DEC 2020 |

In this issue:

  • Enjoying The Season You're In
  • Practicing Presence
  • Holiday Seasonings
  • Hot Topics
  • MS4 Advice
  • SPOTlight
  • TAO
  • Thrive at UT
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.
Click here to share your thoughts on The Well!
Enjoying The Season You're In
In this last issue of 2020, we wanted to embrace and acknowledge the various seasons we might be individually embedded in. While some may be experiencing feelings of renewal and excitement surrounding the upcoming year, others may be feeling reflective of how the past year has shaped them. Whatever your season, practicing acceptance of where you are has been associated with bolstered emotional and physical health, healthier relationships, and helping to know yourself better. When we’re not expending energy resisting, that energy instead turns towards helping us become aware of our experience as it is.  

Sometimes, we may feel pressured to enter a season prematurely, or leave a season before we’re fully ready. The beauty of embracing the season you’re in is there are lessons to be found in each stage of life, and everyone moves through their life’s seasons at their own pace. As the famous song lyric perfectly encapsulates, the journey should be enjoyed just as much as the destination. This December, we challenge you to stop to smell the roses and give yourself the space to cherish your journey and the individualism of your story.
SPOTlight | Sips of the Season
Can’t seem to shake that urge for a seasonal specialty beverage? As cliche as it may sound, focusing solely on the taste of a flavorful drink is a way to ground yourself in the moment and appreciate the time of year. What better way to embrace your season than to enjoy the holiday drinks available at these accessible chains:

  • Caribou Coffee Ho Ho Mint Mocha | This coffee shop is part of the Einstein Bagel Bros! Einstein locations listed here.
  • The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Red Velvet Hot Cocoa | An absolute favorite - rich texture, silky, and just the right kind of sweet!
  • Dunkin’ Donuts Cinnamon Sticky Bun Latte | Experience a sweet and sticky cinnamon bun in a latte at your favorite Dunkin’ Donuts! Check here for the location closest to you.
  • Starbucks Peppermint Mocha | Everyone’s frenemy, Starbucks, comes back this year with a classic! While we’re sure you’ll find a Starbucks on every corner, check here to find the closest location.
Practicing Presence
While you’re navigating through your seasons, learning to embrace the present is a priceless skill. Focusing on the moment you’re in allows you to form more meaningful connections, improve your creativity, generate a newfound appreciation for the world, decrease depression and anxiety, and keep you open and receptive to the small joys each day brings. Check out these 7 ways to practice presence, along with quotes from your classmates on how they embrace their present moments: 
  • Gabriel del Carmen, MS1 | For each season, I try to make time to take advantage of whatever opportunities that season might provide. For Fall, one of my favorite things to do is walk around outside and enjoy the cooler weather, or drink a warm cup of coffee indoors with the windows open.
  • Alexa Ryder, MS2 | This season has been tougher and different for most people, so I take time to remind myself my feelings are valid and not be too hard on myself. I make it a point to focus on the little things like a hot cup of coffee in the morning or a short walk with my dog on a pretty day!
  • Samuel Erickson, MS3 | Find something to enjoy everyday. Look for the positive in everything because if you’re doing something you might as well enjoy it regardless of how hard or trying it is.
MS4 Advice
I started residency interviews yesterday and it just hit me that this crazy chapter of my life called medical school is close to an end. I am sad that I cannot interview in person at some awesome places from which I have gotten invites, but I’m trying to embrace this new normal by telling myself that I am saving a lot of money and using the home field to my advantage (cheers to cozy backgrounds and post-its with bullet points off-camera!).

I am excited to take these two months off from clinical rotations to interview, rest, and reflect on my accomplishments and personal growth in the past four years. I am thankful to be in the stage where I can pat myself on the back, take it one day at a time, and just enjoy the end of the ride.

| Isabella Ciuffetelli, MS4
Holiday Seasonings
Looking for ways to spice up your season? Use these key ingredients to transform your standard recipes into new favorites:
  • Bay Leaves | Bay leaves can amp up any potato product or turkey rub.
  • Cinnamon | Check out how to use this classic holiday spice in sweets, sides and sips.
  • Cloves | Cloves can bring out the flavoring of pumpkin and bread pudding - try with cinnamon and nutmeg for a seasoning celebration! 
  • Coffee + Cocoa + Peppermint = Holiday Mocha (Starbucks has nothing on us!) 
  • Marshmallows | Delicious to add to any recipe or drink, but try sprinkling some in with s'mores pancakes or sweet potato casserole bites for fresh takes on old favorites.
  • Nutmeg | This ingredient can take warm veggies to the next level, while also playing with the sweetness and spice of pumpkin and sweet potatoes.
  • Sage | Looking for a way to flavor without salt? Sprinkle some sage on mashed potatoes to cut back in a spice-forward way.
  • Thyme | A thymeless classic that can uplevel green beans, shine in a fall salad, and bring a new edge to stuffing  
  • Traditional brownies + Mint chocolate = Mint chocolate brownies
Hot Topics
Click on a topic for tips on tackling the issue
Houston Happenings
Now - Jan 2 | Holiday in the Gardens, Moody Gardens, Galveston
Now - Jan 3 | City Lights at Avenida Houston, GRB
Now - Jan 3 | Galaxy Lights, Space Center Houston
Now - Jan 10 | Zoo Lights, Houston Zoo
Now - Jan 30 | Sugar Land Holiday Lights, Sugar Land
Dec 1 - Jan 9 | Run Run Rudolph Virtual 5K
[outdoor market]
Dec 4-5 | Moody Movie Night
[outdoor movie screenings at Moody Center for the Arts]
Dec 5 & 12 | Movies at Menard
[Tickets get you and a few friends a private movie screening
in the backyard of a Galveston mansion.
Includes drinks and a blanket to take home.]

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. 
Thrive at UT
Thrive at UT is a free app designed to enhance UT student well-being and help busy students live their best life. Thrive helps you make small changes in your routine that have powerful long-term impacts.
Brought to you by the McGovern Student Wellness & Resilience Committee
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