Take a Break! Hey, Take 10

This blog post was originally published on July 7, 2015.

Tar Heels, if you’re still hanging around the general vicinity of North Carolina this summer, you don’t need me to tell you it’s hot, but…OMG it’s sooooo hot! If you’re anything like me, a long string of hot days might make you complain a lot and think less clearly than you might otherwise.

Also, while the pictures on my Facebook feed tell me that this is vacation time for a lot of people…it might not feel like vacation time for all of us. Yes, NECESSITY, as well as our culture that socializes us to ideals of BUSY! and ACHIEVEMENTS!, can chase us down even into these summer months.

So, please allow me to be your Captain Obvious right now and give you a loving reminder:

Here is a comfy pink chair in the forest a person might sit in if they were taking a break.
Here is a comfy pink chair in the forest a person might sit in if they were taking a break.

Take a break.

Take a break! There are many ways to take a break today, this week, this month, this summer, even if you’re jamming out in Summer Session II and can’t afford a beach condo for the next decade. Here are some ideas to get your creative break-making juices flowing:

  1. Finish reading this blog post and then turn off whatever screen you’re looking at for at least 5 minutes. Feeling brave? Do it in silence. Feeling tense? Think about relaxing each part of your body, starting with the toes and working your way up. It’s just 5 minutes. You can do it. Too easy? Make a summer resolution to do this every day and see what happens.
  2. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time and catch up.
  3. Commit to listening to an entire album you haven’t heard ever or haven’t heard in a long time. Do it in one sitting. Invite some buddies over for a listening party.
  4. Find a path you’ve never walked and walk it. (If you’re in Chapel Hill, consider these!) Find some flowers and sniff them.
  5. Take a social media hiatus. Y’all. I haven’t been on Facebook for 3 days and I feel like a new person right now.
  6. Drink some water. It’s hot.
  7. Do something you haven’t done since you were a kid. Is there a swing set at your apartment complex? Can you get your hands on a pool noodle? Are there old board games for sale at PTA Thrift Shop? Where are those crayons your roommate was waving around? Can you YouTube your favorite old cartoon?
  8. Plan a day trip to a swimming hole or a waterfall.
  9. Cook something for dinner tonight that you’ve never cooked before. Never cooked at all? Then this assignment has NO LIMITS!
  10. Read a book…for fun. When was the last time you read a book for fun??

Other ideas? Do share in the comments!

How Being YOU Can Reduce Stress

I always joke with my coworkers that they have to watch what they say around me because I believe everything that I hear.  And, although I think it is important to draw on other people’s experiences to shape your own success, at the end of the day you are the only person who knows what is best for you.  As a follow up to last week’s stress-free blog, I’d like to leave you with four more tips focused on how being YOU can lead to a productive and carefree school year. Continue reading

Why I love “Y’all”

This post was originally written by Sarah Weller and published on June 23, 2011.

I am not southern. I was born far to close the Mason-Dixon to ever be considered southern, however, as a northern transplant to Chapel Hill, I’ve found myself adopting some southern tendencies (and I don’t just mean my obsession with Carolina BBQ and sweet tea). The longer I’ve been here the more I hear “y’all” edging into my day-to-day vocabulary… to my family, “Are y’all ready yet?” To my friends “Do y’all want to go to the store now or later?” At work, “Have y’all seen the stapler?”

At first it sounded a bit strange coming out of my mouth, but now I like it, especially as I think about why y’all really is a better way to address a group than the alternative, “you guys”. But “y’all,” which is the combination of the words you+all, is gender neutral. Think about it, saying “you guys” implies you’re talking to a bunch of men, it’s not really accurate if you’re addressing a mixed gender group, but y’all it’s all inclusive!

Just look at the multitude of uses of y’all found via the wiki site (that’s right, “y’all” has a wiki!)

