What’s the Big Deal About Sleep?

sleep

Are those all-nighters starting to pick up as the last full month of classes arrives? You might want to consider turning some of those studying hours into catching some Zzzz’s. It can be tough to juggle all of those classes, homework assignments, and extra-curriculars, but it’ll be worthwhile in the long run!

 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, young adults between the ages of 18-24 should get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Being sleep deprived can really bring down your day and negatively affect your performance in class as sleep greatly affects things such as concentration and memory.

 

Think it’s easier said than done? Here are some tips to help you get that 7-9 hours of sleep a night:

 

  1. Turn off or move your cell phone/laptop across the room, that way you won’t be tempted to constantly refresh twitter or respond to that non-urgent text from your friend.

 

  1. Try your best to complete assignments and study ahead of time. Cramming for that exam the next morning rather than getting sleep probably won’t help you do well.

 

  1. Watch your caffeine intake for the day. Consuming significant amounts, especially in the later afternoon or evening will through off your circadian rhythm and make it hard to fall asleep.

 

With these tips in mind, make sure you’re catching the right amount of Zzzz’s tonight to be refreshed and ready to go for the new day ahead tomorrow!

 

https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need

 

http://campusmindworks.org/students/self_care/sleep.asp

Written by Pat Githens, Peer Educator

 

It’s Time to Put an End to Sexual Assault

April 1st marks the start of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

It’s on Us is a national campaign to end acts of personal violence toward both women and men.

Head on over to www.itsonus.org to sign your name and take the pledge to…

RECOGNIZE that non-consensual sex is 12440409_1102428379799363_5916611267946749780_osexual assault.

IDENTIFY situations in which sexual assault may occur.

INTERVENE in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.

CREATE an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

 

Together, we can work toward a safer world in which we actively look out for each other!

Written by Gracie McDermott, Peer Educator

 

Are You Safe? Understanding Stalking

Have you ever received unwanted texts from someone? Had someone constantly asking where you are? Has a person showing up to your home or work place without warning? Things like this can be scary and potentially dangerous, and can all be considered stalking. Stalking is defined as the act or an instance of stalking, or harassing another in an aggressive, often threatening and illegal manner by dictionary.com. Some signs that someone may be stalking you are:

  • Someone following you
  • Persistent or unwanted gifts
  • Monitoring your phone use or social media accounts in order to learn about your life
  • Tracking you
  • Threatening you or people connected to you
  • Creating a situation in order to have contact with you
  • Seeking information about you
  • Spreading hurtful rumors or sharing personal information
  • Hanging around your house or workplace

Stalking is a crime and a violation of the WCU Student Code of Conduct. If you or someone your know are experiencing stalking, help and support are available. For more information, or to report an incident of stalking please visit: www.wcups.edu/sexualmisconduct.

References:

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/stalking

http://www.asecurelife.com/signs-of-a-stalker/

https://victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center/stalking-information

Written by Kim Brosius, Peer Educator

Know the Signs! Alcohol Poisoning 101

You may not know this, but alcohol acts like a poison in the body. That is why your body needs an hour to process each drink. Putting more alcohol into your body than it is able to process can inhibit how your body functions, and can lead to alcohol poisoning.  Some of the warning signs of alcohol poisoning may include:

  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Irregular/Slow Breathing (less than 8x/minute)
  • Unconsciousness

Alcohol poisoning is dangerous, if not handled quickly and properly, it can pose extreme risks to your health and/or death. Alcohol poisoning IS a medical emergency. Do not try and guess a level of drunkenness, and if any of the symptoms above occur, call 911 immediately. It is in your best interest to keep you and the victim of alcohol poisoning as safe as possible. If the victim is already vomiting and is lying on the ground, make sure to place them on their side so that they do not choke on their vomit. Stay with the person at all times, do not leave them alone. The Good Samaritan Law states that even if you are drinking and call 911, you will not be placed in any kind of legal trouble since you are helping someone out. Remain calm when medical help is on the way, and make sure to gather proper information about the individual if you do not know them very well. This will help make the process smoother and faster.

We have all heard “they just need to sleep it off”, but it is better to be safe than sorry in a situation like this. Never be afraid to seek help- you can save someone’s life.

References:

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/check-the-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/alcohol-poisoning

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcohol-poisoning/basics/symptoms/con-20029020

Written by Claudia Miriello, Peer Educator

Putting People First

Coming to college was a culture shock for me, but delving into all the lessons this school had for me as a social work major was even more of a shock. I’ve come to realize so much of what I thought I knew was far from reality. One of the things I have learned is the importance of using first person language. Think about a time when you were describing someone. It is not uncommon when speaking of another to use characteristics to describe that person. Often when this happens, the characteristic is placed before the person. This type of description makes that characteristic more important than the people themselves. Examples include:

  • Bipolar person
  • Intellectually disabled person
  • Autistic
  • A ‘normal’ kid

This kind of language defines people by their challenges or disabilities. By using person first language, we can change the focus of our words thus making the world more inclusive. A way to say the above examples in person first language is:

  • A person with bipolar disorder
  • An individual who is intellectually challenged
  • A person with autism
  • Someone without disabilities

Next time you are talking about someone, pay attention to the emphasis placed on the description. Is it on the person or the characteristic?  Challenge yourself to use person- first language.

Written by Kim Brosius, Peer Educator

 

Mo-NO Thank You!

Mononucleosis (or more commonly known as mono) most commonly affects people aged 15-25, which makes us, as college students very susceptible. Many people associate mono with kissing, but did you know that smooching isn’t the only cause? In fact, you can catch monothe virus anytime saliva is involved.   That means swapping spit via straws, bottles, toothbrushes, lip-gloss, and even food from the same plate can land you with a month’s bed rest sentence from your doctor!

