Multicultural Center

Wellness Tips

The MRC is dedicated to fostering personal development and wellness. Here you will find tips and tricks on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle at Amherst. 

Killing it with Confidence 

An article titled, “The Confidence Gap”1 sheds light on women’s relative lack of confidence when compared to men. Here are ways to improve your self-esteem and, more importantly, the quality of your life. Though these tips are applicable to all genders, empirical evidence suggests ladies should really listen up!

Dress to Impress

Grooming yourself and making sure your clothes are presentable are great ways to boost your self-esteem. You will feel in control and ready to tackle the world. After all, when you look good, you feel good.

Stay Optimistic

(See: “Keep On Keeping On: Maintaining a Positive Attitude”)

Just Do It

Many of the studies in “The Confidence Gap” indicate that women don’t get the competitive jobs or highest scores on experimental tests because they simply don’t try. In fact, women scored the same as, if not higher than, the men on the experimental tests when they forced to answer every question. Although it may seem uncomfortable at first, just go for it and believe that you will excel. Soon enough, applying for that promotion or doing well on that next exam won’t be such daunting tasks.

Overcome Your Worst Enemy

Yourself. You have the power to change the way you view yourself. It might be tough, but there is always a way. Recognize that the only person standing in your way is yourself, and with a little motivation and a lot of fortitude, confidence isn’t too far away!

Fake it ‘til You Make It

This is a great mantra to start out with until you have cultivated genuine confidence. Approach every situation assuming that you can accomplish anything. Use the aforementioned tips, and eventually, it will come naturally.

1http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/04/the-confidence-gap/359815/

Eat This, Not That

Five Foods to keep on your plate 

Black Soybeans

Black soybeans are good for you because they contain few carbs and are high in protein and antioxidants. Also, black soybeans can help you reach a healthy weight since they keep your stomach fuller longer!

Dark Chocolate

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to completely let go of your sugary cravings. Dark chocolate is high in flavonoids, which are known for their relaxing properties. The darker the chocolate the healthier, so look for at least 70% cocoa!   

Turmeric

Prevalently used in India, turmeric is an antioxidant, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory spice. Research has shown that curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, protects against cancer, Alzheimer’s, and blood clotting. 

Coconut Oil

Replace butter for coconut oil! Coconut oil can bolster your immune system to help fight off bacteria and viruses. Moreover, it helps with blood sugar control and thyroid function, which will help reduce cholesterol and keep weight balanced.

Mustard Greens

When mustard greens aren’t being used to make mustard (the seeds, at least), they are used for enriching your blood and strengthening your bones! High in sulforaphanes, mustard greens also help the body get rid of bile acid, which results in reduced cholesterol. 

Keep On Keeping On: Maintaining a Positive Attitude

Get Inspired

When was the last time you watched a TED Talk? If you haven't sometime in the last week or two, it was too long ago. A great way to maintain a positive attitude is to become inspired by speeches, books, articles, and stories. It will make you realize that you are part of something larger, and that you can make a difference.

Hitting the Gym

Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't shoot their husbands or mope around Amherst College, wallowing in misery and annoying the people around them...they just don't.” – Elle Woods

All the Right Friends

Surround yourself by positive people, and you’ll eventually learn their ways. Just as negativity breeds negativity, positivity breeds positivity. Try to avoid relationships that you see becoming toxic, and don't look back.

The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow

No matter what happens today, whether it’s a breakup or a bad grade on an exam, there will always be tomorrow. There is no point in dwelling on what could have been or replaying embarrassing moments. So, keep your spirits high because life goes on.

Put a Smile On

Studies have shown that smiling relaxes you during stressful situations. You’ll become more enjoyable to be around and make everyone around you feel more comfortable. Remember, it takes less effort to smile than to frown!

Catching Zzz's

Turns out parents everywhere are onto something when they say that it’s “bedtime.”

A couple of reasons why fitting sleep into your schedule is important: 

Learning

When you sleep, your brain commits new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. So, you’re essentially studying as you sleep. Sounds a lot better than cramming!

Moodiness

Lack of sleep can turn “I’m not a morning person” into “I’m not a morning, afternoon, or night person.” You can reduce your irritability and moodiness throughout the day by getting a good night’s rest. And, hey, you might snag along a couple of new friends along the way (who were previously too afraid to approach you)!

Sickness

Sleeps help your immune system stay strong. So strong, in fact, researchers have gone as far as to say that added sleep helps your body fight cancer! This is because of the benefits sleep has on the activity of your killer cells.

Metabolism

Sleep deprivation makes you gain weight through changing the way your body processes and stores carbohydrates. Also, hormone levels that affect your appetite may be altered.

Avoiding Caffeine

Obviously, managing your time to get enough sleep and finish your work will prevent you from downing cups of coffee and tea at night. Among many side effects, excessive caffeine intake can cause high blood pressure, headaches, and nausea. So, plan ahead to tackle each day well rested and focused!

Five Tips to Fight the Winter 

Layers on Layers on Layers 

Layer up to protect yourself from the winter. Covering your mouth, nose, and neck with a scarf will provide your lungs with warm air and will make breathing easier.

Hey Little Ms. Sunshine

Make sure to get exposure to the sun! Not will you get a beautiful winter tan, but, more importantly, Vitamin D helps fight off depression.

Drink Up

Water, that is. Water is excellent for retaining body heat. Make sure you get your recommended intake everyday (2.7 liters for women and 3.7 liters for men)!

Get Moving

Exercise is important for boosting endorphins, focusing, and staying warm. Increased blood circulation helps prevent parts of your body from freezing.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

It’s very important to not get into the habit of ordering out every night in order to avoid the long walk to Val. Make sure that you’re getting your daily servings of fruits, vegetables, and nuts to keep that immune system strong!

Stop Stressing

Put Things into Perspective

With coursework and extracurriculars piling up, it’s really easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees. Your health and overall experience at Amherst are going to be much more important than stressing over sleeping in one morning or missing points on a problem set. Letting stress consume your life will prevent you from accomplishing your goals and leading a balanced lifestyle. 

Meditate More Often

Find inner peace through taking a break and relaxing. Meditation has been used for thousands of years for relieving stress and anxiety. You’ll be in a better state of mind to efficiently and effectively tackle your problems! 

Simply, Socialize

Your to-do list may be infinite, but remember to make time to socialize. Maintaining strong and healthy relationships with your friends, family, and faculty is key to feeling more confident and knowing you're not alone. Remember, it's all about balance!