Thursday, January 31, 2008

To Eat or Not to Eat

Eating Disorders has its own Awareness Week and it is from Feb 3-9. You will see a special display in the Loyalist cafeteria on Wednesday, Feb 6 from 11:30-1:30. A specialist in Eating Disorder counselling will be on hand to answer questions and offer resources. There will be a slide show presentation at the display table. Drop by and increase your awareness of this growing problem.

Eating and sleeping disorders are becoming more prevalent among college aged students.

According to the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) a recent study revealed that 27 per cent of Ontario girls, aged 12-18 were reported to be engaged in severely problematic food and weight behaviours.

We have to be the change we want to see. Challenge your own focus on physical beauty – look for the qualities of kindness, flexibility, generosity and compassion, for example both in yourself and in others as your part in making a change in our world.

View the media critically, realizing that the way media represents people is highly manipulative and creates unachievable images that have hugely negative impacts on self esteem.

College life offers you the chance to start to think for yourself and choose your own beliefs rather than following the mainstream thought track. Now is a time to work on the lifelong journey of self acceptance and acceptance of others. Think about comments you make about how others look or how you view yourself.

Do you want to perpetuate the cultural myths that suggest thin is beautiful and means you are in control? Do you want to be part of the belief system that values males who are constantly working on their body? What about valuing qualities in yourself and others? How about valuing those who treat themselves with respect and choose a healthy lifestyle for themselves? What would our world look like if our goal was trying to find who we are, what our particular gifts might be and how we can take care so we can offer the best of ourselves?

This is the national eating disorders info website. It has information for you if you have an eating disorder or helpful info if you are worried about a friend who you think might have a problem.

This is a local Belleville website listing free resources/counselling support for eating disorders in this community.

This site has a quiz so you can assess whether or not you may have a problem

Friday, January 25, 2008

'Tis a Gift to be Simple'

Healthy self, healthy community, healthy world.

Ever feel like you don't really matter in the big scheme of things. Well you do - each choice you make has an impact and that puts a lot of power in your hands. You are of major importance to the health of this planet. How you treat yourself and your surroundings has an impact.

Here are a few very simple ideas for making some powerful choices

1.Turn off – anything that you are not using.

2.Reduce-when you shop for your groceries, look for items that use less packaging

3.You will use a lot of paper this year at school. Try to be mindful – use both sides – use recycled paper in your printer when you can.

4.Recycling is a powerful habit. Loyalist now offer you lots of opportunities to recycle with many receptacles throughout the halls.

5.If you are finished with certain items or clothing, trade with friends. You don’t have to always buy new.

6.Turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth or shaving.
7.Reuse your plastic grocery bags or buy a few snappy cloth bags at the second hand stores to cart your groceries home in.

7.Practice kindness – to yourself, others and the planet you live on.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Leave The Pack Behind

Yeah, yeah, I know I should quit but I’m just not ready. It is too hard and I’m stressed out.
Read on….
It is hard to quit. There are lots of good reasons to quit though and each time you read about those good reasons and each time you try to quit brings you closer to the day when you will be free of the habit.

Some of the great benefits of quitting:

1.Your sense of smell and taste improve, mmmm.
2.You look younger since smoking causes wrinkling and premature aging
3.More energy to do the things you love.
4.No more nagging from friends and family!
5.Save money
6.You don’t stink anymore.
7.Brain fog clears since your blood is no longer binding with the carbon monoxide toxins from the cigarette smoke.

It is hard to kick the habit but you can certainly find lots of help and support from your friends.

Loyalist is part of a province wide initiative created at Brock University. It was developed by students for students. The initiative is called Leave The Pack Behind and the website is very funky – it offers on-line week by week strategies to help you quit.

You can grab one of the nifty packages they developed. These are available at Mind and Wellness Services in the Student Success Hub.
You can also see our display in the cafeteria and grab some of the helpful literature there.

