Focusing on the Mind and Soul

The hectic days in our daily lives are exhausting. Everyone feels worn out by the end of the day, week, or month. Between work, class, and everyday activities, we could all use a vacation.

Most people focus on the body aspect of wellness. Many people do not realize that psychological factors can affect weight gain immensely, and they fail to realize the importance of rejuvenating the mind and soul.

According to Gaiam Life, the secret for rejuvenation is: Rejuvenate the soul first; then rejuvenation of the mind and body will follow.

The mind and soul are two aspects of wellness that are acknowledged the least by people. If people recognize these aspects of wellness, they will find themselves calm, not bothered as much by stress, and in touch with their spiritual side.

Here are some everyday activities listed by Arina’s Self Help Blog that you can do to refresh your mind and soul:

1. Get rid of clutter. Everyone gets busy, and it reflects in our living spaces. It is both physically and emotionally healthy to simplify and de-clutter work and living space once in a while. Organize your desks, sort out old photos, and make room in your closets by giving away anything that no longer fits or is unwanted. This will activate the mind, body, and soul.

2. Captivate your senses with aromatherapy. For many years, people have used aromatherapy because of their health benefits. Use scents like chamomile, bergamot, cedarwood, lavender, rose, or sandalwood to calm down your mind, ease anxiety and tensed muscles. You can use citrus, peppermint, rosemary and thyme scents to energize your body and uplift your mood. You can find these scents in candles, bath wash, air fresheners, and lotions.

3. Take a few moments to meditate. Meditation can calm your mind, increase concentration, release negative feelings and regain your emotional strength.

Steps for Meditation:

  1. Mediation does not need a particular position or posture. You can sit wherever you want and close your eyes to block out any distraction.
  2. Closing the eyes is one of the ways to stop you getting distracted. Find a place that will not have too much noise around and not be one of the busiest rooms of your house. You can listen to calming music.

Here is a great example of meditation music:

  1. A lot of people mediate on a regular basis and not just once in a while. Once you close your eyes, try to rid your mind of every thought. This is the toughest thing to do as the mind is constantly buzzing. Let the thoughts flow in but move to the point to over and above them. This is when you will achieve the peaceful state of mind to get your senses calm.
  1. Start with only 10 to 15 minutes in the beginning. Soon you will find it easier to do and will practice more often. If you think it’s something you can’t do yourself, join a class. Meditation too can be taught.
  1. On a day when emotions are buzzing through you, you may find it hard to meditate. If you can’t don’t force yourself. But it may just help you achieve calm if you tried.
  1. While meditating its only natural if you drift in to sleep. But if you find this to be a short process to sleep then try to learn techniques to stay awake.

4. Do nothing for a half an hour. As it turns out there are many physical benefits of doing nothing and just being lazy. Research shows that people who would rather relax in a hammock and read a book instead of working on their laptop or doing their house chores have a better chance of living into old age. Give yourself some rest!

5. Take mini-vacations during the day. You do not have to wait for a two-week vacation to feel rejuvenated and energetic. Instead you can take 15-minute mini-vacations every hour or so to regain your strengths and put some space between you and your hectic work schedule. Examples of this is watching a movie or favorite TV show, chatting with a friend, going on a five-minute walk, or getting a coffee at a coffee shop.

6. Hydrate your mind. Lack of water is the number one reason for daily fatigue and poor concentration. Therefore, make sure you drink at least 8 cups of water a day. And if you are not a big water fan, add a slice lemon or honey to it to give it great flavor.

7. Nurture your body. During the wintertime lack of vitamin D due to the body’s insufficient exposure to sun light combined with low temperatures and humidity can noticeably weaken our immune system and decrease our energy levels. This is why you should make sure that you incorporate more fruits, nuts and easy-to eat veggies into your diet.

8. Welcome spring into your house. Even if outside is cold and raining, you can lift your spirits by bringing spring and sunlight inside your environment. There are plenty of little, low-cost changes you can make to improve your mood: put fresh flowers on the table, change window curtains to something more colorful, buy bright dinner napkins, or change the wallpaper on your desktop to something more cheerful.

