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My Honors College

Weekly Wellness Corner

Hi! My name is Wyatt, and for those who don’t already know, I’m the mental health liaison for the Honors College. One of the things I’ll be doing in this space is sharing video clips that are either goofy or relaxing or uplifting. Just something to give you a good feeling. I’ll also be sharing a resource for your well-being each week.

This Month

Hello there, wonderful humans!

This Wyatt’s Weekly Wellness is a throwback … uh … Monday (I’m writing this on a Thursday, so it’s #TBT where I am in the space-time continuum anyway). In any case, it’s one of my favorite resources for neutralizing distress—good ol’ Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Also known as tapping, EFT is a brief intervention that can reduce your anxiety, stress, (and even physical pain) in a matter of minutes. Its efficacy has been shown in numerous studies to have a 98% efficacy rate. Yes, you read that number correctly. The link below is to a literature review which includes links to many of the issues people have successfully managed with EFT, as well as how to do it (under the “Clinical Procedure” section). Check it out!

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0898010116648456 

A brief demonstration of tapping is also included here.

Hello, wonderful students!

The semester is zooming by from where I’m sitting—is it the same or creeping along for you? Either way, I hope you’re seeing something in today that gives you some happiness.

This Wyatt’s Weekly Wellness is a resource shared with me by my fellow advisor Sarah Barnett. It’s Together We Can, a certificate program offered to students by University Health Services. The goal of the program is to develop mental health competency and become an advocate for mental health on campus. There is a large group of trainings students can select from to receive the certificate. Choices include things like MH First Aid Training, Bystander Intervention Training, Gamecock Recovery Ally Training, and Trauma 101. As a former teacher I can tell you nothing helps you understand a subject like teaching it, and as a licensed therapist I can also tell you nothing helps you with your mental wellness like developing the ability to help others. Check it out!

This week’s video is a dog and a breeze and a kalimba. I like it. Hope you do, too.

Hello, wonderful students!

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week! Today’s Weekly Wellness Corner is a gathering of the events you can participate in this week!

Monday – tale a picture of yourself doing something related to self-care, and link or tag @healthycarolina_UofSC. Also, pick up art supplies for the virtual art gallery! Draw or paint on the theme, “Together we can heal. Together we can help. Together we can hope.” You can submit your art via email, DM, or tagging @healthycarolina_UofSC on social media. On Friday, a virtual art gallery will feature submissions! Finally, stop by the Russell House Theater at 6 p.m. for author Michael Harriot’s presentation, “The Art of Storytelling: Reclaiming Your Space.”

Tuesday – Check-in challenge! Check in with your peers to see how they are doing. The isolation people have been through because of Covid can have long-lasting effects. Reach out to someone you haven’t seen in a while!

Wednesday – Hip Hop Compliment battle! Register using the QR code @healthycarolina_uofsc to win gift cards and prizes! Also, there’s a Mid-day Meditation. You can participate virtually via the Gamecocks Live Well Facebook page or the @healthycarolina_UofSC Instagram page.

Thursday – is World Depression Screening day. Stop by the patio outside the Russell House from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or the Athletics Village). You’ll be able to scan a QR code with your phone for an assessment, feedback, and additional resources.

Friday – The virtual art gallery goes live at 5 p.m.!

And this week’s video is a relaxing look at synchronicity. Enjoy!

Archive

Hello, wonderful students!

You’re almost halfway through the semester! Whether it’s been lightning fast or supereon-slow, the stressor of midterms is something every honors student is managing (or about to be).

With that in mind, this Wyatt’s Weekly Wellness is a virtual workshop I’ve arranged with the fabulous Lauren Brown specifically for honors students. It’s about organizing your thoughts, studying for and taking tests. It’s this Sunday, Oct. 7th, at 7 p.m. check it out at this link

 

Hello, wonderful people!

