From the Hilbert Wellness Center – Stay Healthy on Winter Break

From the Hilbert College Wellness Center
by Kirsten Falcone, RN

Keep it “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”:
How to Stay Healthy on Winter Break!

holiday-1It’s mid-December, and you’re looking forward to your semester break. Congratulations! But, because of the considerable stress most students endure at the end of the semester, they are often more susceptible to illness during the holidays. It is a bummer to be sick during the best time of the year. Here are some tips to help you fight off holiday illness:

  1. Maintain proper hygiene by washing hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and covering your sneezes and coughs.
  2. Drink enough water. Try to drink at least 64 to 96 ounces (or more) per day or the equivalent of four to six 16-ounce bottles of water, or eight to 12 8-ounce glasses of water. Another way to measure is to drink 50 to 100 percent of your weight number in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., drink 75 to 150 ounces of water every day.
  3. Manage your stress by not over-scheduling, sticking to a budget for gifts and entertainment, and avoiding negativity, e.g., watching too much TV news, letting a negative relative influence you, negative self-talk.
  4. Catch up on your sleep by going to bed at the same time each night. After all, you won’t have to study for any tests! Try to get at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
  5. Stay warm and dry, and dress in layers.
  6. Eat healthfully, and avoid too many sweets. It is okay to take only one cookie or to save room for your favorite dessert, and forego having a slice of each one. Also, when you are consuming a large meal, eat your veggies first.
  7. Exercise wisely. It might be safe to go for a walk each day, but then again, there could be ice or snow in your way. Use proper footwear, or exercise indoors. Even in the winter months, exercise is important to maintain a healthy body and brain, and it keeps your immune system strong.
  8. Don’t smoke. Smoking exacerbates respiratory illnesses, and it lowers resistance to illness and disease. If you smoke, it is pertinent to your long-term health to quit now. You will never regret that decision!
  9. Be wise when drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol is generally not healthful. In fact, the only alcohol recognized as beneficial is one glass (five ounces) of red wine per day for women (two for men). If you do happen to drink beyond what is considered healthful, here are some guidelines to follow: One drink per hour is all your liver can metabolize. In order to maintain fluid levels, drink eight ounces of water per hour also. (In addition, this will help ward off a hangover the next day.) Don’t binge drink, which is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as imbibing five or more drinks for men, or four or more drinks for women, in a two-hour period.
  10. Down time. Make certain this involves praying, listening to music you enjoy, thinking positive thoughts, a hobby you love, and/or spending time with someone you enjoy.
  11. Be a blessing to others. Remember, holiday time is not all about you. The more you give of yourself, the more blessed and healthy you will be. So go caroling, visit an old friend or a nursing home, smile at and hug your negative relatives, and go to church. Do something good for someone else. Spiritual health and physical health are not two separate entities; they complement each other.

For more information on managing your health during the holidays, visit these Web sites:

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
http://www.cdc.gov/family/holiday/

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA):
http://niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/special-populations-co-occurring-disorders/college-drinking

Activebeat.com:
http://www.activebeat.com/diet-nutrition/10-tips-to-help-you-stay-healthy-this-winter/

Realsimple.com:
http://www.realsimple.com/magazine-more/inside-magazine/your-words/give-during-holidays

The Wellness Center wishes you a very healthy and happy Holiday Season and New Year!

Post-Election Forum at Hilbert

Members of the Hilbert Community —

In the wake of the election on Tuesday, I want to remind us all of the importance of community here at Hilbert.

Some of us are shocked, discouraged, and frightened by the results, while others of us are pleased and excited. Both of these responses are natural – the United States is passing through a very challenging time politically, with many of us holding strong convictions about various issues that are reflected in our feelings today. As the election campaign has shown, it is easy to let these convictions divide us.

It would be foolish to pretend that we do not have our differences, some of which are intense and passionate. But we are a Franciscan community brought together by a shared purpose, and this must never be forgotten.

After this tumultuous political season, it is now time for Americans to work together for the common good, and to redouble their efforts to do what is best for our country and for one another. A college, our college, has a special role in continuing to bring out the best in each person, in holding strong the Franciscan values we believe in: service, respect, compassion, peace, joy, integrity, and vision. At Hilbert, we have the opportunity to model good citizenship through civil and thoughtful dialogue, asking questions and seeking truth.

On November 10 at 1:30 pm in the Library Conference Room, I invite you to discuss and process the election outcome with Hilbert colleagues, facilitated by Dr. Kris Lantzky-Eaton, Dr. Jim Golden, Ahyana King, and Jeff Papia. Please consider attending and engaging in this important conversation.

Sincerely,
Cynthia Zane

President
Hilbert College