Category Archives: Social

Social wellness refers to your ability to meet the expectations and demands of our personal roles without harming others. This means learning good communication skills, developing intimacy with others and creating a support network of friends and family members who care about and love you for who you are. Social wellness includes showing respect for others. By joining a group or organization, you create a sense of belonging in which you can contribute to the group, your community, and to the world. In this way, you are not only respecting others, but you are respecting yourself as well.

It’s Okay to Say No

Today, our society is greatly geared towards drinking, but there are many people that choose to not drink. Being a non-drinker in college can be hard due to constant pressure and hassle from friends and others. In turn, this is just a short clip of how those non-drinkers can get out of that sticky situation of pressure that they may encounter at a party.

Its Okay to Say No

1) Gracefully declining.

-It might just be as easy as saying “No thank you” to a friend. Remember saying no to drinking doesn’t make you lame.

Not Lame

2) Sometimes you might need a polite excuse that follows your graceful decline:

  • I’m driving tonight- I’m DDing (Designated Driving).
  • I have a huge test tomorrow.
  • I have to work tomorrow.
  • I have to get up early in the morning.
  • No thank you, I’m good tonight. I don’t feel well.
  • I drank too much last night.
  • I’m just going to lay low tonight, thank you though.
  • Hold that thought I have to go to the bathroom.

Excuses

3) Even just focusing the conversation on the other person and responding by saying, “no thank you” but followed by an open ended question spins the conversation and the person won’t even question you why you’re not drinking.

Wine

4) In order to avoid anxiety, this is what you might need to understand and what might help:

  • Realize that not everyone is into drinking all the time either.
  • Try and avoid situations where drinking will occur if you don’t want to.
  • Make other plans.
  • Test your assertiveness.
  • Be able to still have fun, don’t be the “party pooper.”
  • Carry a decoy. You can always carry a soda in a different glass disguising it, and your friends won’t be tempted to ask you if you need a drink.
  • Keep busy by taking pictures, socializing with more people, eating, have fun dancing, or even being the dj.

What is a Standard Drink?

Sometimes, counting the amount of drinks you are having in one night can be hard. There are so many different sizes and mixes that make it difficult to realize how much alcohol you might actually be consuming. Take a look at the chart below to help you better understand how large the standard drink size actually is.

Picture1

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Practitioner/PocketGuide/pocket_guide2.htm

Here are some examples of drinks that can be misinterpreted for one drink but actually contain the alcohol content of many standard size drinks.

1. Long Island Iced Tea: The average Long Island Iced Tea has 2.5 ounces of hard alcohol in them! This means that after just one of these, a person could be considered over the legal BAC level to drive.

2. Pounders and Tall Boys: Pounders and Tall Boys can be considered as an amount of beer that is more than 12 oz. Many tend to be 16 or 22 oz.! Drinking three 22 oz. beers is the same as drinking six standard drinks!

Check out this great video which explains all of these concepts in a fun and engaging way: http://www.powtoon.com/show/fL5UMZ4AwwW/standard-drink-sizes/#/

 

I’ve started this a thousand times.

I’ve started writing this blog post roughly a thousand times in my head. I’ve edited it, I’ve redrafted it, I’ve added, I’ve deleted… but I’ve never actually stopped to write a sentence down.

Our little one came in-

(sorry about that- she was crying and needed to be held… now, where was I?)

Our little one came in November and turned our family of 3 (husband, myself, and our dog) into a family of 4. To say she’s given us a run for our money is an understatement.

I’ve always been pretty protective of my schedule and my routine. I don’t like to deviate too much from what I know and am familiar with. Let’s just say that babies throw that ALL out the window. It’s been a total and complete adjustment, but in a good way. And to be honest, it’s taken me a few weeks to be able to say that- to say that it’s a good thing.

Change is hard. And harder for some (my hand is WAY up).

