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BC Health Staff Blog

By Andie Babusik

One thing we all love to do over in BC Health is talk about health! (cough, cough our whole #LetsTalkHealth campaign) But what does it mean to be healthy? How do we begin to talk about it? Everyone has their own ideas about what makes them feel good, but maybe that’s the trick. Health is what works for YOU. Healthy is whatever makes you happiest. We asked our professional, graduate, and student staff to chime in. These are just a few ways the hard-workers in our office feel healthy:

elise.jpgElise Phillips, Director:

To me, being and feeling healthy is all about balance. When I feel balanced I am on top of my day, and if I don’t, I need to pause, set the reset button, and start again. I love the water and swim everyday, and when I combine that with my favorite foods and positive relationships–that is healthy!

 

kateKate Sweeney, Nutritionist:

There is so much that goes into making me feel and be healthy including getting enough sleep, eating intuitively, cooking, spending time with friends and family, regular exercise, and more. In the past, I did more endurance training to feel healthy, as I was a collegiate swimmer and competitive triathlete. Nowadays, my body feels most healthy doing varied activities like rock climbing, sailing, ziplining, walking, hiking, and swimming. And, these activities are even better when done with friends, while traveling, and including food 🙂

 

jeannineJeannine Kremer, Associate Director:

Healthy is living and enjoying every moment. Healthy is being and sharing my most authentic self. Healthy is finding balance in my work and home lives. Healthy is experiencing new things like goat yoga!

 

makaylaMakayla Davis, Assistant Director:

Honestly, eating a piece of chocolate everyday makes me feel healthy and happy! To me, healthy means always listening to what my mind and body needs. Often that’s a long run along the Charles River, getting 8 hours of sleep, having an iced coffee every morning, or calling a friend on the way home from work. It’s about finding joy in all that we do and appreciating what we already have rather than always wanting more. I believe living in the present moment allows us to access our true power.

 

jemimaJemima Pierre, Assistant Director:

I am the person who loves making to-do lists and getting everything on it done in one day.  However, being superwoman isn’t always the healthiest thing for me to do.  So what truly makes me feel healthy is knowing when I need to just rest.  Whether it’s going out to eat, spending time with my loved ones, or watching Netflix in bed, it gives me the chance to reset and refuel so that I can be the best version of me.

 
evanEvan Heatley, Graduate Assistant:

Listening to my body is what makes me feel healthy. That means almost never saying no to chocolate, but also eating plenty of vegetables. I try to exercise daily, but sometimes I need a day (or three) on the couch. Most importantly, I try to spend as much time as I can doing things that make me happy like cooking, reading, and hiking.

 
elaineElaine Miller, Graduate Assistant:

I feel healthy when I take time for self-care! My latest hobby has been playing with make-up. I love the artistry of watching youtuber gurus doing something fabulous with their products and then trying to recreate the look myself. I’m not amazing yet but I’ve definitely improved from my middle school emo days of raccoon eyeliner and 18 coats of mascara.

 

amandaAmanda Kuron, Clinical Intern:

I feel the healthiest when I’m also feeling balanced! Balance, for me, looks like a combination of being productive in my school and work and taking time for myself. I love to exercise, read, travel, EAT, pray, and spend time with family and friends to keep healthy and to feel balanced.

 

davidDavid Carrigan, Clinical Intern:

What makes me feel healthy is being comfortable in my own skin.  I spent so much time in the past thinking that healthy meant always working out and having a strict diet.  However, no matter how many calories I cut or how many times a week I went to the gym I still never felt happy or healthy. That’s because I realized for me being healthy isn’t trying to force myself into societies definition of it.  Healthy for me meant balance, acceptance, and support.

 

hannahHannah Ladesic, Graphic Designer:

I feel healthy when I’m doing things that make me feel strong and empowered physically, mentally, and emotionally. Growing up, I tried just about every sport out there, which has given me a desire to always look for new ways to stay active. Whether it’s trying a new fitness class, taking tennis lessons, or taking walks outside, I love to keep my body moving. Cooking and baking are also some of my favorite pastimes and I can often be found trying out new healthy recipes, going to farmer’s markets, and building up my loyalty points at Sweetgreen. To give myself a healthy mental break from academics I love reading, spending time with family and friends, and tackling new DIY craft projects.

