Friday, March 27, 2009

Organize for Success

Relaxation Tip
Watch out for “peace stealers” like television or too much time in front of any screen – this wears a body out. It can catch you up and eat your precious time. It may feel like you are relaxing when you are in front of the screen because you are not moving your body or trying to accomplish a task. Your precious mind however, the one you want to pass your tests and solve problems and motivate you, is being bombarded by whatever is on the screen and then has no way to work this stimulation out through movement. Try taking a break from “screen” activities as a way of relaxing.

Organized For Success
Getting organized is going to make your life a LOT easier. Being organized can reduce your stress and increase your chances of success.

Your Student Success Mentors can help you one on one with time management.To find out who your mentor is and make an appointment you can visit the Student Success Hub above SAL and book through Jodie

The following sites have great info particularly relevant to college students on issues of time management, study skills, social skills and dealing with stress to name a few.

ASL signed video about time management

Directed to high school but good graphics and info

Friday, March 20, 2009


Relaxation Tip

Try this little shower tip to reduce pain and stress. In the shower, grab your hair close to your scalp and tug up to release tension. Rub your fingers in small circles over your entire head to stimulate blood flow.

Relationship Stress

Relationship breakups and stresses are definitely a part of college life. Students going through this often feel lonely and sad and they lose their motivation. Be aware that these feelings can be expected and that it is important to address them right away so as to minimize the impact on your academic goals.
Breakups can create so much emotional drama and turmoil that emotional, mental and physical health becomes impacted. It may be difficult to want to eat or study or keep up with a physical fitness routine.
Taking proper care of your emotional being is also an important part of your education at this time in your life. How you deal with emotional stresses and turmoil now, can set a pattern for your future. Loyalist has a counselling department and counselling sessions are free to students. Often, a couple of meetings with a counselor are enough to at least keep you afloat and on track. These older and wiser people can help guide you through a crisis.

Gay and Katie Hendricks about toxic attraction and genuine love

Friday, March 13, 2009

Balancing Act

Relaxation Tip:
If you have been sitting for a while, get your oxygen flowing by sitting up straight and lacing your fingers behind your head. Pull your elbows back, stretching your upper back and chest muscles. Bring your elbows forward. Repeat.

Some healthy coping behaviour that help a person feel balanced are: Exercise, down time for self care, a mixture of work and play and a time management schedule.

Other coping strategies people use but are more likely to leave them feeling unbalanced in the long term include: Chronic use of alcohol or other drugs, avoidance of a commitment or responsibility, procrastination and overeating.

Addiction can happen slowly. We can slowly begin to rely on less than healthy means of dealing with our stress – eating, relationship drama, drugs, gaming. How do we tell when we cross the line from a passion to an addiction?

Cynthia Jane Collins in her book “The Recovery Spiral” defines addiction :
“…if we habitually or compulsively - with or without awareness or intention - use any activity, substance or person[s] to move us away from our true selves, we are practicing addictive behaviours.”

A few exerpts from Gabor Mate’s new book about the many facets of addiction, “In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts”:
Mate says about addiction, “In the final analysis, it’s not the activity or object itself that defines an addiction but our relationship to whatever is the external focus of our attention or behaviour.
This author also talks about a Vietnam veterans study which pointed to similar conclusions as the "Rat Park Study". Many soldiers in Vietnam used readily available heroin addictively. When they returned home and were no longer exposed to the conditions of that war, the greater part of them no longer used. Similarly, rats living in cages were offered the choice of an addictive substance and they readily chose it. When the rats were placed in “Rat Park” rather than a cage, they stopped choosing the substance. “Rat Park” was also a cage but much larger and with features added that gave interest and stimulation to the daily lives of the rats. Mate’s conclusion: –“under certain conditions of stress many people can be made susceptible to addiction, but if circumstances change for the better, the addictive drive will abate.”
In Mate’s words, “physiological stress reaction causes a maelstrom of hormonal secretions and nervous discharges that involve virtually every organ and system in the body. The most potent stressors are loss of control and uncertainty in important areas of life, whether personal or professional, economic or psychological. What do all stressor have in common? Ultimately they all represent the absence of something the organism perceives as necessary for survival- or its threatened loss.
In humans, the most common stressors are emotional rather than physical. Naturally this suggests that developing some intelligence about how emotions work is a very good strategy for dealing with our stress.

Try to be sure some of the habits you are developing for dealing with stress make sense for you and contribute to your long term sense of wellness and balance. Check out the website link for "What's With Weed?" You can take an assessment to see where you are at with weed use and how you compare with others your age. You can see short videos of young people talking about their weed use. You can pick up tips on how to reduce the harm of weed use if you are interested in doing that.

Daniel Goldman talking about social intelligence

Signed video about emotional and multiple intelligences

Friday, March 6, 2009

The No Panic Button

Relaxation Tip
Draw or doodle aimlessly for a few minutes. Colour like when you were a kid – with no expectation of being “good” at it or making a “pretty” picture – just have fun. Put on your favorite music and dance around your room like “there’s nobody watchin.”

Coping Tips for Panic Attacks

1.Remember that although your feelings and symptoms are frightening, they are neither dangerous nor harmful.

2.Understand that what you are experiencing is merely an increase of your normal reactions to stress.

3.Do not fight your feelings or try to wish them away. The more willing you are to face them, the less intense they will become.

4.Do not add to your panic by thing about what might happen. If you find yourself asking “What if?” try telling yourself “So what!”

5.Stay in the present. Be aware of what is happening to you rather than concern yourself with how much worse it might get.

6.Label your fear level from zero to ten and watch it go up and down. Notice that it doesn’t stay at a very high level for more than a few seconds.

7.When you find yourself thinking about fear, change your “what if” thinking. Focus on and perform some simple, manageable task.

8.Notice that when you stop thinking frightening thoughts your anxiety fades.

9.When fear comes, accept it, do not fight it. Wait and give it time to pass. Do not try to escape from it.

10. Be proud of the progress you have made. Think about how good you will feel when the anxiety has passed. And it WILL pass.

Relaxation skills are taught and practiced twice weekly from 1-1:30 Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Mind and Wellness office in the Student Success Hub. Feel free to drop in for any of these sessions.

Shows massaging of an acupressure point for dealing with anxiety, panic and palpitations

Technique to deal with the anxiety guys have to approach a girl