  1. A replacement for the plural of you.
    • Example: “Y’all can use the internet at the same time!”
  2. An associative plural, including individuals associated but not present with the singular addressee.
    • Example: “Y’all can come over at around 10:30,” Stephanie says.
      • Stephanie explains to John that John and John’s friends, who are not present at the time, can come over at around 10:30. Stephanie is speaking to John, but treats John as a representative for others.
  3. An institutional plural addressed to one person representing a group.
    • Example: “Y’all sell the best candies, Mrs. Johnson.”
      • Y’all is received by Mrs. Johnson who is the representative of a small candy business.
  4. A form used in direct address in certain contexts (e.g., partings, greetings, invitations, and vocatives)
    • Example: “Hey, y’all!”
      • A greeting that addresses a multitude of people without referencing a singular identity comprising that multitude

Oh and who could forget, the classic… “Y’all come back now, ya hear!?”

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: In Someone Else’s Words

Sometimes the best advice – the most meaningful nuggets of information – are all packaged up in a sentence or two. So with midterms upon us (eek!), I thought I’d share some of my favorite quotes, some funny, some serious, some motivational. Thus, today I’m not actually really going to write anything (apart from this introduction that is), instead enjoy someone else’s (wise) words:

 “Happiness is anything and anyone that is loved by you.” — Charlie Brown, of Peanuts

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Some days even my lucky rocketship underpants won’t help.” — Calvin, of Calvin and Hobbes

“We learn wisdom from failure much more than success. We often discover what we will do, by finding out what we will not do.” — Samuel Smiles

 And of course, the CWS favorite: “Don’t stop believing” — Journey

PS. I lied, I am going to write more (but just a little more). If you enjoyed these, there are tons of quote databases online (like this one) with a wealth of great quotes. Also, please share your favorites with us via comments!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: The Two Day Fiesta

As promised in my last blog, I will be blogging today about embracing your inner DIY.  Today, we will explore the wonderful world of leftovers!

Have you ever been out to eat and you’ve eaten more than half of your meal to the point where neither finishing your meal nor taking it home with you make any sense?  When I’m in that situation, I just can’t waste the food, so I normally end up eating the rest and feeling post-Thanksgiving dinner-esque.  But here’s a better idea:  take home the leftovers and integrate them into a whole new food creation.

The other day, a friend and I went to a great Mexican restaurant for lunch and I got a chicken fajita salad.  Leftover salads are pretty pointless for me because I despise soggy lettuce, but I took it home anyway.  The next morning, I got to have a late breakfast, and I put the leftovers to good use.  First, I separated the good stuff (chicken, peppers, onions, etc.) from the soggy lettuce.  Then, I reheated it in a small skillet while I cracked a few eggs into a bowl and whisked them together with some milk.  A few minutes later, I topped my chicken fajita omelet with some homemade salsa.  What a delicious breakfast!

If I had wanted to make more of a lunch themed leftover creation, I would have ditched the soggy lettuce and remade the salad with some fresh additions.  If you find yourself in this same situation, put a cup of chopped romaine lettuce into a large salad bowl.  Mix together a can of corn and a can of black beans (drained and rinsed) and put a half cup of the mixture on top of the lettuce.  At this point, I would also throw some banana pepper rings in before I added the reheated leftovers to the top.  You can dress the salad with some salsa or some ranch dressing.  I normally use a little of both.

Had the leftovers made it to dinner that night, there are a few ways I could have completed the meal.  I probably would have started with putting the leftover fajita stuffing onto a tortilla, topping with some cheese, and heating in either the microwave or toaster oven.  For the sides, I would have mixed the corn and black beans together (from my lunch suggestion above) and served it with some brown rice.

The possibilities are really endless.  What’s the most creative way you have used your leftovers the next day?

Take a Break! Hey, Take 10

Tar Heels, if you’re still hanging around the general vicinity of North Carolina this summer, you don’t need me to tell you it’s hot, but…OMG it’s sooooo hot! If you’re anything like me, a long string of hot days might make you complain a lot and think less clearly than you might otherwise.

Also, while the pictures on my Facebook feed tell me that this is vacation time for a lot of people…it might not feel like vacation time for all of us. Yes, NECESSITY, as well as our culture that socializes us to ideals of BUSY! and ACHIEVEMENTS!, can chase us down even into these summer months.

So, please allow me to be your Captain Obvious right now and give you a loving reminder:

Here is a comfy pink chair in the forest a person might sit in if they were taking a break.
Here is a comfy pink chair in the forest a person might sit in if they were taking a break.

Take a break.

