As always, Wellness Wednesdays is brought to you by the Health and Wellness Commission, a team of Daniels students who are not professionals but want to share what we know to help you live your healthiest and most well life.
This month we’re talking about nutrition. One of the hardest things about moving out of residence is losing the meal plan and having to cook for yourself. A great way to do this is to meal prep. A system that has worked really well for me is to pick a day where I know I have a good amount of free time, usually on the weekend, and cook a big batch of something. My personal favourite is chili; you can make it with ground beef, turkey, or if you're veggie try a butternut squash and black bean recipe which can be found here: http://www.simple-veganista.com/2012/10/butternut-squash-and-black-bean-chili.html (trust me, it’s so good). I’ll usually freeze half of what I make and then eat the rest throughout the week, interspersed with things that are quicker to make such as pasta, salads, and veggie burgers. Cooking can be a good and productive break to take from all that reading and model building. If you are struggling with finding the time to cook at home, the University of Toronto does offer meal plans for people who aren't living in residence. The information can be found here: https://ueat.utoronto.ca/meal-plans/.
You can also find out about UofT research on nutrition here: https://www.utoronto.ca/news/tags/nutrition
If professional help regarding nutrition is something you’d be interested in, you can make an appointment with a dietician at the Health and Wellness Centre. You can walk in to make an appointment or call, find their hours and numbers here: https://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/hwc/contact-us
Stay well, Daniels
Welcome to Wellness Wednesday!
We hope that your reading week treated you well! This month's stress management tip is to check in with yourself and get enough sleep.
Though the name contains a word relating to schoolwork, using the time off school for non-schoolwork can be even more important. School is stressful, our program is stressful, and stress takes a toll on your body.
I've heard this exchange several times since the end of reading week:
"How much did you get done over reading week?"
"Oh... not much, I was so bad, I mostly slept."
If that was you, that's perfectly okay! It's not bad to listen to what your body is telling you. Getting enough sleep is absolutely vital to maintaining your health (unless you're Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson, who sleeps 2 hours per night. Are you the Rock? I don't think so, go to bed on time).
Your reading week doesn't have to be a binary between relaxing and productive. Relaxing IS productive if it helps you stay healthy. If you did manage to progress on work over reading week, congratulations and treat yourself to an early bedtime with that extra time. If you slept and marathoned movies starring Strong Independent Women in the workplace or superhero shows or the Rock's movies, also congratulations!
Stay healthy, stay rested, AVSSU.
This month’s Wellness topic is healthy relationships. For many people, a strong sense of community is vital for a successful university experience and life in general. Clubs and interest groups are a great way to create this community on campus. You can find information about recognized campus groups here: https://www.ulife.utoronto.ca/organizations
Another great way to connect in Facebook groups within the University of Toronto network. There are groups for graduating classes, specific courses, colleges, and all sorts of different things.
Sometimes, though, these communities can be a source of stress. We often feel an intense need to belong, which can keep us in damaging situations like toxic friendships and relationships. If you’re struggling with something like this, you should speak to somebody you trust about what options are the most healthy for you. You can also make an appointment at the Health and Wellness Centre to see the Daniels embedded counselor.
Last month, our registrar sent out an email with some helpful information for anyone struggling with these kinds of issues or others. Here’s the information:
Drop-in appointments Wednesdays 2-4pm- Office of Registrar and Student Services
If you are struggling and are not quite sure what to do, don’t know what resources are available to you, or you just need someone to talk to, please stop by the Office of the Registrar and Student for a drop in appointment on Wednesdays from 2-4pm or call book an appointment to speak with an Advisor, 416-946-3897.
Friday appointments available
To better meet the diverse needs of our student population, all Daniels students can access counselling services from Justin Sharpe, registered social worker with Health & Wellness. Tailored to the challenges presented by university life, the focus of appointments is on strengths, resiliency, and skills-building.
To book an appointment with Justin call 416-978-8030 and identify yourself as a Daniels student. Justin will hold appointments in room 334 at 1 Spadina Crescent on Fridays. These appointments are confidential.
