Wellness Wednesday Blog

Wellness Wednesday, May 13, 2021

Image reading "Congratulations, everyone!"Congratulations! Congratulations, graduates and congratulations to those who finished the semester! These past few semesters have been unlike any other in the history of college, and here you are at the finish line! Everyone at HU CARES and Highlands New Mexico University is so proud of the graduates and students we support!

But let’s face it, the year was long, and school was tough! We may feel tired or unmotivated, but still want to celebrate our accomplishments. Without in-person graduation or end-of-year celebrations, it may seem silly to celebrate your accomplishments, but they are worth being celebrated and you may thank yourself later. So here are a few simple ways to celebrate the person who made it so far–YOU!

  1. Write a congratulations letter to yourself. You know better than anyone what you did to get here. Remind yourself of what you did, and own it.
  2. Plant a flower to remind you of your accomplishment! It is a gift that will keep growing and reminding you of your strengths.
  3. Take a selfie in your cap and gown, or surrounded by all your notebooks! The proof is in the picture; you did the work to get here!
  4. Treat yourself! Get that double strawberry pink drink! Buy some ice cream and put your favorite movie on. Go for that hike you love! You have earned it.
  5. Enjoy your accomplishment. Take a few minutes out of your life and just breathe. Create a mantra for yourself, such as “I am proud of myself. All of me has worked hard to get here.”
  6. Here are more ideas – https://www.livehappy.com/self/12-ways-celebrate-you

Wellness Wednesday, May 5, 2021

image text reads: One week left to reflectThis spring semester has flown by and now we only have one more week left! Emotional reflection is great for understanding ourselves a little more. Reflecting on the year and how we are feeling can help us understand our emotions and how we react. It can provide us with clarity and sometimes helps us resolve issues, which can help us in the future! Whether you are eager to graduate, have a few more years left, or are ready for summer break, reflecting on the year can help prepare for what comes next!

How does someone get started journaling?
Best part about self-reflection journaling is that it takes a few minutes, and you can do it anywhere! You can use a paper and a pen, a laptop or smart phone, or even just talk it out with someone you want to share with! Self-reflection helps us look back on the year to understand and learn from ourselves! Here are a few prompts to help you get started, or you can use for self-reflection!

  1. Describe a time when you felt like your true self. Why did you feel like that? What can you do to feel that way again?
  2. What obstacles did you have to overcome to get to this point? What did you learn from them?
  3. What were your emotions at the beginning of the year? What are your emotions now and how did they change?
  4. Name two things that you did that made you happy or proud? Why did you feel that way?
  5. Write a letter to your past or future self, but do not forget to mention how great you are!
  6. What brought you joy this year? Describe how you can keep joy in your life?
  7. What is something you can do to enhance your life? What can you do to start?

Self-reflection is a great for understanding and accepting ourselves! Here is a link to more self-reflection prompts! https://advice.theshineapp.com/articles/32-journal-prompts-for-self-reflection-and-self-care/

Wellness Wednesday Apr. 28, 2021

Poster: how does being an HU Cares Ally help our wellness?Allyship happens when members of “ingroups” join to support social justice, inclusion, and human rights of those facing oppression. Allyship for sexual assault victims and survivors is speaking out against sexual assault and standing up for victims, in order to promote social justice and rights. Everyone can be an ally, no matter how you identify–and being an ally increases diversity and social justice for all while also bringing up important issues!

So how does that help our wellness? When everyone feels safe, everyone benefits and has a better experience. Speaking out against sexual violence will help show others we want to provide safe spaces for all who come to our campus. Standing up for victims also shows that we do not stand for bullies in an educational and learning environment. We all came to NMHU to learn, grow, and enhance our lives. There should be no room for violence or harassment of any kind.

Get serious about allyship and take the HU CARES Allyship Pledge!

Allyship #1: Actions and words can hurt. Language and jokes that are meant to be hurtful to sexual assault victims are not funny or cool.

Ally Action #2: If a dog bit you, how would you feel if people said it was your fault? Victim blaming is harmful. Let us not blame someone for being hurt or how they feel.

Allyship Action #3: Everyone experiences things differently and we do not need to compare experiences. But we can validate them and offer support if we are able.

Allyship Pledge

I, _______________, pledge to be an ally of sexual assault victims and survivors. I pledge to be a leader in my words and actions, and I will do my part to prevent a culture of violence at my school and in my community. I,______________, pledge to support survivors of sexual and relationship violence. I will not engage in victim blaming or shaming behavior. I will do my part to create an environment where survivors feel safe to report and seek help.

