Welcome back to campus for the spring 2017 semester!  I just love the start of a new year to set new habits, explore new horizons, and make progress toward new goals.  In this line of thinking, you might want to consider joining a group at the UCC.  Group counseling can be a supplement to individual counseling or it can be an alternative option to individual counseling.  This spring, the UCC is offering the following—

  • Anxiety Management Workshops
    • Every Tuesday, starting January 31, 12:30-1:30pm, Student Success Center (Marquette 112)
    • Workshop descriptions:
      • Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction
      • Rewiring Your Anxious Brain
      • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
      • Self-Care & Stress Management
  • Sexual Assault Survivors Group
  • Grief Processing group

For more information about group counseling in general or any of the groups above, please call the UCC at (504) 865-3835 or visit our website at http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/counseling.

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The holiday season is quickly approaching. Making the right decisions about healthy eating may become increasingly more difficult. While families gather to celebrate and spend time together, there will be plenty of food. Choosing the right foods is important in enjoying the season without putting on extra pounds. Here are some simple ways you and your family can eat healthy:

• Get plenty of rest before the party. Experts recommend getting at least seven hours of sleep daily. Studies have found that adults ate about an extra 300 calories and tended to choose higher-fat, higher-calorie foods when they were not well rested.

• Bring a healthy dish. This will ensure that there is at least one healthy choice at your gathering.

• Plan before you eat. Check out all food options on arrival and develop a plan that will allow you to sample foods while keeping previously developed good eating habits.

• Don’t arrive on an empty stomach. Don’t skip breakfast or lunch. Eat small healthy portions during those meals.

• Choose your appetizers wisely. Research suggests that most people consume larger amounts of the foods they eat first. Start with a low calorie appetizer. Try fresh vegetables with hummus instead of chips and creamy dip.

• Choose healthier options. Pick foods like turkey or chicken breast, plain potatoes or rice, salad, steamed vegetables, or fresh fruit. Try to limit higher calorie foods such as beef, pie, cake, stuffing, gravy, bread pudding, eggnog, or candy.

• Focus on people, not the food. Spend time socializing, making new acquaintances, and reminiscing with old friends.

• Don’t drink your calories. Limit seasonal drinks that may have a lot of added sugar and alcohol.

• Select small portions. Use smaller appetizer plates instead of dinner plates.

• Eat slowly. Take smaller bites and chew slowly.

• Drink plenty of water.

• Leave the table when you are done. Offer to help with the dishes, clear the table or take a walk.

• Use the buddy system. By splitting a dessert with someone, you can cut the calories and fat in half and avoid being wasteful.

• Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. Try 10-15 minute brisk walks twice a day.

Happy Holidays! Enjoy your time with friends and family and be safe!

 

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With finals season approaching fast, you’ve probably got a whole lot of studying in your future. Impending exams can be overwhelming, no matter how early you start preparing. Take heart though: There are seriously easy ways to make all that reviewing less agonizing, and if you play your cards right, way more effective. Try these simple study tips and see what works for you.
Get a little loud: A big part of studying is just reading: finally reading that chapter you skipped, re-reading the material you felt shakiest on, reading over the notes you took months ago…no wonder your eyes tend to glaze over before long. To prevent entering a trance-like state where you’re reading without really processing, start reading out loud. It’s one of the oldest and lo-fi study hacks, but also one of the most effective, as it forces you to focus on every word. If that starts to get too easy, read upside down. Yes, turn your notes or book upside down and try to read it that way. It’ll slow you down, but you’ll actually concentrate on what you’re reading, not all the other things fighting for your brain’s attention.
Or listen in: For those moments when you can’t conceivably have your nose stuck in a book—while you’re walking, driving, exercising, folding laundry, whatever—consider listening to a recording that compliments your studying. Whether you have recordings of your professor’s lectures, found a podcast on the topic, or taped yourself reading over your notes, plug in your earbuds and listen. This is especially helpful for auditory learners who do best when they hear information.
App-ly yourself: There are tons of apps out there that can assist with optimizing your studying, and many are either free or pretty cheap. Reference apps like National Geographic’s world atlas or a mobile periodic table are great for studying, and there are even apps to replace graphing calculators and paper flashcards. If you’re a data junkie, try Study Checker, which tracks your study habits and reveals the trends, so you can see where you can increase your efficiency.
Rewards yourself: How do you stay motivated when you’re not in the mood to study? It’s unrealistic to think you’ll be able to review non-stop, so build in breaks as rewards. This has a whole bunch of benefits. Chunking your review will make the material more digestible, you’ll be more driven to get things done since there’s a (temporary) reprieve in sight, and your brain will benefit from the refresh. Ultimately, it’s all about hacking your brain a little bit. When you’re deep in a studying haze, you may be so eager to escape that you find yourself making strange bargains, such as getting to look at Instagram for five whole minutes if you can finish the next chapter of your reading.
Embrace the theory of (study) evolution: When you try a new study method, evaluate how well it worked afterwards, and keep up the habits that result in success (and get rid of the ones that don’t). Put simply, you have to do what works for you, and you may need to experiment with many different methods before reaching your study sweet spot. Some people insist that listening to music helps them study, while others think it’s a distraction. A lot of people will tell you not to study in bed, but other people swear by it. You may even find that certain tactics are better for certain subjects. Don’t be afraid to switch things up!
Also, on12/12/16 at 6:00 p.m. try “Destress with the Health Advocates” in the Peace Quad —Get tips on how to manage your stress, blow bubbles, breathe, etc.

