Category Archives: Health & Wellness

How To Avoid Catching Colds On a College Campus

It is getting to the point in the semester when almost everyone is sick or you know someone who is sick. Getting sick is one of the most inconvenient things to happen to a college student because all you want to do is rest and lie down, but you have classes and assignments due all week long. No one wants to deal with a stuffy nose, loud coughing, stomach-aches, fevers or headaches. If you want to try to avoid all of these symptoms make sure to follow these tips.  

 

  1. Get a Good Amount of Sleep Each Night

Getting the right amount of sleep can benefit you in many ways. The recommended amount of sleep for a college students is 7-8 hours a night , but that is easier said than done. Not getting enough sleep on one hand,  can weaken your immune system.

2. Wash Your Hands Regularly

Washing you hands regularly and especially before eating, can kill germs and prevent you from getting sick. It will be especially worth it in the long run  when you do not get sick while everyone else on campus is.

3. Eat Healthy

In college, it is especially hard to eat healthy all the time. Students are often tempted by fried , delicious food the dining hall serves and often times they are not eating all of the nutrients they need. If you incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet, it is easier to stay healthy and receive the daily nutrients your body  needs.

4. Wipe Down Surfaces in Your Room Everyday

Most college students do not wipe down their surfaces everyday which leads to germs building up. If you take the time to wipe them down, it can prevent you from catching a cold within your own room.

5. Exercise

Participating in daily exercise is not only good for your body, but it is also strengthens your immune system. It can also help you to breathe better, sleep better and create better circulation for your body.

6. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated can benefit you in many ways. It can make you less tired and create a stronger immune system.

7. Get Vitamin C

If you get your daily intake of Vitamin C , you are way less likely to get sick. Vitamin C is linked to the protection against the immune system. Oranges are a great source of Vitamin C.

8. Get the Flu Shot

This is the easiest way to prevent the flu, but many students do not get it because they think they do not have enough time to, they are afraid of needles or they just do not feel like it. Health Services here at MU offer free flu shots for all students.

Make the time and effort to prioritize yourself and your health during the cold season!

Photos courtesy of Canva.

How To Decorate Your Room To Improve Your Mood

The environment you live in can affect your mood and emotions in many ways. While you are in college and stressed by many classes and assignments, the last thing you want to worry about is a cluttered or stressful room. At the end of the day, you want to make sure that your room is relaxing to you and creates an environment where you feel safe. Throughout the years I have lived in the residence halls, I have discovered what types of things or decorations make me feel relaxed in my own room. Here are a list of helpful tips I learned about decorating a dorm room.

 

  1. Think about how colors change your mood.

Colors can be associated with different emotions and feelings. If you decorate your room to how you want to feel, it can create the type of environment you desire. For example, blues, greys and greens are naturally soothing colors and can create a relaxing environment. While on the other hand, rooms decorated in bright colors like pink, yellow and orange can lift your energy and your spirits. Try not to choose overly dark colors because they can translate into feeling gloomy and it also makes it hard to feel cheerful. I add bright colors to keep me energized and happy.

2. Clean up clutter.

If you have a cluttered desk or dresser, this can make you feel overwhelmed and stressed within your own room. By taking the time everyday to put items away, you can reduce the number of things that pile up over the course of the day. If you leave your items to pile up, this can also affect your sleep schedule and can lead to not getting a peaceful night of sleep.

 

3. Make your bed everyday.

I know that a lot of people say they do not have the time to do this, or think this is stupid, but doing this everyday can make you feel better. Along with making your room look nice and well kept, this can also prevent you from crawling back into bed after coming back from class. By doing this simple task every morning, you will feel more organized and keep you going all day long.

4. Decorate with items or pictures you love.

Create an environment with familiar faces and items . You will feel happy and more refreshed if you wake up to the sight of things you really love, like pictures of your loved ones or a poster of your favorite band or movie. I like to personalize my space by adding family photos and posters of my favorite bands.  

5. Decorate your mirror with inspirational quotes on post-it notes.

By displaying a few of your favorite inspirational quotes on your mirror, you will feel more confident and actually look forward to looking into the mirror. This is a simple trick to train your mind to experience more happiness and success.

These few little changes can affect your mood in the long run and help you stay more focused. If you follow any of these tips, let us know by tagging us on Instagram or Twitter. Our username on both of these sites is @villehousing .

