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.


Holiday Health


The holiday season is in progress, which can mean our healthy routines we worked so hard for during the fall may be taking a hit this winter.  What healthy habits can you bring into your daily routine as we end 2011 and begin a new year?  Looking for ideas?

  • Train for a 5k (bring a friend for extra ways to commit and someone to chat with).
  • Join the Meatless Mondays campaign.
  • Get into a sleep routine; try going to sleep and waking up at the same times each day.
  • Check out a fun new fitness class in your area. You could see if they offer a free trial, or use a Groupon or Living Social type deal.
  • Eat seasonally fresh fruits and veggies.  It's tasty and less costly for your wallet.
How will YOU finish 2011 on a healthy note?


Weekend Tip: Holiday Hang Outs

Looking to do something local with a little holiday cheer? 
Check out our list of local fun and let us know how it goes!

It's a Waterfront Life!

Maryland Science Center
Friday’s After Five, December  23, 30 (5pm – 8pm)
Special discounted admission after 5pm–$8

Harborplace Amphitheater
Through Dec. 24
Enjoy special Holiday Light Shows (6pm, 6:30pm, 7pm, 7:30 and 8pm) choreographed to your favorite tunes.
Over 200 festively-dressed tuba and euphonium players will capture the spirit of the holiday as they blend their unique styles, rhythms, and progressions for all to enjoy.

Harborplace & The Gallery
WINTER HOURS: Monday – Saturday (10am – 9pm*), Sunday (*Noon – 6pm)
*Restaurants may remain open later. Holiday hours can be found online at www.harborplace.com

Inner Harbor
Baltimore’s New Year’s Eve Spectacular, Saturday, December 31
Saturday, December 31st
A celebration offering a night of music and the countdown to 2012 with a spectacular midnight fireworks, Saturday, December 31, 9pm-12:30am, Inner Harbor.    

Power Plant
Power Plant Holiday Light Show Spectacular, Saturday, November 19 – Saturday December 31, Sunday – Thursday: 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, Friday – Saturday: 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, 9pm
Power Plant lights up the Inner Harbor this holiday season with an unforgettable display of lights, lasers, music and more! Sure to become downtown’s most electrifying attraction, you won’t want to miss this must-see event!

Mt. Vernon
Holiday Guide at The Walters Art Museum

Miracle on 34th Street

Events provided by: http://baltimore.org/holiday


From CHEW to you. 

Wishing you health, happiness and peace this holiday season.


Hump Day: How Condoms are Made

Ever wonder how a condom is made?  Want to know what happens to the condoms before they even reach the condom baskets on campus?  Check out this insider's look, courtesy of Lifestyles, of what the process is for condom manufacturing.  And remember, free Lifestyles are available on campus! Don't know where to find them?  Ask your RA, check out events from CHEW and the PEEPs, like Hump Day, come to the CHEW office in Levering 115, or find them at the Student Health and Wellness Center.


Sip Tip: Avoid the Wheel


If you choose to drink while on campus you may have many options for getting back safely, such as walking with a group of friends, calling for a shuttle or cab, or crashing at a friend's place.  But if you're leaving campus for winter break, you're environment will be changing which means your options will change. 

The holiday season is a peak time for drunk driving as hospital emergency rooms can attest. Due to the increase in parties, reunions with high school friends and family, time spent without academics, and a lack of planning ahead- drunk driving seems to sky rocket.  Alcohol related traffic collisions are actually the leading cause of death in 2-33 year olds.  

Instead of adding to the statistic this winter if you choose to drink, think about what options you have in your new location.  Take a cab. Volunteer to be the Designated Driver.  Ask a sibling (or a friend's sibling) to pick you up.  Keep yourself safe this winter break- we want to see you back here in January!


Hump Day: Sext Much?


Sexting in college seems relatively common, given a study by the University of Rhode Island.  URI researchers found that nearly 80% of college students participated in sexting, either by receiving or sending the messages.  Further research has found that nearly 20% of sext recipients forwarded the message to others, despite the intentions or desires of the sender.