On-location International Transition Advisor
Drop-in appointments Wednesdays 11:30am-1:30pm in Daniels Commons (outside the new Café 059)
International students are encouraged to meet with Yaseen Ali from the Centre for International Experience. Get advice and support for adjusting to academic life, life in Canada, language, immigration policies, and more. He will be located in the Daniels Commons every Wednesday for drop-ins between 11:30am to 1:30pm or you can book an appointment by emailing email him at email@example.com or use the [cln.utoronto.ca]Career Learning Network (CLN) portal.
TW: discussion of body image, food mention, sex mention
It's time for October's Wellness Wednesday blog post!
This month is a busy one. There's pumpkin carving, pumpkin pie, pumpkin boat races (it’s a real thing!), and of course coming up with a costume that tops last Halloween. Unfortunately, for many, many people, myself included, this can be fraught with anxiety. See, for people who don’t fit our society’s idea of an acceptable appearance, we often feel pushed away from costumes we might otherwise like to wear.
That’s a load of barnacles.
Last year I finally gained the courage to wear a costume I had spent years telling myself, “Maybe next year when I’m thinner.” While I am working on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I’m not going to sit around for a fairy godmother to turn me into a kingdom-approved princess. I’m already a superhero. (I was Black Canary from DC Comics last year; this year’s heroic costume is TBD.)
I want everyone to feel empowered to wear the costume that they want without the pressure of either a sex-shaming or a sex-pushing society. This kind of attitude shift won’t happen overnight, but I’m hoping anyone reading this will feel at least a little inspiration.
Step 1 - Centre yourself
In the words of Mufasa, former King of the Lions, remember who you are. You are both the author and the protagonist in your story, whose chapters are open. You can be a warrior, a maker, a supporter, a hero. You can be a pirate, a tomato, a sexy pirate, a sexy tomato.
And in the words of a true Halloween icon, don’t dream it, be it.
Step 2 - Brainstorm
When it comes to creativity, there’s no such thing as a bad idea, only bad executions, so let the thinking flow! To get started, think about categories like book characters, movie characters, superheroes, animals, household objects, real life people (friends, family, public figures), and puns. Just be careful not to make a culture into a costume. Bounce the idea off some friends or read up on cultural appropriation.
Got an idea? Great! If not, don’t worry, something will come to you. Try running through your clothes and seeing what could be turned into something else.
Step 3 - Fight the fear
Once you have a costume idea, the following thoughts might occur to you:
“Oh, but this character has totally different hair and skin than I do.”
“I wish I could pull off a black leotard, but I guess this stapler costume isn’t happening.”
“But if I’m a sexy Eiffel Tower, I’ll have to shave my body hair.”
And here’s how you gotta respond to yourself:
This is your costume, not anyone else’s. Don’t let the haters get into your head with fear and negativity. Halloween 2017 only comes by one time, do you want to spend another year wishing you’d be brave enough to wear the costume you’ve been dreaming of?
Tell these fears to a trusted friend or family member who’ll help you feel secure in your choices.
Read more body positive blogs and Instagram posts.
Fight the fear, be courageous (like a lion).
Step 4 - Get spooky!
Now that you have that idea and a little more confidence, get out there and make your costume (or buy it, we all have busy lives). Be sure to check out Value Village on Bloor or one of their other locations in the GTA for discounted clothes and costumes. Near UofT there’s also Malabar on McCaul and Spirit Halloween on Yonge and on Queen. Unfortunately, like many regular clothing stores (although who am I to say that costumes are “"""irregular""”" clothes?), they may not have all sizes, so be sure to call ahead for these.
Step 5 - Hold your head high
You may run into enemies along this hero’s journey that you’re undertaking. You may have people staring at your body and making unsolicited comments that may fetishize or harass you. Just ignore them. They think that by hurting others, they might feel better about their sad selves. That’s pretty sad. You know what’s not sad? Wearing an awesome costume for the awesomest holiday. Ignore the haters and remember why you’re there (hint: to have scary, spooky fun).
We at AVSSU hope your Hallo-season is filled with confidence and fun frights. In the meantime, you can find me at Value Village being indecisive about which DC Superhero to be.
Hey Daniels! It’s Wellness Wednesday!
This month’s theme is body positivity. You may have heard the phrase before, but what is it? Wikipedia’s entry for the Body Positive Movement defines it as “a movement that encourages people to adopt more forgiving and affirming attitudes towards their bodies, with the goal of improving overall health and well-being.”
