Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.

5.02.2014

Reading Period Raucous

5.02.2014

The last day of classes is here!  You've worked so hard and are onto the final push.  Parties may be really appealing, and if you can enjoy in moderation, go for it.  However, if the temptation to go overboard is too much, consider avoiding it or implementing some safer party strategies to get you through and have a successful reading period weekend.

Try giving yourself a party curfew.  If you need to be productive the next day, you can still be social, but you may want to keep it to a limited time so you can sleep well in your own bed, wake up for your morning routine, and move on with your day.

If you choose to drink, consider keeping it to one or two drinks so you don't wake up feeling like this (at least he's brushing his teeth):

Plan out what you need to accomplish studying/writing-wise in order to do well during finals week.   Some other really important things to include are sleeping, eating, exercising, and seeing friends.  These things are crucial for your health, including your mental health. Take breaks, enjoy the company of others, and give your mind a rest every now and then.  Just be mindful not to drown your brain with alcohol, if you choose to have social activities which include alcohol use.


And for today, don't forget to stop by the Beach starting at noon for Nest Fest and Camp JHOP with the HOP, APTT, and PEEPs!


4.28.2014

SEE breakfast today

4.28.2014

SEE Tip: How often do you leave in the morning without eating breakfast? Did you know this could be the cause of any focus issues, memory problems, and of course, hunger pangs? Join the 78% of those who choose to make breakfast a priority by having something today.

Stop by Brody terrace for a cup of yogurt and granola from the PEEPS between 8-10am, while supplies last!

HKB tip: We want to know, do you or anyone you know use e-cigs or vape products? Post a comment and let us know if you do, and what made you start. If you don't, tell us what your thighs are on the latest nicotine delivery system.


Mellow Out Monday tip: Focus can be lost when all you're thinking about is how hungry you are feeling. Keep your focus by staying ahead of hunger. Start the day with breakfast to begin the day right. Keep small snacks nearby for later, and make time for your other meals. A properly fed body is a well fueled one. Fuel your body with breakfast and remove some of the stress in your day.

Want to end the day with a stress remover? Stop by Q level in the MSE for free 5-7 minute back rubs! Stressbusters are here for you!




  1. Source: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0271531705802428

4.25.2014

Sippin' at Spring Fair

4.25.2014


With the warm weather approaching and school finally dwindling down to an end, lots of fun activities start popping up around campus like Spring fair and most recently, Homecoming. These are the kind of events where memories are made, school spirit is expressed, and alcohol can tend to pop-up. While you’re basking in the sun (or even dancing in the rain as Spring fairs of the past have shown us), it can be easy to get carried away with drinking, should you choose to. At events like this, some may be drinking a lot, drinking fast and taking lots and lots of pictures to document every moment of it. While the pictures may show tons of fun, it actually puts the drinker at risk for many health complications. Drinking a large quantity of alcohol in a short period of time can be the recipe for more than just a killer hangover (1).  Binge drinking has been associated with contracting sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancy, strokes, and liver disease (yikes!). Luckily, binge drinking doesn't have to be your fate. You are in control of the rate at which you drink. If you need some tips and tricks to help pace your drinking or avoid it altogether this list was written just for you:

1. Add extra ice to your drink. This will water the drink down, help keep you hydrated (alcohol dehydrates you), and will help you drink your drink slower.

2. For every cocktail or beer you have, have a glass of water after it! Again, this is a great way to keep you hydrated and you can even put the water in a solo cup and people will be less likely to question what you're drinking!
***Personal tip: if drinking isn’t for you or you just don’t feel like drinking, have a glass of water with a splash of cranberry in it! Tastes great and no one will be able to tell it’s a mocktail ;) ***

3. If you find yourself in a situation where everyone's playing a drinking game like beer pong or flip cup, where the point is pretty much to aid in chugging alcohol (a staple for the binge drinker) and you need a good way to get out of it just offer to be the referee! You’ll be in on all the action but won’t be expected to drink so you can stay sober or sip slowly on your cocktail!

