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.


SEE your bed more often


SEE Tip:  Has sleep been elusive this entire semester?  Well, it's The Final Countdown and sleep is as essential as ever to get us all through the last few weeks before Summer Break.  Keep your brain functioning at optimal levels by giving it what it needs- sleep.  So how do you do that?  Try one or more of the following tips:

  • Avoid eating or drinking too close to when you are going to sleep.  Aim to eat dinner about 2-4 hours before going to bed and avoid heavy snacking prior to going to sleep.  Avoid the caffeine after lunch time if you can to help you get a more restful sleep and less groggy morning.
  • Use your bed for sleeping.  Don't study or read your notes in bed.  It can confuse the cues in your mind when it's time to sleep and disrupt your ability to fall asleep easily.  Keep the bed for sleep and the studies for the library, your desk, or anywhere else you prefer- other than your comfy bed.
  • Power down the technology.  Read a book, write down a list of things you need to do tomorrow (on paper, not using an app), or drink some chamomile tea (or other caffeine free option) to get you into a restful state.
Stop by the Breezeway today for a free SEE Sleep Care Pack from the PEEPs from 11-1pm!  Get your sleep started right this week with a little help from CHEW.

HKB News: UCLA was the first of the UC campuses to go smoke-free last Monday, as part of Earth Day. As the UCLA Chancellor said, "in order to take care of the Earth, we must take care of ourselves".  Want to read more about it as discussions continue about our own Smoke-Free initiative?  Check out the article here

Mellow out Monday Tip: Feeling stressed about upcoming finals?  Or still being crushed by exams this week?  Find some serious stress relief by stopping by The Beach on Friday starting at Noon for APTT and PEEPs present Under the Sea!  There will be a moon bounce, food, t-shirts, lots of other activities, and did we mention PUPPIES?!  

Need some stress relief before Friday?  Stop by the MSE on Q-level for a free 5 minute back rub from Stressbusters tonight starting at 8pm!  Or request Stressbusters to come to your floor meeting or group meeting to help you and your friends de-stress.  To request Stressbusters go to http://www.jhustressbusters.com/.


Sip Tip News: A study of pong balls

A not so surprising study was recently released on how much bacteria is truly on the ping pong balls used for the drinking game, Beer Pong.  Again, not shocking results-- the researchers found A LOT (not a scientific term, but we think it's pretty accurate) of bacteria on the ping pong balls.  The bacteria included dangerous types such as salmonella, e. Coli, staph, and listeria.

While this study seems so commons sense you may be asking, "why bother conducting such a study?".  That was the researchers' goal.  They were looking at common-sense scientific questions that they could put some research behind the answers.  So now we know- officially and scientifically that beer pong balls are gross and covered in germs.

While we understand that people are not being massively affected by the dangerous disease spreading potential of beer pong balls, we also see that it can result in an increased chance for getting sick.  And we dare to ask, how well do you perform at Hopkins when you are sick?   Is it worth the risk?

If you choose to drink, perhaps skip the disease risk by avoiding the pong table at the party.  Try spending time on the dance floor, talking to your friends about their week, or meeting new people.  If you carry your own cup around with you and avoid the beer pong balls, you'll likely reduce your risk of getting sick and will increase your productivity for the weekend.


Check Yo'self

Status Quickie

How many times a week do you update your Facebook status?  

  • Once a week
  • 2-3 times a week
  • 4-5 times a week
  • Daily
  • More than once a day

How often do you update your STI status?
  • Never
  • Annually
  • I don't know 

If you've never checked your Sexually Transmitted Infection/Disease status or are unsure if you have been tested, and are sexually active now is the time to Get Yourself Tested.  

Today, we are offering FREE Chlamydia tests to JHU students at the Mattin Courtyard from 3-7pm.  These tests normally cost about $28 due to the Maryland lab fees, but thanks to a collaboration between the SGA, Office of Student Life, Student Health and Wellness Center, and CHEW, up to 50 tests will be given for free.

Be Smart.  Get Tested.  Know your Status.


SEE hydrates your workout


SEE Tip:  With spring in the air, exercising outside can be a lot more enticing.  The beautiful weather can provide scenic walks or runs.  It can also provide the best opportunity for groups to get some exercise-- live it up like a kid with a game of freeze tag with friends or meet for a tennis match.  There's lots of options, but with these options we need to take care of our bodies.  Be mindful of the added sun exposure by wearing sunscreen and stay hydrated.  Drink water before, during, and after a workout to keep the body balanced and fueled for more.

Stop by Levering Quad from 12-2 today for a SEE water bottle from PEEPs -- stay hydrated to get the workout you desire!

HKB Tip: Have a friend that's trying to quit, but not sure how to help them?  Try offering them things to do with you!  How about taking an exercise class together?  Often, people who want to quit smoking are worried about gaining weight due to the stress of trying to quit. By offering them a physical activity and alternative, you are providing them with one solution for two problems.  

Mellow Out Monday Tip: Feeling stressed by the never-ending exams on your planner?  Give yourself a much deserved and much needed break by going for a walk or meeting up with a friend at the gym.  The extra energy you get from a quick workout will help you for the long-term, rather than trying to force yourself to concentrate on material that's starting to just look like a blur.  An break for exercise is productive and beneficial!

If your body is feeling stressed from the desk hunch, stop by the MSE on Q- level tonight from 8pm-10pm for a free backrub from Stressbusters!  Just 5-7 minutes and you'll be feeling good as new!


Buzzed in the Sun


With the spring season upon us and summer on the horizon, many of us are spending more time under the sun. If any of your outdoor sun-filled activities include alcoholic beverages, it may be a good idea to remember the risks of dehydration and heat stroke.

Alcohol lowers the body’s tolerance for heat, acts as a diuretic, and can result in dehydration. A dehydrated body is more prone to heat exhaustion, which can lead to heat stroke if not taken care of. Some symptoms of heat stroke to keep in mind include:

Sudden dizziness, weakness or faintness
Sudden headache
Little or no sweating
Rapid, weak pulse
Rapid, shallow breathing
Hot, red and dry skin
High body temperature (typically 102 degrees or higher)
Vomiting and muscle cramps

If cutting out the use of alcohol while in the sun isn't an option, here are some safer ways to drink and enjoy the outdoors:

Staying hydrated with water (try alternating water with your other beverage choices) 
Staying energized with light foods
Limiting heat exposure
Using sunscreen and wearing light weight/light color clothing

If you think you may be suffering from heat exhaustion or stroke, or see a fellow student who appears to be at risk, use these easy steps!

1. Lower body temperature
  • Get out of the heat into a cool environment.
  • Take a cold shower, rinse off with a cold hose, or try cool compresses to lower body temperature.
2. Re-hydrate
  • If conscious, drink a cool non-alcoholic beverage.
3. Rest
  • Avoid physical activity for the rest of the day.
  • Give Tylenol for a mild head ache.
4. Seek health professional
  • Since untreated heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, see a doctor if symptoms get worse or last longer than one hour, or if there is nausea/vomiting.
  • Visit the Health and Wellness Center for an appointment or more information.

Being educated on the risk factors and safe ways to drink in the sun can help everyone stay healthy and happy during these warmer months! For more information and free water bottles and sunscreen, visit the PEEPs on the Levering Quad this Monday from 12-2pm!


Condom Misadventures

We often focus on the How To of using a condom, but let's take a minute to talk about how not to use a condom.  There are quite a few misuses out there leading to some inefficient condom usage-- let's get those mistakes out in the open and clear up any misunderstandings!

Here are some basics for how NOT to use a condom:

  • A condom is not a water balloon.  They are designed to stay in tact-- you are better off using cheaper, actual balloons.
  • A condom is not to be used after years of living in a wallet.  Find a cool, dry place for condom storage.
  • A condom is not to be used more than once.  You are already doing your part by using the condom!

  • A condom is not to be worn loosely.   A snug fit is a good fit.  It shouldn't be falling off or providing too much friction that can lead to damage.
  • A condom is not to be used past the expiration date.  
  • A condom is not to be opened with the teeth.  If you feel frisky, act it out with your partner, not the item that will protect you both.
  • A condom is not to be put on after sex has begun.  While better late than never is good.  Better protected than not is best.  Put the condom on before the sex gets going for the best protection.
  • A condom should not go up your nose.  Seriously. 

Aside from other issues, the girl in the video is unrolling the condom incorrectly making it that much harder.  This is something we commonly see at our demonstrations with students at JHU (and is seen at similar demonstrations across college campuses).  You can see which way the condom rolls for yourself and know what we mean when we say party hat vs. a wizard hat at an upcoming Hump Day soon or just ask a PEEP!


SEE mixes in the health


SEE tip: Are you a snacker? What's your go to grab and go snack? Want to try something easy and considerably healthier than a bag if chips? Try making your own trail mix. There are many benefits to trail mix, but the main ones are being able to make it what you want it to be and taking it with you! For example, say you want something healthy, but a little sweet too. How about a trail mix bag of granola, almonds, dried fruit, and for an added treat some dark chocolate.

Want a starter? Try stopping by the breezeway on Monday from 12-2 for a starter to your own trail mix from PEEPs!

HKB Tip: Certain foods can be associated with having a cigarette for smokers. If you are trying to quit or trying to help a friend to quit, try avoiding those foods for a while if possible. Instead of having coffee, a person could try a different hot beverage or now that the weather is getting warmer perhaps an iced coffee might do the trick and keep the craving at bay.

Mellow Out Monday: Eating food that is good for your body can be just as good for your mind. Healthy snacks like a nutritious trail mix can keep the mind from wandering and even stressing. Keep stress levels down by keeping the body well fed.

Want to do more for the stress on your body? How about getting a free 5-7 minute back rub from Stressbusters? Get one Monday night in Q level in the MSE from 8-10pm.


PEEPs rundown: Spring Fair Tips


Spring is in the air! While the smell of cherry blossoms blooming is all around now, soon the scent of fried oreos will fill the Hopkins campus. That’s right, Spring Fair is coming. Between all the music, food, games, rides, beer, and shops, Spring Fair has something for everybody to enjoy. It’s a time to break away from studying and just indulge in festivities but among all the fun, it’s important to keep your health a priority. This weekend be sure to:

1. Know your limits -  the beer garden is filled with a great variety of beers but it can be easy to have a few too many. If you don’t know your limit, check out the Blood Alcohol Content cards on the CHEW website at http://www.jhu.edu/health/JHUBACCards.pdf

2. Use sunscreen – even if the weather is mild outside, it’s always important to put on sunscreen that is at least SPF 15 when you’re planning on being outside for a long period of time because UVA rays can still damage your skin even if you don’t feel like you’re burning. If you think you’ll forget, try finding a moisturizer that has sunscreen built inside and look for ingredients such as zinc, titanium dioxide, and avenobenzone which block UVA rays by remaining on the surface of your skin instead of getting absorbed into the body. Check out http://www.ewg.org/2012sunscreen/best-sunscreens/best-moisturizers-with-spf for a list of a ton of sunscreen moisturizers with price comparisons.

3. Control junk food portions – it’s really easy to want to eat everything from all the vendors on the freshman quad. This weekend is definitely a time to let loose a little but it’s still important to maintain good nutrition. Try being mindful about what you’re eating and check out http://eatingmindfully.com/mindful-eating-tools for some mindful eating information and tips. Have a cheat day, have a fried oreo, grab some ice cream and root beer from Wild Bills – have whatever you want, just mindfully and in moderation!

4. Take time to enjoy everything – classes are still going on but make sure you take time to have fun! Spring Fair only happens once a year, take the time to enjoy it with your friends and get away from the stress for a while.

If you’re still looking for some stress relief after Spring Fair ends, be sure to request Stressbusters to one of your events at http://www.jhustressbusters.com/request.html

Have a wonderful, safe, relaxing Spring Fair weekend! - From a PEEP 


Who Are You?

When it comes to preventing sexual assault, we can all do something.  Whether you are a friend, acquaintance, or even a stranger.


SEE Solves Sleep


SEE Tip:  Having trouble falling asleep at night?  Feeling exhausted all day?  Let's figure out what could be the culprit behind the sleep issues.

Some common sleep disturbances found with college students are things like using the laptop before trying to go to bed.  The light from the screen can delay the sleep process in your body.  Try shutting off the laptop about 30 minutes before you are ready to go to bed for an easier descent into the dream world.

There are also things like being too stressed for sleep.  There are those nights when all you want to do is go to sleep, but your mind just won't shut down.  Instead, thoughts are running rampant.  To hit the off switch, try keeping a pad and pen near the bed so the thoughts can be written out quickly, without disturbing yourself too much.  This removes the stress of needing to remember your brilliant idea or whatever last minute thing you need to do before class-- you'll know to do it in the morning once you wake up refreshed, rather than frazzled.

Do you have some sleep solutions to offer? Or sleep problems you want to resolve?  Stop by Levering Quad today from 11-1 to talk about it with the PEEPs.

HKB Thoughts:  There is still time left to vote to say whether or not  you would like JHU to become smoke-free.  If the votes show that campus is in favor of going smoke-free, it won't happen immediately. Many  more discussions will be needed.  This is merely a first step.  Vote on it today- look for an email from the SGA with details on how to vote.

Mellow Out Monday:  This month has a lot of awesome packed into it starting with this coming weekend.  Hello Spring Fair!!  Keep your head in the academic game by not losing sleep.  Stay on a sleep schedule while enjoying the fun activities planned throughout the week and weekend.  You'll enjoy it more if you can stay awake in and out of class.

Feeling stressed about all you have to do before the fun really gets going?  Take 5 minutes out of your night tonight to de-stress with Stressbusters!  Come to the MSE Library on Q-level from 8-10pm for a free back rub from Stressbusters.  And for a bonus, try to head to sleep soon after for a real restful night!


Sip Tip: Drink this, not that

Do you know what drinks have the highest sugar content?  What about the ones with the most nutritional bang for your buck?  Read on to find out.

Bottled Smoothies:

Not That...
Stonyfield Farm Organic Strawberry Smoothie
(10 oz bottle) 38 g sugar
Stonyfield produces a few great products—its line of high-protein Greek yogurts, for example—but its smoothies don't make the grade. The first three ingredients in this one are milk, sugar, and strawberry juice, and the bottle contains more sugar than you'd ingest from three bowls of Froot Loops.

Drink This Instead!
Bolthouse Farms Berry Boost
(15.2 oz bottle) 50 g sugar
Not only is there more smoothie here for fewer calories, but this bottle also offers nearly 8 grams of fiber to help slow absorption of the sugar, 100 percent of which comes from fruit.

Iced Teas:

Not That...
Snapple Green Iced Tea
(16 oz bottle) 30 g sugar
This is like the Hulk version of Green Tea.

Drink This Instead...
Honest Tea Organic Green Tea
(16 oz bottle) 18 g sugar
With more metabolism-boosting, cancer-fighting catechins than its competitors, Organic Honey Green Tea delivers exactly what you want out of a cup of tea, with just enough sugar to make it go down easily.

Energy Drinks:

Not That...
Original Rockstar Energy Drink
(16 oz can)  62 g sugar
None of the full-sugar energy drinks provides enough of a boost to justify the hefty caloric load, but Rockstar's really takes the sugar-loaded cake. Each can is packed with 80 more calories than a can of Monster.

Drink This Instead...
Rockstar Roasted Light Vanilla
(15 oz can) 13 g sugar
This can contains about twice the amount of caffeine that your average cup of joe has, and about 200 percent of your Daily Value for most B vitamins. This means you don't need to waste the money, time, or nutrition on an additional cup of coffee or energy drink for the day.

The drink this, not that for drinks with alcohol...

For this section, it's about making an informed decision for those who choose to drink.  Here are a few tips to help those who decide to drink what would benefit them the most.

Looking for a colorful drink?  Try something like Sangria (red) which provides the health benefits of red wine and adds in fruit for additional antioxidants and vitamins.  This provides more benefits than something like a cranberry juice and vodka.

Looking for a beer?  Go for a Guinness, not just because there's leftover from the St. Patrick's Day party, but for the health benefits.  Guinness has been proven to reduce blood clots and heart disease risk. Plus, it contains antioxidants!  It provides way more bang for the health buck as compared to a lager like Yuengling.

When it comes to drinks, it's possible to find a healthier option that can benefit the body.  However, be sure not to overdue it with the number of drinks.  The health benefits of the ingredients will quickly be outweighed by the impact of the alcohol and the debilitating effects on the body.  Have fun, but use some sense and stay in the blue zone.

Some of the Drink This information taken from: http://fitbie.msn.com/drinks/drink-not


Sexual Assault Awareness Month


The Johns Hopkins Office of the Dean of Student Life and the Counseling Center are proud to promote a the new SafeLine for those affected by sexual assault or unsafe relationships. The Hopkins SafeLine went live this past Tuesday, April 2, and is staffed by professionals in the Counseling Center. The number is 410-516-7333. 

A service to know about: 
SafeRide sponsored by the Counseling Center is a program that will allow victims of sexual assault to secure a ride by Hopkins Security to Mercy Medical center and to remain anonymous. They will also be accompanied by a peer advocate. 

An event to attend:
Project Unbreakable sponsored by SARU will be on April 30th at 6pm in Mudd. - This event is a catered presentation by Grace Brown, free and open to the public. Grace created Project Unbreakable to empower survivors of sexual violence. All are welcome to join SARU in learning more about this issue and supporting survivors on campus. Learn more about Grace's project at http://projectunbreakable.tumblr.com . See more about the event at https://www.facebook.com/events/632796643413798/

A student service to know about: 
The Sexual Assault Resource Unit. SARU is a student-run group on campus that maintains a 24/7 hotline staffed by peers trained in crisis response and resource referral. Additionally, SARU promotes advocacy for survivors and works to educate peers on the issue of sexual assault. The hotline number is 410-516-7887.


SEE dances the stress away


SEE Tip: "Ditch the workout - join the party!" Zumba is for everyone and encourages people to get moving!  No dance experience necessary.  But does it work?

Yes!  A study at the University of Wisconsin confirmed that this party is a solid workout.  In fact, in an article about the study, lead researcher, Mary Luettgen had this to say about the results. “The surprising thing is that it doesn't matter what fitness level you’re at—our research shows that with Zumba everyone is working out at a zone that’s recommended for improving cardio health.  Both a fit person or a low-fitness person are going to get an equally good workout.”   So no matter your fitness level, you can benefit!

Get your week started off on the right foot and sweat tonight with SASH and PEEPs in 
Charles Commons Ballroom tonight at 9:30pm!  
Free pedometers will be given out to our participants.  
Move your body and see the steps add up!

HKB News: Speaking of exercise... exercise your right to vote this week by voting on the smoke free campus referendum through SGA elections.  Voting will be Thursday-Sunday!

Want to breathe smoke free air?  Vote for a smoke-free campus!  
Are you a current smoker and you're worried about what this will mean for you?  We will have resources to help you, as well!

Mellow Out Monday:  Stress levels got you down?  Take control by dancing it out!  Research has shown that dancing can be a great stress reliever.  So why not head to Zumba tonight at 9:30pm for a late night stress relief?  It's a good time, no judgments, no stress, just fun!

Can't make it to Charles Commons, but need a quick way to release stress.  Try a free, fast, and easy way to reduce stress-- and all you need to do is sit there.  Stop by the MSE on Q-level for a back rub from Stressbusters and feel your stress melt away.  Come by between 8-10pm for a 5 minute back rub and come out better for it.  Reduced stress levels will help you think better, sleep better, and overall feel better!