Wellness Wednesday Apr. 21, 2021

Earth Day is a great way to celebrate not only our Earth, but also our own connections with nature and our community! There are so many ways we can celebrate Earth Day, connect with nature, and make Earth a cleaner place. But did you know the first Earth Day celebration was April 22nd, 1970, promoted by Senator Nelson Gaylord? The senator had growing concerns for the environment, but also hoped to get college students involved by placing the holiday after spring break. Now Earth Day is an international holiday often recognized as Mother Earth Day. How is that for connecting nature and a global community!

So, what are some ways we can connect with nature? Glad you asked. Any connection with nature is great, whether it is a house plant, a crystal collection, gardening, or hiking every weekend! So, how can we show gratitude? Earth Day is a great excuse to enjoy nature and perhaps do a little more! Check myNMHU portal or local social media pages for community events, like local park clean ups or tree planting! NMHU campus has recycling spots at various locations for students to recycle plastic, paper, and aluminum! Any involvement can make a big difference and make us feel better about the Earth we live on. Here are some ways to take action for Earth Day!


Wellness Wednesday Apr. 14, 2021

Wellness Wednesday text: Why are boundaries importantBoundaries are an important aspect of our personal lives, but making boundaries can be difficult and may not always seem so important. However, setting boundaries is helpful when we are protecting our physical, emotional, and mental well-being! Here are some key points why setting boundaries is so important.

Boundaries are made to set limits that prevent and stop unwanted violations while respecting physical, emotional, and mental safety and well-being. We can set boundaries in any informal or formal relationship, at ANY time, especially when we want respect and to enhance our relationships.

Boundaries create realistic expectations and when they are clearly displayed or stated, others are able to respect those expectations. When individuals set realistic and respectful boundary with others, they are allowing relationships to enhance within those set boundaries, while also respecting their own well-being.

Boundaries allow individuals to have integrity for their own well-being, while also being realistic and respectful to relationships in their lives. Setting boundaries not only empowers the individuals making them but can influence or empower others to make their own boundaries.

Here is some more information on setting boundaries:




Wellness Wednesday Apr. 7, 2021

Graphic: Wellness Wednesday We Can Build Safe Spaces OnlineThe digital world has allowed us to communicate and interact with each other in so many ways, and under difficult circumstances. Social media, sharing apps, and school websites are great ways to interact and communicate with other peers, friends, and family; however, sometimes shared online spaces can become unsafe and problematic. This can happen to anyone and be committed by anyone, but being an active advocate for online safe spaces helps us interact in a safer and more fair way!

Just like in-person spaces, online spaces can be an unsafe place where harmful comments, microaggressions, and harassment can occur, causing inequitable and restricted environments. While online spaces attract conversation and debate, they can also entice harassment and abuse. When we use harmful words to hurt others, it also reflects how we behave and think. Continually using or allowing language with harmful intentions is something we can address to build safer learning spaces.

College is a time for learning and sharing, and as NMHU students we can start creating safe spaces by recognizing our own biases and how they influence how we behave, think, and perhaps act. Everyone has biases, and what we say may be influenced by those biases. Being aware of this in ourselves will help the learning experience and hopefully set examples for others! Another way we can create safe online spaces it by thinking before we speak or act. Is what you are saying or doing based on biases or to create an unsafe environment? When we think about how we are acting we can check our biases and prevent from saying hurtful things. We are all here to learn and grow as individuals and NMHU students, so let us work on creating safe and fair online spaces!

Wellness Wednesday Mar. 31, 2021

Wellness Wednesday Nutrition posterEating nutritious food and balanced meals is important to our overall wellness, but it can be challenging depending on where we live, and what we have access to. However, there are ways we can be mindful of what we eat, while improving our overall wellness!

Eating nutritious food does not have to break the bank or be a way to lose weight. Being mindful of what we eat contributes to our overall wellness–just like sleeping and staying hydrated. Keeping a log of what and when we eat, portion sizes, and the time we take to eat can help us be mindful of our daily food intake. This can help show eating patterns that our bodies may prefer, while also giving insight on what we need more or less of. You can adjust it whatever way you want and need to, but this is a great first step for being mindful and keeping track of our food intake.

Depending on where we live in New Mexico, we may have limited access to nutritious food. However, there may be options on campus and locally, like the NMHU dining hall, local farmers markets, food banks, and grocery stores, where they may offer student discounts. Although options can be limited, any step towards nutrition will contribute to our overall wellness!

Wellness Wednesday Mar. 24, 2021

Graphic of a sheep snoozing on a crescent moonA good night’s rest can make all the difference while in college; however, it’s hard to stick with a sleep schedule, especially after spring break. If you are like me, you slept in and stayed up late, and now have to find the natural sleep cycle all over again. A restful sleep helps us stay focused, stay energized, and to reset after a long day!