 

samSam Ng, Graphic Designer:

My understanding of health keeps changing and growing as I learn more about myself and about various aspects of health. Right now, I feel the most healthy when I am present with my body. To me, this means trying to get to the root of why I am feeling a certain way and either changing or continuing what I am doing. For example, if I am feeling more tired than usual instead of just grabbing a coffee, I think about why I might be feeling tired – is it because I stayed up late finishing an assignment, or because I have not been fueling my body well, or am I feeling sick? Allowing myself to check in with my body makes me treat my body well and keeps me feeling healthy.

 

IMG_5202Maria Meyer, Tabling Representative:

Healthy to me is all about doing what feels right for you. Taking some time to relax by spending time with my roommates, having a girls night in with nail painting and Thai food after a long week of cramming on the 5th floor of O’Neill makes me feel healthy. But also, waking up early on a Sunday to go for a run around the Res and ending with an omelet full of spinach and bell peppers makes me feel healthy too! What makes me feel healthy is listening to my body and doing what it’s telling me it wants!!

 

abbyAbby Whelan, Research and Development Specialist:

One thing that makes me feel healthy is making time to take breaks and get outside. Especially in the midst of a busy week and crammed schedule, it has always been important to me to find time for fresh air and exercise. Regardless of whether I can find 20 minutes or a few days to get away and get outdoors, a breath of fresh air always helps to clear my head. Any activity, such as running, walking, or biking, can help me to disconnect from technology and from the craziness of everyday life and find some peace and perspective. I feel healthier when I take a breath and give myself a well-timed break!

 

IMG_4325Andie Babusik, Social Media Manager:

Health is all about balance for me. Most thursday’s I have a kale smoothie for breakfast and the Rat’s mac and cheese for lunch. Somedays I go to the gym AND practice with my dance team and other days I binge watch ‘This Is Us’ in bed. I feel happiest when I don’t deprive myself or overindulge. I continuously reevaluate my definition and ideas of health to feel more balanced and ultimately happier.

 

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Let’s Talk Nutrition

By Stephanie Nekoroski

Everyone has their own unique relationship with food. Think about your relationships with your friends, roommates, family, and peers… It is likely that the happiest relationships are the ones that are balanced—where both people feel safe, valued, and loved. There is no reason to believe that your relationship with food can’t be as fulfilling! Most students that we work with in the iNourish specialty recognize the bipolar relationship between many college students and their diets, which is extremely restrictive on the weekdays and unmonitored and binge-like on the weekends. iNourish encourages students to find balance on their plates, with their relationships with food, and with themselves with these four key messages:

 

Moderation

There is no such thing as a ‘“good” or “bad” food. Sure, some foods can make you feel better or worse, but it is important to recognize that all foods can fit into a balanced diet if you are eating in moderation. The key is to give yourself permission to eat all foods. BY giving yourself permission to eat a cookie at lunch, you may realize you don’t want it and opt not to eat it, or you may want it and eat the portion that makes you feel satisfied and full. And, if you do eat more than makes you feel good, take note of that rather than pass judgement.

If you do want a sweet treat, permission-giving will reduce any guilt associated with the feelings of restricting certain food groups out of your diet. Moderation is about being mindful, and not about a standard portion size or number of days a week you can eat something.”

 

Variety

Eat the rainbow! What does your plate look like during each meal? Daily? Weekly? If it seems to be pretty monochromatic, try expanding your horizons to diversify the colors on your plate with different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Always eating broccolI? Try asparagus! By eating different types of foods throughout the week, you are introducing new types of vitamins and minerals into your diet. Variety also encourages us to try new foods and flavors that will keep our taste buds guessing! Again, it is about being mindful of what types of tastes you want, as variety will occur when you’re more mindful

 

Adequacy

Adequacy simply means eating adequate calories and eating until you’re satiated. Depending on your level of hunger, you may choose to eat more or less, but what is important is making sure the quantity of food you eat fuels the rest of your day.  It is also important to remember that sometimes overeating and underrating are part of a normal diet, and not all meals need to be “perfect.”

