Reflecting on Gratitude

Many of us associate the idea of gratitude with a simple “thank you” to someone who has helped or given to us. However, gratitude can be much more than a typical two-word response. Gratitude is understood as a positive emotion that serves a greater purpose. It is a profound appreciation that has the ability to produce lasting positivity.

Harvard Medical School offers a helpful definition of gratitude:

“A thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives … As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to other people, nature, or a higher power”

Gratitude works because it is selfless. Gratuitous acts are done to show appreciation for others and that appreciate is often returned. Simply put, gratitude is contagious. Gratitude can positively impact interpersonal relationships, spiritual well-being, and mental health.

Tips to apply or deepen your gratitude practice:

  1. Spice up your appreciation by trying to find new things you’re thankful for each day.

    1. Create a gratitude game that encourages you to be on “high alert” for things you are thankful for.

    2. Keep a gratitude journal that provides space for meaningful reflection

  2. Get realistic about your personal gratitude practice. Interact with gratitude in a way that feel true to who you are.

  3. Include others in your gratitude practice by vocally expressing your gratitude or writing a personal note of appreciation.

  4. Commit to your gratitude practice. Put an effort, big or small, into your practice each day.

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Being on a college campus can increase your chances of getting sick during this cold and flu season. Flu strikes suddenly and can last several days. One big way to protect yourself is by getting the flu shot. To clear up a common myth, the flu shot CANNOT cause the flu because there is no live virus in the vaccine!

Why get the flu shot:

• It can keep you from getting the flu

• It can make the flu less severe if you do get it

• It can help you from spreading the flu to your friends


Flu prevention tips:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water

• Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available

• Avoid close contact with sick people

• Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze. This helps to contain your secretions without contaminating your hands.

• Use a tissue over your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough and dispose of dirty tissues immediately

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth since germs spread this way

• Do not share drinks or eating utensils with anyone

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces that may be contaminated with germs like the flu, such as doorknobs, keyboards, and phones

• Exercise daily

• Get an adequate amount of sleep/rest

• Eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids


Flu shot fair at Student Health:

Walgreen’s Pharmacy will be providing flu shots at Student Health Services to all current Loyola students, faculty and staff on:

• Wednesday, October 4, 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

• Thursday, October 5, 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

• Wednesday, October 11, 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

• Thursday, October 12, 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

No appointment necessary. Walk-ins welcome!

Please bring your insurance card with you to receive the flu shot.

You MUST present your insurance card to receive the flu shot.

For more information on the flu, please visit You can also visit or call Student Health Services at 504-865-3326 for more information. We are located in the basement of the Danna Center, just below the Orleans Room.


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One night in 1975, a group of Philadelphia women took to the streets. Lit by candles they marched through their neighborhoods. They were responding to statements made by Philadelphia Police stating that if women wanted to stay safe at night, and avoid gender-based violence, they would just “stay home.”
Angered and hurt by this statement these women decided to “take back the night,” showing support to their fellow women who were survivors of gender-based violence and resistance to the authorities who did not place their safety first.
New Orleans Take Back the Night has been held in the Loyola University ‘horseshoe” for 26 years. Together with Tulane University, Dillard University, University of New Orleans, Holy Cross University and other community partners, we gather, reflect and support not only women but ALL PEOPLE who are affected by sexual, physical and other violence.
If you would like to get involved and participate in Taking Back the Night please join us at our planning meetings! The next planning meeting is scheduled for September 28, 2017, at 5:30 pm at Dillard University’s library. Come plan, support, resist, and Take Back the Night.

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We have a visitor on campus, and throughout the city, that greets us every fall and it’s called the Puss Moth Caterpillar.  It is considered one of the most toxic caterpillars in North America.  These caterpillars are teardrop-shaped with long silky hair.  When the hairs are touched, they break off and remain in the skin releasing venom.  Intense throbbing pain develops within five minutes and the pain extends up the affected extremity.  On the skin, the appearance of blood colored spots appears at the site of the sting.  Other symptoms may include headache, nausea, vomiting, intense abdominal distress, and swollen lymph nodes.

