In this issue:

  • Finesse Your Stress
  • Fitness
  • Healthy Recipes
  • Houston Happenings
  • MS4 Advice
  • Self-Care STAT
  • SPOTlight
  • TAO
  • Wellness Warriors
The Well is a monthly newsletter that serves to
positively impact the well-being of the McGovern student community
by highlighting a myriad of wellness-related content.
Finesse Your Stress
Are you stressed out from being stressed out? There are a multitude of ways to reduce stress, but what if, instead, stress could be channeled into productivity? According to Rudland et al., there is actually an optimum stress level that directly correlates to an individual’s performance. Below this Goldilocks zone of stress, not much work will get done; while above this stress level, panic and anxiety tend to overpower efficacy. Thus, one aspect of maintaining wellness and becoming an effective professional is to get to know your optimum level of stress! Facilitating the paradigm shift from chasing a stress-free existence to embracing stress and using it as an advantage is admittedly a challenge, but the fast-approaching holiday season is a perfect time to practice: instead of fearing the chaos, map out not only what you need to accomplish academically, but also the activities in which you want to partake. Optimize your productivity, and use this traditionally hectic season to benefit your wellness journey!

Want to know more? Check out this article:
Self-Care STAT
We know the holidays can feel overwhelming; here are some quick ways to target stress no matter where you are.

  • Four-corner breathing is a stress-reduction technique in which participants focus on one corner of a four-cornered object while inhaling deeply and counting to four. As the gaze shifts from corner to corner, the mind becomes centered and clear.
  • Progressive relaxation involves tensing then relaxing your body repeatedly to achieve a state of calm; this has also been used to aid falling asleep.
  • Applying cold water on your wrists and behind your earlobes helps calm the body by cooling major arteries.
  • Writing down feelings or thoughts can help free yourself of negativity.
Healthy Recipes | No-Cooking-Required
No time to cook? No problem! Here are a few healthy recipe links that are easy to execute and require little-to-no cooking!

Don’t see something you like? Try one of these links!
 SPOTlight | Workout Classes
  • Cycling | Cycle your worries away while jamming to some fun tunes! There are many cycling studios in Houston, but a crowd-favorite is RYDE.
  • Kickboxing | This is the perfect way to get out built-up frustrations and energy while getting a killer workout! 9Round has many locations, and your first class is free.
  • Hot Yoga | Sweat out your stress at a hot yoga studio! Black Swan Yoga is a great spot for beginners and yogis alike. It’s donation-based, so pay what you can afford.
Fitness | Workouts under 10 Minutes
Instead of spending ten minutes scrolling through the ‘gram, hit a quick workout instead!

Want to break a sweat? Get your heart pumping with this cardio set:

Feel the burn with this sweet and simple two-move set:
  • Push-ups, 30 seconds
  • Rest, 30 seconds
  • Squat jumps, 30 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Repeat four more times
MS4 Advice

My name is Luke Kennedy, the MS4 Class President. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at McGovern and have learned so much from faculty and my fellow students. Here are some pearls I have picked up along the way.
  • Keep it in Perspective - At times, school can be all-consuming, but remember, you are a human with an identity outside of being a medical student. This understanding has helped tremendously with my wellness and resilience from things such as poor scores, evaluations, or general feelings of inadequacy.
  • Study when you are "studying" - Treat studying like a job. I tried to study 9am-5pm knowing I would have time off in the evening when I could reward myself with something like hanging out with friends or reading for pleasure.
  • Shadow - Use preclinical time to shadow in fields you have not been exposed to before. Being in the TMC, we have so many opportunities to meet great physicians in literally every field of medicine.
  • Be Curious - Ask your attendings and residents what attracted them to their particular specialty. They have been in your shoes and can give you great pieces of wisdom on particular fields of medicine.
  • Find a Hobby - If you don't have one, find one! This is a great stress-reliever and makes you a more well-rounded individual which, in turn, makes you a better doctor. I got into beekeeping, and it has been so fun you can't bee-lieve it.
  • Ask for Advice - Whether it be from classmates or students in classes above you, ASK FOR ADVICE! There is a huge reservoir of knowledge that you can tap into. Please reach out to me if you have any questions. Beekeeping questions encouraged!!