Find your natural sleep cycle and stick with it. Some of us are early risers, some are night owls, but you can use that to your advantage. Instead of creating a sleep schedule, create a schedule that goes around your sleep cycle. So, if you like late classes and studying at night, avoiding morning classes might be wise. Obviously, do not sleep during broad daylight, but you can have a sleep schedule that better fits you and your study habits.

Be active once you get up. Being active helps us to gain focus and stay alert, which contributes to our day and our sleep. Start your morning with a healthy routine, followed by manageable tasks to help set a productive mood for the day. Getting out of bed after waking up is the best way to start a productive day, followed by tasks that create a healthy routine. Some habits could be opening all the windows for natural light, or maybe putting on a facial mask. Perhaps enjoying a cup of tea or coffee before doing anything else or maybe starting the day with a walk or yoga.

Make a bedtime routine too. While morning routines are helpful for starting the day, create a routine to help you end your day. Staying away from bright lights and electronics is helpful, but also reflecting on the day and relaxing our minds can help us fall asleep. Journaling before bed can help us reflect on the day while also giving gratitude. Taking a warm shower, combing out your hair, or listening to relaxation music can also help ease our minds. Or do the old-fashioned thing and read a book, but maybe not a textbook.

Wellness Wednesday Mar. 17, 2021

Image of sunflower with text reading "Happy Spring Break"Happy spring break and Wellness Wednesday! This is a great time to relax, maybe volunteer, and celebrate the hard work you have done! Remember to check the NMHU Portal for weekly announcements like online events and community activities. Perhaps you missed out on some Wellness Wednesday tips, so check the blog for activities you may be interested in doing over the break. Or how about doing something different this spring break? Chris Maestas has created a list of places where you can donate your time and help make a difference in NMHU communities.



Samaritan House
501 7th St. Las Vegas, NM

Kitchen Angels and The Food Depot
1222 Siler Rd. Santa Fe, NM

Road Runner Food Bank
5840 Office Blvd NE Albuquerque, NM

Hope Works
1201 3rd St NW Albuquerque, NM

Wellness Wednesday Mar. 10, 2021

Photo of students studying together

With midterm week soon ending and spring break just around the corner, some of us may be feeling anxious about our grades, classes, and school in general. It happens to a lot of us all throughout college, and is more frequent with pandemic stress; nonetheless, it gets easier with practice, discipline, and help. Using self-reflection, manageable goals, and resources, we can finish the rest of the semester strong–after a relaxing spring break, though.

Self-reflection and reflective writing can help us understand our actions, emotions, and needs to better prepare for the future. Journaling and discussions with classmates are other great ways to self-reflect. Reflect on the first half of the semester using these few questions, or come up with your own questions!

What positive action did I enjoy doing to prepare for my classes and why?
What emotions do I have towards online schooling?
What emotions do I want to have towards online classes?
How did I manage my time in an effective and healthy way?

Goal Setting
Setting goals is great! However, too many “to-do” lists and overly ambitious goals could leave us feeling like we failed, but it may just be because we overwhelmed ourselves! Start with the key priority for the day and a few smaller tasks, then make set time to work on your goals, while incorporating mindful breaks when you feel tired or stuck!

For example: Wednesday – 9 to 3
Priority – Start paper for English
Task 1 – Email professor
Task 2 – Finish quiz on chapter 7
Mindfulness – (Dance break, focused breathing, stretching, mindful walk, whatever you want!)

Additional Aid
Remember, you do not have to finish the semester alone. Ask professors for help, talk to your advisor, or contact the student success center! Highlands offers other resources, like Donnelly Library, the Learning Center, Writing Center – and of course HU Cares – and we are all here to help you succeed!

Wellness Wednesday Mar. 3, 2021

Photo of student doing yoga in water. Nutrition starts with hydration and there is nothing like water to keep us hydrated and healthy! Water is great to maintain physical ability, as it helps regulate body temperature, prevent muscle cramps, and regulate metabolisms. Just like the rest of the body the brain also benefits from water. Water helps the brain reduce headaches, maintain focus, and aid in mood. However, we all know that water may not be as tasty as other drinks, there are way to make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day!

Water Match
Every time you drink a non-water beverage, drink a glass of water to match it! This will help maintain hydration, while also enjoying all those other yummy drinks!

Zoom Water Tag
While on Zoom for class or meetings, keep a glass of water nearby. When you see someone take a drink of anything, take a drink of your water! This helps stay hydrated while sitting for an extended period of time, but make sure to pay attention to the meeting or lecture!

