By Jackie Yun
It’s not always easy to take care of yourself in the dark and cold months of winter. I get it, hot chocolate and onesie pajamas sometimes seem like the only course of action. But don’t forget, student health and wellness matters, especially in the times when it can be hard to make that a priority. Need a little inspiration? Here are five tips about Harvard resources that support graduate students’ health and wellness.
1. Take a Paws (Drop-in Therapy Dog Group)
Animals have been proven to help decrease stress and improve quality of life. Take a Paws is a drop-in group open to graduate students wanting to engage in animal-assisted therapy with Tulip and Tom, certified therapy dogs. Students can e-mail ahead of time or just stop by to hang out with Tulip and Tom. Take a Paws takes place on Thursdays (12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.) in room 4308 on the 4th Floor of Harvard University Health Services.
2. Check Out the David S. Rosenthal Center for Wellness and Health Promotion
Located on the 7th floor of 114 Mount Auburn Street, the center offers a wide range of workshops, services, and classes for Harvard community members. You can schedule a massage or acupuncture appointment, or try an exercise, meditation, or yoga class online to help ease the strain of the cold winter.
3. Hit the Gym
Use your free gym membership to warm up and get your blood flowing. GSAS students can take advantage of Hemenway Gym, Malkin Athletic Center (MAC), and Vanderbilt Hall Athletic Facility (which has a bouldering room!), among other facilities. You can even do the backstroke in the MAC or Bloggett pools and pretend it's summer.
Harvard has a number of amazing meditation resources for GSAS students. Did you know you can call a number 24-hours a day to hear a pre-recorded self-guided meditation? To check it out, dial 617-384-2256. The Wellness Center even has a relaxation room on their website, which provides visual/audio self-guided mediations. You can also drop in to a meditation class or a lunch-hour meditation.
5. Get Social
Even though hibernating and binging Netflix all alone might seem like an ideal winter activity, it’s important to still get together with peers and find time to socialize. Join a GSAS Club or participate in a Dudley House activity. If you are in Cambridge, grab a bite with friends at the Dudley Café or chat over a latte in Café Gato Rojo.
Let’s face it, winter is hard. And although it’s tempting to hole up until the days become longer, the snow melts, and the thermostat is in higher digits, don’t forget to take care of your wellness.
If you are looking for other ideas to take care of yourself, feel free to stop by the Office of Student Services in Dudley House B-2 for a cup of tea, a piece of candy, adult coloring books, and a chat.