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Karen K. Brees Ph.D.




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November Resources




Library-related sites on the World Wide Web are wonderful places to jump into cyberspace and land on your feet.  Many of these sites offer hundreds of useful links to other sites.  The librarians who create these sites are experts at treasure hunting.  Start with the library sites listed here.  They will lead you to many others.


The Internet Public Library:

Library Index:             




Now you can take a free, confidential and personalized health risk assessment online. After completing a short questionnaire, you will immediately see how your health may be affected by lifestyle behaviors.


What is the difference between feelings of anxiety and anxiety disorders?  How can you assess you knowledge of anxiety disorders?  Visit the web site for the National Institute of Mental Health to gain useful information about the different types of disorders as well as effective treatments.  Also, take a quiz to test your knowledge of anxiety disorders.




Motivational Tip #1:  "Promise it!"

Motivation can come simply from being clear about your goals and acting on them.  Let's say that you want to start a study group.  First, commit yourself to inviting people and setting a time and place to meet.  Then promise your classmates that you'll do this, and ask them to hold you accountable.  Self-discipline, willpower, motivation -- none of those mysterious characteristics needs to get in your way.  Just make a promise and keep your word.


Source:  Becoming a Master Student, ninth ed.  Dave Ellis.  Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston




Wellness includes several factors, but one of the most important is eating nutritious food.  Maintaining a healthy weight can lower your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.  A low-fat, low-cholesterol diet can help reduce serum cholesterol (a factor in some types of heart disease), and high-fiber diets may help prevent certain cancers.  


The Food Guide Pyramid is a wonderful guide to daily food choices.



            The Food Guide Pyramid




December Resources

1.  Manage Your Stress; Donít Let Stress Manage You

Stress management is an important part of achieving optimal health and success because students who are anxious do not learn.  The following website will give you an opportunity to evaluate your stress reduction skills and give you some guidelines for developing your stress management skills.

 2.  Mistake Phobia is Common

Sometimes people allow their lives to become  stuck because of a mistake they made.  Many people suffer from mistake phobia, which can be a problem because the human mind needs to be challenged with new ideas in order to grow.   Dr. Ginger Blume discusses the characteristics exhibited by people who suffer from mistake phobia, and she offers some solutions for positive change.

   3.  Be Test Wise

The word test sends many students into a test-taking frenzy.   It is easier to do well on exams if you donít exaggerate the pressure on yourself.  Donít give a test magical power over your perceived self-worth.  Academic tests are not a matter of life and death.  The way to deal with tests is to keep them in perspective. Here is a website that suggests great techniques for approaching test taking with confidence.  This site also includes a test taking checklist so you can evaluate your development as a test-wise student , just in time for final exams!

 4.  Have a Hassle-Free Holiday

People who expect to have the "perfect" holiday are setting themselves up for a stress meltdown.  This in-depth article by Psychologist Dorothy Cantor, Psy.D. offers some great advice on how to deal with holiday stress.

 5.  Decemberís Motivational Tip:  Problem Solving Can Be Fun!

Problem solving is a chance to practice two types of thinking.  One type involves opening up alternatives and considering as many options as possible.  Your creative thinking skills come into play as you generate new definitions of the problem and brainstorm possible solutions.  The other type of thinking involves narrowing down.  Out of all the possibilities you generated, you choose one idea for follow-up or one solution to act on.  Consider the four Pís of problem solving: 

1.  Define the Problem

Problems are subtle creatures, skilled at hiding themselves.  In defining problems, we bring them out in the open.  We admit that the problem exists, and thatís powerful.  In addition, a problem that is clearly defined is half solved.  To define a problem effectively, understand what the problem is.  Tell the truth about whatís present in your life right now, without shame or blameÖand be specific.

2.  Generate Possibilities

Open up.  Brainstorm as many possible solutions to the problem as you can.   Write your ideas down.  Putting your thoughts on paper forces you to be more accurate and precise. 

 3.  Create a Plan

After rereading your problem definition and list of possibilities, choose the solutions that seem most workable.  Think about which specific actions will reduce the gap between what you have and what you want. 

4.  Perform your Plan  

The final step gets you off your chair and out into the world.  Now you actually do what you planned.  There are few things as satisfying as checking items off your to-do list, especially when you know they are helping you solve a problem.  Ultimately, our skill in solving problems lies in what we do.  Through the quality of our actions, we become the architect of our success!

Source:  Becoming a Master Student, ninth ed.  Dave Ellis.  Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 


5.  The Wellness Advantage

The holidays offer a wonderful bounty of festive food to sample and enjoy.  But traditional holiday fare can be deadly if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight.   Hereís a lowfat holiday recipe that is not only delicious, it also offers the positive benefits of 5 grams of fiber and only 3 grams of fat.

Eggnog Bread Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce

Prep time:  30 minutes

Cook time:  45 minutes

Serves 12


Nonstick cooking spray

12 slices cinnamon-swirl raisin bread

3 cups light eggnog

1 large egg

2 large egg whites

Ĺ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

ľ teaspoon ground nutmeg

ľ teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1 12-ounce jar nonfat butterscotch sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 1 Ĺ quart baking dish with cooking spray.  Lightly toast bread and cut into bite-sized squares.  Place in baking dish.  Whisk together next 7 ingredients in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved.  Pour over bread and let stand 15 minutes.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the mixture appears set when dish is lightly jiggled.  Warm the butterscotch sauce, drizzle over bread pudding.  and serve.

Source:  SHAPE magazine, December 2003




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