Category Archives: H&W Hub

The Health & Wellness Hub team empowers students to achieve their academic and personal goals through education, promotion, role modeling, and advocacy of healthy choices. Through collaboration with the campus and community, we promote an environment which encourages health, wellbeing, and enhances the quality of life.

A Party & Synthetic Marijuana

For my birthday, I hosted a bonfire at my house and everyone in my high school was invited; however, I did not think many people would show up, but a lot of people ended up coming! People started drinking and smoking and basically doing things that my parents would not have liked or approved of. I didn’t know what to do at the time, so I just let the people do what they wanted and tried to enjoy myself- it was my birthday, after all.

Later on in the evening, one of my best friends was offered synthetic marijuana from another female at the party. My friend took a few puffs and reacted terribly. She began having intense anxiety and freaky hallucinations. After the high wore off, she said it was the worst feeling she had ever experiences and she thought she was going to have to go to the hospital.

Synthetic marijuana is also known as K2 and spice. It contains a variety of different chemicals which are not tested for safety. A lot of people are deceived by this drug, and are told that it is “okay to use” or, “better for the body than regular marijuana.” In actuality, the chemicals in synthetic marijuana are much worse. Health effects can include severe anxiety, nausea, increased heartbeat, seizures, and hallucinations. Like any other emergency, call 911 immediately if a friend is experiencing any of the above symptoms.

So…Do you want to?

Asking for consent before you engage in sexual activity is important because it will keep you and your partner comfortable and in control of what is going happening.  When asking your partner for consent, there is no right or wrong way.  You just have to say what feels most comfortable for you in the situation, whether that means you get straight to the point or sugar coat it.  Some ways to ask for consent are:

 

  • Can I kiss you?
  • What are you comfortable with?
  • May I …?
  • Would you like to try this with me?

 

If you still feel unsure on what to say, just remember to ask exactly what you would like to do with your partner and get a yes or no answer.  If your partner gives you a vague answer or seems hesitant on what to say, that may be a sign that they don’t want to engage in the activity.  If that happens, tell your partner that it is okay if they don’t want to engage in that activity or anything at all. 
 
Once you and your partner have given consent, that does not mean things can’t stop.  You and your partner always have a right to say “no”, even if an agreement was made beforehand.  Some examples of what a partner might be doing if they want you to stop are:

 

  • Lack of eye contact
  • No response
  • Discomfort or tensing up
  • Saying things like, “I’m not sure,” “I’m scared,” or “Wait, I…”

 

If your partner doesn’t show any of the signs listed above but you feel that they might want to stop, just ask.  Overall, taking the time to pay attention to how your partner is responding will make them feel comfortable and respected. 
It’ll also help you to know when you are doing something right because your partner is giving you “yes” signs. Some examples of a “yes” sign are:

 

  • Telling you to keep going
  • Directing you on how to do something
  • Telling you that they are okay with that

 

Just remember to ask for consent before engaging in any sexual activity, pay attention to the “yes” or “no” signals, and always stop if you or your partner don’t want to engage in the activity anymore.  
If you are going to be sexually active, make sure you are always using protection.  The only way to be 100% safe from sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy is to abstain from sexual activity.  Information in this blog was found from Think About It.   ​

UND Students Stay with the Same Friends When They Party!

89.1% of UND students stay with their same group of friends when they party.

stay_with_friends

This is a social norm that has begun to spread across campus. If you are anything like me, your initial reaction might have been along the lines of “… Okay? …” This social norm can be a little confusing if you are not aware of what protective behaviors are related to drinking. It might seem odd that we’re telling you about students drinking, but what it is really saying is that UND students are being safe when they party!

Staying with your friends when you go out drinking is what we call a protective behavior. It’s important to always have people you know and trust around so that they can lookout for you if you ever need help, or are too drunk to recognize a dangerous situation; and you can do the same for them. Essentially, what we’re doing is using the “Buddy System.”

