Friday, May 31, 2013
Breakups in college are the absolute worst. All you want to do is be home with family, cuddle up with a good movie and a tub of ice cream. The problem is, you have classes and other important obligations to attend to. So how can you avoid this? How can you avoid the heartbreak? These five steps can help you create a healthy, long-lasting relationship and help avoid the painful breakup blues.
Step 1: Fall in love all over again. Remember why you were drawn to your partner. Try taking a trip, or start going on dates again. Flirt, be silly, and keep things fresh and new. The key is to grow together, even while you are traveling on separate paths in life.
Step 2: If you are having problems, confront them. If you mask problems and pretend like they do not exist, the problems will keep growing. If you do not fix the main issue, many other little problems will start to build on top of it. Do not be afraid of confrontation.
Step 3: Always keep communication lines open. I think that this is the number one key to a strong relationship. Express concerns or fears that you have. If your partner loves you, he/she will accept any concerns you have with open arms.
Step 4: Tend to your partner’s needs. Show emotion and empathy towards them. Always be aware of what your partner needs more of; whether they are emotional, physical, or intimate needs.
Step 5: If you cannot fix the relationship yourself, try seeking a counselor or therapist who can open the lines of communication for you and your partner.
My boyfriend always tells me that if we ever get in a fight, or ever have a disagreement, we have to just stop and look deep into each other’s eyes. We will see why we love each other and how lucky we are to have each other. All problems will disappear and we will see why the arguing does not really matter and the relationship is really the only important thing.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
During these past couple of months, campus has been full of prospective freshman touring the campus and attending orientation. Last weekend I was able to take part in an orientation for incoming freshman where myself and Jenna Channel, another Healthy UNH intern, talked to new students about what Healthy UNH is and what we do on campus. While talking to a lot of these new students, a HUGE concern was gaining the “freshman fifteen” and how to be healthy once they were on campus. I know when I first came to campus I was overwhelmed with all of the delicious things that were offered in the dining hall and didn't care about how much I ate, which I soon grew to regret when I gained the freshman 20.
The great thing about UNH is how active you can be. You cannot walk around campus without seeing at least ten people running outside. Another benefit students have is the dining hall. I dare you to visit surrounding schools and find better dining facilities, YOU CAN'T. Other than the amazing food and variety in choices, the best part is that its very easy to make healthy choices. There is a great salad bar, sandwich bar, stir fry, vegan options and the list goes on and on. This past year, Healthy UNH and Dining teamed up to create the Wildcat Plate. This is a great tool you can use to make sure you’re eating healthy. The plate is divided up into the correct portion sizes of each food group (protein, fruits, veggies, dairy and complex carbs) you should be eating, so you don't even have to worry about knowing how to eyeball what one cup is. In addition to that, the plate also tells you what different foods qualify for each food group. These are great because it takes the uncertainty out of eating healthy and I can't tell you how much I wish they had these when I was a freshman.
Overall eating and being healthy at UNH is very easy to do and if you are worried or stressed about it, RELAX. Making healthy choices can be easy and for all of those incoming freshman, and remember, the “freshman 15” is not mandatory!
Friday, May 24, 2013
I spend last weekend in Edinburgh, Scotland. If your geography skills are subpar, Scotland is north of England. Scotland, though still part of Britain and consequently the United Kingdom, Scotland is quite different from England. It is sort of like England’s Canada, in my opinion; cold, less people, but better food. The food is better; however the food in England is pretty bad, so better is still not good. Before I go into detail about one of my meals it is interesting to note that I went to a grocery store that charged me for a plastic bag. Not only was I charged but to locate one was a bit of a hassle. I did not have any complains though because I believe that all grocery stores should follow this example. It becomes much easier to bring your own bags than it is to dig out three cents and then locate a couple plastic bags somewhere in the store.
One meal that makes Scotland stand apart from England is their traditional Haggis, Neeps and Tatties. Neeps is Scottish slang for turnips, which are mashed and served alongside tatties, or mashed potatoes. Haggis is where it gets interesting. Haggis is a combination of mashed heart, lung and liver, traditionally cooked in the lining of the animal’s stomach. Now that you have that image in your mind, let us dissect the meal’s nutritional value.