Sexting with a partner can be fun and healthy.  But it can also be scary, upsetting, and even damaging when it is no longer fun or healthy.  If you or friends of yours sext, how do you protect yourselves from having the text uploaded to Facebook or put on a college gossip site for everyone else to see? What other things could happen that make sexting unhealthy or unsafe?  And how could these things be safeguarded against- or can they be?

Do you feel like you have a good handle on your texting/sexting practices?  Want to know where you stand on the topic?  Take this quiz, courtesy of the MTV Thin Line Project.


December Schedule for Massage Therapy


THURSDAY 12/8 Debora Murphy: 12:45, 2:00, 3:15, 4:30, 5:45 PM

FRIDAY 12/9 Emily LaBathe: 8:30am, 9:45 and 11:00

FRIDAY 12/9 Debora Murphy: 12:45, 2:00, 3:15, 4:30, 5:45 PM

SATURDAY 12/10 Jeanne Lindsay: 11am, 12:30, 2pm

MONDAY 12/12 Debora Murphy: 12:30, 2:00, 3:15, 4:30, 5:45 PM

TUESDAY 12/13 Debora Murphy: 11:30 AM, 12:45,2:00, 3:15, 4:30, 5:45 PM

WEDNESDAY 12/14 Debora Murphy: 11:30 AM, 12:45, 2:00, 3:15, 4:30, 5:45 PM

THURSDAY 12/15 Please call Debora Murphy to schedule on this day - 410-718-1953.

FRIDAY 12/16 Please call Debora Murphy to schedule on this day - 410-718-1953.

SATURDAY 12/17 Jeanne Lindsay: 11am, 12:30, 2pm

A few reminders: The massage office is located in the Student Health and Wellness Center. We accept only checks or cash for payment, no charges. Half hour session: $35; One hour session: $60.  Call JHU Student Health & Wellness Center at 410-516-8270 to make an appointment. 24 hours notice is required for cancellation.

Sip Tip: Meds and Mixing

You’ve probably seen that warning on medicine bottles before. The danger is real. Mixing alcohol with certain medications can cause nausea and vomiting, headaches, drowsiness, fainting, or loss of coordination.   

It also can put you at risk for internal bleeding, heart problems, and difficulties in breathing. In addition to these dangers, alcohol can make a medication less effective or even useless, or it may make the medication harmful or toxic to your body. 

Some medicines that you might never have suspected can react with alcohol, including many medications which can be purchased over-the-counter—that is, without a prescription.  This can be things like pain killers, cough medicine, and even allergy medications like Benadryl.

Medications can be safe and effective when used appropriately. Be aware of what you are taking and the effects it might have on you.  Stay informed and avoid taking medication that is that not needed or could do harm to your body.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to be sure your medication will work right for you. Consider your own lifestyle choices, including alcohol use, other medications, and general health behaviors.  Having this conversation up front can make you more of aware of the options available to you and the concerns to be cognizant of.  

Image and Information provided by NIAAA


Hump Day: Orgasm on the brain

Have you ever been curious about what the brain does during an orgasm?  A recent study from Rutgers University had the same curiosity and brought it to the lab.  This 3D clip shows a female's brain through the process of an orgasm.  It highlights the specific zones stimulated, which as authors explain can help further research in other areas, such as depression and anxiety.

Some specifics to look for and keep in mind based on this video and research:

  • The brain will turn different colors based on the blood oxygen levels.  The lighter colors indicate more oxygen which signals that part of the brain is most active at the moment.
  • Activity was found in more than 80 regions of the brain.
  • Oxytocin and dopamine flood the brain producing a euphoric feeling.
  • The same part of the brain that is responsible for controlling pain also appears to active during orgasm, which seems to explain those "O-faces".
  • More research is sure to be done!


Massage Away Exam Stress

Stressed about exams? Consider a therapeutic massage.


SEE for Yourself on Monday - SLEEP WELL!