4.     Enjoy Spring Fair and the events happening... check out vendors, food, and other events, rather than getting sucked into the beer garder and missing out on all the other offerings.  Explore, and stay hydrated!

Remember, if you CHEWs to drink do it safely so you can enjoy the event!



1. http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/binge-drinking.htm

4.23.2014

Sustainable between the Sheets

4.23.2014
In honor of Earth Week, we're thinking of some sexy ways to be sustainable.



  • Turn down the lights!  Use energy efficient bulbs for a softer glow, or keep the lights out entirely.  Use candles (including rechargeable battery operated candles) to create a romantic setting, and reduce the unnecessary light being used in the room.
  • Toy lover?  Try toys that are chemical-free by purchasing ones made of silicone, glass, or metal (just be sure to talk to someone about how to use it properly).
  • Try cotton, bamboo, or organic bedding!
  • Stay warm:  Cuddle closer! Plus body friction (with some lubricant for added glide) is known to stir up the heat.



Taking care of the earth and spending quality time with a partner can be beneficial for you and mother earth.  Go forth, use protection (if you choose to be sexually active), and have a good time!

4.21.2014

SEE: Allergies got you up all night?

4.21.2014
SEE tip:  The state of Maryland seems to be a Zyrtec's maker dream, as it is the land of allergies.  As someone who did not have allergies prior to moving here, I can attest to the sore throat and puffy eyes that seem to pop up when the weather outside is inviting, but the allergens are all around.  Surprisingly, a report of the worst cities to live in with allergies, actually has Baltimore pretty low on the list, at #81.  Apparently, Kansas is much worse!  Good to know.

Aside from the outdoor issues of allergy season, there is also an added struggle with sleep.  Being well-rested at Hopkins can be tough as is, but to add difficulty with breathing it makes sleep even more challenging.  As someone with allergies falls asleep, the breathing airway becomes more constricted throughout the night- leading to disrupted sleep.  Taking allergy medication, sleeping with additional pillows (to sleep more upright), and keeping sheets clean can help to reduce these issues and provide a better night's rest.

Tell the PEEPs about your sleep at the Breezeway today from 11:30-1:30 and enter for a chance to win J-cash!  Clean your sheets- on us (wherever J-cash is accepted).


HKB Tip: Allergy sufferers can be especially sensitive to cigarette smoke; whether it's their own smoke, a friend's (secondhand smoke), or even smoke remaining on someone's clothing (third-hand smoke).  Cigarette smoke can seriously agitate nasal allergies, and make allergies that much worse.  For better sleep and less irritated allergies, consider the benefits of staying away from smokers or quitting yourself.




Mellow Out Monday Tip: Recent research on stress and immunity have found that even slight stress and anxiety can worsen a person's allergic reaction to even the most routine allergies.  Not a great thing to hear as Spring allergy season picks up and finals around the corner.  Instead of freaking out about it, find ways to prevent the stress from taking down your immune system.  Keep allergies at bay by keeping a clean space with fresh sheets (change bedding about once a week), get plenty of rest, and drink lots of water.

Keep stress down in other ways, like stopping by the MSE tonight for a FREE backrub from Stressbusters!  Just 5-7 minutes will have you feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready for a good night's rest.

4.18.2014

Sip Tip: Boozy Boating

4.18.2014
The line between staying in the blue zone and going overboard when it comes to drinking can be crossed in a flash.  This makes it crucial to pay attention, if they choose to drink alcoholic beverages, and to consider doing things like pacing oneself, incorporating non-alcoholic drinks, and remembering to eat before and while drinking is happening.

With events like the Junior boat cruise, Spring Fair, and summer fun within sight, we are thinking of some possible activities that could happen, including off-land ones.  If these activities include drinking alcohol, consider keeping some safer drinking strategies in mind for a more memorable time.  Bring food along to eat before/during, remember to hydrate by drinking lots of water, and try not to be "that guy" or "that girl" since taking care of that person can be especially difficult and dangerous in an unfamiliar place, like the middle of an ocean.... as the video below can show:

Be warned: This video goes from ordinary to frightening in ~30 seconds.



