McMaster Okanagan

McMaster Okanagan To promote inclusive and equitable initiatives that enhance the health and well-being of students, staff and faculty across McMaster campuses and our community.

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For many of us, the last few months we have found our lives and realities drastically different from what we were used t...
09/18/2020

For many of us, the last few months we have found our lives and realities drastically different from what we were used to. Our work life, education, social lives, and daily routines were shifted for the sake of keeping ourselves, our friends, family, and vulnerable populations safe.

Experiencing all the changes at once took a toll on our health and well-being, making us more prone to stress and anxiety during these uncertain times.

Now more than ever is it important to do mental health checkups on yourself, your friends and family. If you or anyone you know is struggling, it is important to know that there are resources available to assist you!

This post outlines many of the mental health services available right now to any unique circumstances. While these resources were compiled with McMaster students, staff, and faculty in mind, many of them are available to anyone (and available outside of McMaster / Hamilton).

Feel free to share these resources on your social media or with anyone you may know.

If you have a resource you would like us to share please DM us or email us at [email protected].

#mentalhealth #crisis #McMasterUniversity #mcmasterokanagan #healthandwellbeing
#BIPOC #LGBTQ #hamilton #MSU #mentalhealthresources #freeresources #onlineresources #mentalhealthcanada #employeementalhealth #postsecondarymentalhealth #studentmentalhealth #youarenotalone

Cranberries, pears, plums, beets, cabbage, carrots, corn, eggplant and pumpkins are just a short list of current fruits ...
09/17/2020

Cranberries, pears, plums, beets, cabbage, carrots, corn, eggplant and pumpkins are just a short list of current fruits and vegetables in season in Ontario! You can try some new recipes or experiment by adding new and fresh ingredients. Pull out those dusty cookbooks, find a fun recipe online or watch a cooking show for inspiration. Use physical distancing as a way to hone those cooking skills to impress your friends and family within the future!

#mcmasteruniversity #mcmasterokanagan #healthandwellbeing #covid19 #physicaldistancing #healthtips #wellbeingtips #cooking #learntocook #freshingridients

Technology exhaustion (aka Zoom Fatigue) is a new but very real experience that many of us are facing as we continue to ...
09/16/2020

Technology exhaustion (aka Zoom Fatigue) is a new but very real experience that many of us are facing as we continue to work and study from home. Our bodies are not used to the over-stimulation that comes with staring at screens as much as we are. Though we don’t feel like we are doing much and that all we are doing is staring at a screen all day, the exhaustion that is felt is justified. Our mind is overworking itself as it tries to manage the amount of information it is trying to consume through the computer screen.

A quick tip you can start doing today is the 20,20,20 method recommended by psychiatrist Melina Payne. Every 20 minutes, get up, take twenty steps, look at something at least 20 feet away and keep looking at it for 20 seconds. This technique will help prevent eye strain and further exhaustion.

Setting limits with yourself as to how much time you are spending on technology is just as important. Let your co-workers, friends and family know what times during the day you will be responding to emails, be in meetings and responding to messages. Your time away from your phone and computer to focus on other things like cooking, reading, or going outside can make all the difference.

Let us know ways you’re fighting against technology fatigue!

#mcmasterokanagan #mcmasteruniversity #healthandwellbeing #technologyfatigue #technology #pandemicfatigue #covid19

Now that fall is just around the corner it is important to maintain a clean space around us. Fall cleaning is a good way...
09/15/2020

Now that fall is just around the corner it is important to maintain a clean space around us. Fall cleaning is a good way to spend your time and get your house comfortable for you to stay cozy in the coming months. Beyond having a clean space there are psychological and physical benefits to cleaning. You can even turn it into a workout. Break-up certain areas of your home allowing for a longer, more in-depth cleaning process!
You may not believe this but cleaning can release endorphins in your brain that can help improve health and happiness. Living in a clean space gives us a sense of control over our environment which in turn gives us comfort. When you can’t control what is happening outside the home at least you can control what is happening inside and give yourself the calm, clean area that you deserve.
Seasonal cleaning can be time a consuming process but it benefit you in multiple ways… and future you will be grateful! If you’re looking for inspiration or where to start, scroll for some examples of fall cleaning To Do lists.