This Wyatt’s Weekly Wellness Corner resource is a quick fix for a surprising cause of anxiety and depression—your posture. It turns out that when Mom said for you to sit up straight, she was on to something: head-forward posture is not only a result of anxiety, it actually causes it. Of course, if the “fix” for it is to become anxious about not having good posture and forcing yourself into a tense, back-straight position, you were actually exacerbating the problem.

Instead, watch this short video from Sukie Baxter, where she explains some of the science behind why your mind associates this posture with fear, and learn a quick fix. She also provides a surprising fix to feel better after a breakup—check it out!

https://youtu.be/bv6CtwsgPHk

 

Hello, wonderful student! This week’s Wyatt’s Weekly Wellness Corner resource is an online workshop I am offering twice this semester on what to do when a friend shares any kind of struggle.

Wherever they are on the spectrum from a little annoyed to suicidal, there are some simple things you can do to communicate empathy towards them and help them feel heard. This workshop is particularly useful for those interested in a future in mental health counseling. It’s called Mirroring Clearly, and the sign-up link is here.

The dates are September 15th from 4-5 p.m., or if you’re celebrating Yom Kippur that day (or if you just prefer), October 20th from 4-5 p.m. I will send out login instructions to those who register. Check it out!

And this week’s video is 15 minutes of useless (but cool) science facts. Enjoy!

 

Hello, wonderful people!

This Wyatt’s Weekly Wellness Corner is a video which both teaches the basics of how anxiety works in the brain as well as providing three brief interventions you can use to reprogram your brain using neural plasticity. It’s led by Sukie Baxter, who specializes in working with high achievers to help them maximize their potential. If you want to watch the whole video, fabulous, it’s worth it!

If you want to skip to the exercises, this is where they are:

5:28 –1st exercise
7:36 – 2nd exercise
11:42 – 3rd exercise

And this week’s fun/relaxing video is a turtle eating their fruits and vegetables. Enjoy!

 

Happy Monday, everyone!

The first thing I want to say is be sure to check out the @schonorscollege Instagram feed tomorrow because I’m taking over! I’ll be posting an introduction to me, some fun videos about wellness, and even welcoming a surprise guest with me! Check it out!

In honor of mighty Instagram, this week’s wellness tip is a group of Instagram feeds you can follow to give you a better experience of life:

@SelfCareIsForEveryone – I’m starting with this one because it’s an account that’s really geared towards action. Although many of its posts are useful ideas to make contact with when you feel you need some support, most of them give you a brief intervention you can do in the moment. A little bit goes a long way with self care, and this feed is perfect to help you do just that. @iamtabithabrown – I love Tabitha Brown! If you need to feel better about your day right away, go to her Instagram feed and listen. You will be glad you did.

@lizandmollie – this feed combines simple little cartoons with profound ways of looking at yourself, your stress, and your life.

@makedaisychains – Hannah Daisy’s Instagram feed is another place to go to when you need a peace infusion. She uses colorful and silly art as a background for simple statements that will challenge the self-critical thoughts in your head.

@notesfromyourtherapist – Much like @makedaisychains, Allyson Dinneen’s @notesfromyourtherapist provides brief and powerful ideas to nurture you where you need it. You could use either of these Instagram accounts as a starting point for a daily writing session – I do! First, just write out what it says. Then, take a few deep breaths, and calmly repeat the words you read to yourself. Then pick up your pen, and start writing without consciously trying to make sense. Just write whatever words come into your mind, and keep your hand moving until you have filled a page. There’s a lot of research which supports the outsized benefits of doing this – try it!

And this week’s video is dogs being woken up with food.