She cried a lot those first 5 weeks, and didn’t sleep a lot. I felt like a human milk machine. Showers were few and far between, while the tears rarely ceased (for both of us). I felt empty and defeated at the end of most days, just thinking “This is it? This is life now?!” There were times I mourned* the loss of my freedom and ability to shower each morning and eat a hot meal while it’s still hot and just get in my car and go to the store in under an hour. (*mourned=sobbed uncontrollably)

Luckily, it’s getting easier. She’s crying less and sleeping (a very little bit) more. Or maybe I’m just getting used to the sleep depravation- it’s anybody’s guess. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the kindness of others. It takes a village to raise a child, and even telling a mother that she’s doing a great job sparks a fire that I cannot describe in words. Feeling that love and support helps to refill my tank.

It’s a slow process. And I’m a constant work in progress.

As I became a bit more comfortable with my role as Mom, I longed to do the things that helped me feel like myself again- working out and eating things that aren’t necessarily  Spaghettios or Oreos. (Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE those and still enjoy them from time to time, but I also know they don’t make me feel as good as my leafy greens do.) I’m ready to start feeling better about the new person that I’ve become- inside and out.

It’s Love Your Body Week at UND- one of my favorite times of the year. I love the idea of celebrating yourself no matter WHAT. Love your body or not, it’s a great reminder that there is always something to be thankful for.

A friend asked me what I loved about my body the other day. The truth is, since having a baby there isn’t much. Sometimes I like the way my hair falls. And I like my eyes- they seem to be one of the only things that didn’t change with pregnancy and birth. Almost everything else stretched and expanded. It’s incredibly frustrating to have nothing that fits unless it has an elastic waistband or extra fabric gathered around the middle or 3 sizes bigger.

But this friend is one of the more resilient, thoughtful, and positive people I’ve met in my life; she helped me to remember that my body is not just a size. And I suddenly felt as though I had permission to look at my body with love and acceptance as I thought about it’s capabilities.

This beautiful body created and carried and delivered a baby (that’s pretty bada**). My legs carried me for many miles throughout the pregnancy, despite sciatic nerve pain that brought me to tears some days; and now they help me rock.and rock and bounce.and bounce.and bounce.and bounce until our little one finally quiets and drifts off to sleep. My arms are strong enough to carry her from place to place and give her a bath almost every night- a favorite time of the day for both of us alike. My mouth allows me to make funny faces and noises that bring a smile to her sweet face…oh how I love those sweet little smiles.

10633662_10101186069564175_453624167089613248_o

Geez, when I stop and really think about it… my body is pretty dang awesome. Sure, my clothes may never fit the same again… or at least not for quite awhile… but in the meantime it’s doing exactly what I need it to be doing. And I LOVE it for that, and I accept where it’s at- stretchy waistbands and all.

And now I turn to you, Dear Reader, and feel inclined to ask:

What do YOU love about YOUR body?

Keep Moving

I tried to get off the couch last weekend, only to realize that this baby inside of me is slowly robbing me of my ability to bend and move as easily… and sometimes, at all. Now I knew this day would come. I’ve had moments of struggling to bend over or get up off the ground… but not like this. This was laughable- like a turtle stuck on its back. I think my loving husband and dog enjoy the show every time I get up to use the bathroom or grab a snack.

When I sleep at night, it’s become a major feat to roll from one side to the other. Occasionally I will stop for a breather when I’m on my back. And to get up when I need to pee? Let’s just say I’m glad we have a firm mattress or we’d be in some SERIOUS trouble.

In the very beginning of my pregnancy, I was often so tired and winded that working out was something I dreaded and barely made it through, but I was determined to keep moving. I figured that by my 7th month I could possibly be couch or bed bound because this was my first pregnancy and you just never know about those things, so I made pact with myself to move while I could. I also mapped out strategies like looking into a swimming pass to help relieve the potential aches and pains I heard so much about.
But for the time being, I wanted to keep moving. Walking the dog. Making it to the gym most days of the week. Dusting off the ol’ walking videos in the basement. Zumba-ing my heart out. Whatever it took.