Do you worry about your friend’s hydration status? Become a HydroBuddy! Whenever you text, talk, or hang out with your friend(s) be a HydroBuddy and drink water together! It seems silly, but it is a great way to make sure everyone you care about is hydrated and healthy!

Wellness Wednesday Feb. 24, 2021

Two music technicians in front of Computer monitor

Music can help with emotion regulation and expression as well as be used to gain energy, maintain focus, reduce boredom, and aid in distressing situations. Lyrics, instrumentals, or certain melodies can aid listeners in giving a voice to their feelings and the ability to identify their emotions. Sometimes we have music mimicry, which is when we mimic the emotion of the song or music and depending on the song, we may feel happy, sad, or even upset. When we feel mad, we may want to listen to music that helps us express our anger, but later we may listen to something relaxing to help change our mood.

People also have an action sensation to music, which is what makes us want to dance or move, speed up or slow down! This can help when we want to exercise, take a nap, and focus. As students, sometimes we are told that music can help us with memorizing information, that is because it engages various parts of the brain. When studying try listening to music that helps you focus, maybe something just instrumental. Or get creative and come up with lyrics and a little song to help you remember information!

Mix up your music by creating a pass along playlist to share. Get as many people involved as you want and have each select a song(s) that inspire them or get them motivated! By the end everyone will have contributed to a motivational and unique playlist! Try this for team practice, study group, or right before those Monday morning Zoom meetings!

Wellness Wednesday Feb. 17, 2021

image for Wellness Wednesday warm drinks postWhat is your favorite warm drink to enjoy? When do you like to enjoy it? How do you like to enjoy it? On cold winter days, when we are sick, or maybe when we want to treat ourselves, a warm drink can be a great way to feel better. But do we really pay attention to the drink, and the joy it is bringing us?

When drinking a warm beverage, maybe your favorite one, try to give attention to the sensation, the smell, the taste, how it looks, and maybe even the sound. After noticing these details, how do you feel? Would you do that again? You can do this with any drink you have daily, or your favorite one.

We all drink something every day, even if it is just water; being mindful of what we are drink can help us appreciate what we have, and how a cup of coffee or tea can be a luxury all on its own if we let it!

Even with distance, try to connect with others by sharing your favorite drinks with each other, or by taking time out of your day to have a phone or video call over a cup of coffee or tea! Plan a time to sit down and enjoy a warm drink while being mindful, or plan time for a drink with someone you enjoy spending time with!

Wellness Wednesday Feb. 9, 2021

Photo of person putting stickers on windowSchool is moving fast into the spring semester, and Valentine’s Day is almost here! Try these two wellness practices to share some self-love and help slip away from the screen. If you enjoy it, keep going, and share the wellness!

Love is in the air! Try to say one nice thing to yourself OUT LOUD. Give yourself a compliment, be your own fan, or point out something about yourself that maybe others do not always see. Something like this: “I love that I work hard for what I want!” Or give a compliment like, “I love my smile!” or “This shirt makes me feel good.”

Stretching, but for your eyes! We can get carried away looking at screens all day, so for this exercise, find a window to look through. This exercise helps us not only look away from a screen, but also become more observant and increase focus:First, find objects closest to the window and look at everything you see in that window’s frame.

Describe the objects in the window closest to you by using shapes, colors, textures, and movements. Try not to label the objects but rather just give descriptions. Try to do this for a few minutes. How did that feel?

Wellness Wednesday August 26, 2020

Pets can be valuable for maintaining mental and emotional wellness.

You’ve all probably heard of emotional support animals (ESA’s). These animals are helpful to individuals who have experienced some type of traumatic event or face episodes of anxiety, panic, depression, etc. and they can be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional.

However, if you don’t have a diagnosis a pet can still be very helpful in times of uncertainty and loneliness. They provide unconditional love and are able to instantly improve our moods. If you are able to have a pet but desire something low maintenance yet calming consider fish or turtles as pets. They have a calm, slow pace and if you have time to observe them as they go along their daily activities of life so too will you have a calmer approach towards life and your daily routine.

Wellness Wednesday August 19, 2020
Positive affirmations for wellness
Positive affirmations help us create the vision in our minds of what we want to do and how we want to live. They can give us encouragement and promote the release of endorphins, which make us feel good. Continuously repeating positive affirmations can also increase self-confidence. Here are some to try:

I am strong.
I am beautiful.
I am smart.
I am healthy.

There are many more that you can create on your own that can be in a language that you want to use or a phrase that speaks to you. One that comes to mind is “I got this!”

Give it a try for 30 days. Everyday, multiple times a day. Write it down somewhere that you can see it often and say it each time you see it to remind yourself how awesome you are.