Wellness Updates from UHS & the Health Workers

Health Worker

Check out all the ways to #bewellcal while still maintaining your physical distance.

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Health Worker Tips for Finals

Finals season is completely different than previous semesters for many of us. For some of us, it’s our second round of midterms at UC Berkeley or possibly your last! No matter your experience with RRR week and finals, the Health Worker Program team encourages you to keep up healthy habits to end the year in a way that feels comfortable for you and your lifestyle.

  • There’s no doubt that most of us are stressed. Knowing how to manage our stress and develop strategies to engage in self care at home is crucial to humans! Whether you need to learn how to calm down during a moment of panic or to develop healthy habits to prevent stress, we got you covered!

  • Is procrastination your thing? Well, it doesn’t have to be! The Student Learning Center staff have compiled tips, resources, and handouts to help students overcome procrastination and develop healthy study habits during this time of year!

  • Stay social: You may be far from your usual study buddies or maybe it’s just draining being by yourself. We encourage you all to engage in virtual study groups and get togethers with your loved ones,friends, and/or family!

  • Reflect: Take things one step at a time. Be kind to yourself and your own limits.Which of the attributes on this Resilient People Chart might help you over the next weeks?  Write ‘em down. Visualize them.  Post them where you’ll see them every day. 

Thank you for tuning in every week for our Wellness Updates this year! We’re taking a summer break and will start up Fall 2020 with more wellness tips and updates! We wish you all the best and good health. 

 

Health Worker Tips for April

April 27 - May 3

When we have open conversations with our peers, ourselves, and loved ones about how COVID-19 has affected our lives, we may realize that many of us may be grieving.

  • What is grief?

    • Grief is the internal part of loss and/or change and how we feel. It’s an individual experience for each of us

    • It’s not a linear process or journey and doesn’t end on a certain day or time

    • Grief goes hand in hand with love, connections, and investments (which can all change and/or be lost)

  • How can we manage our grief?

  • Have you seen all the memes?

    • Many of the memes related to COVID-19 or the Zoom student experience are ways in which we convey anxieties about the world, having to be productive during a pandemic, financial anxieties, and other losses. All the collection of feelings create a sense of collectiveness for people and help explain what we may be going through. All these changes to our life stories can bring up feelings of grief and loss

Golden bears, among all of this, the Health Worker Program hopes that you are able to seek out resources, take time for yourself, and reflect on what kind of feelings you may be going through.

 

April 20-26

Sleeping: Cal students often feel and talk like sleep is a rare luxury. In reality, many of us are not always sleep-deprived and our grades and social life are “good enough”.  Yay us!! Why is sleep important? It’s important for our emotional, intellectual, social, and physical health.

  • Create a sleep routine: Why? In order to sync up the internal clocks for all our organs! Identify a goal bedtime and wake-time and aim towards consistency! Having regular routines in our daytime like meals is crucial as well!

  • Wind down before bed: Darkness is important for melatonin release AKA to fall asleep and stay asleep. Avoid screens and light by having a specific activity to do instead like showering or reading a book. Not possible, use an app like f.lux to adjust the brightness of your devices!

  • Jumpstart your morning: For those who have trouble waking up, use the RISE UP method! Refrain from snoozing, Increase activity, Shower, Expose yourself to sunlight, Upbeat music, and Phone a friend!

  • Energize the daytime: Staying active during the daytime can ensure we’re tired by the time we go to sleep! Use naps sparingly!

  • Use bed ONLY for sleeping: Creating a strong association between sleeping and your bed is important to STAY asleep!

Adjust and use these tips according to your sleep personality! Want more tips? See your helpful Health Workers!

April 13-19

As college students in a variety of environments during this time, many of us have heard about or started having virtual happy hours with our friends, peers, and co-workers. As always, be yourself and don’t overestimate how often others are engaging in these activities. 

  • If, like most of us, you aren’t using alcohol or drugs these days, go public with the ways you’re celebrating, relaxing, and hanging out with friends substance-free. The world can use a reminder that not everyone drinks! 

  • If you do drink, use strategies to take care of ourselves. Remember that intervention scale? Maybe it’s time to review PartySafe at Cal’s Toolkit to be a more informed party goer or thrower, even if it’s all virtual right now.

  • 4/20 is this month - check out the UHS’s harm reduction approach to cannabis

  • What about prescription drug use? As students, this is a topic that is often overlooked by many of us, so we want to bring it to the light. Be informed about prescription drug effects, misuse and signs of possible overdose

    • Know what kind of substances exist? EROWID can be a great way to gain more information to make informative decisions

  • Harm reduction perspective: Substance use and misuse exist in our culture. There are practices that are clearly safer than others. 

    • Clarify your reasons for using (e.g. stay awake, relax, change your mood, fall asleep, just plain habit).  

    • Know and use personal and campus resources - what ways other than substances can you use? 

    • Avoid mixing drugs or drugs and alcohol

    • Always read medication warnings and directions. If you have questions ask a doctor or pharmacist.

    • Don’t share medications. Be ready to respond if someone offers or asks you for a prescribed medication. A simple, direct approach is usually the most effective.

    • Keep naloxone on hand if taking opioids, prescribed or not prescribed.

    • Use fentanyl test strips if using drugs not prescribed by a doctor. 

    • Know your source if you choose to use drugs not prescribed by a doctor. 

  • Need support?

    • UHS Social Services offers a range of speciality counseling for alcohol and other drugs and related services to help support students from a harm reduction perspective

    • UC Berkeley Collegiate Program is a program for students in recovery from substance abuse as well as those who are currently struggling with alcohol and drug addiction.They offer support, resources, and an inclusive and supportive environment.

April 6-12

Given the rapidly changing world environment we are living in, many students have been faced with difficulties in changing work environments, schedules, and flexibility to change. Even though class is continuing on, this is definitely not normal and it is normal to feel unmotivated and be faced with difficulty focusing on what brought us to UC Berkeley - our educational pursuits. This week, the Health Worker Program hopes that we can help our fellow peers build resilience, check-in with their academic motivations, and hopefully attempt to finish off the semester as best that we can in our various situations (this looks different to everyone).

  • Am I intellectually healthy?

    • Intellectual health isn’t about intelligence in a certain subject. It’s about resilience in the face of academic adversity and being able to check in with our emotional well being. 

    • This could look like: curiosity in classes, excitement when learning new things, actively seeking out news and information, and engaging in conversations about brain-stimulating subject matter

    • As college students, we are definitely a population who is stimulated by learning and have many interests.This also means that we are at risk to burn out which may look like: lack of interest in most things, declining socialization, a lack of hobbies, and pessimistic attitude towards coursework/career goals 

  • What does self-care look like in these times?

    • Many college students are having a hard time being intellectually healthy due to stress and anxiety from COVID-19. We encourage you to check-in with yourself in the following ways:

      • What do you look forward to each day? Pen it down to remind yourself of what your motivations are!

      • Recognize and validate your own feelings! We all have different responses to this - it’s a traumatic time for many.

      • While in shelter in orders, this may be a good time to develop hobbies if one doesn’t have them and continue to connect with our loved ones - obviously while still social distancing

      • The UC Berkeley Basic Needs Center has put together a living document to help support any basic needs related matter during this time

      • Sometimes, it’s not a time management problem. In a world where productivity is praised, we also encourage you to take a break! Checking in with our mental health is definitely important during these times - see how our CAPS staff suggest engaging in self care. 

  • How am I supposed to succeed in my online classes? 

We hope that you are doing your best to be well, healthy, and persevere during these difficult times. Show yourself and others around you compassion in a time where we need it the most! 

 

February 24, 2020

Each week, health workers write wellness tips for their housing units. Their top tips for the week are below!

Health Worker Tips - Spring 2020

March 9-15

As UC Berkeley students, there is a common experience amongst each other of feeling like we’re not doing enough, that we're not studying or working, that we’re just being lazy, or that we should experience mental health struggles because it gets in the way of our goals/plans. Does this sound like a personal experience? 

  • Where is your stress coming from?: Identifying what the stressors are can be a great first step on figuring out your next steps and what resources may be beneficial. In addition, knowing the source of your stress can aid in figuring out what barriers exist in meeting your goals.

  • Experiencing anxiety and depression: Anxiety and stress are normal parts of life. However, for some people, these feelings of anxiety and depression can be persistent, overwhelming, and may interfere with everyday functioning. 

    • Maybe you have seen a shift in your own self and well-being. Taking an anonymous online screening can help determine if you would seek professional consultation.

    • Looking for the signs within yourself of someone else in your life can be helpful

  • Who can I talk to about my stress? Depending on how persistent stressful experiences might be, there are a few options 

    • Health Coaching: Our health coaches offer 45 minute sessions to help support and guide you to make changes in your personal lifestyle can can support your overall health! Topics range from procrastination, 

    • Referral within Primary Care to a Behavioral Health Provider: Our Primary Care teams at Tang work closely with each other to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to health. This also means that if during your appointment check-in or during your appointment there is a need to quickly debrief with someone about any distress you are experiencing, there are trained behavioral health providers offered to talk in the moment and help refer out to CAPS or off-campus mental health services.

    • CAPS: Our Counseling and Psychological services offer short-term counseling for any academic, career, and personal issues for students. Looking to get started? CAPS may be a first step to seeking out professional guidance and there is no charge to get started. For any specialty counseling, Social Services may be another option that could work for you. 

    • Let’s Talk: This informal, brief, drp-in consultations with CAPS counselors exist on campus and no appointment is necessary! Check them out at Cesar Chavez or anywhere on campus.

We can often time be tough on ourselves for feeling the way we do. This week, we hope that you are able to show yourself compassion and seek out what you need to feel like your best self.

 

February 24th -March 1st

Have you ever been in a situation on campus where you were hungry and your home was either too far and there was no time to grab a meal? We have!! Check out these super helpful tips to find the resources, time, and even energy to eat healthy and balanced meals.

  • What is a healthy meal? Well, according to the USDA MyPlate guidelines, the goal is to have half of a meal be fruits and vegetables with ¼ starch (rice, pasta), and ¼ protein. This doesn’t necessarily just apply to your standard American diet - this can apply to a burrito bowl, a slice of pizza, a vegetable stir fry, and more! Variety is encouraged!

  • What if we never know what to cook? After a long day of class, work, and everything else in life, it can be difficult to figure out what to eat. This isn’t an uncommon feeling! The UHS Nutrition Team has compiled a fantastic list of recipes that are diverse in taste and options!

  • What is the correct diet to have? In the media, there’s lots of talk about different diets, cleanses, etc. A healthy diet is one that helps to maintain and improve your overall health. Luckily, the Nutrition Outreach Workers have a few posts on their blog where they offer more insight and helpful information! Ask a question of your own to get answered by this knowledgeable team! 

  • Eating healthy is expensive! While some grocery store products can be expensive, it could be an option to switch up what you’re buying and where you’re purchasing it. As you shop around, you may find that some grocery stores can be more affordable for different products! In addition, Calfresh may be an excellent resource for those who receive the Cal Grant in their financial aid package or receive work study (students with meal plans are not eligible). In addition, the UC Berkeley Food Pantry can help relieve any urgent food resources for students in need!

  • National Eating Disorder Awareness Week: Feb 24-Mar 1, 2020: Foster a more positive culture around body image on our campus. Since body dissatisfaction is a major risk for eating disorders, this is a week of activities to join in conversation, bust myths, and spread resources.

Still have questions or concerns? You can meet with a UHS Dietician for one-on-one appointments at their Drop-In Nutrition Education, every Wednesday from 2:30-5pm at Social Services on the 2nd floor of the Tang Center! Catch the NOWs and other members of the team doing food and cooking demonstrations around campus as well! 

February 10-16

When is the last time you thought or talked about sex? The possible positive and/or negative consequences? If you’re not interested in being sexual now, it’s still a great time to learn and think ahead!  We promote sex positivity! Try not to let the stigma and taboo about sex limit your awareness and use of resources available to separate fact from fiction about sexual health topics. Sexual health means more than just sex, STI testing, and condoms. It’s about making informed decisions that are consensual and will enrich your life!

  • “Okay, let’s talk about things first”: Do you find yourself having questions about sexual health? Maybe you don’t know where to start. The Sexual Health Education Program (SHEP) is a peer educator program that provides knowledge and resources around health education. Talk to a Sexpert one on one by making a “Healthy Sexuality Appointment” through eTang, come through on the last Friday of the month for FREE rapid HIV testing, or send them a private message through their Facebook Page! 

  • “Have you been tested?”: Knowing your status is crucial to know for your own well-being as well as the safety of your sexual partners. Find out your status at the Tang Center via our self-directed STI screening program! What happens when you test positive and don’t know how to tell someone? Inspot allows you to send an anonymous message to someone to let them know you've been exposed to an STD! 

  • Stay Informed: Knowing how you can and your potential partners can engage in safe sex is and important part of sexual health as well! Resources such as PEP, PREP, and various forms of birth control exist, but knowing what’s right for you, your lifestyle, and body is important! 

  • “Sex helps me destress”: Sex can be pleasurable! Having a positive and pleasurable sexual debut or experience can be a huge motivating factor for people to engage and participate! Exploring your own sexuality is highly encouraged whether that’s taking a trip to Good Vibrations, exploring the questions about your body you’re afraid to ask, attending a Kink club meeting, or visiting the Center of Sex and Culture in San Francisco!

We hope you find it in you to develop healthy sexuality practices and we hope you join us this week for National Condom Week on campus! Free condoms and sex positive energy!

January 27 - February 2

Hello Golden Bears! During your first week of the semester, have you been prioritizing your health? Been thinking about health insurance? While we each have unique experiences, checking out the resources available can help inform all our next steps!

  • New year, same SHIP benefits! Have you heard of Teladoc? With this service, SHIP members are able to access to medical professionals and mental health clinicians through phone, tablet, or computer 24/7!

    • Have questions about a hospital bill or ambulance cost? SHIP does cover a portion of this! If you have any questions, feel free to drop by to see SHIP staff on the 3rd floor of the Tang Center and explore their helpful Insurance webpage!

  • Want to start birth control? Interested in STI testing? Use the eTang portal Messages tab to start the process! 

  • Did you know there are daily drop-in flu shots? Head on over for free flu shots for SHIP members and $30 for non-SHIP members.If you’re specifically wondering about the Coronavirus - read the latest UHS Guidelines on the issue. 

  • Stay updated about information and resources  - follow Tang Social Media.

March 2-8

How’re your personal, household and global hygiene practices right now? Hygiene is a huge factor that affects our health and wellness, so it’s worth staying on top of!!  Let’s check-in. 

You!

Your living space?

Our Earth? 

Ultimately, all the small decisions and actions we take in all forms of hygiene can create a big impact over time. Being informed on what are healthy and encouraged practices can help us and the people around us!

 

February 17-23

As students who walk across a large campus pretty much every week, walking or biking to class is already a workout. Especially with all the inclines and hills. Physical activity and fitness are key parts in helping our body and brains stay active, but this can look different for everyone!

  • Well, how active are we supposed to be? Per the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association, the following are their guidelines:

    • Moderate-intensity cardio or aerobic physical activity for at least 30 minutes on 5+ days/week

    • Vigorous intensity cardio or aerobic physical activity for at least 20 minutes 3 or more days per week

    • This doesn’t apply to everyone, for example, here are the guidelines for adults with disabilities 

  • I literally don’t know what to do at the RSF. Well, it’s not just about weights and the treadmill!

    • If you need a it more guidance, checkout the Intro to Fitness class at the RSF on Mondays and Wednesday from 11am-12pm where you learn basic exercises and correct form

    • Maybe you would prefer other group classes like yoga, cycling, or Zumba! Check out the RSF class schedule - they’re free!

    • When you are active, hopefully you’re not going too hard! Be sure to take as much care and precaution to prevent injuries!

  • I don’t like going to the RSF: Do you frequently run to your classes late? That technically counts as vigorous intense cardio! Again, exercise is not a one size fits all and many people choose to do it for different reasons. It’s important to explore your options and what you’re willing to fit into your lifestyle!

    • Hiking: Visit the UC Botanical Gardens, the Berkeley Fire Trails, or the Big C

    • Structured PE Classes: The Physical Education Program allows you to have a structured way to fit in your exercise!

    • Exercise from home: There’s so many options for at-home exercises that don’t involve weights or the RSF! Even putting on some music and dancing can be great!

If you feel like you need more guidance, feel free to reach out to your Health Worker or make an appointment with a health coach!

February 3-9

Now that Spring semester is in full swing, let’s take a step back from talking about your classes. Let’s talk about your relationships - platonic, romantic, roommate, casual, and everything on the spectrum. When is the last you have thought about your role and investment in your various relationships? 

Connections of all types are what unite us all and knowing how to communicate, set boundaries, and even know how to recognize what we want can help set us up for social health success!

 

January 20-26, 2020

Happy Spring Semester, bears! The UHS - Health Worker Program team hopes that you all had a happy new year and a relaxing break! To start the new year on the right track, make sure to continue maintaining healthy habits or create new ones!

  • What healthy habits are you working on? Whether it’s your eating habits or starting to see healthcare professionals, we want to ensure that you know there are resources available to you! 

  • Start of semester is a  great time to reach out to your health worker! If you live in Res Halls/Suites/Apartments, I-House or Bowles, your Health Worker will be going door to door to say “hi” and introduce themselves in next two weeks. Let ‘em know your interests and questions!!

  • Talking to the UHS- Advice Nurse can also be a great first step if you’re not feeling well. They help you decide whether to schedule an appointment for services or to use homecare treatment for your situation.

  • Interested in becoming a 2020-21 Health Worker? We are recruiting for the 2020-2021 academic year! Find out how you can get involved!