Feeling stressed?  Research by Lemay and colleagues shows that regularly practicing yoga and meditation can help you decrease stress and anxiety. In this small, but meaningful, study, college students participated in a six-week yoga and meditation program.  The results show that “students’ anxiety and stress scores decreased significantly while their total mindfulness increased significantly.”  Now is a great time to start a weekly practice!  There are about 6 weeks left in the semester before finals.   

 If you cannot make our weekly yoga/meditation class, here are a few digital resources to help you get started.  WellTrack is designed to help you understand your mental health and to provide you with immediate help for depression, stress and/or anxiety. The CalmApp and Insight Timer provide hundreds of guided meditations to lower your stress level and improve your sleep. Start with a few minutes every day and work toward making meditation a daily habit. 

Smoking and Vaping Cessation Support

Did you know JUUL e-cigarettes contain a large amount of nicotine which is a highly addictive substance? A single JUUL pod contains about as much nicotine as 20 regular cigarettes (or a pack). JUUL uses nicotine salts, which allow high levels of nicotine to be inhaled more easily and with less irritation than the free-base nicotine that is typically used in tobacco products, including other e-cigarettes.  Some e-cigarette labels do not disclose that they contain nicotine, and some e-cigarettes marketed as containing 0% nicotine have been found to contain nicotine. 

Nicotine can harm your brain, which will continue developing until your mid-twenties.  Using nicotine can harm the parts of your brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control.   Each time you make a new memory or learn a new skill, stronger connections are built between brain cells. Nicotine changes the way these synapses are formed.  Using nicotine may also increase your risk for future addiction to cigarettes and potentially other drugs (CDC, 2019, cdc.gov).   

If you want to quit smoking, vaping or using other tobacco/nicotine products, contact Health Promotion and Wellness at (814) 863-0461 to schedule an appointment for the Freshstart Smoking Cessation program. For more information visit https://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health-wellness/healthy-living/smoking-cessation-resources  

Love your Body Week

Celebrate everyBODY during PSU’s annual Love Your Body Week, October 28 through November 1.

On Wednesday, 10/30 Rhonda Khan will present FOOD, a rhythmic tale of one woman’s addiction to food and the pressure to be thin. The performance will start at 7:00 pm in the HUB Flex Theatre.  FOOD is a one-woman show featuring comedy, rap, multi-character monologue, and classic storytelling.

Campus Recreation will be offering the following body-positive fitness classes.

Monday 10/28
Barre 3:00-3:45pm in 16 Intramural Building and Yoga 4:30-5:15pm in 6 White Building

Tuesday 10/29
Barre 6:45-7:30pm in 16 Intramural Building and Cycling 3:30-4:15pm in 48 White Building

Wednesday 10/30
Power Remix 4:15-5:00pm in Gym 3 Intramural Building  and Pilates 4:30-5:15pm 6 White Building

Thursday 10/31
Yoga 3:15-4:00pm in 16 Intramural Building and Cycling 5:15-6:00pm 6 White Building

Friday 11/1
Yoga 6:30-7:15am in 16 Intramural Building

Stop by the HealthWorks Love Your Body table in the HUB on Friday, 11/1 from 11am-2pm for some fun activities and cool giveaways.

Safer Drinking Strategies

Not all college students drink alcohol.  If you choose to drink, be sure to practice behaviors that reduce your risk experiencing consequences and keep you safe. Here are the top 5 safer drinking strategies used by Penn State studentseat food or a meal before you start drinking, set a limit of how much you’ll drink before you start pre-gaming, keep count of your drinks, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and keep it to about 1 standard drink per hour. 

Wellness Hours

HealthWorks provides drop-in wellness consultations at two locations. These appointments are brief 10-minute conversations about your wellness. If you’re curious about your wellness, stop by Mondays between 4-5pm in 202 Redifer Commons or Thursdays between 4-5pm in 134 Johnston Commons. A peer health educator will be happy to talk with you and share information about wellness resources.