9. Get your beauty sleep. There is no better remedy to rejuvenate your mind and body than a good night’s sleep. It is the time when your cells self-repair and your body releases two important youth hormones – Human Growth Hormone and Melatonin. Make sure that your bedroom is your sanctuary where you rest your mind and body after the long day at work, not the storage room.

10. Be good to yourself. Think kinder thoughts about yourself. Be kinder to your eyes and do not strain them too much by staring at a computer screen for hours. Be kinder to your body by eating healthier foods and pampering it with a relaxing massage or a hot bath. Allow yourself to rest, without feeling guilty or anxious.

11. Get in touch with nature. Nature is beautiful at this time of year. You are missing a great deal by locking yourself in a stuffy office or spending your weekends in front of the TV. Get outside! Jump into a pile of leaves. Breathe fresh spring air. Feel the sun on your face. Stroll slowly along a lake or Sweetheart Circle at Georgia Southern.

12. Let go of emotional clutter. Just like unneeded stuff clutters our house, negative emotions and beliefs clutter our mind. Unresolved conflicts and negative feelings take up too much of our energy and tire our mind. Everyday is a new beginning. Do not poison it with anger, grudges, envy, guilt, and blame. Leave this negative emotional baggage behind and start from a clean page.

13. Call a friend that you have not seen for a long time. Life goes on. We get busy and don’t have much time to visit with friends. If there is a friend who you have not seen for ages, now is a perfect opportunity to renew your friendship. It is really gratifying to call an old friend, grab a cup of coffee together and catch up on everything that happened since the last time you met. Having a social life is important!

14. Be romantic. Do you feel love and romance is in the air? It does not matter if you are already in love or searching for your special someone. Allow yourself to be daring, bold, and beautiful. Open up your heart and show your parents, friends, and boyfriend/girlfriend that you love and care about them! Love is an emotional state that can heavily affect your wellness.

15. Take a Yoga class. Yoga helps you focus on calming and strengthening the mind and soul. Ever since I have started practicing, I find myself calmer in hectic situations. Yoga can teach you the basics with meditation and rejuvenating the body and soul.

I hope these tips lead you to building a healthier lifestyle catered toward the mind and soul. Body is important, but the mind and soul affect your well-being and your outlook on life. So take a deep breath, clear your mind, and let go of all the bad stuff!

Best Wishes,


Well.I.Am… There’s something for everyone!

CRI and the University Wellness Program is excited for you to join them next week during Well.I.Am!

“If you’re interested in what wellness is and want to become more well-rounded in your personal wellness, come and check out the different events offered during Well.I.Am week! There is something for everyone!”
-ShaVonda Sewell, Wellness Graduate Assistant

Well.I.Am week begins on Monday, October 17th with a viewing of Food, Inc. This documentary film directed by Robert Kenner is an eye-opening experience to say the least. Trust me, I’ve seen it before. You will cringe, gasp and possibly even lose your genetically modified dinner. Food Inc. takes a deeper and shocking look at what we eat, how it’s produced, who we have become as Americans and where we are going from here. Eat a light meal and prepare your stomachs before joining us at 8p.m. on Sweetheart Circle for a viewing of Food, Inc.

Don’t worry the next day about consuming the foods you saw the night before, because The Main Street Farmer’s Market will be at the Williams Center from 10a.m. to 2p.m. Our hard-working local farmers, selling the best quality and freshest food on campus will be there to greet you!

For all of those curious about the large-scale agricultural food production in the United States, Food Inc.’s direct Robert Kenner will be on campus at 7p.m. in the Russell Union Ballroom. He will make you think about what you eat and how it contributes to our Nation’s wellness as well as your personal wellness.

Throughout the rest of the week there are numerous other activities you can partake in to boost your overall wellness..

On Wednesday, October 19th enhance your intellectual wellness with a round of trivia at the Williams Center, Student Center Multipurpose Space at 6p.m. Gather your teams of 8 to 10 friends, professors or anyone on campus and email your names to

Learn ways that you can make a difference locally, nationally and internationally at the Social Justice Fair on Thursday, October 20th from 11a.m. to 2p.m.