#mcmaster #mcmasteruniversity #socialdistancing #okanagancharter #fallcleaning #organizing #healthandwellbeing #stressreducer

Many people are returning to the office (even if it’s part-time) and doing more and more activities outside the home. It...
09/14/2020

Many people are returning to the office (even if it’s part-time) and doing more and more activities outside the home. It’s wonderful that we are able to see each other again but we have to remain vigilant and that vigilance can cause exhaustion and stress.
It’s important to spend quality time with your family and closest friends (in your bubble of course) but it’s equally important to spend quality time with yourself. Whether you live alone, with friends (welcome back Mac students!!!) or with your family you need to have your alone time, now more than ever.
Let your work, friends and family know when you plan to spend some time alone so they can plan ahead to give you the space that you need. You may want to turn off your devices or you may want to just sit and enjoy your favourite TV show uninterrupted. Do some yoga or read that book you’ve been wanting to finish. Alone time will help you mentally stay on track and leave you more refreshed.
Remember we want to hear from you about what you're doing to stay healthy during physical distancing. Send us a DM, make a comment below or email us at [email protected] and if we use your tip we'll send you a little gift to say thanks.
#McMasterUniversity #McMasterOkanagan #PhysicalDistancing #HealthandWellbeing #alonetime #metime #recharge

One thing each of us does everyday is get dressed. It is a simple act that we do almost without thinking. However, for m...
09/11/2020

One thing each of us does everyday is get dressed. It is a simple act that we do almost without thinking. However, for many of us our closet holds more than just physical materials. Clothes that used to fit, clothes that should fit one day, clothes that make us feel comfortable, powerful, even more beautiful, clothes that were worn for a special event that make us smile or cry, and clothes that were given to us by someone special. Clothing can evoke much emotion within ourselves, bringing an additional level of meaning to them.
Looking into your closet and deciding what to wear can often feel stressful. Especially if it is cluttered, unorganized and full of things you don’t wear. Cleaning out and organizing your closet has many health benefits. Getting rid of certain clothes can help you feel better emotionally. A clean closet will make you more productive, organized and ready to take on the day.
If you’re not sure how to meaningfully clean and organize your closet, Marie Kondo is known for her decluttering techniques. Her advice is available on Youtube, Netflix or in her book! To learn more about her techniques, check out her website: https://konmari.com/.
Remember we want to hear from you about what you're doing to stay healthy during physical distancing. Send us a DM, make a comment below or email us at [email protected] and if we use your tip we'll send you a little gift to say thanks.
#McMasterUniversity #McMasterOkanagan #PhysicalDistancing #HealthandWellbeing #clean #declutter #cleancloset #mariekondo Marie Kondo #konmari

A great way to learn about who you are is by learning where you have come from. To do this, doing research into your gen...
09/10/2020

A great way to learn about who you are is by learning where you have come from. To do this, doing research into your genealogy is a meaningful way to trace your familial lineage. The work of genealogy goes far before dates and names. When you dive into your ancestry you learn more about your family and more about yourself. You also have the opportunity to bond with your past, current, and future family as you bring your family together and come to better understand them.

Useful ways to trace your ancestry is by registering yourself with Ancestery.ca or 23andme.com. These websites help you track and trace your family heritage and do genetic reports to analyze your health. If you have additional time on your hands, a fun activity is tracing your own family lineage on your own! Looking through your own family records and reaching out to local libraries can help on your own journey of discovery.

Remember we want to hear from you about what you're doing to stay healthy during physical distancing. Send us a DM, make a comment below or email us at [email protected] and if we use your tip we'll send you a little gift to say thanks.
#McMasterUniversity #McMasterOkanagan #PhysicalDistancing #HealthandWellbeing #genealogy #familyhistory #genetics #selfdiscovery

A great way to learn about who you are is by learning where you have come from. To do this, doing research into your gen...
09/10/2020

A great way to learn about who you are is by learning where you have come from. To do this, doing research into your genealogy is a meaningful way to trace your familial lineage. The work of genealogy goes far before dates and names. When you dive into your ancestry you learn more about your family and more about yourself. You also have the opportunity to bond with your past, current, and future family as you bring your family together and come to better understand them.

