHDSP – Heart Disease Facts. (n.d.). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved January 11, 2013, from http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

Healthy Heels Weekend

Happy Thursday Heels!

We hope you had a great week so far. If you are like us, you may be wondering about all the fun happenings on campus this weekend. There are LOTS of activities going on. Here’s the scoop:

Tonight 1/24/13

Location: Wilson Library, Louis Round

Time: 5:30PM

Price: FREE

Location: Stone Center Hitchcock Multipurpose Room

Time: 5PM

Price: FREE

Location: Stone Center Auditorium

Time: 7PM

Price: FREE

Location:  Varsity Theatre on Franklin Street

Time: 7PM

Price: FREE

Friday 1/25/13

Location: Ackland Art Museum

Price: $8.00 (includes all materials)

Note: Online registration required.

·         “I, Too, Sing America”

Location: Stone Center Hitchcock Multipurpose Room

Time: 6:30PM

Price: FREE

Location: Memorial Hall

Time: 8PM

Price: $10.00 for a student ticket

 

Saturday 1/26/13

Location: Kenan Music Building

Time: 2PM

Price: FREE

Location: Center for Dramatic Art

Time: 7:30PM

Price: $12.00 for a student ticket

Location: Memorial Hall

Time: 8PM

Price: $10.00 for a student ticket

 Sunday 1/27/13

Location: Center for Dramatic Art

Time: 2PM

Price: $12.00 for a student ticket

Know of an event not on the list? Share the details below! Have a great weekend, Tar Heels! 🙂

Ten Commandments for Managing Stress

As the semester continues it is so easy to get overwhelmed with mounting responsibilities: classwork, homework, tests, group work, projects, student organizations, jobs, friends, family, relationships, and the list goes on and on. In hustle and bustle of busy college life it seems impossible to take time to relax, even though stress management is an important skill to develop for your personal wellness. Isn’t important skill development what being a college student is all about?  Below is a list the stress experts at Student Wellness put together for managing stress.

See if you can add a few to your daily routine!

Thou shalt…

  1. Organize Thyself.
    Take better control of the way you’re spending your time and energy so you can handle stress more effectively. Need help? Check out some time management strategies on our website.
  2. Control Thy Environment by controlling who and what is surrounding you.
    Do you have study buddies or are your friends always encouraging you to go out when you have work to do? Pay attention to how your friends influence your habits.  In this way, you can either get rid of stress or get support for yourself.
  3. Love Thyself by giving yourself positive feedback.
    Remember, you are a unique individual who is doing the best you can.
  4. Reward Thyself by planning leisure activities into your life.
    It really helps to have something to look forward to. Seek out healthy ways to spend your free time.
  5. Exercise Thy Body since your health and productivity depend upon your body’s ability to bring oxygen and food to its cells.
    Therefore, exercise your heart and lungs regularly, a minimum of three days per week for 15-30 minutes. This includes such activities as walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, aerobics, and more!
  6. Relax Thyself by taking your mind off your stress and concentrating on breathing and positive thoughts.
    Dreaming counts, along with meditation, progressive relaxation, exercise, listening to relaxing music, communicating with friends and loved ones, etc. Want to try something new? Check out our iTunes Relaxation Audio Files!
  7. Rest Thyself as regularly as possible.
    Sleep 7-8 hours a night. Take study breaks. There is only so much your mind can absorb at one time. It needs time to process and integrate information. A general rule of thumb: take a ten minute break every hour. Rest your eyes as well as your mind.
  8. Be Aware of Thyself.
    Be aware of physical signs such as insomnia, headaches, anxiety, upset stomach, lack of concentration, colds/flu, excessive tiredness, etc. Listen to your body and give it the rest and care that it is asking for.
  9. Feed Thyself / Not Poison Thy Body.
    Eat a balanced diet. Avoid high calorie foods that are high in fats and sugar. Don’t depend on drugs and/or alcohol. Caffeine will keep you awake, but it also makes it harder for some to concentrate. Be careful about drinking coffee in the afternoon it can lead to trouble sleeping. Remember, a twenty minute walk has been proven to be a better tranquilizer than some prescription drugs.
  10. Enjoy Thyself.
    It has been shown that happier people tend to live longer, have less physical problems, and are more productive. Look for the humor in life when things don’t make sense. Remember, you are very special and deserve only the best treatment from yourself.

When you trying out some of the commandments for size, the following resources might be helpful!