Later that night learn ways to reduce stress at The Mind-Body Connection in Russell Union Room 2047 at 5p.m.

For those interested in volunteering, meet at the Russell Union Rotunda at 2p.m. on Friday, October 21st to help deliver collected donations to local agencies.

CRI and the University Wellness Program will conclude Well.I.Am week by showing off some True Blue school spirit at the inaugural True Blue 5k! Featuring a brand new race course through historic Georgia Southern campus, runners and walkers of all ages are encouraged to sign up. You don’t want to miss the True Blue special guests who will be there to pump up your school spirit before the Georgia Southern vs. Presbyterian football game! And for all Georgia Southern students, how could you pass up an opportunity to win a class ring? The first place male and female students to complete the race will win just that!

For more information on Well.I.Am visit:

And to register for the True Blue 5k head to:

CRI till you die!


The Iron Eagle Challenge

Are you ready for the “Challenge?” The 7th annual Iron Eagle Challenge will be held Friday, October 28th from 3 – 6 pm. Not sure what the IEC is? Don’t worry I’ll fill you in. The IEC is an adventure race that is set throughout Georgia Southern University’s scenic campus. You and a partner will need to get in gear as you all will have to go off road and cycle, run/walk, canoe across lakes, and answer a series of mystery questions.

The mystery questions will require both physical and mental skills to get through them and you didn’t hear this from me, but I got an inside scoop from Matt McBride, Southern Adventures Program Director, that you will need to “brush up on your knowledge of the October night sky.” The IEC is a perfect race for those you who like to be moderately fit, those of you who are extremely competitive, and those of you who like to just have fun and wear really cool outfits and costumes. Which reminds me costumes are really encouraged! I’ve seen everything from Batman and Robin, you’ll see that in the video below, to Gumby and princesses. What better way to bring in the Halloween festivities than by dressing up and experiencing the Iron Eagle Challenge. McBride says, “Either way, at the end of the day, you will go home happy that you participated.” Ok back to race, some people who have completed the race have compared it to the Amazing Race (hence the music in the video).

The Iron Eagle Challenge is between four and five miles. You will need to bring rent or buy a bicycle and a helmet. Don’t have one? Don’t worry Southern Adventures has you covered. Stop by the Southern Adventures Center at the RAC to reserve your bicycle and helmet TODAY!

For more information about the race, the rules, and who to contact, visit the Iron Eagle Challenge website below:

Club Sport of the Month – Southern Explosion


This month’s Club Sport of the Month is Southern Explosion, the Georgia Southern Dance Team. Club Sports Graduate Assistant Emilie Buzhardt had this to say about the club:

“Southern Explosion is club of the month because they have been extremely organized, cooperative, and successful throughout this entire month.  Southern Explosion has been affiliated with GSU Club Sports since 1990; however, after a rough year last year they are having to run their club from the beginning.  They attend all meetings, participated in community service opportunities, handed in all appropriate forms and paperwork, and have done an extremely great job promoting and gaining interest for the Dance Team.  This past month they held tryouts and participated in a NDA home camp.  After completing the camp they won a bid to nationals and received the highest achievement ribbon for a club dance team, the blue ribbon.  Out of all the clubs, Southern Explosion  has been extremely successful this month! “

I had the chance to sit down with Lauren Holmen, the club’s president, and learned some amazing things about this awesome club.

2011 Georgia Southern Explosion Dance Team

What is a tradition your team has?

Every year we have team “socials”. The first one usually involves watching old nationals tapes and decorating costumes for Doo-Dah. We also usually have a Christmas party with tons of foods and activities. At the end of the year we have a team banquet, where we go out to a restaurant to make it a little more special than the other events. At the banquet we give out our team awards such as Miss Southern Explosion, Most improved, and Most Valuable dancer (MVD). Last year we started giving out silly superlatives, I hope we continue that! We also give our seniors a special gift as well as to the captains and coach. During these socials we really get close to each other. Not only is it fun but it truly is a bonding experience.

What is your favorite thing about playing Club Sports at Georgia Southern?

