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.


End of Finals 2012!

Today is the LAST day of finals for Fall 2012.  Good luck to any of you who have finals today.  And for those of you who know you rocked your finals or are just happy you are done with them-- take time to celebrate.  Not sure how to celebrate-- consider a lesson from this guy:


Power Through Finals

How will you power through this week of finals?

Eat fruitfully -- Keep healthy foods in your study area and eat well this week.  Junk food will derail your study sessions and lead to early crashes.  With nutritious foods, like fruits and veggies, your brain can keep going for hours and hours.

Keep going -- You may want to give in or just give up, but don't let yourself-- you've come so far!!  You are so close to the winter break period and then you will be able to get a much needed reprieve from all of this.

Reward yourself -- Did you study the amount of material you planned to today?  Give yourself something as a reward-- maybe a special drink from The Daily Grind or a break to take your favorite fitness class at the gym.  Do something you enjoy for you-- as long as it is something that won't set you back.  For example, meeting friends for dinner versus going out for a happy hour that turns into 4 hours and too many drinks.  You deserve to have some fun; just remember to set yourself up for success.

Stay positive-- Use the power of positive thinking to see yourself succeeding and you will have a better chance of doing so.  Keep encouraging words and reminders nearby to keep you from getting discouraged.  Repeat to yourself "I can do this!" and imagine the grade you want on your test.

CHEW's Well, Do Well!!  You can do this!!  


Stay calm and study on


Remember, you will be okay.  No matter what happens with these tests and papers, you will still be okay.  Do your best, study as best you can, and remember to breathe and know you will be okay.

Use these tips to keep calm as finals take over these next number of days...

1.  Take breaks-- away from your study area.  Go for a walk. Meet a friend for lunch or dinner.  Take a workout break.  Do something to stop your brain from going into overdrive and give it a much needed and deserved break.

2. Get exercise  -  it will help you focus when you need it!  It will also give you more energy and help you sleep better at night.

3. Remember to sleep- don't skimp on sleep.  Your brain functions best when it's been rested.  All-nighters might work for you once in a while, but lack of sleep has been proven to lower brain functioning and memory retention.  Get sleep to get the grades you want.

4. Eat right - snack with health in mind.  Keep healthy snacks nearby when you are studying and avoid sugar crashes that will leave you hungry for more and low energy.  Complex carbs, veggies, and fruits will give you the staying power for a solid study session.

5. Make lists - get organized.  The satisfaction of crossing something off your list, even if it's "take a shower" will feel like a great accomplishment over this week.  Get yourself organized and give yourself credit for all of the things you do!

6. Take advantage of Stressbusters!  Free 5-7 minute back rubs are the perfect mini break and stress reliever.  Find an event (we have 3 across campus today), request Stressbusters for your hall, student group, or team, or come to Mellow Out Monday at 8pm on 12/17 on Q-level.


Stressed to Smashed

After a long day of classes, exams, work and everything else- sometimes you think the cap to your day could really just be unwinding with a beer.  And that's fine.  Have a beer while catching up with your friends or watching your team play is certainly one way to relax after a long week.  When one beer turns into 5 beers in the span of 1 quarter of an NBA game.... that's another story and leading into some dangerous grounds.

If someone is so stressed out that having a relaxed evening with alcohol is out of the question, then doing something without alcohol would be the safer option.  Often, we find when someone is extremely stressed, it's best to release it in a productive and healthy manner, like talking it out, listening to music, or getting a good workout in.

When alcohol is turned to as the solution, they may find more stress at the end of the night.  When the person wakes up the initial stress remains and more problems will have likely developed.  Or as a sophomore student from the Duke University study explained, “I don’t binge drink because I like to stay in control of myself—I don’t want to end up in a dangerous or negative situation,”... “My stress levels would increase if I was perpetually hung over.”

If you plan to drink and are also stressed try using at least one of these strategies to "stay in the blue zone" and wake up feeling ready to take on your day.

  1. Eat a meal before going out, and have some food while you drink.
  2. Drink water throughout the night.  Avoid getting dehydrated.
  3. Know that it's okay to say "no" when someone offers to buy or bring over a round.  If you don't feel comfortable, you can try leaving for the bathroom or ask a friend to get some fresh air with you.
  4. Stay with your same group the whole time.
  5. Before going out, call someone to talk about what's causing you stress.

And remember...


Hump Day Quickie

Consensual, protected sex can have many benefits-- improved health is among them!  

Source: weheartit.com        via: CSPH

Need protection?  Free condoms are available at the Health and Wellness Center and the CHEW office in Levering 115!  Want to order a different brand like Durex or Trojan? We've got you covered.  Go to JHU Condom Sense to order packs of 12 at a discounted rate of $4/pack. 


SEE Tip: Eat for your brain

SEE tip:  It's crunch time -- finals are way too close and deadlines are quickly approaching.  But you're brain is shutting down.  What the heck are you going to do?!

Try eating foods for that promote brain activity, not something that will just keep you awake.  Avoid the skittles and red bull.  Instead, try drinking green tea for a short term fix of focus, energy, and a boost of anti-oxidants.

No one wants to be the person with the growling noises coming from their stomach.  Avoid going into an exam on an empty stomach.  Instead, try eating something like a whole wheat flat bread with peanut butter and sliced bananas which will give you a solid boost of complex carbohydrates.   Just don't eat too much before the exam or long study session-- food comas may result.

For more brain power tips, stop by the Levering Dining Entrance today from 12pm-2pm for tips, trivia, and giveaways with PEEPs.

HKB Quit Tip: A common deterrent for smokers to quit the habit is around concerns of weight gain.  While it is possible that a person may gain around 4-10 lbs, research shows that with maintenance and guidance this can be avoided or may actually be needed for the individual's body.  If weight gain is a concern for a smoker that you know, advise them that it is possible to quit and keep weight under control.  

For many people, it's as simple as keeping a pack of carrots nearby, as they would have done with a pack of cigarettes.  That hand-to-mouth reflex can be fulfilled through the carrots, rather than a low nutritional value-high caloric intake snack which could lead to weight gain.  With healthy snacks nearby, weight gain is less likely and there is a smoother path to cessation.

Mellow Out Monday:  The holidays are here, along with finals, and lots of stress.  Unfortunately, for many people stress can lead to mindless and binge type eating behavior.  To help yourself in the long run, keep your living space stocked with easy to grab healthy snacks, like pre-sliced apples or pre-cut veggies and hummus.  By having healthy snacks nearby, you'll be able to concentrate more on your studies, rather than worrying over what to eat and feeling stressed out about what you are putting into your body-- you know it's healthy!  

Want another great way to reduce stress?  Head over to MSE on Q Level tonight for a FREE back rub from Stressbusters!  Come by starting at 8pm tonight for 5-7 minutes of stress reliever awesomeness!