Event: Night Against Procrastination

Looking for ways to combat procrastination and get to work on exam prep and end of quarter projects? Check out this Infographic with 15 tips on beating procrastination.

Also, join the Night Against Procrastination on Wednesday, 2/22 from 6 p.m.-12 a.m. at the Ames Library. Come to NAP to work on projects, study, and/or get help from a writing or a subject tutor. In addition, there will be snacks, pizza, raffles, and study breaks like Yoga and Zumba! More details at www.spu.edu/NAP2017

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is an essential part of life. As humans, we typically spend up to one-third of our lives asleep. On average, the National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours per night for adults.   Although researchers are still learning about why we need sleep, we already know a lot about how and why we sleep. Watch the video below to learn more:

 

College students are one of the most sleep-deprived populations. Its hard to juggle all of the responsibilities of being a student and get enough sleep! Sleep is strongly linked to overall wellness, and there are many benefits to getting enough sleep:

  • Brain health
  • Improves learning
  • Improves ability to pay attention in class
  • Maintaining physical health and immune system functioning
  • Improves mood
  • Reduces stress

This month the Wellness Blog will be focusing on sleep, so stay tuned for tips and information about sleep!

 

Be Well: Mindful Yoga

The Wellness Initiative is offering a free series of yoga and mindfulness classes to undergraduate students this quarter!

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Wednesdays | 6:30am - 8:00am | Hill Hall Lounge

Thursdays | 7:30pm - 9:00pm | FFMC Gym

Be Well is an 8-week series of yoga classes that integrate mindfulness meditation. Each week, students will learn about mindfulness, and be led in an hour-long yoga class followed by a mindfulness practice. Students will also be provided with information about stress management and resources to develop a mindfulness meditation practice. Be sure to bring a yoga mat if you have one! We hope to see you there.

The Types of Wellness

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Balancing all of the different aspects of your life and your wellness can be difficult. Many of us tend to prioritize certain things in our lives and neglect others. For example, students can tend to prioritize their schoolwork, and put exercise, socializing, and emotional needs on the back burner. What areas of your life do you tend to neglect?

Here are some ways that you can improve the various aspects of your wellness:

Physical Wellness: add exercise to your routine or join an intramural, get enough sleep (about 7 hours for most people), eat healthy foods, recognize the signs when you feel sick

Emotional Wellness: seek support when you need it, cultivate awareness of your thoughts and feelings, accept mistakes as learning opportunities, visit the counseling center

Spiritual Wellness: engage with your spirituality or religious practices, volunteer, explore meaning and purpose in your life, understand your values

Social Wellness: cultivate healthy relationships, build a strong social support network, get involved in clubs, sports, or other student organizations

Intellectual Wellness: seek out intellectually challenging courses or other opportunities, take a course outside your major, learn a new skill or language, read for fun

Environmental Wellness: live sustainably by recycling, conserving water and other resources, car-pooling when you can, and turning lights off when they are not in use

Occupational Wellness: explore career options, visit the Center for Career and Calling, explore jobs that match your personality, interests, or talents

 

Balancing the different aspects of wellness has been shown to reduce stress, increase performance, and contribute to a higher quality of life. As you enter into this school year, try picking a couple things to incorporate into your schedule in order to move towards striking a balance.

Faculty Spotlight: What is Wellness?

As faculty and staff you are in a unique position to both promote your own wellness and promote the wellness of students. Promoting your own wellness is important in order to have a high quality of life, reduce the risk of illness, and help you perform your job duties to the best of your ability. Likewise, helping students promote their wellness is important because it will help them engage in the community more, perform to their best academically, and reduce stress.

According to the World Health Organization, wellness is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Simply put, wellness is the state of being in good physical and mental health. Wellness includes many facets:

  • Physical Wellness: maintaining a healthy body and seeking care when needed or when ill
  • Emotional Wellness: understanding your feelings and coping effectively with stress, seeking help for distress or mental illness when needed
  • Spiritual Wellness: developing a set of values that help you seek meaning and purpose, including spirituality and religion
  • Social Wellness: developing healthy relationships, performing social roles effectively, building a social support network
  • Intellectual Wellness: engaging with new ideas openly, continuing to expand your knowledge, participating in academic activities
  • Environmental Wellness: respecting the earth and nature, maintaining a lifestyle that minimizes harm to the environment
  • Occupational Wellness: finding a good fit between you and what you are called to do, appreciating your own contributions, and satisfaction with your work

All of these facets together comprise wellness, and striking a balance between them all can be difficult. Many people find that they focus on one or two facets and neglect the rest. For example, faculty and staff may tend to prioritize intellectual or occupational wellness over physical, emotional, or spiritual wellness. More information on the different facets of wellness and how to nurture each can be found here.

 

Welcome back to Wellness!

A new school year means new classes, new friends, new housing, new opportunities, and new challenges. It can be difficult to balance all of these new opportunities and stay healthy. The Wellness Initiative is here to help. This blog will provide weekly posts on various wellness topics to help you stay well, cope with challenges, and provide resources for help throughout the year.