However, staying with your friends is not the only protective behavior out there…
There are many other actions you can take to keep yourself safe when you drink. A few of these include:

  1. Setting limits on how many drinks you will have in one evening;
  2. Limiting your drinking sessions to certain days and times;
  3. Eating before and during drinking;
  4. Avoiding risky or heavy drinking situations;
  5. Spacing out your drinks and alternating in non-alcoholic drinks; and,
  6. Making a pre-determined plan about how to get home at the end of the night that does not involve driving yourself.

These are just a few things to keep in mind the next time you go out drinking. Hopefully, this is helpful in explaining why it is good that students stay with their friends when out partying.

Time Management is Possible

Time Management is Possible

My name is Antonia and I am a procrastinator. Phew! It feels better to have that in the open. Acknowledgement is the first step towards change, as they say. Now that I’ve said it, I know that many of you are fellow procrastinators and even those who are not – get distracted at times. As the spring semester begins to wind down, and the assignments and tests begin to pile up, time management becomes a timely topic of interest (see what I did there) and necessity. I want to share with you some tools, tips, and tricks that I have found very helpful.

1)      Plan Ahead- If at all possible; do not wait until the day before to complete a task that should be done over many days or even weeks. I once waited to complete an interview for a paper two days before it was due. Think about adding your tasks to your phone/computer/tablet’s calendar, so that you get reminders a week before they’re due.

2)      Make a List. When you look at all of the things you have to accomplish, put them down in writing. When you wrote down all the things that you need to do for a day, prioritize by thinking about what you really need to accomplish and what can wait. When you have your list, place it somewhere you can see it; somewhere you cannot forget it. I have been known to place it on the television screens so I would not watch a show until I had finished my list.

3)      Find a Study time & remove all of your distractions. Are you most productive in the morning or the evening? Does this depend on the type of project you are working on? For example, I am most creative late in the evening but I can complete more mundane tasks in the morning hours when I have more energy. Know what works best for you and set that time aside for studying and homework. To stay focused, try apps like Stay Focused or Self Control that lock you out of certain time sucking websites so you can be more productive.

4)      My fourth and final step is possibly the most important. Are you ready for it? Just Do It! That’s it. Just get it done. Running away from work only accomplishes one thing: creates a larger pile for when you get back. If you plan ahead, make lists, and set a study zone and time, you’ll be better equipped to get things done. If you’re saddled with a particularly burdensome task, think about why you are doing it and how it will benefit your future success. Use those positive thinking skills! You can also use the Pomodoro technique and take short breaks throughout your work sessions. The semester’s coming to a close, and those assignments are piling up. Don’t panic. Take a breath. You can do this.

If you’d like more tips, tricks and helpful apps to manage your time more effectively visit the Student Success Center in the Memorial Union, or try these links:

 

http://und.edu/student-affairs/student-services/

https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/inside-the-classroom/8-ways-to-take-control-of-your-time

http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/professors-guide/2009/10/14/top-12-time-management-tips

http://www.doit.wisc.edu/news/top-time-management-apps-tools/

 

 

KNOW the facts

KNOW

What do you know about alcohol use?

Do you know what the standard drink size is for beer, hard liquor, and wine?

Can you name 3 factors that influence your Blood Alcohol Content, or 3 protective behaviors?

If these questions are difficult for you, you may not be as informed on alcohol use as you could be. What does it matter, you say? Well, Cash Cab is coming to YOU on UND’s campus, April 28th through May 2nd, and knowing facts about alcohol is the only way for you to WIN! So brush up on your knowledge of alcohol use, stop by the Health & Wellness Hub for more information on alcohol, and look for the Cash Cab golf cart driving down University for your chance to show what you KNOW!

Sleeping Your Way to Skinny

Sounds appealing, right?

Although mixing in a mid-day nap won’t actually make you skinny, recent research studies point out there is a definite correlation between lack of sleep and weight gain. I am sure that many of you are not frequent readers of USA Today or the Annals of Internal Medicine. So, let me share with you what they recently brought to my attention regarding sleep and weight loss.

