FYI: Grow Kindness

Grow Kindness

The Office of Student Life, in collaboration with the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension and the Chief Wellness Officer will be growing kindness across campus on October 17 (rain date October 18).

With generous donations from Scotts Miracle-Gro and Altman Plants, students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to plant two succulents; one to keep for themselves and one to give away in kindness to someone else. The projects will help promote kindness and mental health support.

Plants will be available for assembly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m at the following locations:

  • Lawn in front of Traditions at Scott
  • University Square (15th and High)
  • Wexner Medical Center (Herrick Transit Hub)

Learn more:

A New Take on the New Year

As the pressure builds to create new habits this time of year, it can be overwhelming to make goals that align with what you truly desire. Diet culture, social media, and even friends and family can push us in the direction of weight loss and dieting. This can encourage quick fixes and fad diets that – let’s be honest – don’t work. Making realistic goals using Intuitive Eating can help you form a healthy relationship with food, your mind, and your body.What is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive Eating is an approach to health and eating that focuses on listening to your body’s needs and making choices to honor what it is telling you. It teaches you to understand physical cues like hunger and satisfaction and grants you freedom to let your body be your guide. The 10 principles of Intuitive Eating include:

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality
  2. Honor Your Hunger
  3. Make Peace with Food
  4. Challenge the Food Police
  5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
  6. Feel Your Fullness
  7. Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness
  8. Respect Your Body
  9. Movement – Feel the Difference
  10. Honor Your Health – Gentle Nutrition

5 Non-Diet New Year’s Resolutions Using Intuitive Eating

  1. Find Joyful Movement Instead of Strict Exercise – Focus less on the hours spent at the gym and experiment with movements that you feed good and enjoy doing. Try a yoga class or join a local kickball team with a friend.
  2. Clean Your Social Media Feed – Unfollow or mute accounts that trigger comparison feelings or make you feel bad about yourself. Follow people who empower and inspire you and encourage your same values.
  3. Buy Clothes That Fit – The thought of buying bigger clothes can be scary but wearing clothes that are too tight or uncomfortable can make body image worse. Donate clothes that don’t fit your here-and-now body and stop overanalyzing sizes. Remember, the clothes are supposed to fit you, not the other way around.
  4. Develop Other Coping Mechanisms – Emotions are normal and part of what makes us human. Food and exercise are common outlets people turn to cope with emotions, but they can be taken to extremes. Create a list of alternative activities you can do when you feel triggered by an emotion, like calling a friend, going for a walk, or painting.
  5. Shift the Language – Stop labeling food as ‘bad’ or ‘good.’ Morality has no place in food, and this practice will just increase feelings of shame and guilt. The next time you notice yourself labeling food as ‘unhealthy’ or ‘guilt-free,’ try reframing your thoughts using neutral terms like colorful, satisfying, or fueling.

Adopting Intuitive Eating can give you a sense of peace and freedom. Food is meant to be eaten; our bodies are meant to be fueled. Reframing the way you approach your health and wellness goals can positively impact your likelihood of making long term changes.

To learn more about Intuitive Eating, schedule a free nutrition coaching appointment or participate in the Intuitive Eating Workshop Series.

-Janele Bayless, Wellness Coordinator


What Are the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating (And How They Can Help You)

10 Principles of Intuitive Eating


Destigmatizing Mental Health

Lots of folks struggle with January in Ohio: it’s cold, it’s dark, and we are adjusting to a new semester. Maybe your winter break wasn’t everything you hoped for, or maybe it was awesome and it’s hard to be back on campus. It is not uncommon to feel sad or listless, and folks may experience anything from a touch of the “Winter Blues” to Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s okay to acknowledge you’re struggling, and to reach out to supportive others and ask for what you need.  


  • Not into New Year’s Resolutions that invariably fizzle after a few weeks? Consider reaching out to a Wellness Coach at the Student Wellness Center to help you identify and set SMART goals instead. 
  • If you set goals but are having difficulty making progress, take a closer look at what is working and what is getting in the way.  
  • Take advantage of the fresh start that the new semester brings and prioritize academic strategies. Reach out to the Dennis Learning Center, which offers free academic coaching and tips and strategies on test-taking, reducing procrastination, and improving your memory. 
  • It can be easy to “hibernate” during these cold months try to intentionally connect with your communities. Consider checking out RPAC’s group fitness classes, or joining a student organization. Student Activities manages over 1,400 student groups! 

Mental Health Tips 

  • How do you set effective goals and increase your odds of successfully meeting them? Making Change (In a Nutshell)   

Current Events 

CCS Services 

  • Drop in for a workshop on Creative Writing for Mental Health, Beating Anxiety, or Building Mastery: Skills for a Drama Free Life.
  • Group therapy is the most effective treatment for Social Anxiety. Check out our group therapy schedule – these groups meet weekly and address a variety of needs and concerns. 
  • Talk to your primary care provider about using a full-spectrum light to counter these short, dark days – lights are available in the CCS offices. 


