Make yourself a priority

Photo: Feet propped up on the edge of the bath tub while taking a bubble bathOften times, keeping up with the daily demands of work, home and loved ones can contribute to increased stress. Like laughter, devoting time just to yourself is a good way to relax and rejuvenate. Taking a few minutes each day to make yourself a priority is a great strategy to manage stress.

Use this time to do something you enjoy—read a book, go for a walk, spend time with friends or family, daydream, listen to your favorite music or some other activity that is special to you.

  • Mix it up! Variety is the spice of life.
  • Simplify — look for simple pleasures that don’t require a lot of preparation or money.
  • Taking as little as 5 minutes for yourself to unwind each day can make a difference.

Make yourself a priority (Click each item to find out how)

It takes courage and bravery to look within oneself. The first step to making yourself a priority is to understand the underlying reasons why you don’t.

  • Are you too busy?
  • Do everyone else’s needs come first?
  • Do you have to make sure you get your full to-do list checked off before you can relax?
  • Is there an underlying emotion that comes up at the idea of self-care such as guilt or selfishness?

Once you understand why you’re not making yourself a priority, you can work with it. Next time you really need some rest, self-care, or alone time, simply notice the thought or feeling coming up.

Notice the way it feels in your body and simply be with this feeling as you gently let go of the story you’re telling yourself in your head. Stay with it and notice as it dissipates.

When stress makes you feel bad, do something that makes you feel good. Doing things you enjoy is a natural way to fight off stress.

You don’t have to do a lot to find pleasure. Even if you’re ill or down, you can find pleasure in simple things such as going for a drive, chatting with a friend or reading a good book.

Try to do at least one thing every day that you enjoy, even if you only do it for 5 minutes. Such as:

  1. Start an art project (oil paint, sketch, create a scrap book or finger paint with children/grandchildren).
  2. Take up a hobby, new or old.
  3. Read a favorite book, short story, magazine or newspaper.
  4. Have coffee or a meal with friends.
  5. Play golf, tennis, ping-pong or bowl.
  6. Sew, knit or crochet.
  7. Listen to music during or after you practice relaxation.
  8. Take a nature walk — listen to the birds, identify trees and flowers.
  9. Make a list of everything you still want to do in life.
  10. Watch an old movie on TV or rent a video.
  11. Play cards or board games with family and friends.

Rituals help us to stay grounded, balanced, and calm in an ever-changing and busy world. If you feel rundown, or stress is starting to affect you physically, pull back and assess. Are you putting yourself first? Are you building strength or avoiding pain? What’s one thing you can do today to take better care of yourself?

The key with ritual is to start simply and slowly add on. Here are just a couple ideas to incorporate into your day:

  • A cup of coffee/tea with some quiet when you wake up.
  • Stretching at night.
  • 10 minute walk on lunch break.
  • A daily planning sheet before diving into work.
  • Turn phone on airplane mode around 5:30 pm to start dinner and welcome your family home.
  • Yoga class every Monday.
  • Beyond a take-charge approach and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress in your life by carving out “me” time. Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take care of your own needs. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury. If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors.
  • Set aside leisure time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule. Don’t allow other obligations to encroach. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.
  • Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be stargazing, playing the piano, or working on your bike.
  • Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.


Click for Stress Buster Challenge home

Take the Stress Buster Challenge

Life is full of situations that invite stress. While we cannot always control what’s happening around us, we can control how we respond. Stress management is about taking charge: of your lifestyle, thoughts, emotions, and the way you respond to problems. No matter how stressful your life seems, there are steps you can take to relieve the pressure and regain control.

Faculty and staff are invited to take the Stress Buster Challenge to learn a variety of strategies and techniques that will empower you to take actions to manage stress effectively. Participants who complete tasks and check-ins on time will be entered to win a variety of great prizes: 2 grand prize winners of one 30-minute massage, 5 elite prize winners of two Regal movie tickets and 15 sweet prize winners of free coffee or tea at any campus cafe!

Challenge runs February 12 – March 2

Registration is now closed.

The Stress Buster Challenge will focus on taking action to manage stress, creating opportunities for laughter and humor, and making yourself a priority. Different strategies and techniques will be offered to help you find what works best for you. Click on each of the images below to learn more.


Challenge basics

  • A three-week challenge designed to help you learn a variety of strategies and techniques that will empower you to take actions to manage stress effectively.
  • Each Monday, participants will receive a challenge (action item) email
    • Week #1 challenge: take action to manage stress
    • Week #2 challenge: infuse laughter and humor into your life
    • Week #3 challenge: make yourself a priority
  • Each Thursday, participants will receive a check-in notification email (check-in will be a brief online form)
  • Each Friday, participants check-ins are due
  • Participants who complete each challenge and check-in by the deadlines will be entered to win one of several great prizes. The winners* will be chosen at random after the challenge has been completed.  (*Please note: winners agree to have picture taken with prize to be displayed on wellness site). The prizes are:
    • 2 grand prize winners: one 30-minute massage
    • 5 elite prize winners: two Regal movie tickets
    • 15 sweet prize winners: free coffee or tea at any campus cafe
  Important Dates  
Week # DatesReceive challenge emailReceive check-in emailCheck-in deadline
1February 12 - 16February 12February 15February 16
2February 19 - 23February 19February 22February 23
3February 26 - March 2February 26March 1March 2

The Purpose of Stress

Emotions are signals to help us recognize problems. Stress hormones help us fight-or-flee when we are in danger.  But our body’s stress response can become a problem when it constantly signals danger about issues that aren’t necessarily a threat, or it grows to the point of overwhelming our health, well-being or clear thinking.