First, turnips are quite popular around Britain. They are a root vegetable similar to potatoes, the only difference is that they are a good source of vitamin C. Turnips also contain a surprising amount of fiber, though still not as much as leafy greens and other vegetables. Turnip is still considered a starch, as potatoes are, so it is not high in many other nutrients. Potatoes are nothing new to the American diet, but you may not know that potato skin is rich in quite a lot of nutrients including vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, copper, niacin, and potassium. The flesh alone does not contain nearly as many nutrients, but is still a relatively good source of vitamin B6.
Next: haggis. The first main component in haggis is liver. Liver is actually quite healthy. It is high in vitamin A, vitamin B12 and copper. Substantial quantities of other nutrients including the following are present in liver: riboflavin, folate, selenium, chromium, pantothenic acid, niacin, protein, vitamin B6 and niacin. Lung is a great source of selenium, protein and iron while also containing a moderate amount of vitamin C, vitamin B12, niacin, riboflavin and phosphorus. Heart is not as healthy to eat as you may have thought. It is low in protein and the only substantial nutrient is not surprisingly vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is found in all animal products, which is why it is not surprising that it is found in heart. Liver and lung are high in cholesterol so haggis should be eaten in moderation. A side salad or perhaps some green beans would be a great nutritional addition to this meal.
After pushing the thought of these ground organs cooked in an animal’s stomach lining from my mind, I decided I needed to try this odd phenomenon. I did so, and I would do it again. It tasted like ground beef and when you mixed the whole meal together, it is comparable to Sheppard’s pie. Traditionally served as such with the mashed potatoes, mashed turnip and haggis in three layers with some sort of sauce poured on top; I recommend this meal to anyone who travels to Scotland, as it is part of the whole tourist experience.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Employee Wellness Programs Cutting Healthcare Costs
An employee wellness program is a great way to promote health and wellness among your staff. Prevention is key to lowering healthcare costs! Not only will this benefit each employee on an individual level but it will also help to lower healthcare costs within a company. Employee wellness programs are designed to improve general health and well being, increase work ethic and decrease potential injury or illness. These programs also help to encourage employees to become stronger team players within their work environment. Program topics may include weight management, tobacco cessation, healthy snack choices, prevention strategies, physical activity importance and onsite health care availability. The program can go in many different directions depending on what is most interesting to each employee and will be most beneficial for them in the long run. How about creating some fun competition in the workplace by joining together to train for a 5k race? Or maybe by recording your daily number of steps using a pedometer and comparing them with your fellow employees? It’s easy, fun and rewarding! A healthier worker leads to decreased absenteeism and possible increase in productivity. Reduction in health care costs leads to saved money for both the business and the employees. This seems like a win-win situation!
One example of an employee wellness program is Sentara Health Care; a large health-based company out of Virginia. They launched a three year wellness program called “Mission Health” where they were able to save $3.4 million in employee health care costs throughout 100 work sites. Not only did they save a great deal of money but they also prevented many potential chronic diseases and injuries for their employees! Their program focused on addressing risk factors for chronic diseases and obesity and looked at ways to improve physical activity and decrease tobacco use. Prevention is the easiest way to reduce healthcare costs and employee wellness programs are a great example of this! By working with large companies to increase healthy habits and improve overall wellness we are working to decrease healthcare costs for our nation as a whole.
For UNH students graduating this year and entering a professional work setting, keep this in mind! Before committing to a new job, make sure to look into the company’s health insurance program and see what health benefits they offer. Check to see if they offer an employee wellness program! By participating in one of these programs you will be helping yourself move toward a healthier lifestyle while also saving money. As for students interested in the health and wellness field, consider a job as a wellness program specialist or coordinator!
Monday, May 20, 2013
In the world of exercise, trends come and go. There is boot camp, zumba, pilates and so much more. The most recent type of workout to hit the exercise world is TRX. The name sounds a little intimidating, but it is a workout that will provide you with strength, flexibility and balance. TRX is made up of nylon straps that you secure onto any steady surface and which provides you with a full body workout. Once the straps are secured, there are a number of different workouts that can be done with them to help you tone up all over. The best part about this workout is that it can be done by beginners, regulars and even experts. If you're interested, TRX classes are provided at a number of different gyms or you can even buy an online kit to do it on your own. It's even something that can be done in your dorm room- as long as your roommates stay back a safe distance. As UNH students, we're lucky because the Hamel Rec Center features TRX classes, so stop by and see if it is something that may interest you!
