Podcast Recommendations

If you are like me, you are getting a little burnt out at this point looking at screens all the time. You also may be feeling the weather getting warmer where you are, and wanting to be outside more. One way to boost multiple dimensions of your wellness is to check out a new podcast series. I have found that listening to podcasts is a great way to stretch my mind – particularly when doing tasks such as walking the dog, cooking dinner, or cleaning my space. I thought I would share with you five great podcasts that I have been tuning in to recently!

  • Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard : This is hands down one of my favorite podcasts to listen to for quite a while now. Dax and Monica delve in to the messiness of being human with some phenomenal guests in a variety of industries. You are sure to find an enticing interview in the 200+ episodes – some of my favorites include Alicia Keyes, Hasan Minhaj, and Chelsea Handler! Another awesome thing? Dax Shepard is a person in long term recovery who often shares how recovery has shaped his life – which is near and dear to me as the coordinator of the Collegiate Recovery Community!


  • Unlocking Us with Brene Brown: From the woman who gave us the Power of Vulnerability TED Talk as well as some truly wonderful books about connection, Brene Brown’s new podcast is definitely worth checking out. I’ve found more than one book recommendation that I can’t wait to pick up due to listening to this podcast!


  • WorkLife with Adam Grant: Missing your job, or currently job searching? I highly recommend organizational psychologist Adam Grant’s perspective on the work place. Each episode follows some extraordinary people and companies thinking outside the box to create a work life worth your time. I find myself constantly coming back to some of the episodes and bringing ideas I have learned through this series to my own work place.


  • Last Seen: In to true crime podcasts but looking for something a little less heavy during this time? I could not get enough of this one! Last Seen follows the case of the largest unresolved art heist in history, which took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. They also have a great website with additional content that will leave you reeling- and maybe wanting to change your major to art detective.


  • Finding Fred: Finally, this last podcast on my list takes a look at the life of Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. There has been an uptick in Mr. Rogers related works recently, and I thoroughly enjoyed taking a deeper dive in to the life of a remarkable thinker when it came to teaching children about hard topics. If you are also looking for some good in the world, feel free to start here!

-Mackenzie Hogan, Wellness Coordinator – Collegiate Recovery Program 

How to be a PAL… even if you’re not a PAL volunteer!

The Buckeye Peer Access Line (PAL) is a non-crisis peer-to-peer support line that provides space for students to engage in brief phone conversations in order to gain support and learn about campus resources. Common conversation topics range from adjusting to college and university life, balancing stress management, feeling pressure to succeed, navigating social identities and much more.

Buckeye PAL was created FOR students BY students to further establish a “culture of care”.

The co-founders of Buckeye PAL, Emily Kearney and Carmen Greiner wanted to make sure that all Buckeyes feel supported and cared for through establishing a “Culture of Care” at the University.

One way you can support your peers is by being a PAL for your friends and fellow Buckeyes.

Here are 3 tips for how to be a PAL… even if you’re not a PAL volunteer.

P – Pay attention to your friend’s behavioral changes. Take time to notice how they may be acting different. Do they seem to be a little more irritable than normal? Have they suddenly stopped doing many of the activities that they once enjoyed? Are they talking less? Sleeping more? Do they constantly seem to be overwhelmed?

A – Ask open-ended questions. After you notice any behavioral changes with your friends, it is important to ask open-ended questions. Be mindful of not placing any judgement or making any assumptions by asking leading questions. Here is an example below:

Open-ended: What have you done to take care of yourself lately?

Leading:  Don’t you think you should be getting better sleep?

L- Listen to understand rather than listening to respond. Oftentimes, we can get so focused on trying to offer advice to a friend or immediately “fix” a problem that we don’t actually listen to our friends in a way that makes them feel heard. A good way to make your friend feel heard is by offering a brief summary of what you heard or understood your friend say.

You will be amazed at how these 3 simple tips can make a difference on the sustainability and well-being of your friendships! For further tips, you can check out this article from Ohio State Insights.