Useful ways to trace your ancestry is by registering yourself with Ancestery.ca or 23andme.com. These websites help you track and trace your family heritage and do genetic reports to analyze your health. If you have additional time on your hands, a fun activity is tracing your own family lineage on your own! Looking through your own family records and reaching out to local libraries can help on your own journey of discovery.

Remember we want to hear from you about what you're doing to stay healthy during physical distancing. Send us a DM, make a comment below or email us at [email protected] and if we use your tip we'll send you a little gift to say thanks.
#McMasterUniversity #McMasterOkanagan #PhysicalDistancing #HealthandWellbeing #genealogy #familyhistory #genetics #selfdiscovery

Popular across many cultures around the world, fermentation has made a trendy comeback as a great hobby to pick-up this ...
09/09/2020

Popular across many cultures around the world, fermentation has made a trendy comeback as a great hobby to pick-up this summer. Traditionally, fermentation is used as a way to preserve food - a technique used long before refrigerators were invented. Today, fermentation is a great technique to know and has many health benefits as well!

Fermenting is different from pickling. While both pickling and fermenting produce different results, there are some areas of overlap that can easily spark some confusion. Here’s what you need to remember: Pickling involves soaking foods in an acidic liquid to achieve a sour flavor (like vinegar); when foods are fermented, the sour flavor is a result of a chemical reaction between a food’s sugars and naturally present bacteria — no added acid required.

During the process of fermentation, microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast or fungi convert organic compounds – such as sugars and starch – into alcohol or acids. For example, starches and sugars in vegetables and fruits are converted to lactic acid and this lactic acid acts as a natural preservative. Fermentation can produce quite distinctive, strong, slightly sour flavours. Fermentation aids in digestion, boosts your immune system, and can help reduce heart disease!

To learn how to ferment food at home, check out this website for guidance: https://www.biome.com.au/blog/how-to-ferment-vegetables/.

And fermenting your veggies is a great way to keep that great produce you’ve been picking up at your local farmer’s market available all year long.

Remember we want to hear from you about what you're doing to stay healthy during physical distancing. Send us a DM, make a comment below or email us at [email protected] and if we use your tip we'll send you a little gift to say thanks.
#McMasterUniversity #McMasterOkanagan #PhysicalDistancing #HealthandWellbeing #fermenting #fermentation #guthealth #kimchi

If you’ve ever participated in or seen a Zumba class, you’ve undoubtedly seen its resemblance to a dance class. Instead ...
09/08/2020

If you’ve ever participated in or seen a Zumba class, you’ve undoubtedly seen its resemblance to a dance class. Instead of the grunts you’d hear at your typical CrossFit or indoor cycling class, a Zumba class boasts catchy dance music, and clapping hands from an enthusiastic participant. Zumba is a workout featuring movements inspired by various styles of Latin American dance, performed to music. It’s become a popular and trendy workout across the globe.

The health benefits to doing Zumba make it even more tempting to start.
- It is a full-body workout: designed as a movement class, as long as you are moving to the music, you aren’t doing it wrong!
- You’ll build endurance: by doing this, you will decrease your blood pressure and heart rate!
- Adaptable for any fitness level: Since the intensity of Zumba is scalable - you’re moving on your own to the beat of the music - it’s a workout that everyone can do at their own intensity level!
- It’s super social!
If you are looking to start Zumbas classes, McMaster Pulse offers free virtual Zumbas classes every week! Check out their instagram @macrecreation to check when you can join the next class.