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Dear Students,

With the approaching Thanksgiving holiday, now is a good time to think about our health and wellbeing. If you do not have health insurance or are uninsured in the state of Louisiana, it may be beneficial to look into options at healthcare.gov. Open enrollment started November 1st and ends December 15th with coverage beginning January 1, 2017. If you are insured it may be helpful to look into your out-of-state coverage and ensure that you understand how to use your insurance in New Orleans. If you are going home for Thanksgiving, this may be a good time to bring this up with your parents.

This part of the semester can prove to be increasingly stressful. Between midterms, finals, possible homesickness, and changing weather – you may be feeling anxious or overwhelmed. Another stressor may be the climate of the election this year and there may be the urge to discuss politics over break. Keep these conversations civil and recognize that attempting to persuade or defend your position to your family or friends will likely not be productive and may cause unneeded tension. Recognize that every one has differing opinions and are as likely to change their stance, as you are yours. Remember, there are many, many other things to talk about and the holidays should bring people together.

If you feel like you are having trouble adjusting or are feeling anxious or depressed, feel free to visit the University Counseling Center. The UCC provides fully confidential counseling, free of charge, to all currently enrolled Loyola students. The UCC also offers group counseling, currently there are three groups: Grief Processing group, Anxiety Management Workshop Series, and Sexual Assault Survivors group. The UCC provides a case manager to assist students in applying for healthcare and finding providers off campus. We are open M-F from 8:30am – 4:45pm, the UCC also offers a Counselor on Call 24/7, 365 days/year. If it is after hours please call the UCC at (504) 865-3835 and press 1 to speak to a counselor. Please visit the website or call (504) 865-3835 during regular business hours for more information about the UCC:

http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/counseling

Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smoke-out. They may use the date to make a plan to choose a tobacco free lifestyle, or plan in advance and then choose to abstain from using tobacco products that day. The Great American Smoke-out event challenges people to abstain from using tobacco and helps to create awareness concerning the many resources that are available that can assist with successfully choosing a tobacco free lifestyle.

During this time, the Loyola community uses this event to publicize the benefits of choosing a tobacco free lifestyle. So what are some of these benefits?

  • Stop smoking for younger looking skin.
  • Ex-smokers have whiter teeth.
  • Quitting smoking improves smell and taste.
  • Within 6 hours of quitting smoking your heart rate slows and your blood pressure decreases.
  • Within a day of quitting smoking the level of carbon monoxide in your blood has dropped and oxygen can more easily reach your heart and muscles.
  • Quitting smoking equals a lowered risk for lung cancer and many other types of cancer. Stop smoking for more energy.
  • Within 2 months of quitting smoking your immune system begins its recovery so your body is better at fighting off infection.
  • After 1 year of quitting smoking your lungs are now healthier and you’ll be breathing easier.
  • Quitting smoking boosts mental health.

It can be difficult to quit tobacco. Research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have support, such as:

  • Telephone smoking-cessation hotlines: 1-800-QUIT-NOW
  • Online quit groups: Freedom From Smoking Online, QuitNet, etc.
  • Counseling
  • Nicotine replacement products
  • Prescription medicine to lessen cravings
  • Guide books
  • Encouragement and support from friends and family members

Using 2 or more of these measures to quit smoking works better than using any one of them alone. For example, some people use a prescription medicine along with nicotine replacement. Other people may use as many as 3 or 4 of the methods listed above.
Visit www.cancer.org to learn more about quitting smoking, improving your health, or getting involved with the Great American Smoke-out in your community. Or just call your American Cancer Society anytime at 1-800-227-2345.