One of the beautiful things about body positivity is how open-ended it is! It can also mean self-acceptance, self-love, self-compassion and more (probably starting with ‘self-’)!. Most importantly, it’s a journey. It’d be pretty great to wake up one morning with complete confidence and freedom from insecurity, but in truth it takes time and effort. Framing your self-image with a positive light isn’t always easy, but can lead to a happier and more relaxed life. If your self-image is something you think you might need professional help for, you can get in contact with UofT’s Health and Wellness Centre to find out the best fit for you, which may include the services of the Daniels Faculty embedded psychologist: https://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/hwc/services-offered
The Centre for Women and Trans People offers a peer support program for a variety of subjects, including body image and mental health. Find out more about it here: http://womenscentre.sa.utoronto.ca/programming/peer-support/
Also check out this guide to strategies to become more positive about your body!
Finally, social media can be a powerful tool to implement body positive thinking. Search the hashtags #bodypositive or #bodypositivity on Instagram and Twitter. Comment your favorite body positive advocate!
Here at AVSSU, we wish you confidence and self-appreciation of your awesome self. If you have a story to tell regarding body positivity (As short or long as you'd like!) you can submit it here to be posted for WW: https://goo.gl/forms/vMGvKQKt0fR7z5iO2
Welcome to the first Wellness Wednesday with Naomi, your Commissioner of Health and Wellness. These posts are here to help you with strategies to stay healthy in lots of different aspects. Each month has a theme, and each week has a description of resources related to the theme, a blog post from me, a post on stress management tips, and a blog post from you! If you want to submit your experiences relating to the theme (they can be anonymous!) just check out this link here: https://goo.gl/forms/oDGX60e2IYUdhbd63
To finish off September, here’s a resource blog post regarding exercise! Exercise can be a very effective stress reliever and a path to a healthier life. The best thing about it is it comes in all sorts of different forms! It can be as simple as going on a walk, stretching, or a few sit-ups before bed. Any movement (safely done) is good!
If you’re hoping to find a fitness activity on campus, you’re in luck! There are tons of options.
The University of Toronto has three gyms where you can exercise on your own or try a drop-in fitness class. The Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education (who run the campus fitness centres) have registered and drop-in programs from Aquafit to Zumba, you can see them here: https://kpe.utoronto.ca/sports-and-rec https://kpe.utoronto.ca/sport-and-fitness/group-fitness-drop
The Daniels Faculty also has intramural teams for volleyball and basketball! Joining the team is a great way to make friends in your faculty and stay active. Message our page or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get involved!
If you just want to exercise on your own, that’s great too! Just check out the Athletic Centre, Goldring, or Hart House and ask somebody working there for tips. They also each have fitness classes and workshops for beginners!
Here are some of my favorite aspects of each of the gyms.
- Goldring: I love the sleek look and the view as I work out. The temperature is just right, too.
- Athletic Centre: In the Field House, I appreciate the ability to switch between weight machines and cardio quickly so I can get some variety in my workout. I also like using the sauna afterward.
- Hart House: Some people prefer this running track as it’s made of a firmer material than the one in the Athletic Centre. The pool facilities are also very good here.
A great way to make exercising more convenient is to get towel service with or without a locker! Get the prices and information here: https://kpe.utoronto.ca/lockers-towels
Comment your favorite gym or how you pursue fitness on campus! Stay well, Daniels!
Hey Daniels! Here’s some news from about intramurals from your very own Commissioner of Health and Wellness.
The school year is starting up, and that means building your schedules and healthy habits. A great way to manage stress, build skills, make friends, and so much more is joining an intramural team! Intramurals are teams within the University of Toronto who compete against each other rather than other schools and can be either recreational or competitive (the choice is yours!). For the fall semester, UofT has the following sports, with the choice of a men’s, women’s, or coed teams: basketball, flag football, hockey, soccer, ultimate frisbee, and volleyball. If you’re interested, please fill out this form as soon as possible. The deadline to register teams is coming up on September 14 at 8pm.
Before I can register a team, I need to know who’s interested. Please fill out this form ASAP so we don’t miss the deadline: https://goo.gl/forms/u5mUNBe5CEeBLJui2