Great interactive site developed by university students to help other students quit.

This site has a lot of information on how to support yourself while quitting – how to work towards a quitting date, dealing with the stress and withdrawal, etc.

Lots of tips and strategies here to support you in quitting.

This site will show you how to calculate how much of your hard earned money is spent on the habit.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Beating the Winter Blues

The tendency around this time of year can be to eat more sugar and lay around on the couch a lot. Try to NOT do this.

1.Even 10 minutes outdoors- a brief walk around the campus or around the block will help you feel more energized. If it’s just too cold, check out the fitness centre – it’s free to all Loyalist students.

2.Sugar does not energize – it has been shown in labs that sugar is a tranquilizer – those of us who turn to sugar at this time of year are trying to tranquilize ourselves. Carbohydrates are a favourite as well- try to avoid the empty ones in junk food and fill up on rice and whole wheat pasta instead.

3.Avoid large amounts of alcohol – it acts as a depressant.

4.Be sure to get the support of your family and friends.

5.Have breakfast every day – this very simple act will benefit you tremendously.

6.And another basic- 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

If you no longer take pleasure in your usual activities, are gaining weight rapidly, sleeping long hours and having despairing thoughts, check in with your doctor or with our campus doctor.

Information on SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Dont' Count to 10

How to Hang on to Your Anger

1.Hold your breath – none of that counting to 10 and taking deep breaths – that will cause all that powerful anger to leak away and you will be left feeling calmer

2.Notice what you are thinking and keep thinking the same thing over and over so you can keep your anger very revved up. Hold on very tightly to those thoughts – do not distract yourself with ideas like “this will pass.” This will cause your anger to leak away and you will be left feeling calmer.

3.Blame other people or circumstances to the best of your ability. This takes all the control out of your hands, makes you feel absolutely powerless and will build your anger to a really good volcanic level.

4.Don’t take any personal responsibility for your feelings. Similar to the above suggestion – if you can convince yourself that you have nothing to do with the way you are feeling – you don’t even have to try to change anything. Brilliant!

5.Blame yourself and try to think of as many ways possible to call yourself names. (Note the difference between taking responsibility for your feelings and blaming yourself - this is a BIG understanding. Taking responsibility deflates anger and self righteousness, gives you the power to make changes. Blaming increases your feelings or powerlessness and stupidity and your sense of righteousness will be HUGE - this builds a great head of steam).

6.Don’t move – keep yourself in any situation that creates a good level of anger for you. If you leave the situation your anger may disperse and you might not be able to build it back up to such a good level for awhile.

7.No physical activity like cleaning something up or going for a walk! This will definitely ruin a good build up of anger

8.If you have a problem that keeps making you feel angry, do not share it with anyone or look to anyone who may have had a similar problem. Talking about your difficulty will divert your powerful anger into problem solving or letting off steam and this will definitely ruin your anger.

9.Do not go near any of that relaxation, meditation, yoga, visualization stuff. It is just ridiculous to think that taking some deep breaths, stretching your muscles or imagining a beautiful scene will do anything but totally ruin your anger. These kinds of activities divert your energy away from all those thoughts that create your anger. You will not be able to stay angry and even worse, if you practice these things, even for a few minutes each day, your body starts to get trained to go into a relaxation response instead of a stress response. So even when something happens that usually would give you a lovely level of anger, your body may start to go into relaxation mode and this will keep your thinking clear and you won’t be able to work up much anger at all. Do not explore any of these types of activities – keep a healthy scepticism and your anger will be safe to live another day.

10.Above all, do not laugh. If you laugh at yourself – that great big beautiful anger will deflate like a pierced balloon. After all your hard work to work up that much anger – what a waste. You want to keep feeling angry. Don’t laugh.

For more great information on anger you can check out this site.

For further help or information you can make an appointment with Valerie in Mind and Wellness Services through Jodie in the Student Success Hub at extension 2519.