Take a break! There are many ways to take a break today, this week, this month, this summer, even if you’re jamming out in Summer Session II and can’t afford a beach condo for the next decade. Here are some ideas to get your creative break-making juices flowing:

  1. Finish reading this blog post and then turn off whatever screen you’re looking at for at least 5 minutes. Feeling brave? Do it in silence. Feeling tense? Think about relaxing each part of your body, starting with the toes and working your way up. It’s just 5 minutes. You can do it. Too easy? Make a summer resolution to do this every day and see what happens.
  2. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time and catch up.
  3. Commit to listening to an entire album you haven’t heard ever or haven’t heard in a long time. Do it in one sitting. Invite some buddies over for a listening party.
  4. Find a path you’ve never walked and walk it. (If you’re in Chapel Hill, consider these!) Find some flowers and sniff them.
  5. Take a social media hiatus. Y’all. I haven’t been on Facebook for 3 days and I feel like a new person right now.
  6. Drink some water. It’s hot.
  7. Do something you haven’t done since you were a kid. Is there a swing set at your apartment complex? Can you get your hands on a pool noodle? Are there old board games for sale at PTA Thrift Shop? Where are those crayons your roommate was waving around? Can you YouTube your favorite old cartoon?
  8. Plan a day trip to a swimming hole or a waterfall.
  9. Cook something for dinner tonight that you’ve never cooked before. Never cooked at all? Then this assignment has NO LIMITS!
  10. Read a book…for fun. When was the last time you read a book for fun??

Other ideas? Do share in the comments!

Compete to WIN a $1,000 GRAND Prize at LDOC HeelFest–Auditions start this Week…

That’s RIGHT–your or your student group could win $1,000 at the very first LDOC HeelFest!!!

LDOC HeelFest will be an end-of-year talent show extravaganza. This is the first year UNC is doing this event and it is a collaboration among multiple campus departments and student groups. It will be held at Ehringhaus Field from 4-8pm on LDOC, which is Friday April 24th. The talent show will feature a showcase of UNC student talent, and the students at the event will get to vote on the winning performer/group. The Grand Prize will be a cash amount, TBD.

Come to auditions this week and next…Let’s see what you got!

LDOC HeelFest audition schedule
LDOC HeelFest audition schedule

Secrets to Sticking to Your Resolution!

We’re 3 weeks into the new year….and where are you with that resolution you made in a fit of excitement at 11:58pm on December 31st?  Only 12 % of resolvers actually keep their resolutions, and about half have already abandoned them by the end of January.

To be honest, enthusiasm for my new exercise regimen flagged sometime last week, and I have all but abandoned my resolve. Alas! It’s not too late to reclaim that resolution. Here are some surprising tips for sticking to it:

1.       Do something you WANT to do. People are motivated by what they want. Imagine: it’s Tuesday night and your friend has an extra ticket to the basketball game. You SHOULD study for that Chem test tomorrow morning, but you WANT to go to the game…what are you gonna choose?

When it comes to resolutions, don’t should on yourself! Make it something you WANT to do. Sometimes, this just involves reframing or refining your resolution to reflect your wants:

“I should exercise more” vs. “I want to join the intramural soccer team this semester”

“I should save more money” vs. “I want to be more financially independent”

2.       Focus on behaviors not outcomes. Last year, losing weight topped the list of most common resolutions. But a goal like this sets you up for failure, because losing weight is an outcome not a behavior. You have much more control over your behavior (e.g., what you eat and how much you exercise) than you do over outcomes like weight loss, so resolve to do (or not do) something you have control over.

l-Baby-steps 3.       Set small goals. Really small goals. And then reward your progress. Every. Single. Step. Of. The. Way. Goals around exercise and healthy eating top the list of most common resolutions, but they can be especially hard. My goal was to do 20-minute workout videos, four times a week—easy-peasy! Well, apparently not, because it’s been a week since I turned on a workout video, and I can feel my muscles softening as I type this. Setting much smaller goals could help me ease into this new routine, like starting with one or two days a week and then rewarding myself with a cute new pair of earrings. It’s much easier to meet smaller goals, which helps build self-confidence, which keeps you motivated!