If you are stung by one of these caterpillars, please seek attention immediately.  If this incident occurs during Loyola’s Student Health Services operating hours of Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:45pm, please visit the Student Health clinic located in the basement of the Danna Center, directly below the Orleans Room.  If it’s after hours or on a weekend, the treatment guidelines are as follows:

  1.  Use adhesive tape to remove spines that remain on the skin
  2.  Wash the area with soap and water
  3.  Apply ice pack and baking soda to reduce pain and swelling
  4.  Take over the counter pain medication such as Advil, Tylenol, etc to reduce pain
  5.  Take over the counter antihistamines such as Benadryl, Zyrtec, etc to relieve itching
  6. Call Student Health on the next business day to check-in with us and let us know how you are doing at 504.865.3326

If the pain becomes too severe or if you are having difficulty breathing please go to the nearest emergency department.

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Worldwide Suicide Prevention Week is September 10-16, 2017. It is a week to affirm our commitment to helping ourselves and others and to acknowledge that we sometimes struggle and that reaching out isn’t weak: it’s strong.

How do you help someone who’s suicidal?

A suicidal person may not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean that help isn’t wanted. Most suicidal people are ambivalent – they don’t want to die – they just want to stop hurting.

Here are some “Don’ts” that apply to anyone who might be suicidal:

• Do not leave him/her alone or let him/her go off alone

• Do not be judgmental

• Do not argue, debate, analyze, or moralize

• Do not try to cheer him/her up

• Do not try to shock or challenge (i.e., say “Oh, go ahead and do it if you want to!”)

• Do not accept “I’m okay now.” (Nobody recovers immediately from suicidality.)

• Do not be sworn to secrecy

• Do not feel like you have to manage this alone: get help from the University Counseling Center, Resident Ministers, or other resources on campus.


Here are some “Do’s”:

• Ask if he/she is thinking about suicide

“Are you thinking about killing yourself?”

“Do you think you might try to hurt yourself today?”

“Have you thought of ways that you might hurt yourself?”

“Do you have pills/weapons in your room?”

• Take the intent or threat very seriously

• Listen

• Show that you care and say it


If you see any of these warning signs, there is IMMEDIATE, APPARENT DANGER:

• Weapons, pills or other means visible or talked about (“I know where my dad keeps his gun.”)

• The person has a clear plan (“I’m going to get in my car tomorrow and drive off of the Causeway.”)

• The person voices intent (“I want to end my life, and I’m going to kill myself.”)

If there is no apparent immediate danger (and no lethal means in view):

• Tell her/him that help is available and you can see that he/she gets it.

• Call the UCC and speak with the counselor on-call: 504-865-3835 (press 1)

If there is apparent immediate danger – ACT:

• Say that you are getting help

• Call LUPD at (504) 865-3434 and tell them “I’m with someone who is suicidal.” They will help you get emergency services.

Remember: You cannot predict death by suicide, but you can identify people who are at increased risk for suicidal behavior, take precautions, and refer them for effective treatment.



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Remember the old Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons?

Wiley E. Coyote tried forever to catch the Roadrunner. Despite his best efforts and all his ingenuity, he never caught the Roadrunner, and in fact often ended up harming himself. Recently I came across Chuck Jones’ rules for the series. They are a great metaphor for anxiety management:

1. The Road Runner cannot harm the Coyote except by going “meep, meep.”

Your anxiety cannot harm you beyond influencing your thoughts and feelings. When you are having a panic attack, it might feel like you are going to die, but it’s not true. Remind yourself that your anxiety can only “meep, meep” at you—annoying, but not life-threatening.

2. No outside force can harm the Coyote — only his own ineptitude or the failure of Acme products. Trains and trucks were the exception from time to time.

Focus on your own self-efficacy and ability to manage your anxious feelings. Struggle with social anxiety? It’s unlikely that everyone is staring at you, but feeling like that’s true can cause you to be self-conscious and awkward. Tell yourself “No outside force can harm me—If I manage my anxiety, I will be okay.”

 3. The Coyote could stop anytime — if he were not a fanatic.

Examine your own commitment to your anxiety. Give yourself permission to stop feeling anxious. Instead of thinking “I am an anxious person,” try thinking “I’ve been anxious in the past, but I’m working towards changing that.”

 4. No dialogue ever, except “meep, meep” and yowling in pain.

Ever get trapped in the loop of anxious thoughts and feelings of panic? When our dialogue is restricted to “This bad thing is going to happen,” and “OMG, that is painful and terrifying,” it’s hard to get any movement on anxiety. Allow other thoughts and feelings to enter this dialogue: “I can do this, it’s going to be okay,” and you start to have a choice other than yowling in pain.

