American heart month

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) commemorates American Heart Month each February to encourage a heart healthy lifestyle. This year, join the #OurHearts movement and prioritize self-care as an example to others. See below for suggestions on daily actions toward self-care:

  • Self-Care Sunday
    Find a moment of serenity every Sunday. Spend some quality time on yourself.
  • Mindful Monday
    Be mindful about your health and regularly monitor your blood pressure or blood sugar if needed. Keep an eye on your weight to make sure it stays within or moves toward a healthy range. Being aware of your health status is a key to making positive change.
  • Tasty Tuesday
    Choose how you want to approach eating healthier. Start small by pepping up your meals with a fresh herb or spice as a salt substitute. Get adventurous and prepare a simple, new, heart-healthy recipe. Or go big by trying a different way of eating, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, which is scientifically proven to lower blood pressure. DASH is flexible and balanced, and it includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, fish, poultry, lean meats, beans, nuts, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Wellness Wednesday
    Don’t waffle on your wellness. Move more, eat a fruit or vegetable you’ve never tried, make a plan to quit smoking or vaping, or learn the signs of a heart attack or stroke. You could be having a heart attack if you have chest and upper body pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, cold sweats, nausea, or lightheadedness. You might be having a stroke if you have numbness in the face, arm, or leg; confusion; trouble talking or seeing; dizziness; or a severe headache.
  • Treat Yourself Thursday
    Treats can be healthy. Try making a dessert with fresh fruit and yogurt. Then stretch your imagination beyond food. Host a family dance party, take a few minutes to sit still and meditate, go for a long walk, or watch a funny show. Laughter is healthy. Whatever you do, find a way to spend some quality time on yourself.
  • Follow Friday
    Follow inspiring people and pages on social media, or text a friend to help you stick to your self-care goals. Remember to take care of your mental health, too. Two of the main hurdles to self-care are depression and a lack of confidence, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. If your mental health gets between you and your fabulous self, take action to show your heart some love. Reach out to family and friends for support, or talk to a qualified mental health provider.
  • Selfie Saturday
    Inspire others to take care of their own hearts. Talk about your self-care routine with loved ones or share a selfie on your social media platforms. Having social support and personal networks can make it easier to get regular physical activity, eat nutritious foods, reach a healthy weight, and quit smoking.

feel better now

Feel Better Now is a four-week experiential workshop offered by the University Counseling Center’s Mindfulness Center that focuses on teaching students ways of understanding their emotions. It provides them with psycho-educational information, skill-building, group discussion, and experiential exercises to learn skills for emotional regulation and mindfulness, and to develop healthier, more effective ways of coping with stress and difficult emotions. This workshop is free to students, faculty and staff. For more information on this workshop and others offered this spring check the Mindfulness Center website.