National Mental Health Awareness Week: Tips on How to De-stress

October 7- 13, 2018 is National Mental Health Awareness Week (Also known as Mental Illness Awareness Week). This week is important because it brings awareness to the crucial topic of mental health and mental illnesses. In a recent study from spring 2017, researchers from the American College Health Association found that nearly 40% of college students said they felt so depressed it was difficult to function (Reilly, 2018). The researchers also found that 61% of college students said they had felt “overwhelming anxiety.”  Anxiety, depression, stress and sadness are all challenges that college students face , but there are many resources and ways to cope with these challenges.

To help you cope with stress and anxiety here is a list of tips and tricks on how to de-stress and relax.

  1. Make minor adjustments to your room.

A cluttered space can make you feel disorganized. One way to create a less stressful environment is to open your bedroom blinds to let natural light into your space. Students can also decorate their rooms in soothing colors such as light blue or grey. These colors may make you feel calm . Another option is to buy a small plant. Plants bring life to the room and give you a chance to take care of a living being.

  1. Take time to read a book.

One of the best things to do when stressed out is to engross yourself in a book. Some of the best books to read during stressful times are motivational or inspiring works. Examples of books that help you feel great again are Eat, Pray, Love, The 5 Second Rule, or Milk and Honey

  1. Write in a journal.

Putting pen to paper is one of the best ways to avoid stress. If you write out your troubles, it can help you express your worries and help you assess the situation with fresh eyes. Writing in a journal can also help you to recognize when you overcame obstacles and give you the confidence to overcome obstacles in the future.

  1. Plan and get work done ahead of time.

Personally, one of the best tips when it comes to lessening stress is to plan ahead to get work done. There are so many deadlines for assignments, and students tend to get overwhelmed and forget to do them. If students make the switch to writing out deadlines in the beginning of the semester and using free time to complete work, they can get ahead and alleviate the stress of completing the assignment on time.

  1. Turn off your phone.

Sometimes phones can do more harm than good. They can produce constant worry about likes, retweets or receiving messages back, that by the end of the day this adds stress. Turning phones off for a couple minutes a day can help to relieve stress and give more time to think or do other activities.

  1. Visit the University Counseling Center.

Millersville has  resources on campus such as the Center for Counseling and Human Development where students can set up counseling appointments to talk about their stress or anxiety. The Center for Counseling and Human Development will also be introducing light box therapy starting October 2nd, which can help students who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or depression during the winter months.

  1. Just breathe.

This may sound cheesy, but it can really help in any situation. If you take a deep breathe, it can slow thinking down and release built up tensions. It can also bring the realization that things will be okay and to just be patient.

 

Photos courtesy of Canva. 

Reilly, K. (2018, March 19). Anxiety and Depression: More College Students Seeking Help. Retrieved from http://time.com/5190291/anxiety-depression-college-university-students/

Include Your Voice in MU Student Health Data!

Student Health, something that we all sometimes neglect in the midst of taking on life. More often than not we find ourselves just barely hanging on to the grips of college and breezing by. But it goes without saying, we leave ourselves vulnerable to the misinformation about student health and campus health.

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But that can change! Beginning today there is an active survey that will make your voice heard. Upon completing the survey about Student Health, you can be 1 out of 5 student winners. The student(s) will win a $50 gift card from the University Store. If you check your email periodically, you will see an email titled: Include Your Voice in MU Student Health Data. This email will be sent from The American College Health Association. The survey will be active from April 15th, 2018 until April 29th, 2018.

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Now is this time to have your voice heard! Use this PDF below as a resource for any outstanding questions you may have. Enjoy your weekend in good health!

MU CHEP_Student Health Survey Poster_HR_4.03

 

Right Now It’s April, but soon It’s Gonna Be May!

We are now in April, but what does that mean exactly? We find ourselves scrambling to get ourselves together mentally, physically, and socially. It takes a lot to get through the semester—with all the tests, quizzes, no sleep, calling your parents, and keeping a balanced diet. Trying to keep all of these factors in line, it is difficult to think about how the days pass and what you have to do to stay on top of your life.

Its Gonna Be May

April is crunch time. You submit those final papers, beg your professors to turn that 68 into a 90, and hope that we will finally see Spring weather. Whatever the case may be, with all those present worries, it is hard to make time for yourself and step away from school. But there are ways you can move past this April slump and make the best of May with the following tips and tricks to conquer Spring semester!