During finals one of the first things to be sacrificed is sleep. To do your best academically, it's important to get at least 7-8 hours a night. Sleep deprivation has been proven to impair mental function—and weaken the immune system. According to the National Sleep Foundation, although we think of sleep as a time of rest, research is revealing that sleep is a dynamic activity during which many processes vital to health and well-being take place. New evidence shows that sleep is essential to helping maintain mood, memory, and cognitive performance. Click here for more sleep tips. Pick up a free Sleep Kit at the CHEW office, Levering, Suite 115.

Quit on Monday tip: HKB Quit Tip: Secondhand smoke is harmful in a number of ways as past studies have demonstrated including heart disease, cancer, etc. A 2011 study on the effects of secondhand smoke expand on those harms when they studied the effects on sleep. The research found inefficient sleep among those that were exposed to secondhand smoke during the study period. Sleep is a crucial component to optimal mind and body function. If secondhand smoke is possibly interfering with your sleep patterns, consider ways to avoid it in order to have a more restful night’s sleep.

Mellow Out Monday: Students who get 6 or fewer hours of sleep per night feel more tired, sad, and stressed. Lack of adequate sleep has been associated with feelings of being more stressed out. Do yourself a favor and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep especially during finals to decrease your stress levels and enhance cognition and alertness. Stressbusters is also here to help melt your stress away on Monday, December 5th and 12th from 8-10 pm at the library, Q-level.

Finals are Upon Us: Take a Deep Breath

It’s that time of year again… two weeks of finals stand between you and Winter Break. Before you head home for the much-needed holidays, make sure to work hard, stay focused, and most importantly… stay SANE. Below are tips and tricks to keep calm and collected during this hair-pulling, nail-biting, pen-chewing time. 
  1. Try to study anywhere but the library during reading period. That might not make the most intuitive sense, but the library is a stress factory during finals. Oftentimes, it’s stressful enough to find an empty desk. Anxiety is infectious—don’t put yourself in an environment that induces more anxiety than you already have because you’ll end up being less productive. Try working in Gilman, Levering, dorm study rooms, or an empty classroom. 
  2.  Make sure to socialize. Don’t go overboard, but make sure to have some interaction throughout the day. Take study breaks or eat lunch with friends. It’ll take your mind off of schoolwork for a little bit. 

    3.      Change your scene. Walk around, see the outside world, and change the place of where you study. You’ll feel more refreshed if you avoid holing up int the same place for hours at a time. 
    4.      Rotate subjects while studying. While it’s tempting to study 10 straight hours the day before the exam, your brain will thank you if you study in shorter chunks several days before the exam. Try studying one subject for two hours, then studying for another exam for an hour. Changing subjects will also prevent you from feeling irritated or hopeless by one subject. Generally, when you feel frustrated, it’s best to move on.
    5.      Laugh. Whether it be hearing a good joke from a friend or watching a hilarious clip from YouTube, make sure to laugh. It’ll help keep things in perspective, even if it might seem like getting an A on a final is the be all and end all to life success. As Charlie Chaplin once said, “a day without laughter is a day wasted.” 

    6.   YOU HAVE LIMITS- Don’t try to exceed them. When you need to stop for the day, call it quits. You’re not “weak” because you can’t study fourteen hours a day. Some of us mere mortals can’t handle those never-ending days in the library without coming up for food, water or friends. And keep it safe!

    7.  ASK FOR HELP- Counseling services are ALWAYS available to you whether it’s the Counselor on Call after hours or at the Counseling Center during the day. Academic Advising will make the time to talk to you if you need it. Study Consultants are awesome. You have the tools, make sure to use them. 


Under Pressure: Class Registration

Yes, it’s early December, and the semester is rapidly coming to a close. You know what that means, exams galore, soon to be Finals, and registration for Spring. 

If you’re a freshman, you might not know all the best system for picking out your classes, and you have yet to experience the fun times that await you when trying to get ISIS to do your bidding at 7 AM on that fateful day. Yet, what is most important as the going gets really tough here at Hopkins is remembering to have a sense of clarity. I can only speak to my experiences in my past semesters here, but here is what I have done to make course selection that much less stressful for me.