5. The Road Runner must stay on the road — for no other reason than that he’s a roadrunner.

Deal with one worry at a time, and notice boundaries. Anxiety becomes overwhelming when we are thinking of all the things that could go wrong at once. Recognize that you have the ability to keep your anxiety restricted to one area at a time, and to prevent your anxiety from one thing from spilling over into something else.

 6. All action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters — the southwest American desert.

Notice what environmental stressors make your anxiety worse—are you always nervous in class? Or when you are at a party? Brainstorm ways to change your thoughts and feelings about this environment to reduce anxiety. For example, if you are always stressed in the classroom, but never stressed on the baseball diamond, bring those same feelings of relaxation into the classroom!

 7. All tools, weapons, or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the Acme Corporation.

Figure out the core negative thought related to your anxiety, and reject thoughts associated with this thought. Everything from Acme is doomed to fail. Thoughts that tie into the idea “I’m worthless,” will always make you more anxious. Give yourself permission to reject these thoughts and find more helpful cognitions.

8. Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote’s greatest enemy.

Depression and anxiety go hand and hand. Your depressed feelings and thoughts can make you anxious, and vice versa. The good news is that interventions that work for anxiety can also work for depression.

9. The Coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures.

Yes, it is embarrassing when you fall and trip in front of a room full of people, but it is not deadly. A moment’s embarrassment isn’t a big deal, but hiding in your room because that moment feels too painful can be. Remind yourself that your anxiety can’t harm you if you experience it and let it pass.

 10. The audience’s sympathy must remain with the Coyote.

Be kind to yourself! When you trip and fall, most people are thinking “Oh no! Is he okay?” as opposed to “Look at that idiot!” And the people who are thinking that are being jerks anyway! Be your own best friend.

 11. The Coyote is not allowed to catch or eat the Road Runner.

It’s unrealistic to expect to live a life without any anxious moments, but you can learn to manage your anxiety. You may not be able to stop feeling anxious, but you can reduce the “meep meep” to a minor irritation instead of becoming debilitated.


Want to learn strategies to manage your anxiety? Come to the UCC’s free Anxiety Management Workshops. Thursdays, 12:30 pm-1:30pm, at the Student Success Center (MA 112). The workshops focus on skill-building as opposed to self-disclosure and no preregistration is necessary. For more info, go to, or e-mail


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Bienvenue!  Welcome to the 2017-2018 Care for the Pack blog.  It is my pleasure to introduce to you a new academic year of the blog spot for the Loyola University New Orleans University Counseling Center (UCC) and Student Health Services (SHS).  Here you will find resources, news, reflections, links, and event information to promote your physical and mental well-being.  You will hear from psychologists, counselors, social workers, students, office managers, nurses, and nurse practitioners and we will cover a variety of topics including stress management, eating disorder awareness, sexual assault awareness, substance abuse prevention, suicide awareness, and managing allergies in New Orleans, just to name a few.

Before I share highlights of our departments, I want to extend our deepest sympathies to students who are from Texas or who may have family or loved ones affected by the catastrophic rains, rising rivers, and dangerous floodwaters caused by Hurricane Harvey.  If you need at any point to talk with someone, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at the UCC.  We are here to help 24/7 and can connect you to resources beyond our services, if needed.

In case you didn’t already know, both the University Counseling Center (UCC) and Student Health Services (SHS) are located in the Danna Center.  The UCC is located directly above the Orleans Room and SHS is located directly below the Orleans Room.  Office hours for both clinics are Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:45pm and services are free to all enrolled students.  Please call for an appointment in either department.  The UCC can be reached at 504.865.3835 and the SHS can be reached at 504.865.3326.

UCC highlights:

  • Individual, couples and group counseling
  • Anxiety management workshops
  • Medication management
  • Daily walk-in triage and crisis appointments
  • ADHD testing

SHS highlights:

  • Urgent care clinic on campus
  • Well woman exams
  • Lab work
  • Referrals to area specialists and dentists
  • Orthopedic services

Counseling is available 24/7 by contacting the UCC counselor-on-call.  During business hours, call 504. 865.3835 to schedule an appointment and/or to request to speak with the counselor on-call. After hours and on weekends, call 504.865.3835 and press 1 at the voicemail prompt to be immediately connected to a trained and licensed mental health professional.  Student Health Services does not carry after-hours coverage but an ambulance can be requested by calling LUPD at 504.865.3434 for on-campus medical emergencies.  For non-emergency care, Ochsner On-call is a 24/7 free nurse care line that can be reached at 1.800.231.5257.