 

And most importantly?

 

Weight is not worth!

Food has so many incredible purposes, but it is truly meant to nourish and fuel our bodies and minds… not to serve as a vehicle for changing the number on the scale or our body shape.

It is important that we respect our bodies and avoid using food choices or amounts of food to manipulate weight or “make up for” overeating or drinking. As a community, we can encourage each other to strive for balance in our diets to contribute to an overall healthier and happier college experience!

New Year’s Resolution

By Vicki Coates

December 31st rolls around and everyone scrambles for a resolution. There’s this immense pressure to find the least healthy thing about yourself and decide to fix it because people around the world decided to watch the clock strike midnight tonight. If midnight designates this new ability to be a healthier, better you, why do we only take advantage of it once a year?

Resolutions and I never really agreed with one another. I am the queen of the ridiculously ambitious resolutions which I know I’ll never keep. I inevitably break the resolution before the new semester starts. So, fall semester ended, Christmas came and went, and suddenly I was faced with that dreaded question so many of us are asked at the end of December, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” Being a BC student for the fifth year, I knew what I needed to do: reflect.

I was reminded, by the other constant question of December (“What are you doing after graduation?”), 2018 is a year of transitions, changes, and new beginnings. I realized that what I need to change in my life now will not be what I need to change in three months, in six months, in ten months. So why not make a monthly intention rather than a yearly resolution?

2018 is my year of the monthly intentions. Other than January, I have no set plans for how my monthly intentions will continue. Each month will bring with it new challenges, and the only way to continue being my healthiest and happiest self is to create intentions involving my changing self and changing environment. I didn’t want January to be the only month of 2018 to be privy to the best version of myself. Instead, 2018 has 12 months, 12 resolutions, and 1 healthier and happier me. Hopefully. Check back in December.

Let’s Talk Resilience

By Kyle Pilachowski

Resilience is a special quality that gives people the ability to recover quickly from life’s difficulties and come back even stronger, gaining strength in times of obscurity. Why do some people let failure overcome them while others bounce back seemingly effortlessly, barely breaking their stride? How can a person become more resilient?

 

Resilience does not have a starting or ending point—it exists throughout one’s life and is developed overtime

It’s important to recognize that you will get knocked down constantly and even though you may feel at the lowest point in life, you have overcome something even harder. People bounce back constantly from struggles, and if others can do it, so can you! You can develop strategies that best suit your personality to become more resilient.

 

Don’t stress about the problems, but rather focus on the positives

Life is too short to always focus on the negative aspects. It’s imperative that one realize in times of darkness, light still exists. No matter how unfortunate a situation appears, positivity can (and will) result.

 

Enjoy the company of others

Recognize that you are never alone in a struggle and someone is always present to lend a helping hand. Whether it be a teacher, classmate, family member, close friend, distant relative, or roommate, there is always someone who can help you cope with whatever you are going through. This person may have been in a similar situation before and can share tips and tricks to overcome what you’re going through, while being present physically or emotionally for support.

 

Embrace change

Change can be a good thing; if you never fail, you never know what it means to truly succeed, as people learn best from their mistakes. Change can be good; if you realize this, you are more likely to not fall as hard in times of difficulty and will be able to build yourself back up quicker and stronger than ever before.

 

Make realistic plans and goals

If you set forth objectives that are too hard to achieve or follow, it is more likely that several failures will result before success comes, continuing to knock you down and impairing you mentally. If the plans and goals you set are more manageable, you can use your past successes to keep your confidence level high when you do encounter a setback.

 

Last but not least, love and nurture yourself

Everything will not be perfect in life, but you are a unique individual capable of handling anything thrown your way. Take it in stride and no matter what happens, people will still love you for the person you are, not what you are or what you can do.

Health Is…

By Emily Matthews

Health is such a complex subject that I find it nearly impossible to talk about it holistically in a short blog post. But, I’m going to try! Health encompasses everything in your life from sleep to nutrition to exercise to stress management. Getting or staying healthy can seem like a daunting task, but the most important thing to remember is that balance is the key to holistic health. A trip to White Mountain every once in a while won’t kill you, and sometimes a day off from the gym to nap is exactly what you need for your health. Health is so much more than eating salads every day and being at the Plex for 3 hours a day.