Keep Calm and Carry On: Civility and COVID-19

While there may be shortages of toilet paper and hand sanitizer at the grocery store, there should be no shortage of kindness as we navigate a new normal in the time of COVID-19As public health officials are calling for responsible “social distancing,” perhaps the more appropriate term is “physical distancing,” while still aiming for social connection and compassion. Civility is more relevant now than ever, as Governor DeWine and Dr. Acton remind us that we are all #InThisTogether. Civility scholar P.M. Forni has said that “civility means a great deal more than just being nice to one another…Taking an active interest in the well-being of our community and concern for the health of our society is also involved.” I can’t think of a more apt time where we are able to practice civility and improve our health than this very moment.   

Personally, I have been touched to see people in my neighborhood strongly heeding the national guidance to stay at least six feet apart from one another while walking the dog or running on the sidewalk.  I have recently noticed far more people wearing cloth masks and other face coverings while shopping. I have also watched as friends and family from near and far have intentionally found ways to stay connected; through dates on Zoom, Facetime, and other social media forms.  I have been moved to read stories about people volunteering their time at food banks or delivering goods to seniors at home who are unable to get out themselves.  These kind actionshowever smallare significant and make an immeasurable difference when it comes to “flattening the curve” and keeping the most vulnerable members of our community safe. 

It bears repeating that the official CDC guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic include:  

  • Listen and follow the directions of your state and local authorities 
  • If you feel sick, stay home.  Do not go to work 
  • If someone in your household has tested positive, keep the entire household at home 
  • Work or study from home whenever possible 
  • Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people 
  • Use pickup or delivery options when it comes to getting food or groceries 
  • Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits 
  • Always practice good hygiene: wash your hands, avoid touching your face, sneeze or cough into your elbow, and disinfect frequently used items and surfaces 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others 

As the CDC says, “even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your activities can increase the risk for others.” For people who may feel that they do not face great personal risk from this virus, I implore you to consider the wellbeing of those around you: your family members, neighbors, and even members of your community who you do not know.  Although we are being asked to stay apartand it may feel like the farthest thing from caring for one anotherit is in fact the best thing to do for our collective health!   


-Natalie Fiato, Wellness Coordinator, Civility and Sexual Health Promotion 



Stay Mindful about your Drinking Habits

Among all of the news and information we have been bombarded with recently, one term we have all heard is “new normal.” With many people attempting to cope with the impacts of Covid-19, new trends have begun, like virtual game nights, even more tik toking, whipped coffee, and virtual happy hours. Due to this new trend of “virtual happy hours” we have seen an increase in alcohol sales. A newsletter from the Ohio College Initiative stated “National market research firm Nielsen indicates that sales of spirits increased by 75 percent compared to this same time last year. Beer sales saw a 66 percent increase and wine went up 42 percent year-on-year.” So, what can we do to ensure that virtual happy hours don’t turn into negative consequences down the road? Below are 6 ways to stay mindful about your drinking habits during quarantine.

  • Reassess your drinking habits: Take a look at your habits and see if that is truly where you want to be and set hard limits for yourself.
  • Have a set schedule: It can be difficult to set a routine when you’re home all the time but setting a routine will help you keep more normal habits. If you wouldn’t typically drink until Friday after 5pm, set a routine that keeps that same structure.
  • Take a social media break or at least a break from certain people: If there are people all through your timeline drinking, it will be difficult to keep it off your mind.
  • Find new, healthy coping strategies: This is a perfect time to find a new hobby that helps you to unwind without drinking alcohol. Checkout how the Student Wellness Center staff copes in the video below!
  • Don’t stock up: Chances are if you have it, you’ll drink it. So instead of stocking up on alcohol, try just purchasing a drink when you order carryout for dinner once in a while.
  • Use this as a time to be sober: Many people drink solely in social settings. So, while you don’t have the opportunity to go out to a bar or a house party with friends, abstain from alcohol completely and maybe try some new non-alcoholic beverages.

If you would like to assess your current drinking habits you can visit go.osu.edu/screenuwin to take a 3-5 minute anonymous assessment. You’ll receive non-judgmental feedback encouraging you to think about your choices that may be putting you at risk for harmful consequences as well resources available to you.

To our Front Desk Seniors

Dear Front Desk Seniors,

Just because we cannot be together right now to celebrate your graduation, doesn’t mean we can’t share with you our appreciation for your dedication to the Student Wellness Center. You have ALL been the faces of SWC.  You contributed a significant role in helping shape and grow SWC.  We couldn’t have done it without your hard work, effective communication and directional support. Your fun personalities brought an inviting and warm feel to the office, creating meaningful friendships.  Your overall kindness, acceptance of one another and bright smiles truly made a difference! You recognized your role and were able to engage and help others who depended on our services. Your positive attitude and appreciation for other students and clients is what helped our center be successful.