4.       Dust yourself off and get back on that horse! Ok, so I missed a week of workouts. So what? That’s no reason to throw in the towel. Tomorrow’s another day, and you can choose to pick up that resolution anytime. Everyone has an off day/week/month/….six months… Give yourself a break. And get back on that horse!

5.       Set a goal and DON’T TELL ANYONE. Now, I realize this contradicts what you’ve probably heard: you should announce your goals from the hilltops far and wide! You should tell people so that you can be held accountable, right? So that you can elicit social support, right? First of all, stop shoulding on yourself (SEE tip #1). Then, watch this awesome 3 minute TED Talk….

TED Talk: Keep Your Goals to Yourself

Tell us about YOUR resolution in the comments below!

The Power of Peers: Health Benefits of Peer Education

Here’s a question: how often do you turn to siblings, roommates or friends for health-related advice or information?

If you’re like most young adults, pretty often. According to a 2010 analysis of students participating in the National College Health Assessment (NCHA), approximately 62% of college-aged students reported getting health-related information from friends.

Your peers have a big impact on the way you feel, the things you know, and what you do. And, in turn, you have a similar impact on your peers.

Peer influence affects lots of things, from academic achievement, to adopting healthy behaviors (ex: positive body image, safer sex) or unhealthy behaviors (ex: binge drinking, disordered eating), to feelings of motivation and confidence.  So, when peers are given accurate information to disseminate to others, it can have an extremely powerful effect for both the peer educators and the people receiving peer health education. Peer-led education is a way of harnessing peer influence to enact positive change, and there lots of opportunities to get involved on the UNC campus and beyond!

Peer Education?

Let’s break down peer education. First, who are your “peers”?  Essentially, those in a similar age range – like your friends, roommates, residence hall advisors, etc. Next, what does peer education entail? Peer-led education is a combination of several health education and public health models whereby peers themselves are trained* to educate their peers. The goals of peer education are to reinforce, inspire or change behaviors through workshops, advocacy projects, discussion, interactive activities, role-playing, and more.

[*Although being informed in general has the potential to have an extremely positive effect on the people around you – and something we at Campus Health absolutely endorse! — I am talking about formally trained peer health education initiatives in this post. In order to have maximum effect, peer educators should be trained in the education area of interest, in how to facilitate discussion or activities, in how and when to refer peers to other resources, and in how to inspire change.]  

Peer education has worked extremely well in many contexts. Why? Well, for starters, peers are often more approachable than other health sources, and getting information from your peers means that you’re talking to someone who probably knows what it’s like to be in your shoes.  Particularly for things that are difficult to talk about, like sexual health, peers can be an important way of disseminating information. By becoming informed on health topics, peer educators put themselves in a position where they are able to disseminate accurate, helpful information to friends, classmates, residents and others when they need it.

Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of peer education on peers, and the health benefits for the educators themselves.

Benefits to peers

Peer education has been shown to be effective in enacting positive change in various spheres of health. In a paper by White, Park and Israel (2009), the authors found that college students in contact with a peer educator were significantly less likely to engage in dangerous alcohol consumption. The authors also found that over time, students in touch with a peer educator were less likely to engage in unhealthy weight management and “fat talk”. Another study found that peer education programs in physical activity increased physical activity among women who were physically inactive. Various sexual health-focused peer education programs have also been effective in increasing healthy behaviors such as increased condom use.

Peer education programs have even been shown to be more effective than adult-led education programs in terms of changing behaviors, attitudes and norms. However, studies on combined peer and adult-led health education programs (ex: classroom based course led by an adult or professional, with the addition of peer education on the same topics) is thought to provide maximum impact in terms of credible information dissemination, and behavior change.

Benefits to peer educators

As a peer educator, one obvious benefit is simply knowing more, and being in touch with mentors, and reliable sources of information. By itself, that’s a great thing, but it’s not the only benefit. Peer educators also advance their leadership and facilitation skills. They often positively change their own behavior as a result of participating, and gain essential skills like effective communication with others. In one study of 65 peer educators by Sawyer and colleagues, nearly half (48%) of peer educators reported increased self-esteem, and over 20% reported being more open to students’ behaviors and opinions. Additionally, 43% adopted safer sex behaviors, 20% had changed their career direction, and most found it an extremely valuable activity.

