Be Heart Smart!

fheart.jpgYour heart is the core at which you exist, the center of your body’s entire universe. It is the essence of your innermost self. So with that being said, how are you making sure to take care of it?

In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. Every 60 seconds, someone dies from a heart disease-related event. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States as cardiovascular diseases obtain more lives than all forms of cancers combined. But do not fear, for it is preventable! So always remember to be Heart Smart!

With February being Heart Health Month, it’s time to rev up 2017 by making heart-healthy choices and maintaining it throughout the year! Here are a few tips to lead you in the right direction as to how to reduce putting your heart at risk.ilovemyheart

Tips to eating Heart-Healthy:

  • Be conscious of what’s on your plate.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables
  • Eat whole grains and minimize processed foods with added sugars
  • Reduce sodium
  • Include heart-healthy fats
  • Hydrate with eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day
  • Replace red meat with fish

Tips to a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle: Continue reading

Lets Talk About Sex Baby

LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX BABY 

WHAT IS SAFE SEX?

Sex can be HOT and FUN with pleasure but there are risks involved:

  • STI’s
  • Unplanned pregnancy
  • Reduced self esteem
  • Sexual violence

Safe sex involves communication with your partner. Before you have, sex talk with your partner about intimacy. Considering what you like and what you do not like is an important conversation. Discuss how you will protect yourselves.

Ask for:

  • A sexual report card (clean bill of health)
  • Get tested (you can do this right at CSUSM Hope & Wellness Center)
  • Get vaccinated (HPV)

Why is sex so hard to talk about?

  • You may be ridiculed
  • You may not be well acquainted with the person
  • You don’t want to kill the “mood”
  • You may not know how to have sex let alone use protection
  • It may be your first time
  • You may feel fear or anxiety

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Resiliency: How We Can Put Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again

Let’s think back to our childhood nursery rhyme friend Humpty Dumpty. If you need a refresher the nursery rhyme goes like this:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,

All the King’s horses and all the King’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Sometimes I can relate to Humpty. Life, regardless of want or expectation, throws some immense, life altering challenges at us. Sometimes, the challenges, conflicts, and stress can leave you feeling broken, undesirable, and even unable to see hope for your future. We want you to know there is HOPE. You can build your ability to be resilient. Not only can you bounce back from minor hassles or survive major hardships, you can also thrive!

How do you do this? Imagine if Humpty realized that instead of being an ooey gooey disposable mess, he could be transformed into a yummy, fluffy, scrambled egg. A trial turned triumphant! Broken turned resilient! You can reimagine and rebuild your state of being towards resiliency.

Current research indicates that humans have ability to be extremely resilient, and there are protective factors that allow people to build resilience. Resiliency can be taught and learned; it is not a fixed trait.

Our desire is to help you boost your resiliency in order to not only survive college, but thrive! We don’t want anyone to be stuck in a Humpty Dumpty mindset.

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Out With the Bad, In With the Good

Did you know there is good and bad stress? Good stress or, eustress, is a mild kind of stress that helps motivate us to complete given tasks and goals. This “good” stress will excite, invigorate, and motivate you. There is a sense of accomplishment and an ability to relax after the task has been completed. This eustress is actually good for the body. The small amount of good stress that pushes you to finish that essay and the period of relaxation and accomplishment felt afterward are good.

So what does it mean to have bad stress? Bad stress, also known as distress, is the type of stress can be debilitating. It is when you are feeling so overwhelmed that your body does not have time to feel accomplished, invigorated, or excited. It is important to know the signs of distress in order to try to decide how to best cope as an individual.

Possible Signs of Distress

Emotional– Depression (general unhappiness), low self-esteem, lonely, worthless, overwhelmed, out of control, frequent crying spells, moodiness, apathy, irritable, short tempered, agitated, inability to relax.

Cognitive– inability to concentrate, seeing only the negative, anxious or “racing” thoughts, difficulty with decision-making, trouble learning new information, constant worrying, nightmares, guilt, poor judgment, forgetfulness, disorganized.