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One way to start the year with thoughts about your own wellness is to reflect about upcoming year and challenges you may face. Research shows that anticipating and planning for challenges is helpful in reducing stress when you do encounter those challenges. Here are some self-reflection questions that can help you plan for the upcoming year:

  • What are my strengths?
  • What are my weaknesses?
  • What upcoming challenges can I plan for?
  • How do I handle negative situations? When these situations occur, how do I typically manage them?
  • What resources (people, activities, or things) could assist me in handling challenging situations?
  • How will I plan to focus on my strengths during challenging situations?

These questions can help you think about what challenges you may face this upcoming year. Thinking about challenging situations ahead of time will help you deal with them when they do come up. Welcome back to school and welcome back to wellness!

Heading Home for Summer

As the Spring quarter ends, many students will be moving away from campus and back home. For some people, this change can be bumpy or confusing- dealing with your parents full time after months away, reuniting with friends who have had their own experiences, and different responsibilities. It may feel like an awkward in between time- parents may haves rules or restrictions that weren’t existent during college. Freshman especially may have a difficult time adjusting to this different dynamic.

Here are some ways to deal with this change:

  • Dealing with parents. Check in and see what your parents’ expectations are for you this summer and talk about your expectations for the summer. Are you going to be working? Planning on staying out late? Do your parents need you help out around the house? You may need to keep your parents aware of where you are going and when you get home safe. Starting the summer off on the right foot could set the tone for the entire break.
  • Getting a job. Switching from constant schoolwork to a summer job is likely a necessity for some people. For those that prefer a structured environment, a job over the summer can lessen the shock of moving back home. It may also be an opportunity to find a job, internship, or volunteer activity that will be a good addition to your resume.
  • Keeping in touch with college friends. Keeping in contact with your friends in school will make the transition back to school better. Let your college friends know if you miss them- they likely miss you.
  • Reuniting with high school friends. This may be the first chance you’ve had to sit down and really talk to your high school friends since you left for college. It’s likely that both you and your friends have had experiences that changed you in some way. Take this chance to talk with your old friends and learn what happened to them over the course of the year. Even if you don’t fit together perfectly as best friends, it may be a good learning experience.
  • Self-care. Summer is a great time to recuperate from the stress of the school year. Take time to get a normal sleep schedule, exercise, and eat well. It’s good spend time with family and friends, but make sure you can take time for yourself.

Regardless of whether this is your first move back home or your last, we hope your move and your finals go well!

World Eating Disorders Action Day

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Eating disorders, disordered eating, and issues with body image are complicated problems that do not develop over night. There are many misconceptions about how these problems do develop, but knowledge about risk factors can help with prevention and intervention. Risk factors can be classified by type: biological, psychological, social, and interpersonal.

Biological. Research has suggested that there may be biological or biochemical causes of eating disorders and disordered eating. For some individuals, certain chemicals in the brain that control signals of hunger, satiety, and digestion have been found to be unbalanced. Additionally, other research has shown that eating disorders run in families and there may be a significant genetic contribution.

Social. For both men and women, there are cultural pressures that may contribute to the development of eating issues. Presentations of bodies in the media support the idea that “beautiful” or the “perfect body” means needing to obtain a specific body weight or shape. Even racial or ethnic discrimination and prejudice may contribute to the development of eating disorders among persons of color.

Psychological. There are several pathways that may result in eating disorders, such as stress, depression, anxiety, feelings of lack of control or inadequacy, and low self-esteem.

Interpersonal. Difficulties with relationships with others may also cause individuals to develop difficulties with food and body image. A history of bullying or being ridiculed based on size or weight may also contribute to body image dissatisfaction.

There are many risk factors that contribute to eating disorders or disordered eating. These problems are complex and will not develop because of one risk factor alone. However, learning more about disordered eating, eating disorders, and body image can raise awareness and reduce some controllable risk factors, such as body dissatisfaction or self-esteem.

Be Well: Mindful Yoga- Mindfulness of Thoughts and Feelings

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This week's Be Well: Mindful Yoga mindfulness exercises focus on feelings, emotions, and sensations. When we are mindful of our thoughts, emotions, and sensations, we aren't fighting against them or avoiding them altogether. This helps to reduce stress through acceptance and acknowledgement. Below is this week's exercise. If you would like a downloadable MP3, please email wellness@spu.edu

What is Anxiety?

Stress and anxiety are seemingly very similar, but the differences between the two are important.  Stress is a natural response of the body. In small to moderate doses, stress can be motivating, though chronic can have adverse effects on the body. Stress comes and goes depending on daily events.  Stress can be managed through changes in work, activity level,  diet, and sleep.

Anxiety and anxiety disorders involve chronic, debilitating, and unprompted feelings of apprehension, nervousness, and fear. It is normal to experience some anxiety, such as before an examination or during a presentation. However, anxiety goes beyond the feeling of stress to a deeper sense of worry. It may continue beyond the initial event and spill over to other areas of life. When the worry and anxiety becomes overwhelming and interferes with daily living, there may be a problem that requires intervention. For example, you might be experiencing difficulty with anxiety if you worry so much before a test that you can’t study well, you worry while taking the test, and then you continue to worry afterwards that it distracts you from other work.

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We’ll be talking about more specific types of anxiety throughout April. If you have concerns about anxiety, you can contact the Student Counseling Center for help and more information.