C’mon, yall. :) 

 

Hello, wonderful students! Today’s Weekly Wellness Corner is a poem by John Roedel. It’s a wonderful way of looking at stress and sadness.

my brain and
heart divorced
 
a decade ago
 
over who was
to blame about
how big of a mess
I have become
 
eventually,
they couldn't be
in the same room
with each other
 
now my head and heart
share custody of me
 
I stay with my brain
during the week
 
and my heart
gets me on weekends
 
they never speak to one another
 
- instead, they give me
the same note to pass
to each other every week
 
and their notes they
send to one another always
says the same thing:
 
"This is all your fault"
 
on Sundays
my heart complains
about how my
head has let me down
in the past
 
and on Wednesday
my head lists all
of the times my
heart has screwed
things up for me
in the future
 
they blame each
other for the
state of my life
there's been a lot
of yelling - and crying
so,
 
lately, I've been
spending a lot of
time with my gut
 
who serves as my
unofficial therapist
 
most nights, I sneak out of the
window in my ribcage
 
and slide down my spine
and collapse on my
gut's plush leather chair
that's always open for me
 
~ and I just sit sit sit sit
until the sun comes up
 
last evening,
my gut asked me
if I was having a hard
time being caught
between my heart
and my head
 
I nodded
 
I said I didn't know
if I could live with
either of them anymore
 
"my heart is always sad about
something that happened yesterday
while my head is always worried
about something that may happen tomorrow,"
I lamented
 
my gut squeezed my hand
 
"I just can't live with
my mistakes of the past
or my anxiety about the future,"
I sighed
 
my gut smiled and said:
"in that case,
you should
go stay with your
lungs for a while,"
 
I was confused
- the look on my face gave it away
 
"if you are exhausted about
your heart's obsession with
the fixed past and your mind's focus
on the uncertain future
 
your lungs are the perfect place for you
 
there is no yesterday in your lungs
there is no tomorrow there either
 
there is only now
there is only inhale
there is only exhale
there is only this moment
 
there is only breath
 
and in that breath
you can rest while your
heart and head work
their relationship out."
 
this morning,
while my brain
was busy reading
tea leaves
 
and while my
heart was staring
at old photographs
 
I packed a little
bag and walked
to the door of
my lungs
 
before I could even knock
she opened the door
with a smile and as
a gust of air embraced me
she said
 
"what took you so long?"
 
This week's video features people rescuing sea turtles by removing barnacles from them. Enjoy.

 

Hello, wonderful Honors students! 

My name is Wyatt Geist, and I am the Mental Health Liaison for the Honors College. Each week I will be sending out some tips and resources for maintaining your well-being during the semester. It’s called “Wyatt’s Weekly Wellness Corner.”

This first week I am sharing what to do if you or someone you know is struggling. It can be anything from feeling homesick or lonely to serious academic stress to mental health concerns of any kind. Please reach out to me—no problem is too small! My email is wgeist@mailbox.sc.edu, and my phone number is 803-777-8005. You can call me literally 24 hours a day. Just be sure to leave me a voicemail—if I’m asleep or putting my son to bed I will get the message and reply as soon as I’m able.

The other thing I’ll be sending each week is a video to support your well-being in some way. Something either goofy or relaxing or uplifting. This week’s video is about a dog whose intro music (and soaring spirit) is the same is the Gamecocks’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh76f7oHjYE

Enjoy!

Some Other Great Resources: 

UofSC Counseling & Psychiatry | 803-777-5223 24-Hour
National Suicide Prevention Hotline | 800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line | Text HELLO to 741741 (FREE, 24/7 and confidential)
The Trevor Lifeline (LGBTQ individuals) |  866-488-7386
UofSC Police Department | 803-777-4215
Student Care and Outreach Team | If you are ever concerned about someone's health, well-being or safety, submit a referral.

It is, at long last, our final Weekly Wellness Corner of the year. For those of you who are about to graduate, my heartfelt congratulations. For those of you returning, I cannot wait to see you again in August. In both cases, I am mindful that you are in the midst of exams right now. My mental health resource for you this week is this poem by Mary Oliver:

The Journey

 One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

 

–Mary Oliver

 

And this week’s video shows how things falling down can create something beautiful. Enjoy.

 
- Wyatt
Hello, wonderful Honors students! 

The finish line approaches…you can do it! Today’s weekly wellness corner is a curated list of podcasts related to mental health.