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Over the past few days, many people have expressed feeling of distress related to the presidential election. Whether you are disappointed about the election results, anxious about conflict with family or friends with different political views, or just doing your best to support others, remember that you are not alone, and that there are concrete steps that you can take to feel better.

The UCC offers free anxiety management workshops on Thursdays from 12:30-1:30 in the Student Success Center (Marquette 112). No preregistration is necessary.

Take a look at these tips for managing election stress from the Jed foundation.

Feeling overwhelmed? The Huffington post offers these suggestions.

Need to talk to someone now? Call 504-865-3835 and ask for the counselor on-call. If it’s after hours, call 504-865-3835 and press 1.

Be kind to yourself, be kind to each other. If you don’t know how to this, give us a call, and we will help you figure it out.

 

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This free training prepares volunteers to be first responders to survivors of sexual violence. The itinerary includes presentations from various campus and community experts on the following: contextualization of sexual violence, medical and legal resources, Loyola’s resources and requirements, and empathic listening skill development.

Our fall training will be held THIS SATURDAY, November 5, 2016 from 8:45a.m. to 4p.m. in Bobet 208. Please RSVP to Erin Shapiro by Thursday, November 3rd at eeshapir@loyno.edu or via phone at 504-865-3835.

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Take Back the Night 2016

The 25th anniversary Take Back the Night will be held on October 27, 2016. Students from Loyola, Tulane, Dillard, Xavier, the University of New Orleans, and the University of Holy Cross will join with the New Orleans community to participate in this important event to end sexual violence.

The event begins with a rally at Loyola’s Marquette Horseshoe and is followed by a march and an open-mic speak out. Funds raised by the event support local survivor service agencies including Metropolitan Center for Women and Children, The New Orleans Family Justice Center, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program, and Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR).

Please join us to empower survivors and stop sexual violence!

For more information on how you can become involved, contact Erin Shapiro, Staff Counselor at eeshapir@loyno.edu

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7 things you need to know about drinking in college:

1. Not everyone is doing it. While it may seem like everyone is getting wasted, 7-10 college students drink 0-3 drinks when they go out, if they drink at all.

2. You have more fun if you drink less: Want to feel buzzed, not depressed? Peak buzz is reached at Blood Alcohol Content (BAC )s between .02 and .06. Use the Last Call app to keep tabs on your BAC.

3. Use PUBS to remember the signs of alcohol poisoning: Puking (while passed out), Unresponsive to stimulation (pinch or shaking), Breathing (slow, shallow or no breathing), Skin (blue, cold or clammy). Call LUPD immediately at 504-865-3434  if you see even one of these signs!

4. You’re not going to get in trouble for saving a life (your own or someone else’s!): Through Loyola’s Medical Amnesty/Good Samaritan program, students who seek medical assistance for themselves or for another student due to intoxication are exempt from alcohol/drug policy violations. When in doubt, call LUPD.

5. Mixing meds and drinking makes you more likely to blackout faster. Don’t take ADHD drugs and drink. Don’t mix drinking and drugs in general.

6. Drunk means no: Consent cannot be given if someone is incapacitated. An estimated 90% of college sexual assaults occur under the influence of alcohol.

7. The drinking age is 21: You know it, we know it. Enough said.

Want to know more? Concerned about your drinking? Come to the University Counseling Center to talk to a counselor, or give us a call at 504-865-3835.

Additionally, the University Counseling Center and the Graduate Counseling program at Loyola will be hosting a Substance Abuse Screening on Thursday, October 20th in the Audubon Room of the Danna Center from 12:00-2:00 p.m. for any and all who wish to be assessed to see if they are experiencing any substance abuse issues. The screening is Free, Confidential, and Private!

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Do you ever find yourself agreeing to help a friend or do someone a favor that you don’t have time for? Have you ever regretted doing that favor and get frustrated by how you keep finding yourself in this position? Does other people’s stress seem to overwhelm you? Sometimes it can feel like you’ve got nothing left to give at the end of the day.

It is hard to say no to people, especially our friends and family. Your sense of obligation to make others happy can be so strong at times. How can you NOT be there for the people that you love and care for? But at some point you have to take a step back and ask, who is taking care of me?

Setting boundaries is key so building and sustaining all types of relationships, friendship, intimate partnerships, even relationships with family members. The easiest way to begin to set boundaries is to say no. If you cannot aid a friend or assist a parent, or simply do not feel like you have more to give in the moment, saying no can be an effective way to alleviate stress in your own life.  

Here are five ways to say no in order to set boundaries:

1.     No thanks, I can’t.
2.     I don’t have time today.
3.     Maybe next time?
4.     I have a lot of work to catch up on.
5.     No.   
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