Friendships and talking to people you love are also essential parts of health. Also, you need to take care of yourself spiritually and academically. A tough thought for most people coming to BC is that straight A’s probably aren’t going to be a reality anymore. Sometimes we can get so caught up into the culture of perfection here that our health and wellness take a backseat to marathon O’Neill sessions followed by several hours at the Plex. Looking healthy does not mean that you feel healthy. Health and wellness are very internal things, and the only person that really knows how you feel is you. Health is a balancing act, and slipping up here and there is only natural. Cupcakes are just as important as salads, and quality time with friends is just as important as time in O’Neill.

Health is perhaps the most important balancing act of our lives. It affects everything that we do. When one part of health is overlooked, it can affect all other parts of wellness. Balance is truly the key to prime wellness, and it can be extremely difficult to achieve sometimes. Health is also individualistic, and therefore finding what works best for you is vital to personal wellness.

The BC Office of Health Promotion is located in Gasson 025. Stop by if you want any more information about health. We offer services in many aspects of health including sleep, nutrition, alcohol education, time management, and stress management. You can attend a group program or set up an individual appointment. For more information, you can check out our website at bc.edu/healthpro!

Let’s Talk Alcohol

By Sarya Baladi

Happy Alcohol and Drug Awareness Month! This November, the Office of Health Promotion will be focusing on harm-reduction drinking strategies in the hopes of improving our physical and mental health. Here are some tips you can follow to make sure you have a fun and safe night out:

 

1- Count your drinks and space them out throughout the night1.gif

BAC, or Alcohol Blood Content, is a measure that indicates how much alcohol is in the blood stream. This number varies from person to person depending on weight and biological sex; this means that different people can tolerate different levels of alcohol. When drinking, it is important to keep track of how much you drink to make sure your BAC stays at a safe level, which is 0.06 or less.

 

2- Make sure to eat before you go out and stay hydrated throughout the night

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Having food in your stomach will not stop you from getting drunk and will not affect your BAC. However, it slows the absorption of alcohol by the body. Also, water will not decrease your BAC, but it is important to stay hydrated throughout the night since alcohol tends to dehydrate the body; a cool tip is to switch between alcoholic beverages and water.

 

3- Pour your own drinks

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Keeping track of how much you drink is crucial to safe drinking, so knowing exactly what goes into your body is a must. Therefore, be sure to familiarise yourself with standard drink measurements (1.5 oz of liquor, 5 oz of wine, 8 oz of malt liquor, 12 oz of beer). It is also a best to avoid jungle juice, since it is impossible to know how much alcohol is in a drink of jungle juice.

 

4- Avoid mixing energy drinks and alcohol

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Although energy drinks such as Red Bull is a popular drink to mix with alcohol, it is much more dangerous than the average drink. Energy drinks mask the effects of alcohol, so it is much for difficult to feel how intoxicated you really are; this leads to excess drinking and very dangerous consequences for the drinker.

 

5- Use the buddy system

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When you go out, be sure to stay in a group and look out for your friends. When you see someone who might be in danger, be sure to take advantage of BC’s Help Seeking Policy: if you call BCPD for a friend who is intoxicated, there will be no punitive sanctions for neither the caller nor the drinker. Better be safe than sorry!

 

OHP gives out BAC Cards to students depending on their size and gender, so make sure to stop by and pick one up! You should also download the “iDrink Smarter” app, which is 100% free for BC students; after putting in your sex and weight, it helps you keep track of your BAC by putting in the number of standard drinks you have consumed.

 

Now that you have various harm-reduction strategies, pick the ones that work best for you to try to implement them when you go out. Remember to always stay in your Green Zone!!

Health Coach Training

By Piper Haney

 

The Health Coach Institute’s annual training was a huge success! Prior to the beginning of school our health coaches completed a 20 hour training and certification program to ensure our new and returning health coaches are ready to help make Boston College a healthier campus.

80 health coaches were trained to have individual health conversations and facilitate group health education in areas of stress and time management, sleep, nutrition, resilience, and choices around alcohol.