Calmer You Podcast: Anxiety & Confidence – This podcast is an awesome listen when you are feeling stressed out and overwhelmed by, say, everything you have due at the end of the semester. Chloe Brotheridge brings a hypnotherapist’s skill set to challenge the critical voice in your head that makes doing the work so much harder. 
Other People’s Problems – This podcast lets you sit in on actual therapy sessions with Dr. Hillary McBride. It can be both fascinating and healing to hear someone work through a real mental health challenge. You can look through the list and see what topic they explore to find one of interest.
The Hilarious World of Depression – This podcast involves entertainers sharing about their struggles with mental disorders in a compelling format.
Meditation minis – This is a podcast with a more direct approach to managing disordered thinking. Chel Hamilton leads fantastic and rejuvenating brief sessions (5-10 minutes) that can change your outlook on your day.
Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations – I mean, it’s Oprah. Oprah Winfrey is one of the most successful talk show hosts of all time for a reason—in these podcasts she has life-affirming conversations with fascinating people from all around the world.

And this week’s video is animals being ridiculous. Enjoy!
 
- Wyatt

Hello, students!

The semester is coming to a end—you’re going to make it! Today’s Weekly Wellness Corner is a short list of ideas for taking care of yourself while you study. They may seem small, but they have an outsized impact on your stress levels and ability to perform. Be intentional about your self-care because you deserve to be cared for!

  • After looking at a computer screen for twenty minutes, spend thirty seconds looking away into the corner. This will relieve eye strain.
  • Go outside. Research shows walking in a place with plant life powerfully supports mental functioning.
  • Set a time to do something totally unrelated to school each day, and stick to it. You can even use it as a reward for working for a certain period of time.
  • Journal. Writing down your thoughts for just five minutes each day has proven impacts on your ability to calm and clear your mind, boost your long-term well-being, make progress towards your goals, and 80 other similarly powerful effects!
  • Avoid sugar. Research suggests diets high in sugar increase depression and anxiety.
  • Practice gratitude. Especially when you’re stressed and not feeling it, taking time to think, write, or say you are thankful for something specific makes you happier, improves your physical health, and increases your connection to people in your life.

And this week’s video is about a cat who hilariously invades a relationship with very one-sided adoration. Enjoy!

- Wyatt

Hello, wonderful students!

The semester is rolling by. I know we’re in the thick of it right now, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the to do list. Today’s Weekly Wellness Corner is a tool from Marsha Linehan’s Dialectical Behavioral Therapy you can use to de-stress in a hurry. It’s called the TIP skill.

Although TIP stands for Temperature change, Intense exercise, and Paced breathing, you don’t have to do all three. Temperature change is the most important.

You do this by first filling a sink or a bowl with cold water. Then, hold your breath and plunge your face into the water. It’s okay to come up to breathe, but go back in until you’ve held your breath under water for about a minute. This activates your body’s dive response, and makes you feel much calmer. Afterwards, you can do either paced breathing (in 4, out 8), or some kind of intense exercise (burpees, running, etc.) to completely clear the stress. Try it!

And this week’s video is for relaxing, too. Turn the volume down a bit, and enjoy!

 

- Wyatt

Hello, wonderful students!

 

You’re in the thick of the semester, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel! This week’s Wellness Corner resource is an invitation to take a break from your schoolwork for evening tea time! This Thursday, April 8th, at 7 p.m.,TLC is about trying some delicious, soothing teas, making a homemade, personal cake (in the microwave), and spending some time being together with online friends. We’ve had a great response for our past two TLC’s, so register for your seat today!

 

This week’s video is an example of Marcello Barenghi’s photorealistic drawings. For millennia human beings have been trying to create an accurate depiction of an item by hand. The invention of photography, and its current ubiquity, triumphant achievements themselves, take nothing away whatsoever from the power of a human’s ability to do this. Check it out.

 

- Wyatt

Hello, fabulous Honors students! Today’s wellness corner is a resource I’ve used again and again – Yoga with Adriene. For those of you who don’t already know, Adriene Mishler is a yogi who posts YouTube videos. There are different videos for just about everything you can imagine – stress, depression, fresh start, total beginner, physical problem areas, and much, much more. The great thing about these videos is you don’t have to travel anywhere or have any experience in order to do them. Check it out!

