We all know that feeling–the sneezing, the itchy and watery eyes, the runny or stuffy noses–and it’s often because of springtime allergies. Spring has finally sprung and now we are being bombarded with rain, pollen and the polar opposites Minnesota weather.
And frankly, the symptoms of allergies are frustrating and rather annoying when you have schoolwork and studying to do. No one wants to write a paper with a sinus headache and a box of tissues.
So normally you’d turn to your parents to figure out what medicine to take or what home remedies will help with your allergies, but now that you’re on your own deciphering between Allegra, Claritin and all the other options can be exhausting.
Here are some helpful hints on dealing with allergies and finding relief:
These are just some suggestions that I have found useful when dealing with allergies. If you want more information on exactly what medications are best for you, check out this article by the Mayo Clinic.
Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but until this weather clears up, I’m going to get back to my homework and my box of tissues.
Longboards are appearing all around campus, and so are trips to the emergency room. According to an article at LiveScience.com, “Longboarders are at much greater risk of head fracture, traumatic brain injury and bleeding inside the skull (intracranial hemorrhage) than skateboarders.”
I myself have fallen off my longboard several times, but the embarrassment of falling on campus doesn’t match the possible bodily injury that could happen.
Here are some DOs for staying safe on a longboard:
Now for the DON’Ts:
If You Fall
If you follow these safety tips, you will be less likely to have any accidents. But if you do fall, don’t get up right away. Assess your injuries: does your head hurt, did you black out, does it feel like something is broken? Hopefully you are not riding alone and your friends can assist you. If you are alone, try to call for help on a cell phone or shout. If you are in the street, try to scoot to safety if you can. If not, make yourself well lit (such as using the flashlight on a cell phone) and make yourself as big as possible so people in cars can see you and help instead of hitting you.
If you only remember one thing from this blog post, know that you are not invincible. In fact, we are all subject to cuts, broken bones, head injuries and even death. You must know and accept these liabilities before you ride and be smart the way you enjoy this fun sport.
Happy riding, Winona!
All right everyone, it’s group activity time. I want all of you to picture for a moment the state of your homes, especially your bedrooms. For those of you currently at home, this task may be simplified by taking a moment to look around. Stop whatever else you’re doing just for a few seconds and just take in your environment.
Have a good image in mind?
Those of you who just pictured a comfortable, organized space with visible floors and no dishes in the sink, feel free to pat yourselves on the back and go back to your regularly scheduled blog-browsing.
Those of you who just grimaced as you realized that you still haven’t taken the laundry out of the basket this week or have a pile of cereal bowls in the sink that is starting to make the Tower of Pisa look insignificant may benefit from a brief jaunt down Sophie’s memory lane.
For many, many years I was definitely one of you guys. I was the type of girl who lived out of a suitcase even when I had a closet full of hangers at my disposal. I let books and homework pile up on the floor until I had to choreograph a very specific jumping pattern in order to reach my bed, and I hoarded enough cups, bowls and glasses on my desk that I put Smaug and his gold to shame.
My excuses were always the same: “Sure it’s a mess but it’s my mess” and “It’s a specific type of chaos that I can thrive in” or even “Yeah, it looks bad but I know where to find everything I need.” I lived this way in my single dorm for my freshmen and sophomore years and when I got roommates as a junior I just contained the disaster to my own room and didn’t let it bother them. I figured that would be good enough.
However, at the beginning of last semester I moved into a single apartment. As my class workload increased and the rest of my free time was being devoted to my new job, I realized that the controlled chaos was no longer as manageable as I thought. Halfway through the second month I realized that I’d never actually developed any reasonable cleaning skills. The clever hopping to my bed became a tedious path that I could barely navigate as I stumbled to bed after class and the bowls around my desk were frustratingly unavailable as I woke up early for work and needed a quick breakfast.
Without me even realizing it, my home environment had become just as stressful as my school and work.
It was then that I decided something had to change, but I couldn’t just undo years of perfect chaos. I had to develop a plan.
I started slowly by cleaning each dish immediately after using it. Later, I dumped my laundry on the bed so I’d have to put it away before I slept. Every time I stepped on something I picked it up and put it on a shelf. Each task was small in its own way, but it made a difference over a couple of weeks. Slowly, the mess began to unravel and my cute little efficiency apartment actually became visible.
It wasn’t an immediate change, and now that I’m two months away from graduating, I’m finally in the habit of just putting things away as I finish with them to the point where I don’t even think about it anymore. I even bought a vacuum cleaner for myself. Seriously, I was actually excited when it came too. I am officially that person.
When I come home from class or work to a clean apartment it makes everything feel simpler. I can focus on homework without constantly hearing my mother’s voice saying “You should really take out the trash, Sophie.” My apartment actually feels like a sanctuary instead of a cave I rent for sleeping.
I obviously can’t convince some of you lovers of chaos that having a clean home can lend to a clear mind but I will vouch for it till the ends of the earth. Just starting small with a little floor-pick-up here and there is enough to give it a go.
Just know that your environment might be affecting you more than you realize, and even if the pile of socks by your bed says otherwise, you definitely have the power to control it.
Keeping your space clear can be a quick fix to help keep your stress maintained and it can be the first step in creating an environment that actually feels like home. At the end of a long day sometimes that’s the best comfort in the world
Unless you count hot chocolate, of course.
As March raced to a close, we finally started to feel the air begin to warm, hear the birds chirping and see the grass replace snow. So I guess that means spring is here at last!
With the frigid days and dark evenings of winter behind us, we are beginning to crawl off the couch and away from our Netflix queues to take advantage of the new season. I’ve been seeing more and more people flock to the Wellness Center and the lakeside running trails to take in the sunshine and fresh air and to assess the damage the long winter has done to their levels of fitness.
For those of us that let winter get the best of them and are starting off back at square one, lacing up those running shoes and getting back out there can be a little difficult. You may be thinking, Where do I start? What should I be doing? How do I get motivated? Luckily, it seems like the folks in the IWC know how difficult this can be and has given us students some great resources and sources of motivation to help us get back out there and get on the course back to healthy activities.
For those of you are not sure where to start, the Fitness Center offers free fitness programs that you can download and use to get in a routine. These workout programs vary in length, number of days, and the type of workout you are looking to do and are a great place to start after a winter of binge-watching Netfix.
If you need some external motivation, just remember that your friends are likely MORE than willing to tell you when you are slacking. Working out with a friend can be much more fun than going alone, so it can be a great motivator that will help you stay on track. If you can’t find anyone, Health and Wellness Services has can hook you up with a workout buddy.
For those of you that are living in the residence halls, Prentiss-Lucas Hall and the Quad are currently putting on various wellness challenges over the month of April. Talk to your RA about joining and try to help your floor get the most hours in the gym. A little competition can give you some motivation to get out there as well.
I’m writing this from under the covers of my bed, so clearly, I’m not perfect with this either. However, the urge to get rid of layer covering my stomach (10 pizzas in the last 6 weeks will do that to a guy) is starting to get to me. Luckily I don’t need the extra pudge to stay warm anymore.
Best of luck to all of you!
Lately I’ve seen a lot of posts on Facebook about the New Year’s Resolutioners in the gym. There have been posts discouraging them, posts from them feeling judged, and I just can’t grasp this conflict between gym-goers and resolutioners.
Yes, it’s February and the gym has been packed since January 1. I know this means you feel like you are fighting your way to get in your own workout and it’s frustrating. The reality is you have to be motivated to continue your workout.
Making a resolution involving the gym isn’t an easy one and many people set their sights too high. Some resolutions may include losing 10 pounds or more, but instead of creating a plan, most people are looking for instant gratification, let me tell you, it doesn’t work that way. In actuality you are only supposed to lose 2 pounds a week, meaning if your goal was to lose 10 pounds, it should take you 5 weeks. The key with maintaining gym resolutions is setting your goal smaller than small; by this I mean setting realistic goals. So instead of saying you’re going to lose weight, say you want to lose 10 pounds in 2 months. But, you need to account for the days you won’t have time to make it to the gym, or the days you decide to eat out. By accepting that achieving your goal is going to take time, you are more likely to succeed.
Many resolutioners and even gym-goers can become unmotivated. Like I said before, some people don’t like being at the gym when it’s packed. Maybe it’s because you’re self-conscious, maybe it’s because you just don’t feel like it today, or maybe you are really exhausted from your day. But these are all excused you tell yourself. No, it’s not easy going all the time, and sometimes your body does need to rest, but there are days when I don’t want to get all sweaty and then go back to class or studying. I know it’s not easy to set aside time for the gym either with how much you are required to study and the amount of homework you have, and can you imagine, having a job on top of that? It’s difficult, but whether you are a resolutioner trying to become a gym-goer or a gym junky, here are some things you can do on the days you doubt yourself:
My best advice though for any resolutioner or gym-goer, is that remember that there will always be people resolving to better themselves. Each January there is always a new group of people trying to be healthy and change themselves. But when you are in the gym you are doing it for yourself, not for the person running next to you, not for that hot guy or girl you’re trying to impress, not to justify that pint of ice cream you just ate. You are working out for you and you’ll only get out of it what you put into it. So don’t give up no matter what anyone says. You can do it.
Have you ever heard about “antioxidants” but don’t know what they actually are or what they do?
Well, when we put our bodies through stress– whether it’s physical or emotional– we produce molecules known as “free radicals.” These molecules interact with other things in our body to produce even more harmful stuff. Also known as “oxidative stress,” this process has been linked to aging and can be inflamed by things we do like stressing about studying for tests, smoking and tanning.
So how do we get rid of these pesky free radicals?!?! You guessed it: ANTIOXIDANTS because they are anti-oxidation! They help protect cells from damage by free radicals and can be found in many fruits and vegetables.
A group of Winona State professors and students have come together to put on an event for the entire Winona community called “Antioxidants: Just Juice It!” At the event, we will be demonstrating how incorporating juice smoothies into your diet can increase antioxidant intake to reduce oxidative stress!
So come to learn, come to ask questions, but most of all, come to drink free smoothies and reduce all that stress we put on our bodies as midterm is approaching.
The event will be held in the main hallway of the Integrated Wellness Complex on Wednesday, February 26 from 1-3 pm. It will be “walk-through” style with chances to win some cool prizes!
We hope to see you all there!