Our health coaches learned effective ways to educate, motivate, and refer students to the support they need. During the two-day training we focused on motivational interviewing skills, readiness to change theory, successfully engaging in open-ended conversations with peers, and guiding student clients toward goal setting and strategies that work for the client and lead to healthier choices.  

Health coaches will be an integral part of this year’s health campaign,  Let’s Talk Health! Throughout the year the entire campus will be talking about health in 7 different speciality areas: Let’s Talk Time, Stress, Nutrition, Alcohol, Resilience, Exercise, and Sleep. Each month a new topic will be introduced and supported by key messages and education, discussions held, and challenges to participate in!

Want to get involved in the great services offered by the Office of Health Promotion? Schedule an IHP (individual health plan) with one of our trained Health Coaches or schedule a health education session with floor mates, club members or group of friends online at bc.edu/healthpro!

Let’s Talk: Stress

By Kevin Enabulele ’19, iChill Health Coach

The Office of Health Promotion defines stress as, “the way we respond (physically and emotionally) to an event or perceive a situation”. We can create or reduce a majority of our stress, depending on how we think about events or people in our lives. Stress can also be caused by feeling a loss of control and as a result, stress feels like something we have no control over. We may not always be able to control our environment, but we have more control over our own stress than we may think.

I recommend reading Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns, M.D. However, if you don’t have time to read the whole book, luckily there are summaries of the main ideas all over the internet as well as in the Office of Health Promotion. Dr. Burns was a psychiatrist studying cognitive behavioral therapy. The book outlines several “cognitive distortions” that lead to negative thoughts and their consequent stressful and negative feelings. For example, one distortion he mentions is the idea of a “mental filter”. This is when we dwell on negatives and ignore the positives. Most cognitive distortions are a result of our brain’s attempt to streamline or simplify the information we process from our environment. The book also contains ways to prevent our thoughts from negatively affecting our emotions. It is difficult to control our thoughts, but there are ways to control the way they affect us.

In addition to having control over our stress, it is also something that is totally normal.

In a national survey done by the American College Health Association in 2016, “86% of students reported feeling overwhelmed by all they had to do”.

This statistic is one that I find very helpful to remember when I feel overwhelmed. A culture overrun with unrealistic images of perfection perpetuates the idea that it isn’t “normal” to feel stressed or overwhelmed. Contrary to this popular misconception, it is normal to feel stressed as a student at a prestigious academic institution. Knowing that stress is normal can make it easier to manage. Many of the emotional and behavioral side effects of stress are self-reinforcing and often lead to more stress. For example, a feeling of anxiety can lead to excessive drinking, which can lead to a decline in productivity, which would only lead to more stress. The most effective coping methods, which vary from person to person, are ones that can help you break out of cycles of stress. These range from activities like calling family, meditation, taking a break, or emotional changes like putting events in perspective, thinking positively, and accepting yourself/others.

The Office of Health Promotion is located in the basement of Gasson Hall in room 025. In the office there is information about ways to think positively, practice mindfulness, and many other ways to manage stress. You can also sign up for an individual iChill appointment, which can help you begin managing your stress.

OHP Summer Reading List

by Abby Whelan

As the school year winds down and comes to a close, Office of Health Promotion is here to help you find some relaxing and motivational reads to balance your life and find inspiration throughout the summer months! Check out these highly recommended books that cover topics ranging from positivity and optimism, sleep and self help, living alongside African wildlife, and the ultimate underdog comeback.

1. Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

boys in the boat
A story of perseverance and resilience, Boys in the Boat is about an American crew team who found themselves competing against Nazi Germany in the Berlin Olympics. Find out how this rookie group of college athletes from Washington proved on an international Olympic stage just how far some hard work and inner strength will truly take you!

2. Presence by Amy Cuddy

presence.jpg
If you have ever viewed Harvard professor Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on power posing and communicating confidence and found it truly interesting, this is most definitely the book for you! Cuddy’s book inspires the reader to grow into your boldest self and take on those challenges that at first may seem to tower over you.

3. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

 

outliers.jpg
Wondering about what your personal “key to success” might be? Attempting to tap into your natural talents while also willing to put in the hours to achieve greatness? Malcolm Gladwell offers advice and presents the facts about how every individual can make the most of their own personal situation, regardless of where you come from and who you are.