I’m proud and relieved to report that I’m at the point of “any day now” with my pregnancy and I am still able to take our dog for a “long walk” occasionally (FYI: “Long walks” are anywhere from 1.5-2 hours… “Walks” are around an hour… and “Barely Even” means that we walked 30 minutes or less) Granted there are days where she more or less walks me, but we get there. And back. And then collapse on the couch until it’s snack time- which cannot be missed.

I was thinking about it while being walked by the dog the other day… I cannot believe how fortunate I am to still be able to walk that long. Granted, it takes me a lot longer to walk a shorter distance thanks to constant potty breaks and occasional leg pain/numbness… but still. I’m moving.

And do you know why I think I’m still moving like this? Because in the beginning I kept moving. I stuck to my commitment. (I also LOVE double stuffed Oreos and peanut butter/peanut M&Ms, so I told myself I had to find some sort of “balance.”) No matter what the reason, I stuck with it for the past several months. And I truly believe it’s made all the difference.

Now… you may be reading this thinking, “Who cares?! I’m not pregnant. This is irrelevant.” But try to see the big picture. It’s been about making a commitment to physical activity or something to do with living a healthy life and sticking with it… and then seeing results. So maybe the scale isn’t where I’d like to see it at this point in my pregnancy, but I’m still moving. And I hope it will continue to be a reward with a faster labor and delivery. I guess we’ll (hopefully) find out soon!

What kind of commitment can you make today? It doesn’t have to be a big, huge, extravagant goal. You don’t have to walk forever like I do (for me, walking is thee BEST therapy). Start small and work your way up. I bet it will surprise you how amazing and capable your body is when you push a little bit at a time.

So what you do say?
Let’s make your pact…

Weed 2.0

A few weeks ago I wrote about the use and abuse of marijuana, and I learned a lot about how popular the drug has become. What you may not know is that last week we did an outreach project in the Memorial Union about marijuana. I was surprised at the questions we received and the controversy we heard about the drug from the students. One of the questions that caught me off guard was, “what are the long-term effects of marijuana use if you’re not smoking it, just eating it?” I honestly have never even thought about this before, so I started to do some research and here’s what I found:

Overall, there has not been enough research to determine the exact long-term effects of marijuana use if you are consuming it in ways other than smoking. However, eating marijuana has much different short-term effects on the body. When people consume marijuana, let’s say in a brownie, it takes up to an hour to feel the effects. Once the marijuana begins taking effect, it is usually stronger than if you were to have smoked it. People tend to have strong hallucinations from eating marijuana. Because it takes longer to feel the effects, many people keep eating more because they think that it’s not working, and then they eat way too much.

Even though we don’t know the major long-term effects of eating marijuana, it doesn’t have many positives. Any use of marijuana may lead to severe anxiety, depression, and lower grades and GPA (if you’re a student). Until more research is done on the long-term effects of eating marijuana, I would avoid it because there are more negative consequences than positive ones when it comes to using marijuana.

MJ

Weed & Academics

“Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction”

-Bob Marley.

Smoking weed is a source of stress-relief for some people. Some of us may even have friends who get high off of weed. Marijuana is said to be better for the body and safer to use than alcohol; however, thiMJs is not always true and does not change the fact that it is illegal and can be detrimental to our academic success. Even though college is a time of high stress, students should not turn to weed to relieve their stress; it will only hurt their grades and then potentially harm their future goals and dreams.

There have been plenty of studies and surveys looking at the relationship between smoking weed and how well students are doing in school. One survey, in particular, is taken every two years and is done by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The most recent CDC results show substantial evidence that students who smoke weed get much lower grades than those who do not. Not only do poor grades interfere with your future, but getting caught with the illegal drug interferes even more, including the possibility of losing your financial aid.

I once heard a story about a house of boys that were living what they considered to be the “typical” college life style. They had the fun party house that everyone went to on the weekends. One weekend, however, the cops busted them while they were going to get weed out of the trunk of their vehicle. They got in big trouble and some of them had to spend the night in jail. One of the boys ended up dropping out of school. As you can see, they thought they were just having a good time but ended up jeopardizing their future. It can be hard to find a healthy balance between fun and academics, but I encourage everyone, especially students, to always keep your goals and future dreams in mind when making these types of decisions.