| Luke Kennedy, MS4
Wellness Warriors

Welcome to our new “The Well” column: Wellness Warriors! The purpose of this column is to update the student body regarding the latest-and-(hopefully)-greatest accomplishments of the Wellness & Resilience advocacy subcommittee. This group seeks to address issues identified by our peers in a realistic, well-informed, cooperative way. The first issue we tackled dealt with away rotation preparation - students expressed frustration that the path to securing away rotations was confusing. We prepared a document to be uploaded to the fourth-year webpage detailing the more common rotation requirements. The document was well-received and is pending upload! Be on the lookout for more updates from your wellness warriors!

Please submit suggestions here:
 For updates, please visit this spreadsheet:
Houston Happenings

12.01: Jeezy, Ballroom at Warehouse Live
12.01: Sweetest Run Ever 1M, 5K, 10K, 13.1, 26.2, Houston, TX
12.01-02: Bad Bunny, Toyota Center
12.03: Latin History for Morons with John Leguizamo,
Smart Financial Centre
12.03-04: Heather McMahan, House of Blues
12.04: The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Smart Financial Centre
12.04-05: The Wood Brothers, The Heights
12.06: Holiday on 19th Street, 19th St. in the Heights
12.06: Houston Margarita Festival, Water Works Park
12.06: Latin Christmas 2019, Wortham Theater Center- Cullen Theater
12.06-07: A$AP Ferg, House of Blues
12.06-07: Galveston County Winterfest,
Galveston County Fairgrounds
12.06-07: Jay Leno, Jones Hall
12.06-08: Houston Repertoire Ballet Presents It's 21st Annual Nutcracker Performance, Tomball High School Theatre
12.07: 11th Annual Gingerbread Build-off,
City Hall's Hermann Square
12.07: 4th Annual Houston Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl, The Dogwood
12.07: Jingle All the 5K, 10K, 1K: Presented by BP
Addicks Park and Ride, 14230 Katy Fwy
12.07-08: Jonathan Van Ness, Revention Music Center
12.08-09: Escape to Margaritaville, Smart Financial Centre
12.09-10: Charlie Brown Christmas, Stafford Centre
12.10-11: Criss Angel, Smart Financial Centre
12.11-12: U Up? Podcast, White Oak Music Hall
12.12: Andrea Bocelli, Toyota Center
12.14: 58th Annual Christmas Boat Lane Parade,
Kemah Boardwalk
12.15: Santa Hustle Galveston 5k & Marathon,
Moody Gardens, Galveston, TX
12.15-16: Cher, Toyota Center
12.16: Snoop Dogg, House of Blues
12.17-18: Dir En Grey, House of Blues
12.18-19: Robert Earl Keen, House of Blues
12.21: A Drag Queen Christmas, House of Blues
12.21-22: Pentatonix, Smart Financial Centre
12.27-28: Elf on the Shelf, Smart Financial Centre
12.28: Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker,
Smart Financial Centre
12.28-01.02: Shen Yun Performing Arts, Jones Hall
Announcement | Ombudsperson

Are conflicts or concerns causing you undue stress? Don’t forget about UTHealth’s newly created position: the Office of the Academic Ombuds. Robin Dickey, PhD, MA, LPC, is available as a listener, mediator, and coach for all members of our UTHealth family! Make an appointment today!
TAO | Therapy Assistance Online
The Student Health and Counseling Clinic is excited to announce a new wellness tool available to all students, faculty, and staff at UTH.  TAO (Therapy Assistance Online) is an interactive, self-guided, web-based program that consists of tools and educational materials to help you learn about and change how you think and feel. 
Brought to you by the McGovern Student Wellness & Resilience Committee
Newsletter Staff: Lauren Appel, Lauren Beal, Andrew Eck,
Ashley Ernst, Jay Garza, Ally Limmer, Kelly Masterson,
Malvi Mehta, Nisha Reddy, & Fatema Shipchandler
Questions, Comments, or Contributions to The Well,
please email