Several of you have all been here since you were freshman!  Where did 4 years go?!? We have watched you grow, learn and experience life’s changes. We feel honored to have been a part that experience.  We are truly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with you. You are graduating with a strong sense of self awareness and ambition that will help you conquer the world.  Don’t let this situation we are facing today define you.  You are stronger and more resilient because of it.  Coping with change and making difficult decisions or recovering from setbacks is a part of life. How you respond to it is what matters.

To our RPAC Team (Mike, George, Liz and Brandon)– you all have been leaders this year and help set the tone for the front desk for years to come. Your energy (and loud voices @Liz) made stopping by the desk an enjoyable part of our staff’s day.

Michelle – you’ve been such a strong leader, always bringing new ideas and working to make things run more smoothly, all while building a community within the team. We appreciated your creativity and kindness. Your determination is so apparent, and we know you’re going to make a huge impact with your biochemistry research.

Please know you will be missed but that we are truly excited for you as you go on to accomplish many things. We know you will be great!  We will always be here for you if you need us.

CONGRATULATIONS and we wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors!

Warm Wishes,

Michaela, Jen, Joe and the entire SWC team

Taking Steps Toward Change 

We are all experiencing a time of unease, uncertainty and unfamiliarity in our routines.  While this time can bring a sense of worry, it can also offer an opportunity for us to develop and enhance our personal wellbeing.  You can do this by following these steps outlined below as you reflect upon what brings happiness, meaning or purpose to your life.   

  1. Define what is meaningful to you, brings you happiness or provides purpose by naming one or two practices that you want to weave into your life.  Some examples may include cultivating meaningful relationships, serving others, discovering inner peace and joy, or simply focusing on personal wellbeing.   
  2. Choose one of these practices and envision how you can bring one to action.   
  3. Identify any obstacles that may hinder you from fulfilling your vision.    
  4.  Describe the reason you have made this practice a priority and outline how you will overcome a potential obstacle.   
  5. Determine what success looks like to you and set check-ins to help monitor your progress.  Always remember to be kind with yourself and demonstrate self-compassion if you need to re-imagine your path. 

Naturally, there are many ways to add happiness, meaning or purpose to your life and we just wanted to share one with you today.  We would love for you to share your journey during these unprecedented times. Please send us your insights and experiences to us @osuwellness.  Never  hesitate to reach out to us at wellness@osu.edu if you need support, guidance and recommendations.  Please know that you are not alone. 


We are Here for You 

Student Life Student Wellness Center 

Greater Good in Action 

Budgeting For Uncertainty

With everyday bringing new bad news in the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic it is worth considering how you can change your financial management practices to prepare for the uncertainty students and families are facing.  Many students are affected by the loss of a job or the disappearance of a summer internship and certainly will feel the financial impacts for the coming months.   

With the reduction in income many students are facing, many of your peers may be dipping into savings or watching their bank account dwindle.  There are Ohio State resources available to support you through hard economic times including the student emergency fund and Buckeye Food Alliance, an on campus food pantry.  Students may also qualify for unemployment or other benefits.   Those who are still working should consider establishing an emergency fund to help offset future economic hardship like loss of income.  Since there is no end date to this crisis, start considering how you might deal with future financial issues even if you have not yet been affected 

Focusing on reducing expenses will help stretch your remaining income or savings as far as possible. Expenses can be broken into three categories.  Fixed expenses are those that are consistent monthly because of a contract like rent or an installment loan.  Variable expenses are most of your discretionary expenses like entertainment, food purchases, and gasoline.  The final category is irregular expenses, those that are not necessarily predictable like medical expenses and auto repair.  