4. The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

 

sleep revolution.jpg
For those who have in the past dismissed or not appreciated a good night’s sleep, here is the book that may just change your mind! In this fast-paced, high stress world today, Huffington argues that people are forgetting about the importance and the hidden power that can be found in a good night’s sleep. Huffington goes on to offer insight and some tips for maximizing and optimizing your “zzz’s”, so read up and enjoy!  

5. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

 

when breath becomes air

Written as a memoir of his own life by surgeon Paul Kalanithi, this sentimental re-telling of his life, his experience with lung cancer, and his career as a surgeon is sure to both tug on your heartstrings and maybe illicit a few tears. However, despite the tragedy, this tale of a man who made the most of his life is one that ultimately inspires all.

6. Love, Life, and Elephants by Dame Daphne Sheldrick

 

love life and elephants.jpg
For all of the animal lovers out there, this woman shows us how love for all of earth’s creatures can help us to learn more about life than we ever knew! Written by Dame Daphne Sheldrick, who moved from Scotland to Africa with her family, she details her life experiences growing up next to, then eventually caring for, different types of African wildlife.

7. The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama, Desmond TuTu, Douglas Carlton Adams

 

book of joy.jpg
Some of the happiest people in the world are those people who have seen incredible hardship and experienced violent oppression. Learn how noble peace prize winners the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have dealt with all sorts of obstacles, yet still have managed to maintain positive outlooks and express kindness and generosity in their daily lives. This book is so heartwarming and is sure to put a smile on your face!

8. Mind Gym by Gary Mack, David Casstevens

mind gym

If you are looking for some motivation to jump start a new workout routine, or seeking to overcome a challenge in your athletic career, this book is perfect for you! A sports psychology consultant, Gary Mack details the ways in which you can change or build your mindset to be a help rather than a hindrance to your athletic performance. Proving to all types of athletes that your mind is a muscle and also needs training is the name of the game!

9. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

hillbilly.jpg
Hillbilly Elegy is an autobiography written by J.D. Vance, who writes about his family’s experience starting out in Appalachia and details his journey to Ivy League school Yale University. A lifetime of over overcoming challenges and a hugely impressive display of resilience, Vance explains how he bounced back from these circumstances and how they still fit into his life today.

10. Swimmer Among the Stars by Kanishk Tharoor

swimmer among the stars.jpg

A bit different from our other recommendations, this book is a compilation of short stories that will enchant and engage the readers. Written creatively and with a sort of internationally adventurous feel, this book uses each story to compliment each other and comment on events and on goings of our world past, present, and even future.

11. Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

mountains.jpg

In this amazing true tale of Dr. Paul Farmer, Kidder takes the reader along with Farmer to all corners of the world as he travels around fighting infectious disease. With numerous job titles, including Harvard professor, and an individual that makes time for house calls in Boston, this story hits close to home and shows us that we, as individuals, truly can help to unite communities and make a difference in the world.

12. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

life of [pi.jpg

If you are looking for a modern classic, this is absolutely the book for you! Martel takes us along for a voyage with 16 year old Pi, who becomes shipwrecked on a small boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. However, Pi is not alone- he has a hyena, zebra, orangutan, and even a tiger to keep him company. The Life of Pi is a fascinating story of the unique relationship between man and animal, and how this relationship can tell us/teach us about life.

13. The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman

spirit catches you.jpg

Anne Fadiman captures a picture of what a clash of culture looks like today in modern day America. Bringing to light some new perspectives and cultures surrounding the field of medicine, Fadiman shows how these cultural miscommunications affect even the smallest of individuals.

14. A Chance in the World by Steve Pemberton

a chance.jpg

This story is bound to capture and pull at your heartstrings, as Pemberton introduces the reader to Stephen Klakowicz. As a child, Stephen endures physical and mental abuse in the foster care system, however, against all odds, is able to graduate college and settle down with a family of his own. A Chance in the World follows Stephen’s search for his true family and backstory where he finds out who he, and his biological family, truly are.