Why Practice Stress Management?

Your mind deserves better than to be loaded down with the never-ending job of worrying! Some stress can be beneficial and may lead to actual problem-solving, but a lot of our stress is unnecessary and even harmful.

Effective stress management, on the other hand, helps you break the hold stress has on your life, so you can be happier, healthier, and more productive. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun—and the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on. But stress management is not one-size-fits-all.

Flu shots available at Health Services through February 28

Walk-ins Welcome!

Faculty and Staff are still able to get their free flu shot at the Health Services pharmacy during regular business hours through February 28*:

  • Monday and Tuesday: 8:30a.m.—7p.m.
  • Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 8:30a.m.—5p.m.
  • Saturday: 10a.m.—4p.m.

*There may be a few minute wait.

Let’s Celebrate National Nutrition Month®

Logo: Eat right, go further with foodNational Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

“Go Further with Food” is the theme for 2018, and its importance is timely for many reasons. Whether it’s starting the day off right with a healthy breakfast or fueling before an athletic event, the foods you choose can make a difference.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to join us in celebrating National Nutrition Month® with presentations, the opportunity to ask the registered dietitian, and weekly quizzes for a chance to win prizes!

Healthy Eating For Busy People

Are you always on the go? If you have a hectic lifestyle and want to eat healthy, the key is to plan and be prepared. Join us to learn tips and strategies to ease the time crunch and still have delicious and nutritious meals.

South campus
Thursday, March 8
12:15 – 12:45 p.m.
Skytop Office Building, Large Conference Room 2nd floor
Register now!
*Register by March 6
Main campus
Wednesday, March 14
12:15 – 12:45 p.m.
Hall of Languages, Room 500
Register now!
*Register by March 12

If you require accommodations, please contact the Wellness Initiative at 315.443.5472 or

Read It Before You Eat It: How to decode the nutrition facts label

Nutrition facts labels are designed to help us make decisions when it comes to the foods we eat; but they can be confusing. Join us to learn how to make sense of nutrition facts labels and why nutrition facts matter.

Main campus
Wednesday, March 21
12:15 – 12:45 p.m.
Hall of Languages, Room 500
Register now!
*Register by March 19
South campus
Tuesday, March 20
12:15 – 12:45 p.m.
Skytop Office Building, Large Conference Room 2nd floor
Register now!
*Register by March 19

If you require accommodations, please contact the Wellness Initiative at 315.443.5472 or

Photo: question mark in the center of vegetables
Click to ask your question

Ask the Registered Dietitian

Got questions about healthy eating, picky eaters, quick and easy meals or anything about food and nutrition? During National Nutrition Month®, send your nutrition questions our way; we are here to help!

Sample food related questions we can answer:
​”What are some foods that are high in Vitamin D?”
​”What are some meal ideas for my son who is a picky eater?”
“What are some foods that are high in fiber?”

Graphic: choose my plate dot gov logo
Click to take a quiz

Test your nutrition IQ

Join the fun! During National Nutrition Month®, take the weekly nutrition quiz for a chance to win a prize.

Visit MyPlate Quiz Time to take the weekly quiz as listed below.

  1. March 1 – March 10: take the dairy quiz
  2. March 11 – March 17: take the fruit quiz
  3. March 18 – March 24: take the vegetable quiz
  4. March 25 – March 31: take the grains quiz

After you complete the weekly quiz, you can submit it to the Wellness Initiative by using the email icon after quiz completion and sending it to Simply add, “I completed this week’s quiz.” to the body of the email.

At the end of the month, we will have a random drawing of five prize winners for a nutrition-related wellness gift basket!

Move More with Healthy Monday Syracuse!

Healthy Monday Syracuse web

Healthy Monday Syracuse is a national initiative to help end chronic preventable diseases by offering weekly prompts and programs to support people and participating organizations in starting and sustaining healthy behaviors. They offer a variety of free programs to any member of the Syracuse community. In addition to their Monday Mile walks, Healthy Monday’s spring offerings include Move it Monday/Kick it Up Friday and Yoga!


Recreation Rec Services Archbold Gym Exercise Aerobics Class

Move it Monday

Free fitness classes are offered by Healthy Monday in partnership with Recreation Services every Monday!
Days: Every Monday beginning January 29
Time: 5:15—6 p.m.
Location: Flanagan Fitness Studio



Mindful Monday Yoga

Yoga Seeds is sponsored by Healthy Monday in partnership with the Contemplative Collaborative!
Days: Every Monday beginning January 22 (except March 12)
Time: 4—5 p.m.
Location: Newhouse 1, Miron Room (Room 303)