Flu Season! It’s not something to sneeze about…

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Happy almost end of September, everyone!

That said, flu season is rapidly approaching and that pesky little bug will be landing in every nook, cranny, and crevice around us.  Door handles, bathrooms, public food scooper spoons, borrowed pencils, drinking fountain buttons, handicapped door buttons, KEYBOARDS, desks, chairs, tables, friends, everywhere!  That may be a little bit of an exaggeration, but seriously, it is something to keep in the front of your mind from mid-fall to mid-spring, the worst of it being in the dead of winter.

The flu doesn’t take it’s time, it will hit you like 10 page paper due the next day.  Symptoms include high temps, runny nose/sore throat, and a nasty feeling dry-hacking cough.  You may also experience some achiness, weakness, headache, and fatigue. Fun stuff, eh?

So instead of putting out a welcome sign for that nasty little bugger why not take some steps to stop it before it starts!

  • First of all, get a vaccine! We will be having a flu shot clinic here on campus on Monday, Oct 1 from 9:45am-11am in UC 211/212, Tuesday Oct 2 from 11:30am-1pm in the West Dining Hall (Northlawn,) and Wednesday, Oct 3 from 3:30-4:30pm in UC 211/212.  Why not come? All you need to do is bring $20 in cash, check or student ID form and you will already be on your way to a healthy majority-of-the-school-year! (Keep in mind that medicaid/medicare is not accepted.)
  • Make sure you wash your hands FREQUENTLY! If you have the flu, please don’t make other people miserable.  Wash your hands as much as you can so you don’t spread it around.  If you don’t have the flu, wash your hands so you don’t pick up what was left behind by those who may not wash their hands as often…
  • Keep your distance from large crowds where people may be coughing, shaking hands, etc…It might also not be a bad idea to sit in the back row one day if you hear a bit of a rasp in your professor’s voice…just sayin’. Health purposes only, right?
  • If you do get the flu, like I mentioned above, wash your hands excessively to prevent spread through door handles, and other interactions.  Also, don’t feel bad about taking a rest and re-energize day.  E-mail your professor to let them know, and take care of yourself.
  • And finally, I know how silly it sounds, but if it comes down to it, wear a mask if you have to be in a high-risk group. Period.  If you want to stay healthy, this is one of the best things you can do.

Thanks for reading everyone! Stay healthy!

E-mail me at emuhealthservices@gmail.com for recommendations, requests, questions, or interest in guest-blogging.

-Hannah Richter

Ready, Set, ROUTINE!

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In Fall of 2009, coming in as a freshman at EMU, I thought I had mentally prepared myself so well for what was to come. I was so excited to not be in a classroom all day and to really take control of my own time and schedule. I recognized that my mom was no longer going to be making my meals and I wasn’t going to have tennis practice after school anymore to make sure I kept up with staying active. But I felt like I was in a good place to start a routine for myself.

Arriving at EMU was as a first year was so empowering. The sense of independence, meeting people, being in charge of getting myself to class every morning/afternoon, being the one to tell myself to get my homework done, being the one to decide when to return back to my room to make sure I get adequate sleep at night, and getting myself to church in the morning instead of hitching a ride with my folks. I was so ready for all of these things and after a couple weeks I really established a routine.

Since my senior year has started, I’ve recognized now more than ever how important it is to establish a routine such as this early on. I’ve definitely been that student who procrastinates a ten page paper, pulls an all-nighter to complete it, then naps the next afternoon to “catch up” and as a result doesn’t make it to the caf in time for a healthy meal. When that happens, it can ruin the rest of your week. How on top of your game can you be with small amounts of sleep, not enough brain-food, and poorly written papers? That’s enough to get you off track for awhile!

To help assist you in making the most of your independence I’ve come up with a list of ideas/facts for you to keep in mind as you get into and shape your routine. The earlier you figure out what works for you the more likely it will stick and the better you will feel!

Bigger ISN’T better when it comes to your food! (www.learningzonexpress.com)
Steer clear of ordering food with words like combo, ultimate, kingsize, jumbo, supersize, deluxe, tub (this word is gross!), value meal, supreme, biggie, and colossal.