Thanks for taking the time to stop in for a preview of our Care for the Pack blog.  We look forward to sharing information with you for a healthy and happy academic year!

Take care,

Dr. Bourque





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At some point in your academic career, you are likely to experience test anxiety. Below are some tips for reducing feelings of panic and anxiety and improving your testing performance:

Dealing with the Fear Response:
It’s normal to connect a feeling of fear with an event. To deal with your fear, sometimes it helps to practice being in the testing situation.

  1. Practice your relaxed breathing.
  2. Make a list of three events that cause fear when you are taking a test and then rank these events from what causes the most fear down to what causes the least fear.
  3. Practice relaxed breathing.
  4. Imagine event #3. If you feel fearful, turn off the mental picture and go back to breathing.
  5. Once you’ve successfully pictured Event #3 without panic, move on to the next item.

By repeatedly putting yourself in the testing position and experiencing a comfortable feeling, you are desensitizing yourself to those bad feelings.

10 Test Taking Tips

General :

  • Mark and return to more difficult questions. Don’t waste time and increase your anxiety.
  • Allow more time for questions worth more points
  • Break down difficult questions into manageable parts and rephrase them in your own words.

Multiple Choice:

  • Beware of absolute terms (e.g., always, never, every).
  • Eliminate obviously wrong choices, then eliminate implausible or unlikely choices


  • Start with the easiest question. Be sure to get those points.
  • Briefly outline the major points you want to discuss before writing your essay.
  • Use facts and specific examples to support your answers.


  • Try substituting one of the middle range responses for the unknown in the problem.
  • Simple numbers can sometimes be substituted for more complex ones to give an indication of a “ballpark” answer
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As the end of the semester grows closer, you may find yourself daydreaming of summer vacation, nights out with friends and day trips to the beach. Maybe you have a new, exciting job to look forward to, or perhaps you are returning home to spend time with your family.  Whatever your summer plans, it is an exciting time of year. Yet, the only thing standing between you and break… are finals. Having strong motivation and focus is key to finish the spring semester strong!  But, how are you expected to take tests, stayed motivated and write papers when it is festival season in New Orleans and there are crawfish boils at the fly?!  Keep reading for some tip and tricks to help you perform at your best during the last the few weeks of spring semester 2017!

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1. What’s your perfect storm?

Understand your stressors! If you know that cramming for a big exam makes you extremely nervous, utilize time effectively! Studying for shorter amounts of time over a longer period could help improve your studying and focus.


2. Where you at?

   Create the ultimate study space! If you feel distracted in you room, study in the library! If you feel that you cannot get work done in a group, book a private study room! Wit or without music, creating a comfortable environment will give you optimum results.


3. Workshops!!!

   The UCC is offering a few free workshops to aid the Loyno community in dealing with the stress of finals, test anxiety, motivation, and focus! Drop by Marquette 112 on the following days to get some good advice, take a break and recharge during finals!

 Thursday, April 20th  12:30-1:30

       ~Improving Focus and Motivation!

   Tuesday, April  25th  12:30-1:30

   Thursday, April 27th  12:30-1:30

       ~Test Anxiety Drop-Ins!

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Allergies can present anytime in a person’s life, especially for people who are new to our great city. Many people first experience seasonal allergies when they are young adults. New Orleans has been labeled as one of the worst cities for seasonal and outdoor allergies. In fact, the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America has ranked New Orleans in the top 15 worst cities nationally for seasonal and outdoor allergies. One of the reasons is our longer and stronger allergy season, which pretty much extends year round.


Symptoms of seasonal allergies can often mimic the common cold or flu. These can include:

• Stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing

• Itchy or red eyes

• Sore throat, cough, itchy throat or ears

• Waking up at night or trouble sleeping, which can lead to feeling tired during the day


The most common causes of seasonal allergies are:

• Pollens from trees, grasses or weeds

• Mold spores which grow when the weather is humid, wet or damp


The symptoms of allergies occur when a person with seasonal allergies breathes in these substances, and the immune system acts as if the substance is harmful to the body. Enjoying our nice NOLA weather and festival fun may contribute to these symptoms. Don’t let allergies slow you down!

If you feel like you may be struggling with allergies, there are many different treatment options for you. You can visit Student Health Services (SHS) for more information, evaluation, and treatment of your symptoms. We can also help with a referral to an allergist if needed. SHS is located in the basement of the Danna Student Center or call 504.865.3326.


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