 – CCS welcomes a new collaboration with Student Life’s Center for Belonging and Social Change. Dr. Darreon Greer now serves students and provides consultation to faculty and staff from his office in the Ohio Union. Increasing access by bringing CCS services to where students are is a good thing. 

Provided by the Office of Student Life Counseling and Consultation Service Staff

Winter Blues and Addressing SAD

Winter is upon us. The autumn semester is wrapped up, and many of us  swiftly put behind us those end-of-semester projects, research papers and final exams that  crept up way too quickly.

The winter blues leave us feeling out of touch with our natural routine and our body’s circadian rhythm. You may be feeling changes in your mood, your energy levels, or withdrawal from social interactions that make it hard just to get through the day.  Many of these symptoms describe Seasonal Affective Disorder or also known as seasonal depression, that usually emerges during months with dark and colder weather. You are not alone. Many students on campus are feeling this way, and here are some tips to help you ease into the winter season.


  1. Get some sunshine. Wake up a bit earlier to get 15 minutes of morning sun before classes or have meals outside or in a sunny spot indoors. Even on cold or cloudy days, natural light can help.
  2. Discover some hobbies. Hobbies are a wonderful way to get your mood up and socialize. Check out activities offered to you at your dorm or organizations on campus.
  3. Get Moving. Exercise can be a great way to release some stress from school or work and is a great way to find time to be outdoors as well.
  4. Create a routine. Create a schedule for when to wake up and go to sleep to avoid excessive sleeping or napping throughout the day. This can also help you find time to work on hobbies or extracurriculars in your schedule.

If these steps do not feel like enough, here is a free resource on campus that can guide you through the winter blues. The Student Wellness Center offers Wellness Coaching to all students. It provides opportunities to gain awareness regarding your capacity to create the life you want to live, both now and in the future. Wellness coaching takes a positive approach to personal development to generate meaningful goals for you.

Other Resources Available:
Counseling and Consultation Services

Student Health Services

Recreational Sports


-Shruti Asodaria, Wellness and Outreach Graduate Student Assistant

Find What Moves You: Browse Fitness Classes on the Student Life Activity Calendar 

If you are anything like me, you may need the motivation that comes along with working out in a group setting. If this is the case, a workout class or group fitness event could be right for you. Working out with friends and fellow students can help you kickstart your fitness routine and get your body moving.  

Fortunately, the new and improved Student Life Activity Calendar has you covered, displaying numerous fitness and training classes on campus that are designed to make working out work for you. Getting active is a key component to enhancing your body, mind and overall well-being; all of which is important in leading a healthy lifestyle.  

The calendar serves as a virtual hub that includes endless options for completing a workout and reaching your fitness goals in ways other than hitting the treadmill or weight machines. Being energized, happy and well is just a click away via the Student Life Events website.  

The calendar provides students with an easy browsing experience to view upcoming events and provides you with the option to filter events by the audience, category or even keyword. You can search through categories such as Health and Wellness, Sports, Personal Development and Workshops/Training that will generate numerous options for working out and getting your life in motion.  

Fitness classes posted on the calendar include: 

  • Circuit Training 
  • Barre classes 
  • Dance cardio 
  • Barbell cardio  
  • Full-body challenges  
  • Weight Training 
  • Group Fitness 
  • Yoga 
  • Cycle Classes 
  • Hip-Hop Dance  
  • And more! 

The Student Life Activity Calendar includes more than just fitness classes as well. It has all kinds of events, activities and opportunities that may interest you. Utilizing the calendar can help you connect with students, staff and faculty, all while broadening your campus network.

Find what gets you moving. Access the calendar and view upcoming events at: 



 – Natalie Hall, Office of Student Life, Communications Writing Intern  


Emotional Intelligence and Healthy Communication

How to foster emotional intelligence and healthy communication in your everyday life:

Emotional intelligence and nonviolent communication are both practices that focus on how you understand and relate to yourself and those around you. Strengthening your emotional intelligence and incorporating nonviolent communication into your everyday life is an ongoing process that requires self-reflection. Both of these approaches emphasize being able to identify and respectfully communicate your feelings and needs. 

Emotional intelligence and healthy communication promote safety and boundaries, as well as emotional and social wellness. These practices can also give others permission to be more open and vulnerable by modeling healthy behaviors. 

Emotional intelligence incorporates the following four elements: self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, and relationship management. 

Moreover, components of nonviolent communication include: observations, feelings, needs, and requests. 

