Friday, November 30, 2007

Support the Women You Love

Dec 6 National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.

This is a day to reflect on the violence still present in our society against women and girls. Think about how you are participating in this violence yourself. Don’t let belittling comments go unchallenged. Assert your own beliefs without shaming anyone.

Being part of creating a healthy society is part of creating a healthy, balance in your own well being.

On Thursday, December 6 the Remembrance will be held at the Empire Theatre this year. This is an incredibly empowering time as communities across the country come together to remind us that violence against women is still a very real and daily issue. It doesn't just happen somewhere else. It happens here in our college and in our hearts. Call the Empire Theatre for tickets 613 969-0099.

This is the national site with information about this day of remembrance

This site addresses women’s health concerns.

This site is the Canadian Women’s Health Network and has many resources available in many different languages.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Staying Healthy Through the Winter

Staying healthy through the winter

1.Bundle up and go outside – fresh air and sunshine are essential to maintaining good health

2.AVOID sugar and junk snacks especially at this time of year – they will sedate your brain so you can’t think clearly

3.Nurture friendships – healthy relationships boost the immune system.

4.Brainstorm with friends for ideas on how to party without drugs and alcohol. Alcohol acts as a depressant – not something you want to contribute to as we head into shorter, colder days.

5. Staying active is essential to emotional health and emotional health has a direct impact on physical health. Check out this website for interesting information on how exercise is one of the best medicines for stress.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kindness decreases Stress

Much fear and anxiety is based on a self-centredness. It is natural, in many ways, to be centred on the self. The human organism does need to watch out for itself. At the same time, a constant preoccupation with our own concerns can make our world seem very small. We can spend so much time thinking about our assignments, our finances, our relationships, ourselves, that we don't even realize that we are actually thinking the same kinds of thoughts over and over and over .... and that these thoughts can be creating a physical stress reaction in our body.

Some interesting studies have shown that developing compassion is a good way to reduce anxiety and stress. Taking time for a kind action can be very simple. Getting out of your own thought circles and thinking of someone else is like allowing fresh air to clear your mind

Some simple ideas for practicing acts of kindness once a day:

Thank a teacher for their work

Help someone with a computer problem

Wash someone else’s dishes

Hold a door open for someone with a load of books

Smile at someone

Take a moment to notice the cafeteria staff - learn their names - say hello.

Say good morning to security staff.

Noticing the people in your environment is a simple way of getting out of your mindlessness.

Being kind to yourself is very worthwhile as well of course! Taking time for 5 slow, deep breaths is worth far more than the constant problem solving mode our minds are usually caught up in.

Good luck.

Active Stress Busting

Physical fitness is the cornerstone of all wellness. Developing and maintaining an active lifestyle is critical to your chance of success in all endeavours.

Exercise can actually increase your stress threshold. This means you can handle more stress when you maintain an active lifestyle.
Physical exercise is one of the most powerful “drugs” you can give yourself to keep your mind and body going strong.

Go for a walk, join a kick boxing class, dance at home. It is important to exercise for good health and well being, not just to lose weight. Choose things you enjoy - it is not meant to be a punishment! It is about developing a lifestyle that brings you pleasure.

You might want to try working out in the morning at the fitness centre before classes so you can feel energized for the day.

When you understand how important physical activity is to a strong, healthy mind, you will never again decide you don’t have time for exercise because you have too much studying to do!

This site has a wealth of knowledge on just how the mind and body are intricately connected and on how powerfully exercise impacts our quality of life.

At this site you can go to the physical section for good ideas on different types of exercise.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Let Food Be Your Medicine

Food has an incredible effect on how you feel. Most people have no idea the power food has in affecting how they think and feel.

Start the day with good food. You need to feed the body so the mind can feel energized and clear.
Food affects clarity of mind and calmness of body.

Nutrition is one of the most important factors in maintaining good overall balance in your health. A bowl of hot or cold whole grains cereal (not the kind with sugar listed as the second ingredient!) with nuts or fresh fruit on top is an easy, excellent routine to get into. There are many good cereal, fruit and nut choices to choose from so you look forward to this important, easy habit.

“Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” Hippocrates

At this site you can take an assessment to see how you shape up as far as eating and activity health

Here is some information on eating disorders. If you have concerns about yourself or a friend, make an appointment with Valerie in Mind and Wellness up in the Student Success Hub.

Info on eating disorders

Friday, November 2, 2007

Don't Sweat It

Place one hand on your belly, breathe slowly and deeply, feel your hand rise and fall. Let your shoulders drop and feel your body relax and renew.

Try an experiment by doing this each hour in a day and see how it affects your day. Do it with a friend so you can remind each other.
Relaxation has a cumulative effect. If you include a brief period of relaxation into your daily schedule, your body’s ability to relax will increase.

“There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.” Ghandi

Remember – you have choices when it comes to your anxiety. A well cared for body creates a relaxed mind. While you are here at college learning “the tools of your trade” you will need to learn how to care for yourself as well. Learn to eat and sleep well. Learn what relaxes you, what brings you pleasure. And learn to use substances wisely.

Remember as well – it’s ok to drop a course, end a relationship, let go of some commitments –all of these things can be done with gentleness. It’s when we tell ourselves we have no choice, no way out, that we create a sense of incredible anxiety or depression. Reach out for support and help if you feel you overwhelmed. You can find some good relaxation techniques at this site.

There is also a site on youtube. Just type in "relaxation" at the youtube site and you have the option of 3 minute, 5 minute, even 30 minute relaxations that are quite wonderful.

At this site look under “How to overcome test anxiety?”