Contemplating the F-word

I recently attended an outstanding conference hosted by the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals, and one of the speakers in particular has left me thinking…

and thinking…

and thinking.

Even on a weekend. Which is almost unlawful.

She talked about the F-word. You know: Failure.

Her message was simple. We must not fear failure and rob ourselves of living life, we must share our failures with others, and we must celebrate failures in order to create a culture of innovation. This concept blew my mind. I’ve always held myself to the standard that failure is unacceptable. It means I didn’t try hard enough, or I made the wrong choice, or I did something incorrectly- whatever “it” is, I screwed it up. And she wants me to CELEBRATE and SHARE these things?!956b2cadd449b6b6a05ed4f8e65b9ee1

She asked for volunteers to share a time they’ve failed and what they learned from it. I have to admit that it rarely crosses my mind to think, “What did I learnfrom this mess?” when it’s all over. I usually think “Oh my gosh thank GOODNESS that’s over! Time to move on.”I try to stay on the safe side of everything, and if something doesn’t work out right, I sweep it under the rug and move past as fast as possible. The last few jobs I’ve had have been “firsts” for the companies- I was the first Executive Director and I’m currently the first Events Coordinator. (Did I mention that my degree is dietetics?!) Anyway, before I took my last job as ED, I was almost paralyzed with fear that I would say or do something wrong in the position and somehow make the entire organization crumble. I sat down with this same great lady at the time and rather than offering pity or comfort, she challenged me with statements like: “What’s the worst that could happen?” and “So what?!” I was not ready to even consider the outcomes, as my mind was too consumed with the possibilities.

I’m someone who can easily get lost in her own mind. I think about thinking- to a fault at times. So now I have this new challenge to start celebrating and sharing my thoughts on failures I’ve had. I’m not going to lie- it’s been a few weeks, and I still find myself paralyzed with fear at times when I think about failing- but I try to stop and open my mind to the possibility that it may happen as a lesson- as something to celebrate. I believe that most things happen for a reason, even if it’s a reason I don’t like. Or a lesson I don’t want to learn. It still happens, and it’s up to me to decide how to close the cover on that book.

Girl walking in a field carrying a suitcase

What have you failed at recently? And what became of it? Share it with me- let’s CELEBRATE!

 

Halloween

It’s that tim1e of year again. Zombie pub crawls and terrifying drinks are on the menu once more. Thanks to the KNOW campaign, we all know that a standard drink is one 12 oz. beer, 5 oz. of wine, and 1.5 oz. of hard liquor. Pretty straight forward, right? But what about mixed drinks? I’m going to talk about safe ways to get your spook on without ending up under a tombstone.

2There are some gross looking drinks that come out around Halloween. Take the Alien Brain Hemorrhage. Thanks to the different densities of the alcohol (YAY SCIENCE!), the different types of alcohol separate instead of mix. No matter how nasty looking it is, try to limit yourself so your own brain doesn’t end up looking like that!

The Green Goblin is 3another common Halloween themed drink. It is a mixed drink, containing more alcohol than you would think. One serving of this eerie potion is actually 1.7 standard drinks.

4

Last, but certainly not least, The Zombie. The website I found had a tagline for it, something along the lines of “Strong enough to wake the dead.” This spooky concoction is actually 2.8 standard drinks in one glass. If you are following the 0-1-2-3 low risk approach to drinking, one Zombie and you are done for the night.

0123

 

 

Hockey is Back!