Being a part of a club, especially a sports club, really brings together students with common interests that would have never met otherwise. It gives students a break from their busy class and work schedule to do something they love to do. Plus, being able to continue doing something you love in college is always amazing.

How often do you practice? What is your typical practice like?

Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. We usually warm up, work on technique (jumps, turns, and team style), then learn new dances for basketball, Doo-Dah, and/or Nationals. New this year we also started working out on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6am. Gotta stay in shape for uniform season!

How often do you have games?

Well, we are dancing at 15 men and women’s basketball games on the sidelines and at half time this year. This is our second year on the sideline and we’ve added more games than we danced at last year. We’ve added a bunch more women’s games this year as well. We’re hoping to one day have a big enough team to be able to perform at all of the games. We will also be performing at the Homecoming dance/step show Doo-Dah this year, as well as walking in the parade. We will be having lots of fundraisers this year including our annual kids camp, car washes, doughnut sales, and bake sales. We will also be volunteering at different events around town and on campus. Make sure to check out our website, GSU Dance Team, and Facebook page, (Southern Explosion) The Georgia Southern University Dance Team, for all of our upcoming events.

What is it like to travel around and play different schools?

The only time we travel is to go to National Cheer Association (NCA)/National Dance Alliance (NDA) cheer and dance Collegiate Nationals in the spring. NDA is the largest collegiate national’s championship in the world. Every year Southern Explosion, along with GSU Cheer, travels to Daytona, Florida to compete. We compete against other college dance teams from across the country. The teams we will be competing against have not been published yet, but in the past we have competed against teams like Sam Houston, Kennesaw State, and Florida State. It is quite an experience! We learn so much about each and every one of our team members, as well as become extremely close on our journey to nationals.

What is your best memory about Club Sports?

One of the best memories we have of club sports is being able to go to Nationals and seeing that all of your hard work has paid off. It is also a great way to bond with your team and meet people from other schools that are involved with similar teams. Another good memory is how well all the clubs in CRI work together to help each other. We all volunteer at each other’s events and help each other out as much as we can. In addition, the CRI staff members are always helpful, know what each and every team needs to succeed, and will do whatever possible to help us achieve our goals.

When did you start Dancing?

Most of the girls on the team started dancing at a young age, around 2 or 3, at studios all over Georgia and even as far as Ohio and Maryland.  Some began with cheerleading, and some started on their high school dance teams. All of our girls go by the philosophy of dancer and choreographer George Balanchine, “I don’t want people who want to dance, I want people who have to dance.” We are all on this team because we could not imagine a life without dance.

What if someone is interested in playing your sport? How can they find out more information? Are there tryouts?

If someone wants to join the team we do require a tryout, which usually take place twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. All of our tryout information can be found on our website, GSU Dance Team, or interested ladies (and gentlemen) can contact one of our two captains: Lori Anne Peyton ( or Lauren Holmen ( to set up a private tryout.

When was your club established at Georgia Southern?

Our club was established in 1990, and throughout our 21 year history the team has changed it’s image several times. When the team first began we only danced at basketball games, and didn’t compete in any form of competition. From 2002-2006 the team was completely run by students. During those years we went to Universal Dance Association (UDA) competitions which we started attending in 2001. Starting in 2004 we participated in both jazz & hip hop categories. In 2005 we got 2nd place in our division for hip hop.  Throughout this period we danced on the sidelines at all the home basketball games, featuring multiple uniforms. Prior to the time at UDA, we competed at NDA Nationals for several years. In 2007, we returned to NDA Nationals, where we promptly matched our second place finish from 2000. In either 2004 or 2005, we participated in Homecoming heavily, winning the banner contest, 2nd place on our float, the dance division of Doo-Dah, as well as the spirit award.

Does your team have any achievements the team is especially proud of?

This year we participated in our first NDA home camp and received a bronze bid to nationals. This means that we already qualify to attend Nationals this year and don’t have to send in an audition video. We also received a blue superior ribbon, which is the highest achievement ribbon you can receive. In 2007 the team placed 2nd at NDA Nationals. We are extremely hopeful that we will do well this year and appreciate all the support CRI and the community has given us throughout the years.