Monday, September 1, 2014

Party Hosting 101

Party Hosting 101
Ever been at one of those parties that is COMPLETELY out of control... and not in a good way? To avoid the "good party gone bad" scenario this Fall semester, be sure to consult your:
Safe Party Hosting Checklist
Greet all guests at the door. Unwanted party crashers often cause the drama.
Make sure everyone who needs it has a way to get home, and if they drink, a designated driver.
Limit the actual time of the party to 3 or 4 hours.
Get plenty of non-alcoholic drinks.
Get plenty of food that will last throughout the night.
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Stay on top of potential problems - or problem people.
Don't use huge cups for alcoholic drinks. Use regular-sized cups instead.
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Plan fun activities that don't involve alcohol.



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Remember: It's illegal to serve or provide alcohol to any guests under age 21. Be sure to check the Social Host Laws for your state.

Information from EverFi

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Trust in Love Guest Post from Just One Thing by Rick Hanson

Do you believe in love?
The Practice 
Trust in love. 

Why?

Take a breath right now, and notice how abundant the air is, full of life-giving oxygen offered freely by trees and other green growing things. You can't see air, but it's always available for you.
Love is a lot like the air. It may be hard to see - but it's in you and all around you.
In the press of life - dealing with hassles in personal relationships and bombarded with news of war and other conflicts - it's easy to lose sight of love, and feel you can't place your faith in it. But in fact, to summarize a comment from Ghandi, daily life is saturated with moments of cooperation and generosity - between complete strangers! Let alone with one's friends and family.
Love is woven into your day because it's woven into your DNA: as our ancestors evolved over the last several million years, many scientists believe that love, broadly defined, has been the primary driving force behind the evolution of the brain. Bands of early humans that were particularly good at understanding and caring for each other out-competed less cooperative and loving bands, and thereby passed on the genes of empathy, bonding, friendship, altruism, romance, compassion, and kindness - the genes, in a word, of love.

Nonetheless, even though the resting state of your brain - its "home base" when you are not stressed, in pain, or feeling threatened - is grounded in love, it's all too easy to be driven from home by something as small as a critical comment in a business meeting or a frown across a dinner table. Then we go off to a kind of inner homelessness, exiled for a time from our natural abode, caught up in the fear or anger that makes love seem like a mostly-forgotten dream. After a while, this can become the new normal, so we call homelessness home - like becoming habituated to breathing shallowly and forgetting the richness of air that would be available if we would only breathe deeply.
So we need to come home to love. To recognize and have confidence in the love in your own heart - which will energize and protect you, even when you must also be assertive with others. To see and have faith in the love in others - even when it is veiled or it comes out in problematic ways. To trust in love that's as present as air, to trust in loving that's as natural as breathing.


How? 

Take a breath. Notice how available air is, how you can trust in it. Notice the feeling of being able to rely on the air.

Bring to mind someone who loves you. Feel the fact of this love - even if it is, to paraphrase John Welwood, a perfect love flowing through an imperfect person. Can you feel your breath and body relaxing, as you trust in this person's love for you? Can you feel your thoughts calming, your mood improving, and your heart opening to others? Let it sink in, that trusting in love feels good and refuels you. Then if you like, do this same reflection with other people who love you.

Bring to mind someone you love. Feel the reality of your love; know that you are loving. As in the paragraph just above, absorb the benefits of recognizing and trusting in your love. Try this with others whom you love.

Scan back over your life and notice some of the many times when there was love in your heart - expressed one way or another, including generosity, kindness, patience, teamwork, self-restraint, affection, and caring. Appreciate as well that there have been many times when you wanted to love, were looking for someone or something to love (friends and good causes, too, not just romantic partners), or longed for more love in your life. These are facts, and you can trust in them - trusting in the lovingness of your heart.

In situations, open to your own lovingness. Privately ask yourself questions like: As a loving person, what is important to me here? Trusting in love, what seems right to do?Remember that you can be strong - and if need be, create consequences for others - while staying centered in love or one of its many expressions (e.g., empathy, fair play, goodwill). What happens when you assert yourself from a loving place?

Tune into the lovingness in others, no matter how obscured by their own homelessness, their own fear or anger - like seeing a distant campfire through the trees. Sense the longing in people to be at peace in their relationships, and to give and get love. What happens in a challenging relationship when you stay in touch with this lovingness inside the other person? Notice that you can both feel the lovingness in others and be tough as nails about your own rights and needs.

Don't sentimentalize love or be na├»ve about it. Trusting in love does not mean assuming that someone will love you. It means confidence in the fundamentally loving nature of every person, and in the wholesome power of your own lovingness to protect you and touch the heart of others. It means coming home - home by the hearth of love.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Environment and Health

Did you know that your environment, like your home or workplace, can influence eating and exercise decisions? Think about it: homemade cookies in the break room, weather that never seems to cooperate, or persuasive food packaging can influence our choices without us even noticing. It can be difficult to make good decisions because of where we are, who we are with, and what is going on in our lives. Fortunately, being aware can help us make better choices.
This week, pay attention to your environment. How many times does your environment influence your decisions?
If you haven’t already tracked today, be sure to log in at healthpartners.com/wellbeing and start working toward the “me” you want to be.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bon Voyage!