Watching this video, one can see how swiftly good times go to scary times, as the drunken sailor is within inches of the motor and could have easily lost limbs or his life in that fall.

One of his shipmates filed this report: "I was the one who threw the beer, he was really drunk the first beer we threw he caught one handed like a ninja. The second one he didn't have quite as much grace it hit him right in the chin. The can blew up on his tooth when he came up he had a gash almost through his lip and he was wiggling his tooth it looked like it was about ready to fall out."

It can be very scary for everyone when those who engage in drinking go even one drink too far.  If you choose to drink, stay in the blue zone by stopping at buzzed.





Video and statement taken from Gawker

4.16.2014

Going, Going, Gonorrhea

4.16.2014


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new information about the rise of gonorrhea—specifically an antibiotic resistant strand of gonorrhea.  In the study, the CDC looked at data from the Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project which collected data from 1991-2006.

Seventeen U.S cities collected data, in nine cities there was a low prevalence of the antibiotic resistant strand of gonorrhea and, in the other eight there were high volumes of the resistant gonorrhea. The goal of the study was to find out if the prevalence of resistant gonorrhea would increase the total number of gonorrhea cases in the city. In the nine cities with a low prevalence of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea, total gonorrhea cases actually DECREASED from 2000-2006. The other eight cities, with a high prevalence of the resistant strand of the disease saw a double in the number of total gonorrhea cases between 2000-2006!! That’s pretty alarming.

Currently the CDC recommends using an injectable antibiotic, ceftriaxone, and one of two oral antibiotics (azithromycin or doxycycline) to treat the STI. The worry is that gonorrhea could evolve to become resistant to ceftriaxone (this is the strongest medication used to treat it). Although there have been no reports of a ceftriaxone resistant strand in the U.S, there have been reports of it in other locations, such as Europe.



Eradicating the disease from an infected individual can take a long time, even if they have been treated with antibiotics because the antibiotics simply take a long time to fully work. This means that individuals can unknowingly still spread the disease if they have unprotected sex before they have been confirmed clean of the STI. The message here is (which we can never stop reminding people): if you are sexually active, always use a barrier method, like a condom, all of the time, for the entire length of the sexual activity. The CDC also recommends getting tested for gonorrhea at least once a year…and so do we!  Stop by the health center to be tested by making an appointment.

To learn more about  the CDC’s findings, just visit the link below:
http://www.cdc.gov/std/Gonorrhea/arg/basic.htm

4.14.2014

SEE it fits!

4.14.2014

SEE Tip: When it comes to exercise- how do you make sure it fits into your day?  Do you do it in the morning, during the day, or in the evening?  According to experts, there is no right time of day- as long as you do it!  You can split it up or get it done in one shot; just get your sweat on.  Just make sure to reach 150 minutes per week, as recommended for optimal health.



Help us reach 150 minutes of exercise as a campus at the SEE table on Monday!  Do some form of exercise and SEE that we can reach the recommendation together.  Stop by the breezeway to get involved and win a SEE giveaway for moving your body.



HKB News: The good news, people are realizing how bad cigarettes are for them, and even teens are seeing the problems with them.  The bad news, Big Tobacco has found a new way to still hook people in, despite the knowledge gaining around cigarettes.  Vaping has become the new "big thing".  Some find it useful as a way to reduce the harmful effects of cigarettes, and others are using it as their first way into any sort of smoking device.  Since these new vaping products aren't regulated, it is tough to say if they are or aren't safe. And since many still have nicotine in them, the people using them are likely forming addictions, as we're seeing in young teens.  Be wary of vaping, it may appear like harmless vapor, but consider your health before a habit becomes an addiction.