Friday, May 17, 2013
Anxiety is defined as apprehension to an upcoming event and as college students, we have plenty of reasons for having anxiety. Anxiety can stem from an upcoming test, ten page paper, an overflowing to do list or even just finding a parking spot in order to make it to class on time. Symptoms to look for in determining if you suffer from everyday anxiety are things like increased heart rate, lack of concentration in school and work, having issues sleeping or just not being your normal self. If you find yourself often stressed and suffer from any of the above situations you may want to find ways to reduce your anxiety. Luckily, Shape Magazine came up with fifteen tips to help decrease anxiety.
1. SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP: Getting enough sleep is so important. When you aren't getting enough sleep each night it affects physical health and feeds into our anxiety and stress. Aim for seven to nine hours to ease anxiety.
2. De-Clutter: Take fifteen minutes to clean up your living/work space. When there is physical clutter present, it can cause mental clutter. Keeping things tidy will help lower anxiety levels and help you think rationally.
3. Play: Back when we were kids, we could play without having to worry about school or work. Take some time each time to do something you enjoy, whether it is playing a video game, a sport or anything you may enjoy.
There are many more tips and tricks for helping you manage your anxiety. Visit Shape's website to read about the other twelve ways!
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Each day I think I lose a few hours of my life due to the amount of smokers here in London. It is not like in the United Sates, where if you walk past a smoker you can just hold your breath and happily breathe fresh air after you pass them. If you tried to do this on the streets of London you would pass out. According to the ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) foundation , one in five British adults smoke, compared to less than a sixth of Americans. Also, unlike the US, the UK packages of cigarettes have horrible pictures, of what smoking can do to your body, and yet they continue puffing away their life. Some packages just have two words on the front: “SMOKING KILLS”. I learned in my Health Psychology class here at Regent’s College, that people do not like to have their integrity questioned. When their integrity is questioned, they deny the facts presented to them. This explains why the pictures on cigarette packages do not work. The pictures may imply that the individual is not making a smart decision; even though he or she may be a smart, logical person. So instead, people deny that these pictures are reality and continue to smoke. They may also believe that these horrible things depicted in the pictures could not happen to them. This, as I learned in the Health Psychology course, is called “unrealistic optimism”.
Regent’s College has this beautiful courtyard that I would love to walk through to get to the classes over there, but you cannot breathe out there. You think “Oh, some fresh air would be nice” until you walk outside to about a hundred Europeans smoking their lives away. It is not a big courtyard by any means so to pack all these smokers so tightly together creates this smoky fog. Needless to say, I have yet to set foot in this courtyard. Luckily, smoking in restaurants is now illegal. Because there are so many smokers though, there are quite a few tables outside restaurants with heat lamps around them. Sometimes they even give you a blanket. This way, smokers can enjoy their cigarettes with their meals outside away from people. I was fortunate enough to hear the other side of the argument from a friend of mine that I have met recently from France. She told me that it is looked at as attractive in Europe. Though this is still not a compelling reason to smoke in my opinion, I accepted and respected her point of view. It is part of their culture.
Like in the US, there are quite a few campaigns to help the two thirds or so individuals that wish to quit. The National Health Service (NHS) is the healthcare here in the UK and they cover the majority of medications. Individuals can get Nicotine patches, gum or lozenges either for free of for very inexpensive. Other medications like Champix and Zyban are medications that reduce nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms are covered in the NHS. The only thing that is not provided in the NHS is smoking and quitting education or counseling. It is an addiction so the mental and emotional aspects need to be attended to as well. There is some good news though in the UK; the number of smokers is actually decreasing; though you would not think so based by how many smokers you walk by on the streets every day.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Whether we like it or not, technology has become a part of our everyday lives. We rely on it for quick information, social networking, job searching, school related assignments, and entertainment for when we are bored. But is being constantly connected to the technological world affecting student’s mental health? It is rare to find a college student that does not have a cell phone, laptop computer, email and Facebook account. A poll taken by The Jed Foundation found that 90% of college students used a social networking site within the last week. These tools are great for getting school work finished, communicating with friends, staying connected with family while away at school, and for getting in touch with professors. It is important though to make sure that students are not becoming overly reliant on their technological devices and letting them take control of their lives. Maintaining face- to- face interaction is a key part of mental health.
