Harm Reduction for Spooky Season

The week of Halloween can be often be an exciting time for college students. However, one of the factors that comes with spooky season is substance use so here are some harm reduction tips if you choose to use and some fun sober activities as well!

If choosing to use, here are some things to keep in mind:  

Alcohol is a depressant,

which means that even if there are initial stimulating effects, it will end up with less desirable effects. However, to maintain the stimulating effects longer, drinking less actually helps. Here is a graph to showcase how a higher BAC, or Blood Alcohol Concentration, will actually cause a harder crash with more undesirable effects.

 

Pace Yourself

To pace yourself, know how many drinks or “standard pours” you want to use prior to an event. Here are the conversions of one drink in beer, alcohol, and 80-proof liquor.

  • 12 fl oz of a 5% alcohol beer = 5 fl oz of a 12% alcohol wine = 1.5 fl oz shot of 40% alcohol liquor

Lastly, sobering up takes time.

The liver removes alcohol from the blood at a constant rate so things like hot showers or coffee may provide temporary relief, but they don’t truly address the alcohol in your system. Make sure to stay hydrated but the best sobering up technique is time.

Here is a harm reduction list you can reference:

  • Make a plan
  • Set a limit (BAC safe zone)
  • Eat before drinking
  • Alternate drinks with non-alcoholic drinks
  • Avoid drinking games (as it is hard to pace yourself this way)
  • Don’t Mix
  • Stay with friends
  • Use caution when sex is a possibility
  • Call for help when needed

Call for help if the person is

  • Passed out or unresponsive
  • has mental stupor/confusion
  • slow or irregular breathing
  • vomitting or seizures
  • pale or blueish skin tone

(NOT ALL SIGNS NEED TO BE PRESENT FOR HELP TO BE CALLED)

By calling Public Safety at 773-325-7777 if a friend is in danger for alcohol poisoning, no disciplinary action will be taken against you. This is known as the Blue Demon Duty and it’s to help keep the DePaul community safe.

Cannabis

Important to note: Even though the state of Illinois has legalized cannabis for individuals 21 and over, it is still illegal federally, and since DePaul is federally funded campus, the Drug Free Schools and Campus Act prohibits use, possession, or distribution of cannabis on university campuses.

2 Important Harm Reduction strategies if choosing to use cannabis:

  • Buy from a dispensary
  • The dangers of mixing substances also known as the Synergistic Effect. 

Buy from a dispensary

Benefits:

You are able to ensure the cannabis you are buying is safe and is not mixed with any other substance that could potentially harm you if taken incorrectly. Additionally, it provides you a resource to ask direct questions about the dose and cautions about certain types of cannabis. This is incredibly important for something like edibles where the there is a higher level of ambiguity and it helps to avoid bad trips or dangerous experiences.

Synergistic Effect

An interaction between two or more drugs that causes the total effect of the drugs to be greater than the sum of the individual effects of each drug. In other words, mixing substances is not 2+2=4,  but rather 2+2 becoming 10 

This is due to the difference of absorption that can occur. For example, alcohol increases the absorption of THC, a chemical found in cannabis, which increases the desirable effects such as euphoria, but also heightens the undesirable effects too like feeling fuzzy, disorientation, and anxiety or paranoia. This is also another reason to buy from a dispensary as they can provide you with an even more direct explanation based on specific substances types too. 

Sober Activities

And last but certainly not least, here are some fun sober activities you could do!

  • Watch spooky movies with friends through online plug-ins like Netflix party that help you watch at the same time
  • Decorate or carve pumpkins
  • Have an “Among Us” tournament
  • Play Scribble.io, an online Pictionary equivalent
  • Make a delicious meal that you have always wanted to try with your roommates
  • Do an activity that relaxes you (ex. reading, baking, writing letters, scrapbooking, playing Minecraft, painting ect.)
  • Check out the fun activities clubs are hosting on DeHub

And don’t forget to use a mask.

If you want to learn more about harm reduction with substances come to our event Nightmare on Sheffield on Monday October 26th at 7pm CST. Register on DeHub with this link.

Hope to see you there!

 

How to Create a Self-Care Plan

At the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness, we often talk about self-care.  Self-care is the specific, intentional tactics we employ to ensure that we are taking care of our physical, emotional, social, and environmental health.  One of the great things about self-care is that there are many ways to practice it.  The activities that we incorporate into our self-care practices can be anything from running to listening to music to cooking.  However, with there being such a wide range of ways to practice self-care, it can be challenging to find the self-care routine and practices that work for you. 

If you are struggling to create and perfect your self-care plan, consider some of these tips: 

  • Assess your needs.  It is important that we have self-care practices that address our physical, social, emotional, and environmental health.  However, some of us may need to focus more on one are of health than another.  Try to look objectively at your overall health to see if you need to spend more time on activities for one type of health over another.  For example, if you find that you struggle with stress, you may want to prioritize self-care activities that will help you cope emotionally. 
  • Try new things.  When it comes to having self-care activities lined up, it is important that you enjoy said activities so you are even more motivated to do them.  While you might already have some things in mind that you know you like, be sure to try something new every once and a while so that you can add to your tool kit of self-care practices.  
  • Consider your schedule.  Take note of how much time you have for self-care activities during each day of the week.  Maybe your weekends have larger open periods of time than your weekdays.  If this is the case, have a list of self-care activities that last 5 to 10 minutes to do during weekdays and have a list of activities that take a bit longer than you can utilize over the weekends.  Be sure to customize your plan to your schedule so that you are able to practice self-care every day. 
  • Be prepared for your plan to grow and evolve with you.  As human beings, we are all always learning and growing.  Because of this, it is understandable that your current self-care plan may be different from what your self-care plan is a year from now- and that is okay!  Take time to reassess what is and is not working and adjust your plan from there.   

With these tips in mind, it is important to create the best self-care plan that will work best for you.  Moreover, it is equally important that you begin utilizing these strategies as soon as possible so that you have tools in your toolkit before you get stressed, burnt out, or run down.  For example, if you wait until finals week to start creating a self-care plan, it will be harder for that plan to feel effective and to find the time to begin employing these strategies.  However, if you begin a few weeks before finals, you will have a set routine that feels more comfortable and natural to help prevent you from feeling entirely overwhelmed once finals do come around.  All in all, be sure to do what you can to take care of yourself every day, even if it is just for a few moments.  If you need any support, always feel free to reach out to us at hpw@depaul.edu 

Job Searches & Stress Management

The school year can be a stressful time for everyone. For some of us, we are starting our first year at DePaul in a fashion no one could have predicted. Some of us have had to adjust the way or days function and flow and implement new strategies to be successful where ones we learned in the past are no longer applicable. Some of us are finishing up our time at DePaul and looking ahead to the future, to what comes next. Many of us are looking for jobs. A job hunt can be quite stressful and for many may add to the uncertainty that is life right now. Regardless of the job you are looking for, the process of finding a new job can cause some stress and uncertainty in your life. From finding jobs that are a good fit for you to filling out applications, doing job interviews, updating your resume, networking, the list goes on, it can be a long and trying process. Luckily however, there are some really amazing resources right at your fingertips that can help you navigate the job search process. The career center is a fantastic resource that can help you work through your resume, give you tips on curating the best application, succeeding in job interviews and so much more. The Office of Health Promotion and Wellness is partnering with the Career Center to bring you some ideas for coping and mitigating the immediate stressors and anxieties that a job search may bring. We invite you to think about some of these ideas and try some of these strategies as you work through the job hunt!

 

 

  • Take it one step at a time: Finding a job is a process, not a singular event. While it’s good to think about what you want in the future, thinking too far ahead can become overwhelming. Breaking the job hunt down into smaller, more easily achievable goals can help relieve stress and allow you to maintain your energy throughout the process. 
  • The job search is not an overnight process: Chances are, you won’t be able to find, apply and get a job in one day. It’s important to keep this in mind and allow yourself to step away from the job hunt. Constantly staring at a screen and looking through job listings can be extremely draining. Taking a break can help revitalize you and give you the boost you need to not just go through the process but to do it well.
  • Don’t just go through the motions: While it may be tempting to apply for all and any job openings, this can actually do more harm than good. While applying to jobs using for example the “quick apply” function on Linkedin, one might feel productive that many applications were sent out, however an important thing to remember is that job searching is about quality not quantity. Instead, making a list of no more than 10 workplaces you really would love to be at, researching, and then focusing all the attention on jobs you are naturally passionate and excited about can yield better results. Treat the job search process as you would finding a date. While one can certainly decide to date anyone encountered, the success of the date is more probable when you generally are interested in learning about the other person, the same goes with job searching, research places you want to work not just any place that offers a job. 
  • Remember you may not hear back from everywhere you apply to: Unfortunately, realistically there will be times where you submit an application and will not hear back. This is completely normal and not personal at all. Some employers simply have many applicants and cannot realistically let them know if they were not selected for an interview or the position. However do not be discouraged, if you find that you cannot secure a job by applying directly using an application always try to reach out to campus recruiters or others who may help get your application past the first round and move into the interview process.
  • Know your strengths: Applications give a general view of who you are, but there are many ways to secure a job. Networking is a great skill to practice, but the most important aspect is to know what you are good at and showcase it. It may be a bit awkward at first and feel as if you are bragging, but remember that you are letting future employers know you are a great addition to their team and can bring something only you can. Highlighting your skills on your resume is great along with your elevator pitches.  
  • Prepare ahead of time:  It is crucial you research ahead of time. Nervousness and anxiety often come from the stress and fear of not knowing what to say or how to respond to a question. Being knowledge will only serve in your benefit by letting employers know you are excited about their job opening and also help you relax and not be stressed over not knowing the answer. Common things you can do to prepare are to research the mission, culture and goals of the employer, read the job description, have ready to ask questions about the industry or job that are not easy to google, and finally have a resume on hand or your elevator pitch ready. 
  • Don’t stress over stress: The job hunt can be a challenging process. If you are feeling stressed, you’re not alone! It’s completely normal to feel stress and not all stress is a bad thing. Simply do not let the stress immobilize you, determine where the stress is starting from and then think of ways you can tranquilize it. Remember at the end of the day, the people interviewing you and reading your applications were once in your shoes simply looking for a job to jumpstart their career. Take a deep breath and know you will do great and learn from the experience. 

 

 

For those that have secured an interview, the amount of stress and type of stress can be different. Similarly however many of the tips can still work.

 

 

  • Relax. Interviews are conversations: Many times interviews are seen as scary and nerve-wracking. However, it is important to remember that those interviewing were once in your shoes and understand being nervous is normal. After all, being nervous shows that you truly want the position, if you are not nervous then do you really want the job? This is a great way to normalize the nerves you have. Also remember that interviews are not one sided, this is also your chance to ask questions and learn if you feel this position fits your personality goals and ambitions. You are equally assessing whether you want to work alongside your interviewers. 
  • Prepare what you can control ahead of time: Many times people stress over having the perfect answer to questions asked. While it is great to have general answers to questions, always remember the perfect answer does not exist. If you find yourself stressed over what you cannot control, including surprise questions, focus on what you can. For example, knowing the employer, the culture and goals, the job description and key skills that will make you favorable, as well as any questions you can ask that are not easy to google the answer to. Also prepare your outfit, your device and internet connection, your background if the interview is virtual. These are all things you can prepare beforehand that are within your control. 
  • Be comfortable being uncomfortable: While sometimes silence can be seen as a sign of something going wrong, it is important to remember that silence can be good. Your interviewers likely see many applicants and simply want to take notes to remember when later on deciding who gets a job offer. Let the silence sit. It can be tempting to fill it by over-explaining your answers, while it is normal to try and fill in the gap, try and simply wait until a question is posed. Remember always, that you were given an interview because you are qualified, now just add personality to your skills and expertise. 

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you still have any questions or need help do not hesitate to contact the Career Center. And if you need any help regarding how to handle stress feel free to contact the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness. We are always here for you!

 

Phone: 773-325-7129

Email: hpw@depaul.edu

Social Media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @healthydepaul

 

Do you enjoy our Wellness Wednesday articles? Subscribe to our blog for more!

 

– Written by Peter Wild Crea & Cindy Hernandez

Coping with Academic Pressure

Something that many college students commonly experience is pressure to succeed in their academics.  Whether this pressure comes purely from oneself or additionally from those close to them, such as family members, it is important to understand how to deal with this pressure.  As with any form of stress, pressure to succeed in academics can lead to many physical and psychological effects.  Prolonged and intense pressure can lead to trouble sleeping, appetite changes, irritability, and many other effects.   

With the understanding of how stress can negatively affect both the brain and the body, let’s take a look at a few ways to decrease the weight of this pressure. 

  • When learning about new concepts in class, begin by focusing on truly learning and understanding the concepts.  It is easy to focus solely on getting a good grade in the class or the possibility of getting a grade that is less desired.  However, if you shift the focus on understanding the concept before focusing on attaining a certain grade, there is less pressure to simply repeat the information for the chance of gaining a specific amount of points.  That way, when it is time to show this knowledge on a quiz or assignment, it will be easier and more natural for you to show an understanding of the knowledge.  
  • Try your best, but also understand that your best is constantly changing.  For example, your best may be different on a day when you got 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep and were able to eat a great breakfast versus a day when you were coming down with a cold and there was loud construction going on across the street from you.  While some “bests” may end up with different results than others, allow yourself to feel empowered by the fact that you did everything in your power to succeed.  If the results were not what you were hoping for, be sure to give yourself grace and understanding to allow yourself to be resilient and continue to do your best.  
  • Know your value outside of academics.  Understand that all of us have value and worth that have nothing to do with what we do or do not achieve in school.  If you are struggling to recognize this, try creating a list of things you love about yourself that does not include things like grades or GPA.  For example, are you good at listening and supporting friends?  Have you seen major improvements in your skills at watercolor painting over the past few months?  Do you continue to try hard in everything that you do, even when it is hard?  All these things have little, if anything, to do with academics, and yet they are still traits that are important and valuable to have.  Try to look at yourself holistically to understand that you are great regardless of the grade you got on that essay.  
  • Take care of yourself.  If you neglect your personal needs, it will be harder to focus on achieving what you want to achieve.  Similarly, if you are able to achieve what you are hoping to achieve, it will not be as enjoyable or as gratifying as possible because of the exhaustion and frustration that comes from neglecting your personal needs.   

While it is important to work hard in academics, it is important to balance your drive to succeed and your mental health and stress levels.  In doing so, the process of achieving in academics will be much more fun and rewarding.  If you need any help or want someone to talk to, feel free to email the Office of Health Promotion & Wellness at hpw@depaul.edu. 

Habit Forming

I struggled with habit-forming for a long time. I would always resolve to get into the habit of doing something like incorporating more veggies into my diet, going to bed earlier, or starting my assignments in advance. In the beginning, I would feel really excited and motivated to make a change though when I wasn’t seeing results quick enough, I would always return back to my old bad habits. It was extremely frustrating not being able to maintain consistency and reach my goals. So, I spent a lot of time re-evaluating and found that my method of habit formation was setting me up for failure. Once I figured out what was holding me back, I took the time to think of strategies that would help me reach my goal and began to implement them. I’ve made great progress in reaching my goals and implementing healthy habits and I figured I’d share my strategies with you all.

 

  1. Focus on one habit at a time and try to connect it to an already established habit
  • Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to establish 5 habits at once. Instead, implement one habit at a time and try to connect it to an existing habit, for example in order to incorporate more veggies into my diet I started writing them into the weekly menus I make.
  1. Commit to 30 days (at the very least) and strive for consistency
  • Habits take time to form, give yourself at least 30 days to get into the routine of doing something. Within these 30 days strive for consistency if you’re implementing a daily habit try not to take more than 2 days off.
  1. Take baby steps and set milestones
  • Break down your goal into digestible and easily attainable tasks. If your trying to get into the habit of going to bed earlier break up the task by: setting an alarm to warn you it’s time to start winding down, establishing that your room is for R&R, and eliminating distractions like using your phone or watching tv after a certain time. Be sure to celebrate your achievements along the way, if your goal is to get in the habit of going to bed before midnight make sure to celebrate your milestones on your way to your goal.
  1. Hold yourself accountable, but also be forgiving
  • Goals don’t work unless you do. Holding yourself accountable is essential in order to ensure that you stay on track. Methods like tracking and sharing your goal with others may encourage you to stay committed. Though while accountability is important be sure to be kind to yourself, we all make mistakes, and missing the mark every once in a while isn’t the end of the world. Be sure to forgive yourself for your mistakes and get back to forming healthy habits!

 

To get help with your goal setting or for wellness coaching visit:

https://offices.depaul.edu/student-affairs/support-services/health-wellness/mental-well-being/Pages/default.aspx

 

 

For more habit-forming strategies as well as health and wellness information visit the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness on Twitter and Instagram: @healthydepaul and on Facebook: @HPWDePaul

 

More Tips on Facebook @: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2699443066983459

 

DePaul CRC and Recovery Allyship

Recovery can look different ways and mean many different things. Someone can identify as being in recovery from anything from a substance use disorder, anxiety, depression and a host of other things. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration broadly and inclusively defines recovery as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.”

Many people may identify as being in recovery, including students at DePaul. DePaul is home to the DePaul Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC). CRC is a weekly space at DePaul for those who identify as being in recovery from a variety of things from mental health concerns to substance use to eating concerns. CRC provides a safe, nurturing and supportive space for students to improve their own health, direct their own lives and be successful in all facets of life.

With recovery come many misconceptions and myths. It is important we acknowledge and dispel these misconceptions and myths in order to build a more supportive and inclusive community and work to take care of DePaul; from ourselves, to those around us, to our community at large. Some common myths and misconceptions surrounding recovery include…

  • “Mental health concerns only affect a small number of people”: Not true! Lots of people have mental health concerns and no two look the exact same. They run the gamut from very covert to very overt concerns. In fact, the CDC reports that roughly 1 in 5 adults in the US experience some form of mental concern, a number that is likely even higher than reported. Though remember, there is no hierarchy for mental health. There is no “more important” or “less important”. All mental health is important. Let’s dispel that myth while we’re at it too!
  • “Substance use is a moral issue”: This is not true and is a harmful myth. We know that substance use disorders can arise for a number of reasons with contributing factors like genetic predisposition. We also understand that substance use disorders can be exceptionally challenging and have serious effects even long after an individual has stopped using substances.
  • “Recovery only applies to folx with substance use disorders”: Recovery can look many different ways. An individual may identify as being in recovery from substance use, mental health concerns or eating concerns, just to name a few!

 

So now we know a few common myths, but you might be wondering what do I do with this info or how do I be a good ally for people who identify as being in recovery? Well these are all great questions! We have a few tips to being a good recovery ally… 

  • Take time to listen: You don’t always have to have all the answers but you can listen attentively.
  • Be supportive: Being a good ally can mean encouraging and supporting an individual in recovery; supporting through challenging times, celebrating accomplishments and encouraging growth.
  • Educate yourself: Learn to identify signs that someone may be struggling. You can look for changes in attitude, behavior, energy, hygiene and appearance, enjoyment of usual activities, etc. Learn how to support individuals in different ways.
  • Step back and take care of yourself: You can’t pour from an empty cup so it’s important to remember to take the time you need to be healthy and happy. In the long run, this will make your allyship sustainable and make you a better ally.
  • Become a certified Recovery Ally: Get certified as a recovery ally for free through the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness. Our next training will be Friday December 4th from 10:00 AM until 11:30 AM. You can register through for the training through this link on DeHub!

 

Wherever you fall on the spectrum, there is a space for you here. If you identify as being in recovery and want to see what CRC is all about, check out DeHub, or send our Substance Misuse Prevention Specialist – Katie Bellamy – an email at kbellamy@depaul.edu! If you want to learn more about recovery or becoming an ally, I recommend you attend the training listed above; it’s extremely informative and useful and you will walk away with some great new tools! If you aren’t sure where to start, if you’re struggling, if you need support or someone to talk to, or you just want to learn more, please reach out to the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness. We are always here for you!

 

Phone: 773-325-7129

Email: hpw@depaul.edu

Social Media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @healthydepaul

 

Do you enjoy our Wellness Wednesday articles? Subscribe to our blog for more!

 

Reflections on Recovery

As we near the end of National Recovery Month, it is important to reflect on the stories and thoughts that DePaul students in recovery have graciously and bravely shared.  In this post, we will review the many myths that the students in recovery have helped us debunk and discuss why DePaul’s Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) can be such a helpful resource. In doing this, we will be able to become more educated so that we can all be better recovery allies. 

The first major thing to take away is that anyone can be in recovery from any number of things.  From the last three recovery student spotlight posts, we have seen students in recovery from substance use, anxiety, depression, and even experiences like domestic abuse.  It is important to understand the variety of disorders and experiences that someone can be in recovery from so that we are better able to support those in recovery.  This support can look like many things, including helping with finding resources, being there to listen, or simply just letting the person in recovery know that you believe their struggles and believe in them.  

When speaking about recovery from substances, it is important to remember that struggling with substance use is not a moral issue.  If we look into the neurobiological aspects of substance use disorders, it is easy to see how struggling with substance use is not a choice or a matter of “not being strong enough to stop. Recovering from substance use disorders can be challenging, which is why it is important to be supportive of those in recovery, as opposed to blaming them. 

Finally, if you are in recovery, you are not alone.  These past few weeks, we have heard from only a handful of students in recovery at DePaul.  There are many students at DePaul, as well as in other universities across the country, who are in recovery.  This is one of the reasons why the Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) exists.  The CRC is meant to be a place where students in recovery can relate to one another and support each other in their recovery journeys.  If you would like more information about becoming part of DePaul’s Collegiate Recovery Community, feel free to email the Office of Health Promotion & Wellness at hpw@depaul.edu. 

Healthy Relationships and Making Friends Through Distanced Learning

*This week we discuss how to make friends in an online environment and what makes a healthy or unhealthy relationship*

Hi Friends!

How did your first week at school go? I personally found it to be quite disorienting just with trying to keep track of things in every class, but I also noticed one other thing about this year.

How am I going to make friends?

Without the social interactions of passing by in the hallway or seeing a friend in the dining hall to catch up with them, it can feel hard to translate making friends to our online atmosphere as well how to know if the relationships you have created are healthy or unhealthy. But that’s why HPW is here to guide you!

Funny story: to replicate the “in-class” conversation vibes, a friend and I were private zoom chatting during lecture and I accidentally sent a response to the whole class. Here is a meme to describe the emotions I was feeling:

Private Zoom Chat Mistakes

 

Relatable?

So then what are some ways we can connect with our classmates?

Exchange Social Media Handles

In doing so you can keep up with them and see what they are up too with stories and posts and have a method of communication that isn’t as formal as an email but more public than a phone number. To me, this is the online equivalent of hanging out in the student center and introducing yourself to people in the first week.

Join Clubs that Spark your Interests

I remember being quite unsure when coming to college of what extracurriculars I wanted to participate in, but after attending the involvement fair I found about three or four clubs that peaked some interest.

One of them was the club rowing team, and after I attended an initial meeting to understand how it would work, I decided to join and found a solid group of friends that way.

The involvement fair happened last week, but stay on the look out for DeHub’s events section as clubs often post their upcoming events there.

Study with a classmate and introduce yourself on the discussion board

If your professor hasn’t already made you introduce yourself, see if you can start a thread for introductions. This can be a great way to see how your hobbies and passions align with others and if they are the same major as you, feel free to email them and ask if they want to study with you!

Attend events that encourage you to meet new people!

Organizations such as Global Coffee host events throughout the quarter to help create a community that the students can be a part of. These events are a great way to exchange emails and social media handles with those who you felt interested in connecting with and continue to make you feel part of DePaul wherever you are!

Find communities outside of DePaul with your hobbies!

I recognize that DePaul has its limits in what it can provide but it doesn’t mean these tips can’t also be taken elsewhere! If you have a hobby that you are interested in and spend a lot of time on, there is bound to be a community out there for you to connect on!

A couple examples from myself these past couple months is connecting with people on discord and forums about sports card investing, and I also started learning Japanese and then found out even Duolingo has a forum for people! I’m also part of a subreddit for fountain pens that I check every once in a while too!

While privacy is a larger concern when being part of these groups, it is still an opportunity to meet and hang out with people who have similar interests to you! 🙂

Fostering old and new relationships

Having a healthy relationship is imminent to creating a supportive environment that you both benefit from.

Some signs of a healthy relationship are

  • Being honest with one another
  • supporting each others endeavors
  • respecting each others boundaries

In a time where ease of communication supersedes someone being ready for it, make sure you practice boundary setting to take care of yourself and know that you don’t always have to be “on”.

So then what do unhealthy relationships look like?

  • Power based dynamic (i.e. putting you down or making you feel inferior)
  • isolation from others
  • insults, jealousy, or physical harm
  • lack of honesty

If you find yourself in an unhealthy relationship

The first thing to note is that abuse is always the fault of the abuser. I know there may be a sense of guilt and want to take responsibility, but recognize that you are only responsible for your own actions and not someone else’s.

Ask yourself if your own needs are being met.

Are you getting enough sleep? Eating enough? How has your mental health been? By finding time to ask yourself these questions, you are enacting a step towards change in the areas that you are able to fully control.

Reach out for support.

This can be from friends and family, or if that doesn’t feel comfortable, DePaul’s Health, Promotion and Wellness center would be happy to meet with you and provide some resources for you!

Resources:

For more resources on healthy relationships go to bit.ly/hpwrelationships or if you would like to contact the HPW team to set up an appointment go to bit.ly/hpwcontact and there will be emails at the bottom of the page and resources you can look through!

Also, feel free to check out loveisrespect.org for more quality information.

If you enjoyed this feel free to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us @HealthyDepaul on social!

Holistic Wellness and Spirituality for Vincent’s Feast Day!

          Take care DePaul entails taking care of yourself, others and our community. This idea of care and wellness is nothing new to the Vincentian tradition. Over 400 years ago Saint Vincent de Paul shared this same vision of holistic wellness and understood the importance of taking care of communities. In fact, the Vincentian mission grew from a recognition of the spiritual poverty in rural France. Vincent grew to understand that spiritual and physical needs both required care and attention – they were not separate. This holistic approach to relationships and responding to the needs within a community is part of the DNA of our DePaul tradition. This week in celebration of that tradition it’s Vinny Fest!

          Vinny Fest is DePaul’s annual celebration of the feast day of Saint Vincent de Paul on September 27th! Saint Vincent de Paul was alive over 400 years ago. You may be wondering what could possibly be relevant from his life to our world today? It turns out there are a lot of parallels to Saint Vincent’s world and ours. Saint Vincent and his followers always served and cared in a holistic manner; addressing both physical, as well as, spiritual needs. Holistic care is important for ourselves and those around us. We can engage in holistic care by…

  • Starting by listening to people’s needs
  • Building long term, sustainable relationships
  • Taking the time to really ask and listen to how someone is really doing 
  • Building a community committed to a broader vision of the world
  • Community care & self care are key to sustainability 
  • Contemplation, time for solitude, re-rooting self in values
  • Friends

          In the spirit of holistic Vincentian care and wellness, some staff in the Division of Mission and Ministry were asked what comes to mind when you hear spiritual wellness? Here is some of what they shared…

  • Balance: finding a healthy balance in life between different areas. This means nurturing and developing not just our physical or intellectual wellness but being sure we also give attention to our emotional, spiritual, psychological and social health.
  • Transparency: being transparent yourself as much as possible. One of the Vincentian virtues is simplicity. This can mean physical simplicity in our surroundings however, it also means simplicity in our being; being true to ourselves, being honest and being direct with ourselves and in our relationships.
  • Connection: creating and maintaining a connection to oneself, to others and to something greater than you.
  • Community: community with all beings and environments around us – we are not meant to be solitary beings! Finding a community is important to nourishing our spiritual health. Often, we find deep meaning and spiritual nourishment in the love we share and receive in our communities. 
  • Vision: last but not least is vision. Vision of another world that we know is possible. We hope to better ourselves, the people around us and our communities and create a world based on love, acceptance and growth as we move forward. However, to do so, we must have a vision for what that world may look like; a vision of that world which we know is possible and achievable.

          Our focus is often placed on physical wellness however it is important to remember we are whole people and we must care for ourselves and others in a way that recognizes and respects every aspect of our beings. Spiritual wellness can look very different from person to person. Often, spirituality is linked with religiousness and while this may be true for some people, spirituality is very personal and may not be related to religion in any way. As we move deeper into the school year, remember to take time to look after your spiritual health as well as the other areas of your life in addition to your studies.The Office of Health Promotion and Wellness is here to support you now and throughout the year. We are here to listen, help and meet you where you are. Finding a healthy balance and learning to nurture your whole self can be difficult. If you would like support or resources please reach out at any time via email, phone or social media (see below), we’d love to hear from you!

 

Phone: 773-325-7129

Email: hpw@depaul.edu

Social Media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @healthydepaul

 

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Recovery Student Spotlight- Katherine

Welcome back to another Recovery Student Spotlight.  This week, we will be spotlighting Katherine*, a senior at DePaul.  Katherine is 32 years old and Psychology major.  She identifies as being in recovery from heroin use and an anxiety disorder.  Katherine attends DePaul’s weekly Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) meetings to help support her recovery 

Tell us about the Collegiate Recovery Community at DePaul 

Katherine explained that when she hears “Collegiate Recovery Community, she first thinks of the word “security.” She spoke about the value that she finds in having a safe group to go to that will listen to her nonjudgmentally.  While she noted that she does not always feel like going to CRC meetings, the meetings are helpful to her recovery as they provide her with structure.  Not only that, but the CRC gives her a sense of accountability to show up to support both her own recovery and the recovery of others.   

Help us debunk some myths about recovery 

When it comes to myths about recovery, one of the biggest myths Katherine wants to debunk is the false belief that substance use disorders are a moral issue.  In fact, Katherine sees substance use disorders as something that has many different facets to it, all of which affect each person in recovery differently.  Since certain substances can become begin to feel necessary for a person with a use disorder to live, this causes a reaction to do things that the person would not normally do.  Because of this, Katherine does not see this as a flaw in someone’s morals. 

Another myth that Katherine wants to debunk is the myth that recovery can only be effective when someone with a substance use disorder wants to recover from the beginning of the process.  Katherine remembers that when she went to a recovery program back in 2017, she did not feel ready to recover.  Seeing that she had the opportunity to go to another treatment program after previously trying to recover eventually made her want to give recovery another chance.  From there, she started to become more physically healthy, which made her more determined to work towards recovery.  Katherine explains that she is grateful to be alive and to have been given the chance to recover, even though she did not feel willing to use these resources at the beginning of the process. 

What do you want the world to know about recovery and the CRC? 

Something that Katherine wants other college students in recovery to know is that it is okay to struggle and seem outwardly successful at the same time.  She explains that this is part of the reason why the CRC is so helpful.  The CRC allows Katherine and other students to be vulnerable in talking about their struggles and feel supported by people who have similar goals to and want to be there to support and listen to one another.  In fact, she claims that the CRC is one of the biggest forces that allows her to continue on her recovery journey because of the peer support that she receives and gives to others.   

If you would like more information about DePaul’s Collegiate Recovery Community, feel free to email the Office of Health Promotion & Wellness at hpw@depaul.edu.  Check back next week for another Recovery Student Spotlight interview!  Happy Recovery Month! 

*Name is shared with permission.