Physical– nervousness, shaking, weakness, fatigue, twitching, aches, pains, diarrhea or constipation, nausea, dizziness, light-headed, hair loss, acne, rashes, numbness, hot/cold waves, low energy, headaches, insomnia, heartburn, panic attacks, difficulty breathing, clenched jaw and grinding teeth, cold sweaty hands/feet, dry mouth, weight gain/loss without diet change. Continue reading

Gobble Up Gratitude

gratitude_keep_calmTypically, November kicks off the season of many thanks and celebrations. However, this year we want to shake things up a bit. Rather than just a season, we want to make gratitude a daily lifestyle habit.

Why should a college student make gratitude part of their busy daily routine? By celebrating what we already have we increase our happiness, health, and ability to cope with life’s challenges, all of which increase our academic abilities. Here are several other ways gratitude benefits you:

Emotional-More Positive Feelings, More Relaxed, More Resilient, Happier Memories, Less Envious Continue reading

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall…Where’s the Truth Behind it All?

apple_image_eating_disorders

There are many misconceptions about eating disorders and the people who struggle with them. Student Health and Counseling Services will host a special event with authors Nikki Dubose, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light and Shannon Kopp, Pound for Pound, to dispel some of the myths surrounding eating disorders. Join us as we hear their personal stories and begin the conversation on how to thrive through eating disorders and love yourself!

Lunch and Learn and Exclusive Book Signing

Date: Thursday, October 27th

Time: 11:30am-1:00pm

Location: Dome Terrace

Please RSVP to cberry@csusm.edu

*Individuals with disabilities please contact Cheryl Berry, at least seven days prior to the event with special needs request.

Until our Lunch and Learn and Exclusive Book Signing, here are some truths to help start the conversation on eating disorders.

Truth 1: Eating disorders do not discriminate between age, gender, race, class, or sexual orientation.

Truth 2: Eating disorders are not a choice; they are a mental disorder, which require help from a health professional.

Truth 3: You can’t tell by someone’s size whether they have an eating disorder.

Truth 4: Eating disorders come in many forms. Learn the most common signs:

  • Constant thoughts about food, weight, calories, body image, or exercise
  • Obsessed with weight and weighs self frequently
  • Severely restricting the consumption of food
  • Avoiding eating with friends and family
  • Eating as a response to emotions (e.g. stress, anxiety)

Think you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder?

Your next step is to reach out and get help from CSUSM Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS). Please contact our offices for more information and make an appointment at 760-750-4915, or email shcs@csusm.edu.

Written By: Charity Marino (CSUSM Alum 2014) Graduate Student Intern

Be-Aware: Monthly Breast Self-Exam Will Save Your Life

breast_cancer_awareness_lgOctober is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Most people have an unrealistic assumption that they will not be exposed to any serious diseases or disorders in their lifetime. Maybe some might think it’s a plot twist in a movie or a dramatic television show. It’s not a plot twist. It’s reality.

United States statistics:

  • 1 in 8 women each year is diagnosed with breast cancer
  • 1 in 1000 men each year is diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Each year, 246,660 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 die
  • Every 2 minutes, 1 woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, and 1 woman dies from it every 13 minutes.
  • There are currently more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors still alive in the United States.

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Depression: What next?

“Anxiety is the cousin visiting out of town that depression felt obligated to bring to the party. Mom, I am the party, only I am a party I don’t want to be at.” –(Button Poetry) Sabrina Benaim.

Depression is a word full of stigma and taboo, that our society often pushes aside and tries to avoid. Now, what exactly does the word depression mean to you? To many it’s a word used as a simple temporary emotion. Reality, depression is defined as a serious mental health condition in which a person feels very hopeless, unimportant and sad. Those affected by it are often unable to live in a normal way, and it typically occurs for prolonged periods of time.

quote-depression-chemistryAn estimate of 25 million individuals in the United States suffer from major depression. According Nami, National Alliance on Mental Illnesses, “Women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression, and young adults aged 18–25 are 60% more likely to have depression than people aged 50 or older.” http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression

Being affected by depression makes it difficult to feel motivated to try to push yourself to feel better. Overcoming depression isn’t easy, it takes a lot of time and patience with oneself. You can’t just will yourself or others to simply “snap out of it,” or “get over it” chances are it won’t help them or you. However, there are many options and abilities to govern depression better than you realize—even if it’s severe or very persistent. Feeling better takes time, but can be achieved if you make positive choices for yourself or others each day. It’s important to start small by:

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