And this week’s video is a Pomeranian being groomed. There’s something very peaceful about the way the dog’s hair is cut. Enjoy.

- Wyatt

Hello, wonderful Honors students!

This week’s Wellness corner is an invitation to join us for coloring and hanging out this Thursday, March 25th at Thursday Life Care. We had a wonderful time making stress balls at our last online get-together, so if you need to relax and de-stress, come join us from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Teams! This is the link to register. Sign up today!

 And this week’s video is a binaural beats which can provide a lot of good feelings. Listen to it with headphones for best effect. They are safe for most people to enjoy, however don’t use if you suffer from seizures, have a heart condition, take tranquilizers or are working. Check with your provider before using if you have a diagnosed mental health condition. Also, don’t use them for long periods of time – a 20 minute session is best. You will feel very relaxed!

- Wyatt

Hello, wonderful Honors students!

This week’s Wellness Corner is a resource I started using when I was a student. It’s a phenomenal mindfulness app called Headspace. If you don’t already know about Headspace, it’s a wonderful introduction to meditation. It’s a very gentle and supportive introduction to meditation, with guided programs on anxiety, depression, stress, and sleeplessness. It’s normally $70 a year, but while you’re a student you can use it for $10/year instead. I highly recommend it!

This week’s video is an inspirational one. It’s the moment Steve Prefontaine turns on the gas at the California State Championship. This is a good one to use when you need a "pick me up." Check it out!

- Wyatt

Hello, wonderful students!

This week’s resource is Thursday Life Care—the TLC party you’ve been waiting for! Hosted by the Honors College Dean’s Council, Student Engagement and myself, this online series is about Honors students and staff getting together, making something and not catching Covid-19! Every other week beginning March 11th, we’ll send out an invite to the Honors College students and staff. Beginning the Monday before the event, you’ll come to Wyatt’s office door (322 Harper) on your own schedule and without any face-to-face interaction to pick up the supplies you need for a little TLC. Then, on Thursday night at 7p.m., we’ll gather together on Microsoft Teams to try to make the thing! Here’s what we’re making:

 

March 11th: Stress ball making – you’ll get all the supplies you need as we relax and make some stress balls!

March 25th: Coloring night – each person who attends will receive coloring book pages, colored pencils, and a sharpener.

April 8th: Tea time – It’s a tardy tea time! From 7 to 9 p.m. we’ll make tea and microwave cakes.

April 22nd: Peace lily planting – it turns out that one of the easiest plants to grow as a houseplant is also a beautiful air purifier! For our final TLC of the semester, we’ll decorate pots and plant peace lilies you can keep and watch grow!

 

And this week’s video is a peaceful nap with a cow. Enjoy!

- Wyatt

Hello, wonderful students!

This week’s wellness corner is three evidence-based strategies for managing acute anxiety:

Welcome your worry: When you find yourself distracted by anxiety/worry/stress about a particular subject, do this. Pause what you are doing. Take a deep breath. Then silently say this message to yourself: “Thank you for trying to keep me safe from ______, anxiety. I appreciate all you do for me. I totally accept you. Thank you for being a part of my life.”

Plan your worry: Another technique is to set aside time to engage the worry later. If it’s mid-afternoon and you can’t stop worrying about _______, pull out your planner and schedule a time for you to worry about it later that day. “I’m going to fully worry about this from 8:00 to 8:10 p.m.” Then when your worry comes up, remind yourself you are waiting until 8:00 p.m. to worry. When the time comes, set a timer and scratch the worry itch! If you’re not finished with it by 8:10, pull out your planner and schedule a time to worry about it the next day.

Wet noodle: Wet noodle is a way to “jump-start” yourself into Parasympathetic Nervous System dominance (feeling calm). You squeeze every muscle in your body as hard as you can for five seconds, and then release fully, allowing all of your muscles to go completely limp. This is useful for all sorts of distress, not just worry!