Eating/drinking an extra 100 calories a day for a year can lead to a weight gain of 10 pounds if those calories aren’t expended! (www.learningzonexpress.com)
Know where your food comes from! Take advantage of the food that EMU provides from the campus gardens and local area, if you are unsure of where it comes from, ask. If the provider doesn’t know, be wary because chances are it is highly processed and loaded with preservatives.
Eat slowly! Enjoy your meal and pay attention to fullness cues. (www.choosemyplate.gov)
If you finish your meal and are still hungry afterwards, wait ten minutes before getting up for seconds. Give your digestive system time to catch up, if you’re still hungry after ten minutes, get something small like yogurt or fruit.
Don’t waste your daily calories on beverages. Drink water, milk or 100% juice to quench your thirst. (www.choosemyplate.gov)
Wake up at the same time every day!
Set monthly goals for exercise. If you want to start an exercise routine, start small and work your way up.
Take breaks! Set aside time to work on homework, but after an hour or two, take a break. Take a lap around the building, stop in a friends room, or catch up on your favorite TV show.
Most importantly, make sure your spending time with friends or doing something you love! You will be much happier and enjoy your college experience much more thoroughly if you have a good balance between work and play.

Good luck!

If you have suggestions or recommendations about something you’d like to read about, e-mail us at emuhealthservices@gmail.com.

-Hannah Wenger Richter

Reviewing Relationships

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In one out of every five relationships in college one of the partners is experiencing abuse. This statistic is disturbing as I can easily think of five college-age couples without putting fourth much effort. So, if this problem is there, the best thing to do is meet it head on. This doesn’t mean scrutinizing every relationship for a pitfall, but I do believe that it means being aware of what a red flag is in a relationship is and recognizing that something should be done.

Dating abuse can be physical, or sexual, or emotional. Sometimes when we think about abuse in relationships it is easy to only think about the physical abuse, but emotional abuse in relationships is also very damaging. Being ignored, name called, and repeatedly put down are some real examples of emotional abuse that should be taken seriously just as being shoved or slapped should be.

Recognizing a red flag is one hurtle, but dealing with them is another. For people in a relationship, communication about these issues is important. If they cannot be fixed and the relationship cannot be a healthy one, then that reality needs to be recognized and dealt with. If there are safety issues with breaking up, take them seriously; stay with a friend, make sure the door is locked, or do whatever measure is needed to be safe. If it is a friend who is experiencing red flags, they may or may not be very receptive to advice against their partner even if the red flags seem obvious to outsiders. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t say something to them, but it also doesn’t mean that you should abandon them when they can’t seem to see the same things you do.

There is so much more about red flags in relationships that I haven’t mentioned here. Although I’ve focused on relationships between partners, the same abuse can occur in relationships with friends and family. I urge you to do some more research on what red flags are, and also what healthy relationships are like, to help get a better picture of what a good, healthy relationship is. One of the first steps is knowing that you deserve relationships that are healthy, and then demanding that kind of respect for yourself, while also showing that kind of respect to the people around you.

By Holly Jensen

September is Fruit and Vegetable Month

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Did you know that September is Fruit and Vegetable Month?  There is actually a featured Fruit and Vegetable each month.  Several years ago, the National 5 A Day program became the national Fruit and Vegetable Program and launched a new public health initiative, Fruits & Veggies–More Matters.  The new guidelines recommend two to six and a half cups of fruits and vegetables a day (four to 13 servings).  The program seeks to inform everyone that eating fruits and vegetables can improve their health and reduce the risk of cancer and chronic diseases, including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and stroke.

Fruits and Vegetables come in terrific colors and flavors, but what lies inside is the real beauty.  Some examples include green spinach, orange sweet potatoes, black beans, yellow corn, purple plums, red apples, and white onions. Eating these gives your body a wide range of valuable nutrients like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C.

Substituting fruits and vegetables for higher calorie foods can be part of a weight loss strategy.

Even you busy people can benefit from food that’s nutritious, yet easy to eat on-the-go, like fresh fruits and vegetables. Snack on raw veggies like baby carrots, pepper strips, broccoli, and celery. You can even grab an apple, orange, banana, pear to eat on the go. Try stashing bags of dried fruit in your backpack or at your desk for a convenient snack.  Fruits and veggies are a natural source of energy and give the body nutrients you need to keep going.

Other ways to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Intake

  • Have a fruit or juice at breakfast daily.
  • Pile spinach leaves, tomatoes, peppers, and onions on your pizza.
  • Check out the salad bar at the dining hall – it has a wide variety of fruits and vegetables on it daily.
  • Add strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and other brightly colored fruits – fresh frozen or canned- to your waffles, pancakes or toast.

To learn more about Fruits and Vegetables go to http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov

Feeling Stressed Yet?

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It’s that time of year again. The trees are budding, the flowers blooming, and the sun shining. If you’re anything like me, you probably want to be outside enjoying the beauty of spring. This past weekend we enjoyed the fun of Springfest, and as time moves on, we find ourselves getting more and more antsy for summer.