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  1. When studying, study with a friend so they can help you succeed!
  2. Don’t let the stress, stress you out.
  3. Get a planner and plan ahead for upcoming events.
  4. Take time for yourself; self-care is important.
  5. Get some gains, go to the gym and exercise.
  6. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE
  7. Get your rest and count those sheep!
  8. Make sure you stop and breathe—breathing helps you stay alive.
  9. Distract yourself with family and friends, they can be a great resource.
  10. Counseling is a good resource for a stress-free environment.

There are always resources readily available to students who feel the overwhelming amounts of stress this time around. These tips and tricks can really keep a student calm in the midst of chaos and the seemingly unbearable stress. Millersville’s Center for Counseling & Human Development also offers tips to deal with stress and ways to manage it. http://www.millersville.edu/counsel/  This link will connect you to available resources if you find yourself looking for that additional help to free yourself from the burden of stress. Look to the future, knowing that you are not alone even with May slowly approaching! There is always someone there to help!

 

Lower Your Stress and Anxiety During Exam Season

stress

College can be stressful.  Balancing your academics with work, friends, family, clubs and organizations, athletics, or whatever you’re involved in can be a lot to handle.  And with finals quickly approaching the stress may be mounting.  Feeling stress or anxiety is actually pretty common for college students.  According to a survey conducted in 2011 by the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD) anxiety is the top presenting concern among college students at 41.6%, closely followed by depression at 36.4% and relationship problems at 35.8%.  If you are interested in reading the overall report from the survey just click here.

While stress and anxiety may be a growing issue on college campuses there are always ways to reduce them.  Self-care is a huge part of that.  Here are some self-care tips to help you de-stress and lower your anxiety.  Some of these may seem basic or obvious, but some of these things are the first thing to go when we get stressed.

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  1. Do nice things for yourself.

Treat yourself.  This doesn’t necessarily mean buy yourself a present, although you could do that.  In college, funds can be pretty tight.  So find others things to treat yourself with.  Take an extra-long hot shower or bath, not because you’re dirty but because it can be relaxing.  Build in an hour of me time in your schedule where you put aside school and work, maybe watch something on Netflix.  If you want to buy yourself a present get that set of headphones you’ve been admiring, maybe get your favorite candy.  It’s nice to be nice yourself.

  1. Keep to a schedule.

Keeping to a regular schedule can cut down on stress and anxiety quite a bit.  You know your class schedule and how that interacts with your work schedule if you have a job.  Write that out.  Now add in a specific time block every day to study and get homework done.  Make sure you schedule times to eat and relax.  If you’re involved in any extracurriculars add them in too.  Sometimes there will be fluctuations, things can happen unexpectedly.  But keeping the same general schedule every week will get you into a routine that will become second nature.

Paint

  1. Do something fun!

What is your favorite thing to do?  When is the last time you did it?  Personally, my favorite thing to do it paint, and I can’t remember the last time I did it.  Try to do this thing regularly.  Having fun is important to leading a low-stress life.

  1. Get enough sleep.

I’m sure you’ve heard this quite a lot.  But it really is important.  If you get a full night’s sleep you will be more alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic! (Anybody else get that song stuck in their head as a kid?)  You will be more attentive throughout the day, which means getting done what you need to get done more efficiently and quickly.

food

  1. Don’t skip any meals.

You need to make sure your body has the proper fuel to run.  This means eating regularly.  If you skip a meal you may not be able to function properly while studying, going, to class, take a test, doing homework, going to your job, etc.  So make sure you eat!

  1. Say no!

Don’t be afraid to say no to things.  You don’t have to cover every co-worker’s shift whenever they ask.  You don’t have to spearhead every project for all the clubs you’re in.  It is okay to put yourself first.  Essentially don’t overload yourself.  Making that schedule could really help with this.

friends

  1. Spend time with friends and family.

Make time to be with your friends and family.  Sometimes you just need to take a break with those people who love you most.  I often find I feel much more relaxed after a night of hanging out with the fam and my bestie.

These are just some of my favorite ways to de-stress and lower anxiety.  Looking for more?  Why not check out this boss article from Huff Post?  20 Scientifically Back Ways to De-Stress Right Now

If you are in need of any health or counseling services they are available right here at Millersville University.  Click here for counseling.  Click here for health services.

 

Photos courtesy of Canva.

Kristi Shorter is an Intern for Millersville University’s Housing and Residential Programs.  She is currently pursuing her Master of Education in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.