Going to college is an exciting time in a young person’s life. It’s the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. College is a great time for new experiences, both inside and outside the classroom. Here are a few pointers for college students on staying safe and healthy.
  1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle starting with diet and exercise. In 2007-2010, 23% of young adults ages 18-24 were obese. The amount of food you need to eat from each food group depends on your age, sex, and level of physical activity. Follow an eating plan with correct portions of the basic food groups. Also be aware that beverages may be adding extra calories. Adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of exercise each week.
  2. Sexual assault is a particular problem on college campuses. One in five women have been sexually assaulted while in college and 80 % of female victims experience their first rape before the age of 25. Students should know their rights, and seek help immediately if they or someone they know is the victim of violence.
  3. Sexually transmitted infections can be prevented. They are also treatable, and many are curable. Half of all new sexually transmitted diseases occur among young people aged 15 to 24 years. College students and others who are sexually active should get tested to know their status and protect themselves and their sexual partners. Abstinence, not having sex, is the most reliable way to avoid infection.
  1. Binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks for women or five or more drinks for men over a short period of time. About 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinks. Binge drinking is a factor that increases your chances for risky sexual behavior, unintended pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, car crashes, violence, and alcohol poisoning.  Get the facts about alcohol use and health and learn what you can do to prevent binge drinking.
  2. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and causes many diseases like cancer, and heart and respiratory diseases. In 2012, 17.3% of adults ages 18-24 were cigarette smokers. Encourage college students to quit smoking, and avoid starting during these important years. Hear tips from former smokers.  
  3. Managing stress and maintaining good balance is important for college students. A few ways to manage stress are to get enough sleep, avoid drugs and alcohol, connect socially, and seek help from a medical or mental health professional, including if depressed or experiencing distress. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among persons aged 15 to 24 years. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
If you or a friend is struggling with a health or safety problem, you can:
  • Talk to someone you trust for support.
  • Visit your college health center or local clinic or hospital.
  • Contact the campus or community police if your or someone else’s safety is threatened.
  • Content source: 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Yum Power with Health Partners


Help yourself

Use these great resources from HealthPartners to get on the right track


Friday, August 15, 2014

Gratitude Friday

Wordle: Gratitude
The Practice of Gratitude
As the new academic year begins, what habits are we going to continue, break or begin?  I hope one that you will begin (or continue) is the practice of gratitude.  Psychologists have found gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more emotions, specifically more positive emotions, enjoy positive experiences, increase their health, process and deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Gratitude can be felt and expressed in many ways. You can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude). Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone's gratitude, it's a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further.
Taking time each day to not only think about the things you are grateful for but why you are grateful for them and what your life would be like if you did not have these things in your life can directly affect your perception of life. 
 On Gratitude Friday take the time to be grateful, there are many ways you can do this. You can start a Gratitude Journal, write a thank you note to someone, thank someone in person, count your blessings, pray or meditate.  

Or you can do what I did and create a Gratitude wordle by visiting http://www.wordle.net/  if it is your goal to include more gratitude in your life watch the Stewardship in Seconds Webinar Motivation and Goal Setting and fill out the SMART goal setting worksheet with the goal to include gratitude practice into your daily life.

How are you going to show gratitude today? Post your method in the comment section!

Resources:
Grant AM, et al. "A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way: Explaining Why Gratitude Expressions Motivate Prosocial Behavior," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (June 2010): Vol. 98, No. 6, pp. 946–55.

Lambert NM, et al. "Expressing Gratitude to a Partner Leads to More Relationship Maintenance Behavior,"Emotion (Feb. 2011): Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 52–60.

Sansone RA, et al. "Gratitude and Well Being: The Benefits of Appreciation," Psychiatry (Nov. 2010): Vol. 7, No. 11, pp. 18–22.

Seligman MEP, et al. "Empirical Validation of Interventions," American Psychologist (July–Aug. 2005): Vol. 60, No. 1, pp. 410–21.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What we can learn from tradegy


Robin Williams was a comedian and actor who rose to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork & Mindy, Williams went on to establish a successful career in both films and stand up comedy.  Some of his most memorable movies include, Goodwill Hunting, Dead Poets Society and a favorite of mine when I was a child, Mrs. Doubtfire.  According to a report by CNN, Robin Williams -- who first made America laugh and eventually touched "every element of the human spirit" in a remarkable range of performances -- died at his Northern California home Monday.  Williams apparently took his own life, law enforcement officials said. He was 63.  "He has been battling severe depression of late," his media representative Mara Buxbaum told CNN. "This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time."  Coroner investigators suspect "the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia," according to a statement from the Marin County, California, Sheriff's Office.
With the news of his death it is a reminder that depression affect many Americans. Below is an inforgraphic containing information about depression ( you may need to use the scoll option to view the entire graphic or visit http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/statistics-infographic )
There are many resources available to those experiencing the symptoms of depression such as
  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness or unhappiness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities, such as sex
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so that even small tasks take extra effort
  • Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness — for example, excessive worrying, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that are not your responsibility
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
For some people, depression symptoms are so severe that it's obvious something isn't right. Other people feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.
There are also resources for those who have friends or family member experiencing the symptoms of depression.  If you are a CSS employee you can utilize the EAP program.  With the EAP program you can receive three free sessions with qualified professionals on a variety of topics. For more information you can visit the Employee tab on COR , click on the red "Links" button, and click on Employee Assistance Program.  
 If you are a CSS student you can visit Student Health Services or the Counseling Center for free. For more information about these services you can visit the Support Service tab in COR.  
If you have any additional questions please contact Julie Zaruba Fountaine , jzarubafounta@css.edu