·         Start early- contact your advisor LONG before the courses are even posted so that you can get an appointment that works for you and you can maybe even make two appointments. You can use one to flesh out what your goals are for the semester, and then the second one can be used to look over different potential schedules.

·         Plan ahead- You never know which courses you’ll actually get on registration day, trust me, so it pays to have three or four different versions of a semester schedule that you could conceive of taking. Spring 2011 semester, when I tried to register, I got into 0 of the classes I had on my original schedule and PANICKED. Oddly enough, the classes that I ended up randomly picking in the ISIS aftermath turned out to be some of the best classes  I have ever taken.

·         Get sleep the night before- I cannot tell you the number of times my friends have tried to pull all nighters right before registration. One friend in particular was so tired from staying up the night before that she had everything highlighted to quickly hit register, but accidentally hit delete from cart at 7 AM. Classes fill up within a matter of seconds, so by the time she could re-add everything to her cart and hit register, most of the classes had filled up.

·         Enjoy the journey- Though 99% of people won’t end up in a situation where they get none of the classes they tried to register for, those instances can really be blessings. I was actually able to take a literature class last Spring that I would not have ever considered taking just because I could not get into a single class I had planned on taking. I always loved English literature, I loved history, but I’m double majoring and I’m pre med, so the kind of spare time that I have to take electives is pretty limited. In light of my course struggles, I found out that quite a few writing intensive classes in the English department can count for pre med requirements, and I ended up being able to take Literature in History. Let’s just say it was wonderful to combine pleasure reads and schoolwork for once in my academic career.

There’s not much you can do to control how your course selection turns out, but you can control how you react to it. It’s just not worth the stress. If you can look beyond the academics and learn to roll with life’s punches, you’ll be in much better standing for coping with the many things that will come your way as a college student. And if you ever want advice on picking your classes from fellow students, talk to some of the PEEPs! We’re in all kinds of classes and we love to talk about our experiences!
In health,

Sip Tip: Alcohol + Finals = Lower Grades

Alcohol + Finals = Lower Grades

Seems like a no brainer.  Drinking during finals week may land some with lower grades than they would normally earn.  A study from the US Air Force found this experience to be true, especially for those high achievers out there.  Students who normally achieve high academic honors and chose to consume alcohol saw a significant difference in their final grade.

Why are some students drinking during this crucial time in their academics?  It could be a number of reasons, they don't want to miss the party, they are looking for a way to relieve the stress, they don't want to think about the exam they have, etc.  While these reasons can feel like enough of an excuse are there other things that can be done instead?  Here are some ideas if you are someone that drinks and you're considering it during finals week:

If you don't want to miss the party- you could still go, but choose not to drink or choose to stop@buzzed.  By stopping at buzzed you can feel the positive effects of the alcohol, but miss out on the more negative and longer lasting ones that can affect your studying and test taking abilities.  In either case, you are able to be with friends and take a break from studying.

If you need a way to relieve some stress, try going for a walk outside and breathing in some fresh air.  Sometimes a change of environment can help clear your head and leave you feeling refreshed and de-stressed.  Or you could try taking a shower, getting a back rub, etc.  There are many other ways to relieve stress that don't require a solo cup.

If you just don't want to think about your upcoming exam for a while, try calling a friend you haven't spoken to in a while and catch up.  Or give yourself a break and hit the gym for a while to work out.  Taking your mind off something for a little while isn't bad, but avoiding it through alcohol won't make it go away.  Eventually you'll have to face it, and why not be fresh minded when you're ready to deal with it, right?

Good luck during finals week and remember to stop@buzzed if you choose to drink.

And if you're looking for some alternative things to do in December around Baltimore- here's a good place to start for suggestions from the Baltimore Sun.


Hump Day: Sex on the brain


Every 7 seconds, a guy is thinking about sex.  Have you heard that before?  Well, researchers from the Ohio State University has debunked this myth recently.