School is definitely a very stressful part of life and although technology can work to ease the stress and simplify your work load, it may have the reverse affect. Do you ever find yourself stressing over not getting a reply from your latest text message? Or maybe you find yourself constantly checking your Facebook to make sure you’re caught up on your social circle, or to see the number of likes you got on a photo. If the results were not what you expected or had hoped for, it could really take a toll on your emotional health. Over thinking a situation, excessive worrying, misreading a person’s feelings or taking something out of context can all be a result of this. Many people have been harassed or disrespected online which can lead to lower self-esteem and other insecurities. Social media websites can also negatively affect relationships through misunderstandings of things that were said or done online. Talking over an issue face-to-face still remains the most efficient and successful way to resolve a problem. Technology was created to make our lives simpler…not stressful! Removing negative stress from your life is a major part of mental health. It is important to recognize your reliance on technological devices to make sure that it is only leading to positive outcomes on your health. Here are a few tips for balancing technology with everyday life.
Be present! During class time be present in the moment and participate in activities and engage in conversation. Turn off your cell phone and keep from texting during class. You don’t want to miss out on something important!
Friday, May 10, 2013
Prawn is something I had not seen before arriving here in London. I came across it in places you would expect such as on pasta or in a stir fry or fried, but I also came across it in unexpected places such as in a salad on a sandwich and as a flavoring on crackers and chips. I wanted to see what the hullabaloo was about.
Prawn is basically jumbo shrimp. Often times in the US prawn are incorrectly labeled as such. They are nutritionally the same as shrimp, however the English use prawn in ways Americans would never think of. Prawn contains a relatively high amount of cholesterol but a low amount of saturated fat. The English make up for the lack of saturated fat when they fry prawn or make prawn salads with mayonnaise to put on sandwiches. One may think this is similar to a tuna fish sandwich but allow me to assure you the texture is quite different. Prawn is a good source of iron, which is important for oxygen transport in the blood and red blood cell production. Prawn also contains a good amount of omega-3 fatty acid, which is important for heart health. Zinc and Selenium, present in prawn, are important for maintaining a healthy immune system. Prawn is also a good source of many B vitamins such as Niacin, B-6 and B-12 which help to maintain nerve function, contribute to red blood cell and energy production.
The English may have found a great sandwich meat substitute, for those that do not mind the cold, sometimes slimy texture. The consumer, however, must not forget the high cholesterol content. This should be kept in mind with individuals who typically consume a great deal of cholesterol regularly. It is a wonder how the English keep their cholesterol down with all of this prawn and ‘fish and chips’. It is most certainly an interesting flavoring choice for chips and crackers, though I hardly think the nutrients on the flavoring accurately reflect the nutrients in the crustacean.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
With final exams just around the corner, most college students are starting to feel the wave of stress and anxiety wash over them. Having too much stress can be a bad thing, while having a little bit of stress can provide you with the motivation and determination to do well on your exams! So, how can you control your stress and keep it to a perfect level for exam taking?
Mind says the best ways to manage your stress for exams are, being organized and plan a timetable. To become organized, make sure you understand what you are learning and being tested on and also figure out how the exam will be laid out so that you can choose the appropriate study method. To plan a timetable, figure out the amount of time you need to cover each subject you are studying. For example, if you have exams in History, English and Math, separate the day into thirds and determine which subject you would like to study when. Be sure to give yourself leisure time to relax and unwind.
A great way to de-stress is a breathing technique like slowing your breath down when you notice your heart rate picking up. In the middle of your exam or studying, take some time to sit down and listen to yourself breath and feel the air entering your lungs. The key is to bring your heart rate down and start to feel like you are breathing naturally again. Create a relaxation routine. Relax your whole body, starting from your head all the way down to your toes and release any tension in muscles. Engage in Physical activity! Take 10 minutes out of your studying to go for a jog or a bike ride! This will help you clear your head and get those feel-good endorphins pumping.
For more great stress-relieving activities for exam week, check out Frazzle Free Finals in Dimond Library, GOOD LUCK WITH FINALS, and Happy Summer!
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