BUT… if you’re anything like me, you’re also very aware of the fact that summer is not yet here. Something big and ominous lies between you and freedom. That’s right. It’s crunch time! You’re probably scrambling to write that final paper, put together that notebook, or get your group together to work on your group project. Oh, and let’s not forget the final unit test to complete this week before moving on to EXAMS.

To say the least, you may be feeling a little stressed right about now. So what are you going to do about it? Below are some tips from  http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_management_relief_coping.htm on how to manage stress, both during crunch time and throughout life.

#1. Avoid unnecessary stress

Learn how to say no.

We all have our limitations. It’s ok to say no to things that we don’t have time for or simply can’t do. It’s not a sign of failure. It’s the simple truth


Make a list of what you need to do and prioritize it. Distinguish between what you need to do and what you want to do. Focus on the most important things. If you have time later, go back and do the other things.

#2. Alter the Situation

Manage your time: Plan ahead and don’t overextend yourself

#3. Adapt to the Stressor

Try to be more positive in the way you look at things

Look at the big picture. Often things that we freak out about in the moment aren’t that big of a deal in the long run. Keep things in perspective.

Adjust your standards if necessary. Perfectionism can be a major cause of stress. Learn to let the little things go.

#4. Accept what you cannot change

Some things are just out of our control. It’s ok to let go and move on

#5. Make time for fun and relaxation

Set aside time for relaxation

Do something you enjoy every day

Keep your sense of humor


#6. Adopt a healthy lifestyle

Exercise regularly. Physical activity dramatically reduces the physical effects of stress

Eat a healthy diet. Balanced, nutritious meals help our bodies and brains function at their optimum level

Reduce caffeine and sugar. I know these are tempting, especially during finals, but although they cause a “high”, they often leave your body with a crash in mood and energy. Caffeine and sugar also inhibit good sleep.

Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs

Get plenty of sleep. Fatigue increases stress


Have a blessed, relaxed Easter Break and come back ready for a stress-free (or at least stress-reduced) finals week!


By Audrey Wolcott




Stress – A normal part of life

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Stress is a normal part of life. A certain level of stress is healthy and can be motivating. That extra burst of adrenaline that helps you finish your final paper, perform well in sports, or meet any challenge is positive stress.  It is a short-term physiological tension and added mental alertness that subsides when the challenge had been met, enabling you to relax and carry on.

Each of us responds to stress differently. What is stressful for one person may or may not be stressful for another.  Stress causes physiological and hormonal changes in the body.  A few examples are:

  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Changes in eating patterns
  • Increased frequency of headaches
  • Increased levels of frustration and anger
  • Being more irritable than normal
  • Recurring colds and minor illnesses
  • Frequent muscle aches and/or tightness
  • Being more disorganized than usual
  • Greater sense of persistent time pressure
  • Increased difficulty in getting things done.

So, how do you deal with this!  Fortunately, it’s possible to manage and maintain stress at relatively healthy levels by learning how your body reacts when it’s stressed out and monitoring yourself for these signs. Properly channeled, stress can result in increased productivity and creative solutions to problems.

Stress-Coping tips for College Students

  • Add a physical workout to your schedule at least every other day.You can jog, power walk, bike or go to the Fitness Center. Do not see this as ‘recreational time’ that can be blown off. Physical activity is a great way to insure that life’s minor stresses do not build up.
  • Set both long tern (this semester or this year) and short term (this day or this week) goals. Write them down. make them part of your time management schedule.
  • Manage your time. Develop a schedule that provides for academic, social and physical time. Follow the schedule! Seek help from the Academic Support Services in the Library to develop better time management skills.
  • Each day find twenty minutes of ‘alone time’ to relax. Take a walk, write in a journal or meditate. Did you know EMU has a prayer labyrinth which is located near the gazebo on the hill just above the Campus Center and seminary buildings.
  • Do not sweat the small stuff…always ask yourself if the issue at hand is worth getting upset about. If it is not affecting your goal achievement, it may not be worth worrying about.
  • Humor and positive thinking are important tools in stress management. Check out the events calendar on “My EMU” to see upcoming events that might make you laugh.
  • Most importantly, communicate!  Talking to a person who you trust (friend, roommate, family member, professor, residence director, community adviser, pastoral or ministry assistants, co-worker) about issues of concern is helpful. We all need someone to listen.

Need more information about stress.  Read the Stall Stories posted in the residential buildings and some academic buildings.  Come to our Health Fair on April 13th in the University Commons located on the 2nd floor between 11am and 3pm to learn how to “de-stress” and relax.