In a recent research study that will soon be published in the Journal for Sex Research, OSU researchers learned that men actually think about sex approximately 19 times per day.  And women reportedly thought about sex on average 10 times per day.  Much less than the common belief going around, and likely more on average with most of our average readers, especially given everything else there is to think about at Hopkins. Perhaps this gives guys a bit more credit and shows that women and men aren't that far off from one another.  How often do you think Hopkins students think about sex?  Less? More?

Check out this great video from one of our comments!


Reset Your Internal Clock- A message from a PEEP

Start Fresh, Reset Your Internal Clock

After a long break of sleeping in and not having anything to do, it is often difficult readjusting to the academic schedule. Most of the time this problem lies in a warped internal clock that often makes students very tired at the times that they should be working. A tired mind works less efficiently, therefore to really get the most out of your studying time it is best to be well rested.

The NY Times health blog recently published an article that helps night-crawlers readjust their clocks to become morning people. Perhaps becoming a morning person is not your goal, but either way this article will help you set your internal clock to a time that works best for you. It also has a convenient quiz that helps you understand what kind of sleeper you are and what times of day you are most productive.

Do not underestimate the importance of sleep in your studying habits. A relaxed, rested mind is conducive to a healthier life.

Post submitted by a PEEP- Amelie Nkodo


SEE for Yourself on Monday: Eat WELL!


EAT WELL: Actually, drink well!  Water makes up 60% of the average person's body weight.  Without enough water, dehydration can occur which can lead to an energy lapse, sleepiness, or more severe issues, like fever, rapid heartbeat, etc.  With so much to do, hydration is key to stay on track and keep moving through the day with ease.  Water can be replenished through the variety of foods and beverages we consume  throughout the day.  So take time to eat and drink well during the day to allow your body to quench it's thirst.  Do you find that you are thirsty during the day, but don't have access to something to drink when you need it?  Try carrying a water bottle with you to keep you hydrated all day long.  Don't have one?  No problem- stop by the Breezeway from 1-3pm today for your own SEE water bottle (while supplies last)!

Mythbusting with HKB: MYTH- Using a water pipe to smoke tobacco (otherwise known as a hookah) is safe since the water filters any harmful ingredients from the tobacco.
FACT: The water does not filter the chemicals in the tobacco and can be just as harmful to the lungs and heart as smoking a cigarette.

Want a simple stress reliever?  Drink a glass of water. When your body is dehydrated it stops running properly and stress levels increase. To keep stress levels down, increase the water you consume to be the best version of yourself and tackle the day's challenges.  Want more stress relief? Stop by the MSE library, Q-level, from 8-10pm for a free back-rub from Stressbusters.


Turkey Day


Happy Thanksgiving!
Relax and enjoy!
The CHEW Blog will return on Monday with your SEE for yourself tip and more! 


Hump Day: Love lyrics


Caution: Censored material included in this video- please be advised.

If you're about to get down, what sort of atmosphere is usually in place?  Candles?  Rose pedals?  A string quartet?  Okay, most likely the majority of this isn't actually there.  But, perhaps there is a sweet soundtrack to the moment.  If so, what sort of music would be playing?  Some Al Green, Trey Songz, Mariah Carey, Bon Jovi, Bieber, what?  What's the "get it on" playlist?

Think music isn't important?  Through fMRI research we've learned that music hits the same pleasure center in the brain as food and sex.  While music itself is not directly linked to increased sexual pleasure- it begs the question, if they are both pleasure producing- isn't two better than one?

And don't just tell us go to the Buzz on Spotify facebook page for a chance to win a 12 pack of free condoms from Sir Richards Condoms Company! Chances to enter end Friday, 11/25!



Sleep WELL tip: Maintaining a regular routine in the evening can help your body and mind transition into sleep mode at night. This allows for a more peaceful night of sleep and a more rested mind to function with the next day. Some elements of a sleep routine might include taking a warm shower, brushing one's teeth, setting an alarm for the next day, and taking about 5 minutes to drift to sleep. Others may include a hot cup of herbal tea, listening to music (usually something calming, like Coldplay or your own mix), or some light reading- leaving the deeper-intense thoughts for a better time of day. Do you have a sleep routine? If so, come tell us about it or learn from others on the Breezeway from 1-3 today!

Quit on Monday tip: If a smoker is in the routine of having a cigarette before bed they could actually be doing more harm to their sleep cycle than they realize. Smoking before going to sleep can result in a lighter sleep cycle leaving the person less rested in the morning. Instead of an evening smoke, try a hot cup of herbal tea to increase the chances of a more restful night's sleep. 

Mellow Out Monday tip: Are you a regular at Mellow Out Mondays in the MSE? Is getting a back rub part of your Monday sleep routine? If so, that's awesome! If not, and you're feeling stressed, check out Mellow Out Monday for a 5-7 minute back-rub from Stressbusters as a great way to relieve some immediate stress and tension, allowing you to fall into bed with ease tonight.


Sip Tip: To be caffeinated or not


A 2010 study on caffeine found that people who consume caffeine do so in many different ways.  The intake happens at different rates and for different reasons which ultimately affected the individual's behavior.  Some were considered high soda users and typically had their first caffeinated drink in the evening.  While others who considered themselves mixed caffeine users tended to use a variety of caffeinated beverages and consumed them at different rates throughout the day.  This group was also likely to report using caffeine as a method to get through the day.  They also felt more dependence and energy enhancement from their beverages.

What happens at Hopkins?

If you consume caffeine, do you consider yourself to be a:

  1. low-caffeine user
  2. moderate-caffeine user
  3. high-caffeine user

And what sort of caffeine do you tend to consume?

  1. Caffeinated soda
  2. Energy Drinks
  3. Coffee
  4. Tea
  5. A combination of the above

What effects have you felt from using caffeine? Positive effects? How about any unfortunate side effects or negatives?

We love hearing from you!  Thanks for sharing!


Happy Great American Smoke-Out!


Today we celebrate the people who have made the brave and life-saving decision to transition to a life free of tobacco.Those who quit today for a 24 hour period will need support to keep the healthy lifestyle change moving.  Please take the time to connect with those who are quitting and offer your assistance, whether it's directing them to nicotine replacement medications, checking in on their quit attempt progress, or just offering up words of encouragement (source: Bacchus Network).

Click here to check out the short video from the White House congratulating those making a quit attempt.

If you're in support of creating a smoke-free JHU - Homewood campus be sure to sign HKB's online petition.


Hump Day: Relationship Soup


You know that you can eat your fruits and veggies to be healthier, but what does it take for a relationship to become healthy? Here are some key ingredients for a healthy relationship:

·         Mutual respect. Respect in a relationship means that each person values who the other is and understands — and would never challenge — the other person's boundaries.
·         Trust. Jealous feelings may arise, but what one does with those actions counts the most. Remember you're both in this relationship, right?
·         Honesty. This one goes hand-in-hand with trust because it's tough to trust someone without honesty. 
·         Support. For the good and the bad- a supportive partner is there to cheer you on or cheer you up.
·         Fairness/equality. Have some give and take in a relationship.  Balance and equality help each other feel like each of you are valued the same.
·         Separate identities. Remember you were attracted to each other because of who you are and what you brought to the table- don't lose that.  Remain who you are and keep your own interests while learning about the other person and developing new interests, friends, and hobbies.
·         Good communication. Talk to each other!  If you are concerned about something or want to know what's really going on, just ask.  Open lines of communication do wonders for relationships.

So how do you know if you or a friend are in an unhealthy relationship?  

Does someone in the relationship...
·         get angry when their partner won't drop everything for him/her?
·         criticize the way their partner dresses?
·         threaten their partner?
·         keep their partner from seeing friends or from talking to any other guys or girls?
·         encourage their partner to quit an activity they enjoy? 
·         Ever threaten to hit or strike their partner?
·         Ever force sexual activity that is unwanted?

If you or someone you know has exhibited or experienced these behaviors, consider calling the JHU Counseling Center for further advice or an appointment.  Go online to: http://www.jhu.edu/ccenter/.


SEE For Yourself on Monday - Exercise WELL


So You Think You Can Plank?

Exercise WELL tip: Come show us your plank at the Breezeway today from 1-3 pm. If you hold the longest plank you will win a prize. The plank is a great core strength exercise that improves strength, balance, and endurance. Plus it doesn't require any equipment or much time, making it a convenient form of strength training if you're on a small budget or are traveling.The most common plank is the front plank which is held in a push-up position with the body's weight borne on forearms, elbows, and toes. improving your strength, balance and endurance. The exercise is so-named because, when done properly, you straighten your entire body and maintain it rigidly, just like a plank of wood.

Quit on Monday tip: If weight gain due to smoking cessation is something you fear you can take steps to build your metabolic rate back up in ways that benefit your health rather than destroy it, as smoking does. Strength training is a great way to build muscle mass and slow bone loss while boosting metabolic rate.

Mellow Out Monday tip: If you're busy with school, you may feel like you can't afford spending any extra time exercising. But the truth is, you can't afford not to. Not only will exercise give you more energy to accomplish things and help you relieve stress, it can improve your overall health. Research suggests that physical activity may be linked to lower physiological reactivity toward stress. Simply put, those who get more exercise may become less affected by the stress they face in the future. If that's not a great reason to get more active, I don't know what is! A weekly 5-7 minute back-rub at Mellow Out Monday from Stressbusters is another great way to relieve some immediate stress and tension.


Sip Tip: Assess Yourself


Are you someone that likes to take quizzes online?  Maybe you do it to learn more about yourself- like taking a good long look in the mirror.  Maybe you do it with friends to see how you compare with each other.  Or maybe you just do it as another way to procrastinate from that 10 page paper.  Whatever your reason is we have a self assessment for you. 

The Mayo Clinic developed a self-assessment on alcohol use and is available here for you to assess yourself: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alcohol-use/MH00123

Once you've completed the assessment consider how you answered the questions.  Do you feel that you remembered your drinking behavior accurately?  Sometimes it is tough to remember specific events.  Was this quiz easy, tough, upsetting, or what you anticipated?

This and many other alcohol assessments cannot diagnose anyone with a drinking problem, but it can highlight your drinking habits.  If you would like to talk to someone JHU has many resources on campus, including the Counseling Center, the Student Health and Wellness Center, the Residential Life staff, the Center for Health Education and Wellness, and many others who are interested in supporting and listening to you.  Come talk to us- we're here for you.


Hump Day: Sexiled?


The old "sock on the door" sign... could mean fun for someone, but trouble for another, especially if they are the one that's been "sexiled".   The word "Sexiling" comes from the clever combination of sex and exile.  It's what we've come to call being locked out of your room by your roommate in order to hook up with their boyfriend/girlfriend/partner for the moment.

So what do you do if you're the one being sexiled?

Ideally, you and your roommate can plan ahead if you know this situation is likely to occur.

  • Determine how long this might last. Will it be the whole weekend, during the daytime hours only, one day of the weekend, etc?  This can help you plan an alternative, like visiting friends or family if you want.
  • Agree on how many nights the person should be able to stay overnight.
  • Make the best of your time outside of your room.
    • If it's a nice day out, spend sometime outside.
    • Meet up with friends you don't get to see often.
    • Catch up on the reading for the class you're falling behind in.
    • Take the weekend to visit a friend in a neighboring city (NYC, Philadelphia and DC are both train/bus rides away!)
If it wasn't a situation where planning ahead happened, consider all of your options.  Do you have a place to go for the time it might take- an hour, 20 minutes, overnight?  Consider if the roles were reversed what you would want your roommate to do. The next day, try having a conversation about what happened and how to best prepare in case something like it happens again.

And if you're the sexiler- here are some Do's and Don'ts to enjoy the moment while maintaining a harmonious roommate relationship.

Do: If you think there's a chance that you may be hooking up and needing the room to yourself, talk to your roommate as much in advance as possible.  If given enough time, they can find an alternative place to go and allow you some private time.

Don't: If your roommate leaves the room to go to the bathroom, don't lock the door and avoid answering the door.

Do: Consider how long you will be having a guest in the room.  And respect the overnight guest policy that you and your roommate have discussed.

Don't: Make it more complicated than it needs to be.  If your roommate will be at Tutorial Project on Thursday afternoons and you and your partner have that time open, perhaps you can schedule that time there so everyone wins.

Do: Find a way to communicate with your roommate that some personal time is needed.  Perhaps a key word, or a simple text message that includes an "I owe you one".

Don't: Forget that you also need to attend classes.  While sexiling can have it's benefits- academics are why you are here; don't forget.

Do: Give anf get Respect. Respect the rights of your roommate to the space.  If an agreement cannot be made, try talking to a mediator, like your RA or a friend who can help figure out a compromise.  Or find another place to enjoy a private moment with your partner.

Don't: Forget to clean up the room after. 

Do: Consider how you would feel if your roles were reversed and you were being asked to leave.  Remember, your roommate's grades, sleep, and general well-being may be affected by your actions- so be considerate.

Do: Use your head- use protection.  Keep yourself sexually safe by using a form of protection against STIs and pregnancy.  
Try Our Condom Sense Program for a discount on brand name Condoms!


Guest Bloggers: Understanding Behavior Change Students!

Want a smile with your breakfast?  Head to the FFC tomorrow (November 8th) from 8am-10am!

Want to win a gift card just for eating breakfast? Every 25th person to swipe in to the FFC between the hours 8:00-10:00am on Tues. Nov. 8th will win a gift card to either Donna's, One World, Carma's or Freshies! For more information email jhunutrition@gmail.com.

Power Down at Night to Wake Up Refreshed

We all know the temptations of using gadgets before bedtime.  You might think that watching your favorite sitcom, scrolling through Facebook, and playing a video game or two can help you wind down to sleep. But, studies have shown, that using technologic devices before bed can actually worsen your quality of sleep and can sometimes even lead to insomnia. To ensure you get a good night’s rest, power down your electronics one hour before bed. 

Make sure to check out tabling outside of Levering each Tuesday and Wednesday of November from 12-2 for the Power Down Tuesday to Wake Up Wednesday campaign—turn off electronics at 12 AM on Tuesdays to see how you feel on Wednesday. 

Come to Nolan's Tuesday, 11/8 at 8pm for a reading by "The Shush lady" and Sleep Trivia!

SEE for Yourself on Monday - EAT WELL!

EAT WELL tip: Snacking has gotten a bad rap, thanks to our tendency to choose empty-calorie snack foods like candy or chips to ease between-meal cravings. But when your stomach starts growling hours before your next meal, a healthy snack is actually a good idea, to hold off hunger and keep energy levels high. A healthy snack should have enough calories to be satisfying, but not so many that the snack becomes a meal; less fat and saturated fat than other similar snacks; whole grain and fiber, protein, and/or other nutrients that give them staying power. Trail mixes are easy to make and store well in a sealed container or ziploc bag. Items to include: low-fat granola, whole grain cereals, peanuts, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and dried fruits like raisins, apricots, apples, pineapple, or cranberries. Stop by the Breezeway today from 1-3 pm to make a healthy snack pack to go!

QUIT on MONDAY tip: Quitting smoking may increase your snacking so instead of choosing unhealthy snack foods try eating healthy snacks, like cut up veggies, fruit, or almonds or pistachios (in limited amounts).


MELLOW OUT MONDAY tip: Often when we are stressed many of us turn to high calorie comfort foods such as ice-cream, cookies, mac n' cheese, and chips. Next time try healthier alternatives such as almonds, blueberries, cottage cheese, or fish that not only contain vitamins and nutrients but some studies have suggested can help relieve stress as well. Stop by the MSE Library, Q-level, from 8-10 pm tonight and get a free back-rub from Stressbusters.