Getting Involved

Interested in getting involved with peer education here on UNC campus?

  • Consider joining a peer-based group, attending peer-led events, or reaching out to them to plan an event! At Campus Health, we’ve got several peer programs geared to different topic areas:
    • Active Minds – focus on mental health, coping skills, personal growth
    • CHISEL – promote healthy lifestyles through various health-related events on campus.
    • Diversity and Inclusiveness in College Enviroments (DICE) – a student-led program with the goal of creating greater diversity awareness and programming inclusiveness for students at UNC.
    • Interactive Theatre Carolina – uses scripted and improvisational theatre as a platform to promote health, wellness and social justice. You can request a scene, be trained They have various scenes performed throughout the year.
    • OneACT – a program for preventing interpersonal violence; you can become a peer educator, or serve on a committee.
    • Peer Health Advocates – trained to have conversations within groups of friends on health topics.
    • Student Advocates for Sexual Health (SASH)– promotes healthy sexuality; SASH members are trained in facilitating discussions, and are dedicated to making Carolina a safer and sexier place.
  • If you’re a resident hall advisor or community director, Campus Health Services has a Health Programming Guide with a variety of programs, facilitation guides and bulletin boards to get you started in your own peer-led workshops. Topics include: alcohol and other drugs, cultural competency, finances, fitness, LGBTQ topics, nutrition, sexual health, stress and more. If you need help or guidance on a topic area, seek out our help at Campus Health!

Healthy Heels Weekend

It’s time for another Healthy Heels weekend, and the beautiful weather came just in time.  It’s going to be a dream weekend for any music or drama buffs out there.  Also, there will be plenty of opportunities to cheer on the Tarheels.  Details below:

 

 

Music on the Street – Tubby Ridge Band (FREE)

Friday, September 28, 6 PM, Modern Fossil Parking Lot, Weaver Street

 

“Tubby Ridge’s catchy gypsy folk tunes have delighted audiences at venues such as the Festival for the Eno, Pinecone’s Summer Music Concert at Bond Park, and Durham Art Walk. Featured on NPR’s Car Talk, American Songwriter Magazine, and Celtic Roots Radio. The band includes award-winning guitarist Justin Johnson and noted blues singer Lise Uyanik.”

 

 

Carrboro Music Festival (FREE)

Sunday, September 30, 1 PM, throughout Carrboro

 

“The day long, free festival features all styles of music at numerous indoor and outdoor venues around downtown Carrboro. In the space of a few hours (and within a few blocks) a listener can hear Bluegrass, Folk, Jazz, Country, Rock & Roll, Classical, and World Music. There remains a consistent effort to showcase Triangle area performers and the varied musical styles they represent. All of the performers donate their talents to foster a strong sense of community and as a way to reveal their talents to a wider audience.”

There will be over 180 acts in 25 venues.  Checkout http://carrboromusicfestival.com/ for the schedule.

 

 

CUAB movies @ The Union

 

Seeking a Friend at the End of the World
Friday, September 28, 7pm
Saturday, September 29, 9:30pm

 

Being Flynn
Friday, September 28, 10:30pm
Saturday, September 29, 7pm

 

 

Playmakers @ Center for Dramatic Art – RED

Friday, September 28, 7:30 PM

Saturday, September 29, 7:30 PM

Sunday, September 30, 2:00 PM

 

PlayMakers Mainstage Season opens with the 2010 Tony Award-winner for Best Play. “Red” takes you into the studio of Mark Rothko, pioneer of abstract expressionism, and into the mind of an artist wrestling with the eternal struggle between art and commerce. Seen through the eyes of his young, increasingly challenging assistant, Rothko agonizes over a lucrative project painting murals for the new Four Seasons Restaurant. Has he sold out to fame and fortune or is he still a real artist?

Tickets start at $15

 

 

UNC Sports

 

Women’s Soccer vs. #1 Florida State

Thursday, September 27, 7:00 PM, Fetzer Field

 

Football vs. Idaho

Friday, September 29, 3:30 PM, Kenan Stadium

 

Volleyball vs. Georgia Tech

Sunday, September 30, 1:00 PM, Carmicheal Arena