A single sleep study was performed on seven healthy, lean, young adults and the results are astounding. After just FOUR consecutive days (Finals week ring a bell, anyone?) of being permitted to sleep approximately 4 hours a night, the fat cells’ ability to use insulin properly dropped by 30%! Consequently, the cells became insulin-sensitive, resulting in the formation of less leptin.

What does this mean? TWO KEY WORDS: Insulin and Leptin… do these words mean anything to you? You may be thinking, “Why on Earth would they?” But, what if I switched those two key words to HUNGRY and FULL?! One of insulin’s many jobs is to trigger the release of leptin in your body. Now you may not have realized this until now, but I am telling you leptin is your friend. What that wonderful little hormone does for you is flip that hungry/full switch on and off. Low levels of leptin tell your body it’s starving and increase your appetite, which is why it makes perfect sense that a decrease in leptin has an association with increase in food consumption and weight gain. So, when your stomach is roaring during your test after pulling that all-nighter even though you just treated yourself to Mickey D’s breakfast as a “reward” – it is actually your body saying, “Hey, maybe you should have gotten some sleep last night!”

What’s also important to recognize is that in addition to your body’s inability to accurately sense if you’re full due to those low leptin levels, those who are tired have an increased appetite as well as a slowed metabolism due to their lack of sleep. When combined, these effects are ultimately setting you up for a downward spiral.

So, as finals approach, shoot for 7 to 8 hours of sleep! It will not only help your ability to focus and retain information, but also assist in maintaining healthy weight and prevent you from feeling hungry all the time.

Stay tuned for upcoming tips on how to develop healthy sleeping habits in my next blog!

KNOW How to Help

Many students think that partying ONLY leads to a great time. Unfortunately, sometimes people take it too far and drink way too much, which can lead to some serious issues. It is important for all of us to KNOW How to Help if a dangerous situation were to arise. Check out more information on the KNOW Campaign!

Here are some great tips for knowing how to help your buddies out when they drink.  One helpful acronym that we use to remember the signs of alcohol over dose is C.A.N.S. CANS

Now, sometimes students in North Dakota are afraid to seek medical attention for themselves or a friend if they have drank too much because they do not want to get in trouble with the law. Fortunately, North Dakota passed a law called the North Dakota Medical Amnesty Law. This law states that if you contact law enforcement or emergency services for yourself or someone else, who is underage because there is a need for medical assistance due to alcohol consumption, AND you wait for and cooperate with emergency responders, up to five people are immune from criminal prosecution in North Dakota. Although a person may not get in trouble with the law, they could get in trouble with the university if they are a student.

Last but not least, know that every minute matters. If someone needs medical attention due to alcohol overdose do not hesitate to get them help! Some important numbers to have in your phone include:

  • The ambulance, fire, and police (9-1-1)
  • The Care Team (day: 701-777-2664, night/weekend: 701-777-3491)
  • Campus Police (701-777-3491).

Keep these helpful tips in mind so that if you or a friend ever find yourself in a serious situation, you will KNOW How to Help.

What’s New with Stickman?

Holy-smokes! I never thought hosting a root-beer pong tournament in the residence halls would be so exhilarating. From set up to take down, Kelsie (an AOD peer educator) and myself saw residents of Bek Hall play, laugh, and whether they liked it or not, learn a thing or two. Before I get ahead of myself, let me take a step back for a minute. The Health & Wellness Hub is conducting outreach to provide information about low-risk drinking so students may be able to make informed, responsible decisions when it comes to alcohol.

Stickman

Our outreach program consisted of a character named “Stickman.” Party with Stickman is a comic strip with a stick figure that explains college life experiences dealing with alcohol, binge drinking, and partying. The goal of this event was to talk about the cost of partying, blood alcohol content, and protective behaviors.

