Monday, April 29, 2013
Will you be an incoming first year student at UNH in the fall or know of anyone that will be joining our campus next year? If so, PAWs is the perfect program to get an early start on your UNH experience! The Pre-Orientation Adventure for Wildcats is a 6-day, 5-night outdoor trip for incoming freshmen. This is a great trip to help students transition from high school and develop an early sense of involvement at UNH. PAWs will give you a head start on creating everlasting bonds and friendships within the wildcat community. Highly trained trip leaders will also be available to help with any questions or concerns prior to your arrival at UNH. Approximately 140 students arrive on campus early to take part in PAWs. Registration opened on April 1st so register while you can! The dates of this program will be 6 days prior to freshmen move in day. The cost of PAWs is $350 which includes all costs of food, lodging, group equipment, transportation, and instruction. You will also receive a free PAWs t-shirt!
PAWs participants will be split up into small groups of 8-10 students, each having two experienced group leaders. Students have the chance to choose between the basecamp and backpacking option. When choosing the basecamp option you will spend most of your time at Mendums Pond Outdoor Recreation Area which is just seven miles from Durham. You will get to take part in hiking, canoeing, exploring campus, and bonding with other incoming students and upper class group leaders. If you decide on the backpacking option you will spend 3 nights backpacking the White Mountains and enjoying beautiful scenery. You will start and finish at Mendums Pond to prepare for and reflect on your adventure. The PAWs program resembles college in many ways; it is a fun and exciting adventure but will also bring about new challenges that will need to be faced and resolved. If you want to create new friendships, learn more about UNH, get a jumpstart on your experience here, and challenge yourself in a new way, PAWs is for you! Get all the information you need as well as application information at the PAWs website.
Friday, April 26, 2013
It is widely known that health care costs are extremely high. Unfortunately in order to reduce the amount of money spent on health care costs, some people go without necessary care as an attempt to cut down. However, there are other options to save money other than avoiding the care that is needed.
One way to reduce the amount of money you spend on health care is to use your health care services appropriately. When you are feeling sick, or thinking that you need to receive care, the best thing you can do is go see your primary care physician; instead of going to an emergency room. By seeing your primary care physician rather than an emergency room, you could save as much as $250 per visit. Saving money is a great perk, but your local doctor's office can be more convenient as well. Often primary care physicians have appointments open each day and on weekends just in case there are walk in patients. So if you need care or are feeling sick, by choosing your doctor, you will save a considerable amount of money. Emergency room visits should be saved for when there is an actual emergency. Not only will will this save you money, but if you're not having an emergency, it will make room for those who are.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The end of the semester is a time of transition. Whether you are graduating or just moving home for the summer it marks the end of one phase and the beginning of something new. Add finals on top of all of that and the end of the year can feel quite overwhelming. However there are lots of fun events to look forward to at the end of the semester. One of these is the May Day Carnival!
If you are looking for a way to celebrate the end of the year and the warm spring weather check out the May Day Carnival on April 27th. The carnival will begin at 1:00 p.m. in C-Lot and will be filled with all sorts of fun activities. The event will include free food, amusement rides, game booths, live entertainments and all sorts of other fun activities. The best part is it is FREE with your UNH Student ID. The cost will be $5 for all others. The carnival is being hosted by CAB and is a SIC’EM sponsored event paid for by the student activity fee.
So put down your books, take a quick study break and check out the May Day Carnival! A little laughter and fun can go a long way in reducing your stress and increasing your happiness and overall health!
Friday, April 19, 2013
College is a time of great growth for a young adult. Sometimes, you completely lose sight of who you are. Negative thoughts and emotions can flood your mind, making it almost impossible to concentrate on anything truly important. I know first hand how difficult and lost anxiety can make you feel. It can debilitate you to a point where you wake up in the middle of the night shaking and short of breath. I battled anxiety my sophomore year of college and am proud to say that I am now happier than ever. I lost sight of what I wanted out of life. I was not focused on school because I could not get my mind away from the negative thinking. You feel like it will never go away. It was the lowest I have ever felt, but by practicing the following tips, I have reached where I am today. A strong, confidant woman, ready to take on the future. Know you have the strength to get through anything and take it one day at a time.
Get outside. Throw yourself into nature. Go for hikes, runs, walks, bike rides; anything that will get you out in the fresh air. We, as humans come from nature, so the worst thing you can do is coop yourself up in your dorm room. We thrive outdoors. Even though it can feel impossible to pull yourself from your bed in the morning, find the little strength you have to put some sneakers on and marvel at the beauty nature has to offer. In nature, you will find yourself and your mind will be at ease, the way it always intended to be; out among the beautiful earth.
Smile. This is an incredible trick that works. By smiling, you can actually trick your brain to think you are happy. If you believe you are happy, truly happy, you will feel enlightened. Surround yourself with positive energy and people who will only ever put a smile on your face.
Breathe. When you feel a negative thought coming on, sit down and take a few deep breaths. I would sit on a tree stump in the woods, and just breath. I would listen to my breath and feel it fill up my lungs. Engage all your senses. Breathing helped me think clearly and recognize that it was just a thought, and not real. I realized I did not need to dwell on it, for it is just my imagination, my thoughts couldn’t hurt me. I was stronger than them.
When a negative thought pops into your head, replace it with something positive. As soon as the thought enters your head, replace it with the thought of a breathtaking summer sunset, or a memory from your childhood that you loved. I personally always pictured a beautiful bouquet of roses anytime my anxieties creeped into my mind. If the thought enters your head and you cannot get rid of it, picture yourself putting the thought on a cloud, and watch it float away. Visualizing the thought disappearing can make it seem as though the thought has in fact disappeared.
Eat well and be happy. Its long been known that you are what you eat. Instead of the fried foods that you crave when you’re feeling upset, focus on eating more fruits and vegetables. Fried, fatty foods are just comfort foods. Think before you grab the pizza and opt for a salad. Know that by trying the salad, you are helping your mind. It is also proven that dark chocolate will boost your mood by releasing endorphins. These are the same things released when you are in love. I ate dark chocolate everyday and I can tell you that I did in fact feel happier after indulging in it.
Focus on others, rather than yourself. Instead of feeling and focusing on my anxiety, I would focus on making another person’s day by doing simple acts of kindness. Smile at someone who looks like they’re having a bad day. They might have it worse and you could change their life. Leave an extra quarter in the tip jar at a coffee shop; hold the door open for other people. Preach what you need to learn. Do it all with a smile. If you put good out into the world, you will receive it back.
Above all, know that you are not alone. Every person you pass is fighting his or her own battle. I would wonder, why “can’t I be happy? Why can’t I be like that person, without a care in the world.” Ignorance is bliss as they always say and maybe their battle in this life isn’t to battle anxiety and depression. But they are dealing with something else that you have no idea about, or maybe could not even fathom. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to someone. You are not the alone in this and even though you might feel embarrassed reaching out, you might be reaching out to someone who needs you just as much as you need them. For more tips on dealing with anxiety, check out the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. To talk to someone, contact the UNH Counseling Center or reach out to a fellow peer, like myself, or a family member.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
The University of New Hampshire’s Department of Health Management and Policy prepares undergraduates to become leading health professionals in the ever-expanding Health Care Industry. Through this department, students get exposed to many aspects of health care, including data analysis, finance management, epidemiology, ethics, and policy. A reoccurring theme throughout the Department’s courses is health promotion.
The Department’s Student Organization for Health Leadership (SOHL) is holding the Second Annual Wildcat 5k this Sunday, April 21, to raise funds for student scholarships and promote healthy behaviors in the UNH community. This event promotes healthy and active lifestyles. Last year’s event raised over $3000 for Health Management and Policy students. It was a beautiful Sunday with over 200 students and community members participating in the race. The Department hopes this year’s event will be even better. The 5K route through College Woods can be found here. The race starts at 9am. Be sure to register online here:
Monday, April 15, 2013
The end of the semester is approaching quickly and with that comes a mixture of excitement and dread. While everybody seems ready for the change of pace that summer brings, students don’t seem quite as excited about the end of the year projects, papers and exams looming in the distance. While these things are unavoidable, there are ways to prepare for finals while limiting stress levels.
I know it can be difficult to start studying or preparing a project ahead of time. For a long time I was a chronic procrastinator. At some point I realized that the amount of stress trying to do things at the last minute caused a lot of unnecessary stress in my life. Instead of preparing a few days before the deadline or test, try creating a schedule 3-4 weeks in advance. If you schedule little tasks to be done each day or little bits of studying to complete, by the time you get to the week of the exam you will have a good portion of your studying done and a lot less stress.
Put it in Perspective
Thinking of an exam or a project as the most important thing in your life can be stressful! While some projects and exams are key components to earning a good grade, try to think of the worst-case scenario. If you don’t get a great grade on the exam what are your options? Usually you can talk to your professor or if you have to re-take the course. The world has never ended because someone didn’t get the grade they wanted on an exam or project, so try not to make yourself feel like it will!
While you are studying it can be difficult to remember to take some time for yourself. It is always important to incorporate activities in your day that you enjoy, especially when you have a stressful event coming up. Try scheduling at least an hour each day to do something you enjoy. Even better, try to make some of that hour physical activity! Drop-in to a yoga class, go for a run or a walk or play some sports down at the Rec Center. All of these activities are wonderful because not only are they fun but they also help you to relieve stress and regain focus.
Preparing for finals is a challenging time in the semester… I hope you can use some of these tips to help make it a little less stressful. Also, don’t forget to stop in and visit Healthy UNH at Frazzle Free Finals in week!
Friday, April 12, 2013
There has always been a ton of focus put on different mainstream diets. Everything from Atkins and Southbeach to paleo and being a vegan are attempted by people worldwide. While I was scrolling through my twitter the other day killing time, I noticed someone posted something about this new thing called "Eating Clean." Since I have never heard of this before, I was intrigued and decided to figure out what eating clean was. Eating clean promotes itself as being more of a lifestyle change rather than a diet. Basically, it promotes foods that are bodies are naturally supposed to eat like nuts, seeds, organic lean meats, fresh fruits and veggies and fats and discourages eating processed foods. Have you ever heard that saying, "stick to the perimeter of the grocery store," well this lifestyle change does just that. Huffington Post breaks it down into five easy steps if eating clean is something that interests you, I know I'll be checking it out!
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The goal of this campaign is to shed light on the seriousness of sexual violence and to educate the public on ways to prevent sexual abuse. This year, Sexual Assault Awareness Month focuses on healthy sexuality and sexual abuse of children. "It’s time … to talk about it. Talk early, talk often. Prevent sexual violence,” is this year’s slogan. By encouraging adults to learn about healthy sexual development in children, parents can instill positive behaviors, and skills onto their children. Adults will also be able to recognize potential risk factors of sexual abuse.
The World Health Organization defines violence as, “The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.”
On Thursday, April 11th, the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP), at UNH, is hosting “Taking a Community Stance: Stepping Out to Speak Out Against Violence.” This is an anti-violence walk and rally where students, faculty, and the people of the Durham community will be joining together to end all types of violence on the University of New Hampshire campus. This walk and rally will be held at 12:30pm-2:00pm on the great lawn in front of DeMerritt hall. There will be informational tables set up, along with a 20-minute walk around campus to raise awareness of sexual violence. After the walk, “ UNH’s Community Proclamation Against Violence” will be read. Be sure to wear teal, as it is the color of the Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign!
If you or somebody you know is experiencing violence of any kind; whether it be physical, mental, sexual or relationship abuse, or would like more information on this walk and rally, reach out to the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program, here at the University of New Hampshire.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Originally I planned on writing a blog about food labels because they are quite different here in England. I found a few sites about the regulations but they were very dry and I could not imagine writing anything overly thrilling with such dry material. After becoming frustrated I began looking into foods that are banned here in the UK. While on the quest for this information I came across a fascinating company that uses “past-sell-date” foods. This immediately intrigued me so I had to read more. This is one of the most exciting aspects of researching for a blog article. Almost every time I have a topic idea I come across something else or something more interesting. For those of you just dying to know about food labels and banned foods in the UK, do not fret, they are coming, but I have to tell you about this company first!
It is called Food Cycle. This brilliant company started five years ago, tackling a slew of major concerns in any community: wasted food, hungry people, healthcare costs and those who want to help out in their community somehow. Food Cycle funds what is called a “hub” in a community. A hub is a group of volunteers that want to help feed less fortunate people in their community. There are criteria that must be met in order to become a hub. Once a hub is established, it remains for years at a time. The hub collects food that retailers can no longer sell because they are past their “sell by” date. They are not expired foods, so this is still legal. They also use professional kitchens that are not in use, to cook nutritious meals for those that cannot afford to do so themselves. According to the company there are about 4 million people who cannot cook healthy meals for themselves. Because these 4 million cannot afford food for themselves they become malnourished which costs the UK government 13 billion pounds (about 20 billion US dollars), since most of their healthcare is paid for by the government. Food Cycle is not only helping communities to feed the hungry it is helping the country economically as well. This company excited me so much I have been looking for hubs around me here in London. I’ve found three that I plan on emailing. Hopefully I’ll be able to volunteer at one and blog about how it goes! Explore the website some, it is really a fantastic company!
Friday, April 5, 2013
Public health works to prevent disease and prolong the lives of individuals. To accomplish this, public health works at a community level to improve and protect the health of our communities and empower them to achieve health goals and make lasting changes. There are many different social determinants that shape the lives of communities throughout the United States and public health officials work to provide services needed for all populations. The Center for Disease Control has created a Healthy Communities Program in which 331 communities and 52 local state departments help sponsor. This program focuses on the prevention of chronic disease which affects 50% of Americans with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. They work to promote health and identify preventable disease factors such as low physical activity levels, smoking habits, and poor nutrition. The CDC’s website offers great resources and information on their program. The work of public health sometimes goes unnoticed because it involves so many aspects of our daily lives! Some great examples of the roles that public health may play within your community are listed below-
- Increasing safety of parks and outdoor recreational areas to ensure the safety of your children while they play and take part in healthy physical activity
- Assure access to healthy fruits and vegetables and work to support local farmers
- Create neighborhood watch programs to lower the risk of crime rates and improve street safety in a specific area
- Promote health within community areas such as schools, churches, city halls, etc.
- Create a local health movement within a community such as a walking or running group, a healthy food co-op, gardening club, play groups for children, etc.
- Create economic opportunities for low-income communities
- Increase health care enrollment within a community
- Improve air quality—work to lower rates of asthma
- Offer the use of food stamps at local farmers markets
- Work with residents who lack homeownership
- Reduce diabetes and obesity rates within a community
- Introduction of a WIC program
- Work to lower unemployment rates and increase educational attainment
- Create youth development programs such as building a community garden
The list could go on and on! Public health plays such an important role in each of our communities so that we can live safe, healthy, and happy lives and receive the resources that are essential to us. Next time the garbage truck comes to pick up your trash, remember that it is yet another public health system working to keep your community clean. When you are strolling down the sidewalk on a sunny day, remember public health worked to provide you with a walkable community and increase your physical activity. Working to improve the health of communities one by one, we are slowly improving the health of our nation as a whole!
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