If these concepts sound new to you, you are not alone – these strategies are not something that we are often taught in school. Here are some tips for practicing and getting started: 

  • Use the feelings wheel (depicted below) to begin building your awareness of your own feelings and emotions. This awareness can also help you identify and empathize with the emotions of those around you. 
  • Journal about your thoughts, emotions, experiences, wants, and needs. 
  • Utilize “I statements” when communicating with others. 
  • Practice openness and nonjudgment. Try to avoid blaming and shaming.  
  • Ask open-ended and clarifying questions during conversations. 
  • Listen to understand and not to respond. You can practice this skill by reflecting, repeating back, or summarizing what someone has told you during a conversation. 
  • Be mindful of the language you are using – words are powerful.  
  • Practice curiosity and self-compassion alongside compassion and kindness for others. Self-care is not selfish! 
  • Recognize the difference between INTENT and IMPACT. 
  • Focus on behaviors and ideas. For example, if you disagree with someone’s opinion, focus on the idea and not the person. Or, if you are requesting that someone make a change, focus on the behavior you want them to change rather than the person as an individual.  
  • Express what you would like for someone to do, rather than what you don’t want them to do. This practice is known as making a positive request. 
  • Incorporate mindfulness and do your best to be fully present in social situations. If you feel yourself beginning to struggle regulating your emotions during a difficult conversation, take some deep breaths or take a break. You can always pause and come back to the conversation when you begin to feel more balanced. 
  • Once you begin to feel more comfortable identifying your emotions, try to engage in deeper reflection to explore the root causes of your feelings. Can you observe what caused a certain emotion or thought to come up? What do you need in order to acknowledge, process, and cope with the emotion? For example, are you hungry? Do you need rest/sleep? Are you feeling overstimulated? What would help in this moment to allow you to recenter? 
  • Develop healthy coping strategies for times when it is difficult to regulate your emotions. To learn more about emotional regulation, check out this video from CCS. Practice sharing with people you trust what you are experiencing and what you need in these moments. 
  • When you make a mistake, take responsibility and accountability by owning up to it, offering a genuine apology, and learning from the experience.  
  • Practice! You can always start out small, with simple requests and expressions. 
  • Remind yourself that it is okay to ask for what you need. 

If you are looking for additional support to help incorporate healthy communication and emotional intelligence in your daily life, there are resources available. Counseling and Consultation Service offers free individual and group counseling for all Ohio State students. CCS’s group counseling offerings include the Understanding Self and Others Group. Another option for peer support is the Student Life Student Wellness Center’s free individual and group Wellness Coaching services which can help you to identify and set goals. 



-Lucy Hennon, Graduate Student Assistant  

Basic Needs Insecurity

Get the facts on basic needs insecurity: Answering 3 key questions about basic needs insecurity on college campuses (content warning

What is basic needs insecurity? 

Basic needs refer to the everyday things that people need to survive and lead healthy, fulfilled lives. These necessities include nutritious food, safe and secure shelter, water, and personal care items. Other examples of basic needs can include access to technology, transportation, healthcare, childcare, and more. 

Barriers to accessing basic needs security are rooted in oppression and discrimination, not individual behaviors or factors. As a result, underserved and under-resourced communities are more likely to experience basic needs insecurity. 

Why is it important to talk about basic needs insecurity on college campuses? 

Meeting basic needs is foundational for health and wellbeing. For example, if a student hasn’t eaten, doesn’t know where their next meal will come from, or doesn’t have a safe place to return home to, it can understandably be extremely hard to focus on coursework, extracurriculars, and other college experiences.  

Students should be able to thrive and focus on their education, wellness, and personal development while in school. Unfortunately, research demonstrates that many students struggle with basic needs insecurity on a regular basis. 

Many students experiencing general basic needs insecurity struggle with food insecurity, housing insecurity, and even homelessness, all while trying to juggle classes, jobs, and other responsibilities. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, 58% of students reported experiencing basic needs insecurity. 14% of students reported experiencing homelessness. 

Most students experiencing basic needs insecurity are employed, typically in low-wage positions. Students experiencing basic needs insecurity also tend to work more hours per week. 

Students of color, students with children, LGBTQ+ students, and first-generation students all experience disproportionate rates of basic needs insecurity.  

What is the impact of experiencing basic needs insecurity? 

Students experiencing basic needs insecurity are more likely to struggle with academic performance. They are also more likely to experience negative mental and physical health outcomes. Specifically, students experiencing basic needs insecurity may experience higher levels of depression, stress, and anxiety. Overall, there are a variety of implications for students’ health and wellbeing. 

To summarize… 
  • Basic needs insecurity is widespread on college campuses 
  • Basic needs insecurity disproportionately affects students from under-resourced communities 
  • Basic needs insecurity has a major impact on student health and wellbeing 

If you or someone you know is experiencing food and/or basic need insecurity, Buckeye Food Alliance (BFA), the on-campus food pantry, is available to all students. BFA does not require proof of need and does not collect any financial information. Students only need a valid BuckID to access the pantry. BFA is located in Lincoln Tower, Suite 150. BFA is currently offering online ordering and can be reached at 614-688-2508. The Student Advocacy Center also offers financial assistance, including the Student Emergency Fund. 


-Lucy Hennon, Graduate Student Assistant