The UND Men’s Ice Hockey team will begin its regular season this Friday, October 10th against Bemidji State. Men’s Hockey is without a doubt UND’s most popular sporting event and is often paired with heavy drinking. As the season gets under way, it is important to know a few things about drinking at the Ralph Engelstad Arena (REA). To consume alcohol at the REA you must be 21 years or older and anyone under the age of 35 must wear a wristband from one of the many ID checker stands throughout the building. For UND sporting events there is a limit of two alcoholic drinks per person and beer is permitted anywhere in the building, except the student section. The student section is completely dry (no alcoholic drinks), regardless of age, and any student that receives an alcohol related charge such as a Minor in Possession or Consumption may also have to report to UND for sanctions regarding a violation of UND’s Alcohol Policy.

hockey

As the excitement of Hockey season comes upon us, it is important not to forget the rules of safe and responsible drinking. Many students “pre-game” for the hockey games – this is binge drinking, and it can be very dangerous so remember to stick to UND’s 0-1-2-3 of safe drinking. As a reminder, it goes as follows:

0 – Understand when not to drink, especially when you have something important going on the next day (work, test, pregnancy)

1 – Limit yourself to one drink per hour

2 – Keep drinking down to no more than two times per week

3 – Have no more than three drinks in one night

Remember to always have a sober ride. Many local bars and similar establishments will have buses located by the UND Bookstore to shuttle you to their location. Also, as a reminder, the local taxi companies will no longer be accepting debit and credit cards during Hockey season so make sure you have cash on hand.

Additional Information:

REA Policies – http://www.theralph.com/guest-services/a-z-guide

UND Alcohol Policy – http://und.edu/finance-operations/university-police/policies-alcohol.cfm

UND’s 0-1-2-3 – http://und.edu/health-wellness/hub/alcohol.cfm

Men’s Hockey Schedule – http://www.undsports.com/SportSelect.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=13500&SPID=6405&SPSID=58682

Picture – http://pixabay.com/en/landscape-winter-snow-ice-boys-76913/

How to Help Your Friend

The dictionary definition of a friend is a person who is a supporter, a sympathizer and a lover. If we call ourselves a friend of someone we should be quick to be their support, to sympathize with them, and to love them. The best way to show these characteristics of a good friend is to care for one another in many different situations; such as after a night of heavy drinking.

indiana teen

Too often we hear stories of individuals that never left a party with the people they came with and end up seriously hurt or dead the next morning. We also hear stories where the individuals were taken home by their friends, but left by themselves for the rest of the night, like the story above. Let’s not be a part of another story.

Here are a few things to remember when taking care of your friends after a night of drinking:

Place them in the Bacchus Maneuver

The Bacchus maneuver is the best way to get your friend to lay on their side in order to decrease the possibility of choking on puke. Once you have your friend on their side, you should continue to check on them; if they have rolled to their back, make sure to place them on their side once again.bacchus

Stay with your friend the whole night

Gently nudge them and check their breathing regularly. Alcohol is a depressant which can slow or even stop a few of the involuntary functions of your body, such as breathing; heart rate and blood pressure. If at any time the breathing of your friend is less than 8 breaths per minute, call emergency personnel. If your friend has fallen asleep, someone should stay with them and check on them continuously because they could become unconscious.

Keep them warm

Your friend may be sweating, but it is actually smart to make sure they are warm and have blankets near them. Alcohol lowers the body’s temperature and can cause hypothermia.

Encourage them to drink water

Alcohol causes dehydration in the body; therefore, it is wise to switch your friend’s beer bottle with a water bottle. Coffee and tea do not help to sober up; they, along with alcohol, are a diuretic and further the effects of dehydration. Time is the only thing that can help sober an individual.

Talk about it

Ask one another what activities or actions at a party they do not want to be a part of, for example, playing beer pong, going into a room alone with a guy, etc. Once you both know, you can watch out for each other at the party by reminding one another of these precautionary decisions and can pull one another away from the situations discussed.

Set Boundaries

Being a caring friend is a noble thing, but be aware of your own boundaries and abilities in this situation. Talk to your friend before going out to a party. Let your friend know what you are willing to do for her/him if he or she becomes too intoxicated. If your friend understands your boundaries, they will be less likely to become dependent upon you for the night or in the future.

health-wellness-hub-secondary-microsoft_full-p-c

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 445 other followers

%d bloggers like this: