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.


Can we really trust the free condoms?

Something we hear at least once a month is, "Don't the free condoms from CHEW/the health center break more easily than other condoms?"

The short answer: No. They work equally as well as other brand name condoms.

The longer answer:  The free condoms, typically Lifestyles for our campus, are tested rigorously to make sure they do not break, tear, or fail.  If they are used correctly, they are just as effective as the condoms you can choose to pay for.  Of course, you have that option, as well:  JHU Condom Sense.

So why are we giving out free condoms?  I mean, free giveaways usually aren't really free... you usually have to do something, right?  Well, in this case, no.  All we ask is that people use these freebies to have safer sex when they might not have otherwise.  It's a lot better for our community as a whole when people are being safer by reducing their risks for HIV, STI/STDs, and unplanned pregnancies.

One thing to look out for are condoms marked as "novelty" or "for entertainment purposes".  All condoms used for safer sex purposes should be cleared by the FDA to prevent STDs and unplanned pregnancy so that bacon flavored condom might not cut it.... but check the packaging to be sure.

If you have had trouble in the past with free condoms, you may want to make sure you have the proper fit, amount of lubricant (more is usually better), and that you are generally putting them on correctly.  For instructions on how to put a condom on, check out the video below.


SEE for Yourself: Sleep More, Stress Less


SEE Tip:  Is stress keeping you from getting a good night's sleep?  Are you kept awake by the mounting number of to do items on your planner, the big exam you have in two days, or a fight you had with a good friend?  You are not alone.  The stress of the day is linked with a lack of sleep in many individuals.  Furthermore, continued restless nights add to the stress by piling on more issues for the next day.  When a person does not get a full night's rest, s/he is more likely to suffer from a lack of focus and energy leading to more mistakes.... and more stress.  What an awful cycle!

The lack of sleep can mess with more than tomorrow's exam result.  Aside from adding on more stress, sleep deprivation and sleep restriction have been linked with obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and immune functioning issues.

But don't lose sleep over this!  Practice some stress relieving strategies to feel better during the day, and ease you into a peaceful sleep at night.  Things like organizing your notes before bed, making a to do list, practicing yoga or meditation, or even listening to relaxing music can help to soothe some stress.

You can also stop by the RELAX! Party sponsored by FSI and CHEW where there will be free massages from Stressbusters, Tea Time, a cozy corner, and make your own sleep sachets!  Lots of opportunities to improve your sleep for the night ahead.  Come to Levering's Sherwood Room (near the cafe) from 11-1!

HKB Tip: A survey from the American Lung Association found that 6 out of 10 former smokers were not able to quit successfully on their first quit attempt.  If you or a friend has tried once before, but had trouble staying quit use this Thursday's national Quit Day known as the "Great American SmokeOut" to provide some incentive. On this day, hundreds of other current smokers will be quitting the habit.  You are not alone with your plans to quit the addiction to tobacco, and there is support like 1-800 QUIT NOW which provides a quit coach and a supply of nicotine replacement products, as well!  You can do this!

And join Hopkins Kicks Butts and the O'Connor Recreation Center this Thursday from 5:30pm-6:45 for a FREE (no class card required) KICK the Habit Kickboxing and Zumba fusion fitness class.  There will be free t-shirts for raffle winners!!

Mellow Out Monday Win:  You have two chances to mellow out with Stressbusters today!

RELAX! Party sponsored by FSI and CHEW, Sherwood (Levering), 11am-1pm
Free massages from Stressbusters, Tea Time, a cozy corner, and make your own sleep sachets, and more!

Mellow Out Monday, MSE on Q level, 8pm-10pm

Free backrubs!! Why say anything but YES?! :)


SEE for Yourself: Exercise the body and the brain!


SEE Tip from PEEPs: Combat stress with exercise and other healthy behaviors

What exactly is stress?
Stress is a response to a demand that’s been placed upon you, whether it’s related to school, work, relationships, or anything else going in your life. It can certainly help you accomplish tasks and meet challenges, but when stress doesn't subside, it can harm you both physically and mentally.

How can you relieve stress?
There are many ways to manage stress!  Here are some suggestions:

Healthy diet: Make sure you’re eating well and getting all the nutrients you need. Eating junk food may help you feel better temporarily, but healthy foods are better for your body and will keep you happier in the long run.

Exercise: Engaging in physical activity can be an immediate stress reliever and help you manage stress in the long run too. Try to aim for 30 minutes a day, but if you can’t get to the gym or go outside, even a few minutes of exercises like lunges, crunches, and push-ups will help you feel more relaxed.

Sleep: Try to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep a day. In order to be at your best, you need to get adequate amounts of sleep. Even a quick nap during the day can help you feel more rested and better able to concentrate.

Socializing: Having healthy relationships is key to helping with stress. Try to make time to hang out with friends or talk on the phone with family members. They can help take your mind off of whatever is stressing you out, or they are there to listen if you need to talk about it.

Relaxation techniques: Last but not least, there are tried and true methods to manage stress. These include meditation, deep breathing, and visualization. This website explains how to do each of the techniques: https://www.uhs.uga.edu/stress/relax.html. You’ll be surprised at how even doing them once a day makes you feel more relaxed!

HKB Quit Tip: The Great American SmokeOut is approaching on November 20th.  If you're a current smoker, join the nation and make next Thursday your quit day for tobacco products.  You can do it!  If you are interested in support for quitting, call 1-800-QUIT NOW for one on one assistance and access to nicotine replacements like the patch or the gum to help fight any intense cravings.  You can KICK the habit!

Join Hopkins Kicks Butts and the Recreation Center on Thursday, November 20th at 5:30pm for a Kickboxing and Zumba fusion workout in honor of the Great American SmokeOut!  Come KICK the habit with us, and win a free HKB shirt!

Mellow Out Monday: Some days the stress we feel can be overwhelming and leave us feeling like we don't know what to do about it.  Try to be prepared for these kind of days (we all have them) and have a list of things you like to do to reduce your stress ready for you to choose from.  One thing that is on most people's lists of stress relievers is exercise, but try and be specific.  Maybe it's zoning out with a new playlist on the treadmill, or meeting up with a friend who you can vent to while you go for a walk around campus.  Find options that work for you, and then have the list ready for those moments when you need it.

Another thing on  your list can always be Stressbusters!  If you're feeling stressed, be sure to stop by Q level in the MSE for a FREE backrub from Stressbusters from 8-10pm tonight.


SEE a healthy snack portion


SEE Tip: Do you struggle with mid-afternoon hunger, but you're stuck in class without options? Avoid this common dilemma with easy to grab and go snacks like an apple, string cheese stick, or a serving of your favorite pretzels. Have trouble with sticking to the actual portion size? Try measuring out the serving size for your desired snack and then using a clip to close the bag or portion out all the servings ahead of time if you have the space and storage abilities.

Stop by the breezeway from 11:30-1:30 today for a chance to win a chip clip for a healthy portion helper!

Don't forget! Tonight at 8pm is your chance for a free back rub from Stressbusters!! Stop by the MSE on Q level for your moment of relaxation today.