After a presentation and some gasp stricken expressions, we began a root-beer pong tournament; EXCEPT, this tournament had a little twist. As soon as a cup was made players had to pour the content of the cup into a jug that measured Standard Drink Units (SDU’s) for beer (5% alcohol for every 12 ounces). By doing this, participants were able to see how much alcohol is typically consumed during ONE drinking game. Lying on the table was also a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) chart where residents of Bek Hall were able to see their potential Blood Alcohol Content per game and how that level may impair their cognitive and physical abilities.

After the tournament, residents continued to practice and play until it was time to pack up. The most fulfilling part of the night was hearing students use terms from my presentation. One student even said, “I didn’t know how much I normally drink until know- I’m definitely going to watch myself from now on.” This brought a smile to my face, as I know the goal is to inform, but I never thought changing someone’s perception would also change my own. I learned teaching others is the first step to prevention. The more we know, the better we are as a whole. We all had a blast playing pong, meeting new people, and learning some new facts about alcohol. No matter how you have a good time, it was great partying with Stickman in Bek Hall!

Spring into Seasonal Fruit and Vegetables

It is hard to believe that spring is here (literally). With the start of a new season means different fruits and vegetables are in season as well. As far as fruits and vegetables go, spring is considered to be March, April and May. When a fruit or vegetable is in season it means is at its peak of flavor or harvest. Not only will the flavor be optimal the price will be the cheapest. Next time you head out to the grocery store be sure to try some of the following items that are in season right now!

strawberriessnow peasmango

Remember, you can enjoy the taste of any fruit or vegetable year-round by using fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100% juice – it all counts!

Apricots 
Artichokes 
Asparagus 
Barbados Cherries
Belgian Endive
Bitter Melon
Broccoli
Butter Lettuce
Cactus
Chayote Squash 
Cherimoya
Chives
Collard Greens
Corn
Fava Beans
Fennel
Fiddlehead Ferns
Green Beans
Honeydew
Jackfruit
Limes
Lychee 
Mango
Manoa Lettuce
Morel Mushrooms
Mustard Greens
Oranges 
Pea Pods
Peas
Pineapple
Purple Asparagus
Radicchio
Ramps
Red Leaf Lettuce
Rhubarb 
Snow Peas
Sorrel
Spinach
Spring Baby Lettuce
Strawberries
Swiss Chard
Vidalia Onions
Watercress
White Asparagus
 
limesartichokeswiss chardpineapple

Reference: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.com

 

Sip, Swallow, and Chug: Watch what you drink on prescription drugs!

It might sound crazy to some, but in fact, a lot of a prescription drugs are affected by what you drink.  ImageAccording to the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration), “what you eat and drink can affect the way your medicines work” (fda.org).  This could mean a number of different things, from the development of a side effect previously unaffiliated with the medication or causing the medication to not work or do its job properly.  Interactions between prescription medications and food and drink are not something we usually think about.  Instead, we either only pay attention to what interactions may occur with whatever other medications and herbs we are presently taking, or we don’t think about it at all.

There are numerous dangers to mixing alcohol with prescription medications. Some of these dangers include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Memory trouble after having a drink or taking medicine
  • Loss of coordination (walking unsteadily, frequent falls)
  • Changes in sleeping habits 
  • Unexplained bruises 
  • Being unsure of yourself 
  • Irritability, sadness, depression 
  • Unexplained chronic pain
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Wanting to stay alone a lot of the time
  • Failing to bathe or keep clean
  • Having trouble finishing sentences 
  • Having trouble concentrating 
  • Difficulty staying in touch with family or friends
  • Lack of interest in usual activities (niaa.nih.gov)

What makes mixing with medications an even greater threat is that some medications already include alcohol, as much as 10% (niaaa.nih.gov). 

The below link is a guide published through the FDA that tells you prescriptions to avoid mixing with alcoholic beverages. I would encourage everyone to check it out and abide by what it has to say.

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/drugs/resourcesforyou/consumers/buyingusingmedicinesafely/ensuringsafeuseofmedicine/generaluseofmedicine/ucm229033.pdf

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