Remember we want to hear from you about what you're doing to stay healthy during physical distancing. Send us a DM, make a comment below or email us at [email protected] and if we use your tip we'll send you a little gift to say thanks.
#McMasterUniversity #McMasterOkanagan #PhysicalDistancing #HealthandWellbeing #mcmasterpulse #macrecreation #fitness #Zumba

If you consider yourself a bird watching aficionado, you may already know the many benefits of taking part in this pasti...
09/04/2020

If you consider yourself a bird watching aficionado, you may already know the many benefits of taking part in this pastime, which has been steadily increasing in popularity in recent years. But those that have just begun to take part in birding, or are interested in learning more about the hobby, may be surprised to learn that bird watching has many health benefits!

This weekend head outside with members of your bubble or enjoy the outdoors by yourself. You can even make a game of it with a birdspotting bingo or a contest to see who can be the first to spot the most different birds. And make sure you keep an eye out for some of Hamilton’s amazing resident birds of prey such as the peregrine falcon, red-tailed hawk, and bald eagle.

Bird watching allows you to get closer to nature, improve your cardiovascular health (because it takes a while to hike to certain bird watching spots!), improves patience, and improves alertness. Simultaneously, bird watching induces relaxation and calmness as it requires quietness and stillness!

Hamilton’s Naturalists Club has great resources and a strong community of local bird watchers. By checking out their website, you can find a birding checklist, bird watching areas, and even download your own birding booklet! https://hamiltonnature.org/birding/birds/

Remember we want to hear from you about what you're doing to stay healthy during physical distancing. Send us a DM, make a comment below or email us at [email protected] and if we use your tip we'll send you a little gift to say thanks.
#McMasterUniversity #McMasterOkanagan #PhysicalDistancing #HealthandWellbeing #birdwatching #birding #birdwatchinghamilton #birdinghamilton Hamilton Naturalists' Club

Unwinding at the end of a long day or week is crucial to your mental health. Allowing your body to relax does wonders fo...
09/03/2020

Unwinding at the end of a long day or week is crucial to your mental health. Allowing your body to relax does wonders for your mental and physical health. Indulging yourself in a luxurious bath allows you to pamper yourself from the comforts of your own home. Adding a bath bomb to your experience is a great way to add to your relaxation regime.

Making your own bath bombs are great for your skin, all natural and heal your skin! Almost all bath bombs contain sodium bicarbonate and citric acid. These two ingredients combine to create that fizzing sensation bath bombs are famous for. More than that, though, they clean, deodorize, and repair skin, and strengthen blood vessels. These two main ingredients leave you with healthier, younger looking skin.

Making your own bath bombs only includes a few ingredients that can easily be purchased (or are already in your cupboard)! To learn how to make your own, follow this link to the recipe: https://inspiredbycharm.com/diy-bath-bombs/. Get creative with the colours and scents. Relax with lavender or get excited with citrus. And don't forget that they also make a great gift to give to your friends and family.

Remember we want to hear from you about what you're doing to stay healthy during physical distancing. Send us a DM, make a comment below or email us at [email protected] and if we use your tip we'll send you a little gift to say thanks.
#McMasterUniversity #McMasterOkanagan #PhysicalDistancing #HealthandWellbeing #relaxation #calmness #rejuvenation #homemadebathbomb #bathbomb

A popular game in many households, Sudoku is a strengthening game that is great for all! Sudoku is a puzzle that challen...
09/02/2020

A popular game in many households, Sudoku is a strengthening game that is great for all! Sudoku is a puzzle that challenges and exercises your brain. In addition to it being a fun activity, there are many health benefits to gain from playing!

Sudoku improves your memory, stimulates your brain, reduces your chances of developing Alzheimers, teaches you to learn quickly, increases your concentration capacity and makes you feel happy! Sudoku gives you a sense of accomplishment when you can solve a puzzle, especially a difficult one.

By playing Sudoku more often, you can solve the puzzle faster and eventually advance to a harder level. Exercise your mind and you will become happier and smarter.From now on, spare a little time to play Sudoku everyday!

Remember we want to hear from you about what you're doing to stay healthy during physical distancing. Send us a DM, make a comment below or email us at [email protected] and if we use your tip we'll send you a little gift to say thanks.
#McMasterUniversity #McMasterOkanagan #PhysicalDistancing #HealthandWellbeing #sudoku #brainpower #challengeyourself #puzzle

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