As most fixed expenses cannot be readily changed, there is not much you can do about them in the short run. However, it would be a good idea to avoid committing to a new lease or borrowing for a large purchase like a car until you’re on more confident financial footing. Variable expenses are those that you can influence most in the short run and the most promising way to make your money stretch.  It’s important to practice self-care and continue to have fun but you should consider what tradeoffs you’re willing to make to reduce spending.  Irregular expenses may not necessarily be controllable, but it’s important to continue to think about how to include these into your projections so that an unexpected auto repair expense or medical bill won’t make things worse.  If you’re unsure how to budget for something like this, consider looking over your historical expenses to establish a baseline cost.  

As always, the student wellness center is available to support you through any difficulties financial or otherwise.  Financial coaching is currently available via zoom where you can work with an extensively trained coach to make a plan to persevere through challenging financial times.  

Links to resources:  

Together As Buckeyes Grant: https://sfa.osu.edu/contact-us/consumer-disclosure/COVD-19-aid 

Student emergency fund: https://advocacy.osu.edu/student-emergency-fund/ 

Buckeye Food Alliance:  https://www.buckeyefoodalliance.org/ 

Student Legal Services https://studentlegal.osu.edu/ 

To our Relationship Education and Violence Prevention Seniors

Dear REVP Seniors,

Let me start by saying I miss you! It feels like a lifetime since we were together last. I know this is not what you imagined for your last semester at Ohio State – this is not how I imagined celebrating your successes, either. No matter the circumstances, I can’t overstate how proud I am of each of you and how much I appreciate your commitment to REVP. Thank you!

Taylor – you are so insightful and are a shining light. I am incredibly grateful to have met another Appalachian woman like me.

Lucy – you are the kindest person and a great example for others. You have big dreams, and I’m confident you will accomplish all of them.

Elaine – our conversations were a highlight of my week. You have an endless amount of dedication and compassion, and I’m excited to see what you do with them.

Katarina – you blow me away as a person and an Ambassador. I know you’ll have the same impression on everyone you meet in the future, too.

Lauren – your devotion and persistence is unmatched. You did so much for REVP, and I know you’re going to go to do even greater things.


This year, we saw 7,907 of your peers in in-person presentations alone. We spoke to 276 of your peers during outreach. That’s 8,183 times (just that I’ve recorded!) that you have helped shape a safe and respectful campus! However, I believe your impact on campus and on REVP is immeasurable. Thank you for all you’ve done to prevent violence. Thank you for the deep and inquisitive discussions during staff meetings. Thank you for the fun and entertaining conversations in my office. Thank you for being a REVP Ambassador. It has been an incredible joy to get to know you and watch you grow as presenters and individuals.

This is certainly not goodbye forever; it is bye for now. Your futures are so bright and I’m excited to see where your paths take you. You will be missed, but REVP will always be your community and you will always have a home in the SWC.

Best of luck in the future, and congrats!

Thank you again,

Cate and the Student Wellness Center Team

To our Buckeye Food Alliance Seniors

Buckeye Food Alliance Seniors,

March 30, 2016 the doors of our Lincoln Tower location opened for the first time. For many of you this was the culmination of many hours of hard work and the beginning of something truly special at Ohio State. Here we are 4 years later and just as you’ve grown, Buckeye Food Alliance has grown tremendously. For that, we thank you!

In August, I came into this role unsure what to expect and trying to learn as fast as possible. In no time at all you all made me feel welcomed and part of this team. It is wild to think that I joined your team merely 9 months ago; it feels as if it has been years. You all were so incredibly welcoming and helped me to learn the ins and outs of the pantry so we could continue to grow and serve.

Thanks to your kindness, dedication, and leadership we are now in a position to serve more students than we ever have. In 2017, we saw 137 visits to the Buckeye Food Alliance food pantry all year. That number nearly tripled in 2018, up to 472 visits and 1049 visits in 2019. This year we have already surpassed our 2019 total and are on pace to see 3,000 visits!

This year alone, you all helped to open a second location, hire a full-time staff, establish new partnerships, start new traditions when we helped to raise over $150,000 in the Tackle Hunger Challenge, and make massive strides toward combating food insecurity on our campus.

It cannot be understated what your leadership has meant to the success of the Buckeye Food Alliance mission and supporting students on our campus. You all have accomplished so much in your time here at Ohio State in the food insecurity space and that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your accomplishments as a student here. I know you all will continue this momentum into the future and continue to make an impact on the world around us. Stay in touch and Go Bucks!

Thank you,

Nick and the Student Wellness Center Team