And this week’s video is a relaxing experience making candy. Enjoy!

- Wyatt

Hello wonderful students.

Today’s Weekly Wellness Corner resource is something I teach almost every person I meet for counseling: Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as Tapping. It is a thoroughly researched method for reducing anxiety and depression. It is also a first-line treatment for the symptoms of PTSD. You can find a helpful diagram for the tapping points here, and this is a video about how to do it. I highly recommend you try it!

This week’s video is your reminder that no matter what challenges you’re facing, we’re all here to support you and cheer you on. 😊

- Wyatt

Hello wonderful Honors students!

I hope you’re having a wonderful day. This week’s resource is something I came across on Twitter from Susan David that struck me as particularly powerful. She writes:

"Deliberately striving for happiness is fundamentally incompatible with the nature of happiness itself. Instead, become aware of the parts of your life that are working as well as those that aren't. This is the first step toward #EmotionalAgility."

Her “Emotional Agility” pyramid in particular has some important ideas. 

And this week’s video is viscerally satisfying, but may not appeal to everyone! It’s a POV video of horse hoof cleaning and restoration, and it feels like you’re outside, enjoying the crisp air, and taking care of an animal. Enjoy!
 
- Wyatt

 

This week’s Weekly Wellness Corner is brought to you courtesy of Counseling and Psychiatry Services:

 

We know that college can be a challenging and (sometimes) stressful time. Your mental health and well-being are important to us. At the University of South Carolina, we are excited to offer a service through Counseling and Psychiatry Services, Therapist Assisted Online (TAO). You can have access to coping skills for stress, anxiety, interpersonal concerns, sadness and more anytime, anywhere!

 

This program offers tools to help students identify – and do something about – stress, anxiety, depression, and other problems that can interfere with academic, social, and personal functioning. The short intro survey can help you figure out which modules would most benefit you, or you can begin by downloading the TAO app today! Find out more about this and other resources on the Counseling and Psychiatry website

Making use of this service is completely voluntary. The Honors College will not be informed of your participation or lack of participation in this program. Your access to student health and counseling services or participation in any university functions will not be affected in any way if you choose not to make use of this service. 

We urge all students to take advantage of this safe and easy way to find out if stress, anxiety, or depression may be affecting you. The good news is that treatments for these challenges are highly effective and are available right here on the University of South Carolina campus, or off-campus, if you prefer.

 

If you have any questions about any of these services, please contact Tiffany Howard, Ed. S, LPC at 803-777-5223.

-Wyatt

Hi! My name is Wyatt, and for those who don’t already know, I’m the mental health liaison for the Honors College. One of the things I’ll be doing in this space is sharing a video clip that is either goofy or relaxing or uplifting. Just something to give you a good feeling. I’ll also be sharing a resource for your well-being each week.

 

This week’s resource is a few accounts I follow on Instagram with feeds that help me stay connected to wellness. They are (in no particular order):


@_lisaolivera – Lisa Olivera’ posts are a wonderful resource for journaling. If you don’t already journal, it’s an easy way to improve your mental and physical health. I typically read one of her posts then take a minute or two to write down whatever comes into my head. Try it!

 

@nedratawwab – Nedra Tawwab is both a therapist and one of my favorite human beings. Her extremely insightful posts focus both on how we relate and how to improve our relationships.

 

@dlcanxiety – I love this feed. Although you may already know about this one, it has a ton of great resources for coping with anxiety and stress so I needed to share.  

 

@the_depression_chronicles11 – This is a sort of depression counterpart to dlcanxiety. A smorgasbord of useful resources related to depression.

 

@selfcareisajourney – A lot of talk about self-care can be laced with judgement (as in: “why aren’t you doing it?”, “You’re so strong because of what happened,” etc.). @selfcareisajourney provides awesome messaging around self-care with not only no judgment, but in a way that peels self-criticism away.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 


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