Hey, welcome to Saturdays with Shal. What is the difference between loneliness and solitude? In our constant schedules of always needing to be “on”, we lose much needed downtime. So instead of giving my usual advice backed by research and sources I thought I would switch it up and ask you folks what you do in your downtime. So what’s your favourite “little thing” to do?
Kathryn says that “every night before bed I make a cup of tea and read for like 15 minutes or so to turn off my brain.” This is the exact answer I was looking for. This is Kathryn, be more like Kathryn. Avoid using the cellphone or laptop at least half an hour before bed and instead curl up with a book. Thanks Kathryn!
Erik likes his downtime to be "spending a weekend pulling everything off my shelves, out of my closets, off the tables and cleaning and dusting then rearranging everything again according to some hierarchical system like colour, size, shape, or alphabetical placing. It’s satisfying and relaxing!” Awesome, thanks Erik, you are a true architect.
Similarly, Tian says, "I have a pre-downtime, downtime ritual where I clean and organize my room (on the surface, don't go into the drawers). If the space I'm in is organized then I feel like my life is too which helps me stay motivated.” I love it Tian, couldn’t have said it better myself. I believe in the saying, “your room / desk reflects your state of mind. A cluttered room is often a cluttered mind." Thanks, Tian.
Rohini - one of my favourite answers - said, “my favourite thing to do when I get home after a long day of classes is put on my polka dot pjs, crank up the salsa music, and have a little fiesta while marinating chicken for dinner.” Rohini, I appreciate you. You get comfy, destress, and eat a proper, nutritious meal.
How about some things on the go? Raza’s favourite "little thing" to do is to “walk in the snow while listening to music.” This is also a favourite little thing of mine, and it can happen while walking to class. Get some fresh air and bring a pair of headphones. Thanks Raza.
Tina’s answer is also something I can definitely relate to. She said, "When I get a few hours of me time, I love to curl up with my fuzzy blanket and turn on my little Christmas lights by the window and attempt to watch a movie. But, because of my indecisive nature, I spend the duration of a movie watching the trailers instead and eventually end up somewhere with funny people making me laugh at 4am. Things are always more funny at ungodly hours. Oooo and there's always lots of tea and chocolate involved!” Yeah I usually just try to gamble on netflix or pick the first one I sort of feel like watching. But yes, Tina, I love how this is your favourite “little thing.”
This was really fun to interview people and see their point of view, so expect future SWS “little things” posts in the future. Do you have a favourite “little things” ritual? Don’t be shy, comment below! That’s it for this week, Daniels. Be sure to make time for yourself like your awesome peers above. Stay classy out there.
Hello and welcome to Saturday with your Health & Wellness Director Shal, for Saturdays with Shal. Last week I talked about the cons of drinking a lot of caffeine and I wanted to build upon that this week with some tips for drinking water. I know drinking water sounds like the most boring habit to get into (or, if you’re about that pun life, the most dry habit to get into...tehe). But it’s also one of the most beneficial. University of Illinois professor Ruopeng An found that people who increased their consumption of plain water by 1% decreased the number of calories they consumed, as well as the amounts of sugar, sodium, fat and cholesterol they took in daily. And this also applies to us as university students. Chris Pawson of University of East London (just one study among many conducted) found that students who bring water into an exam did on average 5% better. First-year students bringing water in did upwards of 10% better than their peers! That’s nuts! You might be asking why, and though it cannot be narrowed down to one answer, researchers attribute drinking water to alleviating any anxiety or nerves of exams and keeping the brain flowing (Pawson, 2012) (don’t forget the brain is made up of about 75% water!). "The amount of water intake you should have per day is 3 litres for men (so about 13 cups) and 2.2 litres for women (9 cups)" (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Note: This is total water liquid, which you get some from the foods you eat. If you avoid drinking water because of it’s bland taste, try adding some healthy foods. AllRecipes.com says food like cucumbers, citrus fruits, melons, and mint flavour the water immediately. Apples, cinnamon, fresh ginger root, and rosemary need an overnight soak in the fridge. That’s it for this week, Daniels, I hope I see more of you with water bottles rather than coffee mugs. Keep it classy out there.
Hey! It’s your pal Shal with Saturdays with Shal. Do you drink a lot of coffee or energy drinks? I can honestly say I personally don’t, but If you do I thought I would give you nutrition facts on caffeine. I think this topic is important because as University students and specifically as Art-itecture students we have a high demand to be alert and stimulated at all times. Most students then turn to coffee and caffeinated beverages as a way of keeping up. But sometimes they may not consider the negative effects this has on their body (I still can’t figure out how affect and effect work so don’t kill me if it’s wrong). According to our own U of T Nutritional Sciences Prof Ahmed El-Sohemy, caffeine is becoming increasingly popular for youth, but also a dangerous popularity (I suggest reading the article attached below). "The majority of users consumed energy drinks for insufficient sleep (67%), to increase energy (65%), and to drink with alcohol while partying (54%)” (El-Sohemy, 2007). Michele L. Pettit, a researcher with University of Wisconsin wrote a research paper on Perceived Stress, Energy Drink Consumption, and Academic Performance Among College Students. Pettit found that positive correlations existed between participants’ perceived stress and energy drink consumption, and energy drink consumption and academic performance were negatively correlated. This means that students who had perceived stress were more likely to be drinking energy drinks and people who drank energy drinks were more likely to have lower grades. The side effects of caffeine according to Government Health Canada includes anxiety, sleep difficulties, irritability, shakiness and headaches.
Now, I certainly cannot tell you what to do. My job here is to provide you health information for topics such as this. I also look to encourage you to reflect upon your own caffeine drinking habits. Is drinking a cup of coffee a day going to kill you? No, but if you’re going above that limit I would be careful. Maybe it’s actually hurting you more than helping you. Try trading that coffee mug for a water bottle. U of T has a large number of water filling stations across campus (no comment on 665). That’s it today for SWS, have a good rest of your weekend. Stay classy!