15. Option B by Sheryl Sandberg

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Written by the incredibly successful Sandberg, Facebook’s COO and one of Wharton’s top professors, this story is about how to move forward when it just doesn’t seem very possible. For those working towards building their resilience, this book explains how she herself and still others were able to bounce back and, most importantly, find joy in their new situations and live a happy and fulfilled life. Even though the new situation might not be Option A, we can find happiness and discover new, untapped strength in our “Option B.”

16. You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

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If you are looking for a few laughs and some relatable reminiscing on moments of uncertainty, try Jessi Klein’s book You’ll Grow Out of It! The book takes the reader back to her childhood, growing up as a tomboy, and talks about her transformation into a writer for incredibly popular shows such as SNL and Inside Amy Schumer.  

Stay tuned for our weekly posting on social media as a part of #OHPSummerBookClub!

Be Mindful, BC!

A Guide to OHP’s Mindfulness Map: Campus Locations for Reflection and Relaxation

by Abby Whelan

Boston College’s campus is known for it’s beauty and it’s plethora of tiny spaces to explore. Recently, the Office of Health Promotion put together a map of some of these spaces on campus that are conducive for reflection, prayer, meditation or simply relaxation.

Below is a further description of these locations that may offer a safe space for your quiet reflection during a busy week!

Multi-faith Center at 66 Comm Ave the multifaith center is a space that one may visit individually at any time in between 6 am to 11 pm as long as there are no group events scheduled. Located conveniently on Lower campus very close to the residence halls, this is a great space to seek out on your way to or from your room for the day.  

Labyrinth behind Bapst Library the labyrinth, a space that signifies the intersection between the human and the divine, was built as a beautiful memoriam for the members of the BC community tragically lost in 9/11. Labyrinths are typically used to meditate by walking along the circle slowly and mindfully, so if you are an individual who likes to move around while reflecting, this is a space for you!

Statue of Mary located on the path leading to CoRo outside of Bapst, this space offers a quiet corner of campus close to the library. Take a study break and slip outside to enjoy a few minutes in the sun and a few deep breaths!

Reflection rooms in the dorms there is typically a reflection room in each residence hall on campus. The reflection rooms offer space right within your living quarters to take a couple minutes and reflect and relax. While there are often programs occurring in these rooms, it is easy to seek a reflection room out and use the space without ever needing to take a step outside!

St. Ignatius ChurchFor those students seeking a larger space to reflect, St. Ignatius is the church located at the bottom corner of lower campus right along Comm Ave. While there is a daily mass schedule on both the weekdays and the weekends, anyone of any religious affiliation can slip in for a few minutes during the day for their own individual prayers or meditations.

St Mary’s  Saint Mary’s chapel, located along Linden Lane, is a breathtaking space to sit and be mindful. With its convenient location tucked away close to the main quad and both libraries, this space is perfect for a midday reflection session. It is also a nice place to say a quick prayer or do a quick body scan while waiting for the Newton/Comm Ave bus to pick you up at main gate!   

St Joseph’s Chapel in Gonzaga Saint Joseph’s is located on upper campus and is a great space for Freshman and Coro students to utilize! Take a few minutes out of your day to venture into the bottom floor of Gonzaga and attend a mass or do some quiet individual reflection.

Reservoir→ the reservoir offers a scenic outdoor walking path spotted with benches that each have a unique view of BC campus and/or Boston. Whether you run, jog, walk, or sit, this location is perfect for an outdoors reflection space. Take a lap and clear your head while taking in some serene views.

McNeil Family Garden      located under the bridge between Stokes Hall North and South, this is beautiful spot to spend a few quiet moments pre- or post- final. This time of year the space flaunts beautiful spring blooms and shady spots to journal, read, or reflect.

Stokes Amphitheater→ Stokes Amphitheater is a wonderful place located right across from Eagles and Mac! Grab some food in the morning, noon, or night to eat your meal outside or just lounge in between classes in the grass and or/stone.  

Lawn Behind Shaw House→   The Lawn Behind Shaw House is a lovely green space on Upper Campus for Freshmen to enjoy a quiet place outdoors. Enjoy meditating to music or finishing some homework on this lush lawn on Upper.

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