Take a Break

Don’t have time to take a break? Good news — taking a break actually increases your motivation, energy, and ability to focus. Whether it’s just a few moments of deep breathing or a weekend camping trip with friends, taking a break for any amount of time can give your brain the rest it needs to keep you happy and productive.

Penn State and the surrounding community have a lot to offer when it comes to fun leisure activities. Here are just a few ideas.

5 Ways to Take a Break:

1. Visit the Arboretum
2. Take a hike! Mount Nittany is one of many local hiking options.
3. Attend a Penn State sports event
4. Go to the free yoga class at UHS (T, W, R @ 4 pm in 205 Student Health Center)
5. Check out a performance through the Penn State School of Theatre

Sexual Violence Prevention Fall Action Week

Like most universities, sexual violence is a major concern at Penn State. To help educate students about sexual violence, UPUA is hosting Fall Action Week. One of the goals of the week is to raise awareness about this topic. Attend an event and learn more about what you can do to promote safe and healthy sexual relationships in the Penn State Community.

Here’s a list of what’s going on:

  • Discussion on Sexual Violence – Monday, November 16 at 8 pm, in 129 B&C HUB.
  • Information Table – Monday, November 16, Tuesday, November 17, and Wednesday, November 18 at 11 am to 3 pm in the HUB
  • “The Line” -Wednesday, November 18 at 7:30 pm in the State Theatre, Downtown State College. The Line is a personal documentary exploring sexual boundaries and consent. Following the screening, there will be a discussion panel with the director, Nancy Schwartzman.

Fall action week flyer

Study finds strong link between alcohol use and breast cancer.

It has been known for some time that heavy alcohol consumption increases risk of cancer. However, the link between light to moderate drinking and cancer risk has been unclear. A new study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that women who consume one to two drinks per day had an increase risk of breast cancer. To decrease your future risk of cancer, consider reducing your alcohol intake or abstaining from alcohol completely.


Love Your Body Week: October 19th-23rd

HealthWorks peer educators spent the week encouraging students to love, appreciate, nurture, and respect their body.   Students who attended fitness classes in White Building during this week were welcomed with positive messages on the mirrors and hearts decorating the walls, encouraging them to think more positively about their bodies.  Peer educators encouraged students to write why they love their body on a sticky note or write a negative thought they have about their body on a balloon and pop it at the Love Your Body table in various locations on campus throughout the week.  Those who live in the Residence Halls may have noticed sticky notes with positive messages adorning the mirrors on their floor.  To find out more about how you can foster a body positive environment for others and yourself check out: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/developing-and-maintaining-positive-body-image

Love Your Body Week Balloon Display
Love Your Body Week Balloon Display

LionsCare can help you stay on track with health goals


LC logo

If you drink alcohol and want free, confidential support to reduce alcohol-related consequences LionsCare is here for you. LionsCare is a free, confidential text messaging service shown to be effective in reducing harmful consequences associated with alcohol use. LionsCare is an easy to use tool that can help you track your drinking over time and set goals to keep your risk of alcohol-related problems low. You may already use your phone to track physical activity and nutrition habits, so why not use it to help you stay on track with your drinking.

Signing up for the service is easy.  Text the word HEALTH to 412-906-4450.

After subscribing to LionsCare, you will receive 12-weeks of personalized text messages.  You will only receive messages twice a week, so it’s not intrusive. You will be contacted on Thursday to help you set goals for the weekend.  On Sunday, you will receive another message to see how the weekend went. The messages are designed to provide information about drinking norms, and potential injuries associated with heavy drinking episodes, blacking out, and hangovers.  You will receive messages reinforcing behaviors that reduce the harms associated with dangerous drinking. You will also be given strategies to help handle the social pressure that can accompany drinking in college.

University Health Services is sponsoring the free service. Because it is a confidential program, Penn State will never have access to your name or cell phone number.  Staff will only have access to de-identified, aggregate data.

LionsCare is Penn State’s version of CaringTXT© created by healthStratica, LLC.

To learn more about LionsCare, please visit http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health/wellness/LionsCare.shtml

Fuel Your Body

Most college students lead pretty active lives. Most of you walk to class and many of you engage in some type of fitness-related activity, such as going to the gym or running. It’s important to get enough fuel (calories, that is) to help you stay focused and energized throughout the day. Be sure to eat nutrient-dense food, such as fruits, vegetable, proteins and whole grains. Eat breakfast, even if it’s something small like a piece of fruit.   Avoid skipping meals and try to limit processed foods with minimal nutrients.

Here are 5 Ways to Fuel your Body

1. Cook dinner with your friends
2. Visit the State College Farmer’s Market
3. Try a new fruit or vegetable for lunch
4. Pack healthy snacks in your bag for days when you’re on the go
5. Eat a solid breakfast to get your day started

More sleep can help you fend off those nasty cold germs.

Ever wonder why some people catch the cold that’s going around while others don’t? Many factors contribute to your body’s ability to fend off a cold.  Aric Prather, a psychologist at the University of California found that those who sleep less than six hours per night are four times more likely to catch a cold virus than those who sleep seven or more.

Research also suggests that factors such as chronic stress, smoking, and lack of exercise can also increase susceptibility to cold germs.

Listen to a National Public Radio story about this topic.

Read Dr. Pather’s journal article in Sleep.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Banner
Women ages 16 to 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence¹ and it is estimated that physical aggression occurs in 20–30% of college dating relationships² . Domestic Violence Awareness month aims to raise awareness about domestic violence and empower everyone to take steps to end it. Relationship violence happens to women of all ages, religions, races, sexual orientations, and socio-economic classes and is never the victim’s fault. Learn more about how to recognize abusive behaviors and support victims of relationship violence from Penn State’s Center for Women Students. You can also learn more by visiting the information table in the UHS lobby this month.

The following counseling and medical resources are available to students who experience intimate partner violence.

Emotional Support Services:

Center for Women Students (CWS)
204 Boucke Building
(814) 863-2027

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)
501 Student Health Center
(814) 863-0395

Centre County Women’s Resource Center (open 24 hours)
140 W. Nittany Avenue

Medical Resources:

University Health Services
Student Health Center
Schedule an Appointment Online
(814) 863-0774 — Schedule an Appointment by Phone
(814) 863-4463 — Advice Nurse available 24/7

Mt. Nittany Medical Center
1800 E. Park Avenue
State College, PA 16803
(814) 231-7000 — General Information
(814) 234-6110 — Emergency Medicine

To report misconduct related to relationship violence call 1-800-560-1637 or visit www.hotline.psu.edu.


¹ U.S. Department of Justice Special Report; Nonfatal Domestic Violence, 2003–2012

²K.M. Bell, A.E. Naugle; Effects of social desirability on students’ self-reporting of partner abuse perpetration and victimization. Violence and Victims, 22 (2007), pp. 243–256

Financial Literacy Programs

Do your monthly expenses cause you stress? Penn State’s Student Financial Education Center offers valuable resources to help students make informed decisions regarding money management. The Center offers a series of online workshops called MoneyCounts: A Financial Literacy Series. Topics include student loans, budgeting fundamentals, credit cards, debt management, and taxes. Staff and peer educators from the Center can answer questions via email or to meet with students by appointment.

For more information about educational programs, peer educators and online resources, visit http://financialliteracy.psu.edu/.