Mellow Out Monday Tip: What time of day are you most stressed?   Identify your most stressful feeling and use the stress to your benefit-- harness the energy into a workout.  Use the stress to move your body and release the tension throughout  your whole body while also relaxing your mind.

Need another stress reliever or is exercise just not cutting it?  Try a free back rub from Stressbusters!  Tonight starting at 8pm, Stressbusters will be in the MSE on Q level giving out free back rubs... get your's tonight for a stress-free tomorrow.


4.09.2014

Staggering Stats

4.09.2014

The reality of sexual assault is heartbreaking both for the victims and their families. Devastatingly, one out of every six women in America has been the victim of an attempted or completed sexual rape in her lifetime and 2.78 million men have been the victims of sexual assault or rape (1). What is even more or equally terrible is that 60% of sexual assaults never get reported, and of those that do 97% of rapists never spend a day in jail (2).

Survivors of sexual assault are likely to suffer in a variety of ways due to what happened to them, including emotionally, mentally and even physically. Victims of sexual assault are (1):
    ~3 times more likely to suffer from depression.
    ~6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
    ~13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.
    ~26 times more likely to abuse drugs.
    ~4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.

These effects on victims are incredibly devastating.  So, what do you do if you know someone going through this? How do you help a victim of sexual assault? One of the most important things you can do is be a support system for the person. This may seem obvious but it’s extremely important, and often forgotten in the moment. This includes withholding any forms of judgment, and allowing the person to choose what they want to do- whether it's to report or have a sexual assault exam done at a hospital. You can also be someone the victim can lean on and express themselves to, but be mindful of your own needs, and be sure to guide them towards a licensed counselor if things become too heavy (3). There are also many sexual assault helplines for the victim, their families, and even friends.

The Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) offers a 24 hour hotline at:
 800.656.HOPE
They can also be reached online if you are more comfortable talking over the computer at :
online.rainn.org.
RAINN also offers a SMS text messaging option:
55-247 (inside the US)
001-202-470-5546 (Outside the US)



1. https://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims
2. https://www.rainn.org/statistics
3. http://www.victimsofcrime.org/help-for-crime-victims/get-help-bulletins-for-crime-victims/bulletins-for-teens/sexual-assault

4.07.2014

SEE: A Fruit-tastic Day

4.07.2014

SEE Tip: Fruit is a healthy and easy snack to eat on the go.  It's typically available at most convenience stores and dining areas on campus.  Fruit can also be bought and prepped for a few days ahead of time so temptation to snack on chips is less likely when supplies of fruit can be found in the fridge.   Fruits are packed with nutrients, including potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.  This means you stay full longer with a healthy snack and increase your body's nutrients through healthier snacking choices.



Will you be getting your sweat on between 11-12:30?  PEEPs will be at the Rec Center giving away fruit for a healthy snack today.  Stop by before or after your sweat session for a healthy treat!



HKB Quit Tip: Thinking of quitting smoking, but worried about weight gain?  While weight gain can happen, it can help to eat healthier, by incorporating fruits and veggies into one's diet, as well as lean meats and healthy grains.  For those times when snacking seems like the only option, having prepared snacks, like cut up fruit or whole grain popcorn can soothe the cravings and solve some of the immediate stress.  If that's still not cutting it, consider talking to someone for additional support.  Quitting is not easy- you don't have to do it alone.  Try the MD Quit hotline or contact chew.jhu@gmail.com for additional help on campus.


Mellow Out Monday Tip:  When you eat better, you feel better.  When you feel better, you stress less.  Simple right?  If only it was as easy to do, as it is to type (or read).  But with things like pre-packaged fruit to go or prepping your own fruit to go for healthy snacks during the week, it should be a whole lot easier to live healthier and happier.

If you want some immediate stress relief, stop by tonight's Mellow Out Monday on Q level in the MSE for a free backrub from the Stressbusters between 8-10pm.  Don't let stress get you down, let us bring you up!