Mono is a virus, which means that there aren’t any medications you can take to get rid of your illness. You’ve just got to take a few weeks to let it run its course! It is very important to take it easy if you are diagnosed with Mono, because you run the risk of rupturing your spleen, which is never a fun time.

Staying in bed and binge-watching Parks and Recreation might sound like a dream come true, but after a few weeks, you will be itching to get back into a routine. Just be conscious the next time someone offers you a swig of their bottle at a party and say Mo-NO thank you!

Written by Gracie McDermott, Peer Educator

Healthy, Nutritious and Very Delicious!

fruit

Remember when you were young, and your parents, grandparents and teachers used to say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Having this mindset with all fruits in general is guaranteed to keep you in great shape! Fruits are full of nutrients that are vital for our bodies. Fruits such as bananas and prunes are high in potassium, which helps to maintain blood pressure. Oranges are rich in Vitamin C which helps with the group and repair of our body tissues which helps to heal wounds and cuts, and also keeps our teeth and gums healthy. Women should have about 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit each day, and men should have about 2 cups of fruit each day.

Here are some tips for incorporating fruit into your regular routine:

  • Keep a bowl of fruit in the refrigerator for easy access.
  • Buy fruits while they are in season for a less expensive deal.
  • Fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruits are the best options!
  • Stay away from packaged fruits with added sugars.
  • Canned fruit is better in 100% fruit juice or water, NOT syrup!
  • Use fruits for desserts. Instead of a cake, how about a fruit salad or baked apples?
  • Instead of snacking on candy or chips, pack some fruit instead.

If you’re ever in a rush or need some fruit for a quick snack between classes, you can find fresh fruit at Einstein Bros. Bagels, Larry’s Market, any of the P.O.D. locations, The Diner, Lawrence Dining Hall and the Ram’s Head Food Court!

http://www.choosemyplate.gov

http://www.foodpyramid.com/myplate/fruit-food-group/

http://www.healthyeating.org/Healthy-Eating/All-Star-Foods/Fruits.aspx

Written by Christina Gantt, Peer Educator

Rethinking Your Go-To Drink

Ever have one of those days when you really want a Coke? Sounds good right? Often when people think about the nutritional value of their food, many forget that drinks matter too. From that morning coffee run to sweetened ice tea, your drinks could be causing your calorie and sugar intake can skyrocket.

pat

Moderation is key for sugary drinks, but the benefits to switching out even one of those beverages a day for water are tremendous! Water helps keep your body temperature where it should be, helps cushion your joints, and protects your spinal cord and other tissues. Not a big fan of consuming a plain ole’ glass of water? Add a lemon or lime slice to add some flavor!

Drinking a glass of water in exchange for a 20-once sugary drink could save you about 240 calories to use elsewhere (such as on the sweet snack you’ve been eyeing up all day). It also will save you the two or three dollars per drink that you normally spend when you go out to eat. Substituting water for a few of the sugary drinks that you would consume in a day will help keep you hydrated and feelin’ great all day long!

Not ready to start substituting one or two of your staple beverages for glasses of water? Try to find some healthier options to enhance your usual favorite drink! Regarding your go-to latte or coffee order, substitute 2% milk with fat-free or low-fat milk, cut-out the whip cream, and order one size down from your normal sized order.

The next time you reach for a soda or energy drink, grab a glass of water and rock on!

http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/nutrition/

 

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/drinks.html

Written by Patrick Githens, Peer Educator

Public Speaking: A Whole Body Affair!

Move over spiders, heights, and snakes! Did you know that glossophobia, or fear of public speaking, is one of the most common phobias? It is noted that as many as 75% of people suffer from the crippling effects that come along with speaking in front of a group.  There are ways to ease those sweaty palms and butterflies, though! Just like in many things in life, CONFIDENCE IS KEY! Here are some tips from head to toe to keep you calm and collected the next time you have to give a presentation.

 

Head:    Try your best to memorize your speech so that you aren’t relying so much on notecards. And, of course, practice makes perfect! You will appear more confident and professional!

Eyes:     Practice consistent eye contact with your audience. This will help engage them and make them feel like that you’re really talking to them.

Ears:      Listen to the mood of the audience and adjust how you are expressing accordingly.

Mouth: Speak clearly, slowly, and with great expression so that your audience can understand and be comfortable with the material. Avoid using filler words like “um” and “uh.” Do not forget to breathe!ps

Back:     Stand with powerful posture. Reducing your tendency to hunch during a speech will help you appear professional, alert, and confident.

Hands:  Use gestures to emphasize your points! Avoid picking at your nails or pulling at your shirt hem, which are common nervous tics during speaking.

Legs:      Do not cross and uncross your legs, sway, or shuffle while speaking. This gives off the vibe that you are anxious or disinterested, which in turn makes your audience lose focus.

So, take a breath, stand tall, and keep these tips in mind as your speak your way to an A!

References: http://www.glossophobia.com

Written by Gracie McDermott, Peer Educator

Get Your Chi Flowing

What is it?

Meditation can be very confusing to those of us who aren’t accustomed to the lifestyle, because we may have no idea what meditation actually is! Is it just sitting on the floor cross-legged listening to peaceful music? Is it just concentrating really hard? Or daydreaming? NO!

Meditation is a technique used to achieve a clear, relaxed and inwardly focused mind. This process is completely different from a normal awake state, because you are fully awake and alert, but your mind is not focused on the world around you.

Why do it?med pic

Wanna try it out?

The Center for Contemplative Studies

West Chester Shambhala Meditation Center

Reference: https://yogainternational.com/article/view/the-real-meaning-of-meditation

Written by Rachel Kile, Peer Educator