In this issue:

  • Fall into the Groove
  • Fitness
  • Houston Happenings
  • McGovernCares
  • Sleep Hygiene
  • SPOTlight
  • Study Strategies
  • TAO
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.
Fall into the Groove
Happy back-to-school season, y’all! With classes and rotations underway, we are excited to introduce you to Volume 3, Issue 1 of the monthly Wellness & Resilience Committee newsletter, “The Well.” We hope to be a resource for the McGovern family as we seek to cultivate a culture of wellness in an environment long-reputed to be otherwise: medical school.

Each issue is structured around a central theme, with this edition themed “Fall into the Groove.” The start of a school year, an occasion marked by motivation and eagerness, is the easiest time to establish good habits and set yourself up for success. Practice is key in all areas of life, so while you are still full of energy, it is so important to practice the habits you hope to maintain as your enthusiasm wanes or fluctuates. The accompanying columns are meant to inspire and assist you in addressing fitness, study strategies, sleep, entertainment, and more - enjoy!
Fitness | Running Routes
For those of you trying to get back into running and those of you who have been training all your life, here are three easy running trails to get you back into the groove. The highlighted trails shown below make up the southeast corner of Hermann park.

Parking is available on Almeda Road, near the Dixie Rd intersection. The purple squares indicate water fountain locations.

The blue trail should take you around 20-30 minutes. It is an estimated 2.1 miles and mostly uncovered, but gives a great view of the bayou.

The aqua trail takes around 15-20 minutes to complete for an estimated 1.3 miles. It offers some helpful shade and a water fountain throughout your run.

The teal trail is the shortest one listed, and it provides a great place to take your pets for a walk or a leisurely jog. A lap around this trail should take around 8-12 minutes to run the 0.8 miles and it is almost entirely shaded.
Sleep Hygiene | Social Jet Lag
Monday at 6:30 am: Your alarm goes off, but at least you slept a lot this weekend.
Wednesday, 6:45 am: *Groans to self. Contemplates the meaning of “adulting.”
Thursday morning: Word of the Day is s-t-r-e-a-m-i-n-g .
Saturday morning arrives: *Sleeps to heart’s content*
Monday, 6:30 am...again: “{expletive}”

This vignette is probably familiar to many people. Sleep as an adult tends to fall into one particular pattern - social jet lag. Social jet lag is the phenomenon of increasingly shorter and later sleep periods that occur as our bodies’ natural rhythms begin competing with school/work schedules (thanks a lot, society). However good it makes us feel to commiserate together when “it’s only Tuesday,” these feelings of tiredness, moodiness, and difficulty waking up are due to a more serious consequence of social jet lag, termed circadian desynchrony . This desynchrony happens when our internal master clock, the SCN of the hypothalamus, is not aligned with our external environment (ie. work/school). Thereafter, we are significantly more vulnerable to an increasing number of serious diseases, and even decreases in cognitive function. The latest research is showing us just how detrimental social jet lag can be, from cellular dysfunction to impaired reaction time. Shifting your body to an earlier start time is easy with properly-timed melatonin (1-2 hour before desired sleep time), or a quality light box that mimics natural outdoor lighting (min. 10,000 lux). Sleeping sufficiently is a critical aspect of learning - so drop that guilt off at the door, sweetie. This season, fall into the groove of your own physical and mental health by consistently getting the hours of sleep your body needs*! 

*7-9 hrs; high individual variability.
Study Strategies
Figure yourself out: Are you an early bird or a night owl? Do you prefer attending lecture in-person or streaming at the LRC (or on your couch)? Use this time to figure out what works best for you--both for that first pass of information and reviewing for your exam. Dr. Tara Tuchaai, McGovern’s Senior Learning Specialist and Career Counselor, recommends the following study plan to promote active learning:

  • Pre-reading: Read ahead of the lecture or TBL/PBL session so that you become familiar with the material. Examine key concepts ahead of time so that you have a frame of reference to assist your understanding.
  • Note making: Create category charts, concept maps, tables and diagrams where appropriate. Avoid excessive notetaking and ask yourself, “What is significant and why? Where does this new knowledge connect to my prior knowledge?”
  • Reviewing: Use self-made Anki decks for Foundations and premade Anki decks for organ systems. Start small (25 cards x 4 times daily = 100 cards per day). Increase your daily review as your accuracy increases!
  • Self-testing: Pinpoint your weaker areas using practice Tests and Qbanks like Kaplan, UWorld, Online MedEd, and Amboss.

BONUS for MS1s: Click here for Foundations study tips.
 SPOTlight | Study Spaces
  • A 2nd Cup | Heights | A large but cozy warehouse-like space with many tables, good for solo or group studying, profits go towards ending human trafficking in Houston.
  • Campesino Coffee House | Montrose | A quaint Latin coffee shop, calm and cozy atmosphere, tons of seating and great food.
  • Fix Coffeebar | Montrose | A lot of tables, good for solo studying, can get crowded so have a backup plan, great honey lavender lattes!
  • Inversion Coffee House | Montrose | Bright and calm atmosphere perfect for studying, good number of outlets, attached to a small art exhibit.
September Service Opportunity
Organization: The Beacon
Day: Sunday, September 22, 2019
Shift: 715A - 1030A
About the Org: The Beacon provides services that help restore dignity, self-respect, and hope to Houston’s poor and homeless. Service activity:  includes but not limited to the following – kitchen (meal prep/service) and laundry. Click here to learn more about The Beacon.

Sign up is first-come, first-served. While this is optional, your sign-up is your commitment to serve which is taken seriously. Sign up here .
09.25.19 | WELLNESS FAIR
Houston Happenings

09.07: In a Pickle Festival, Kingwood Town Center Park
09.07: Art of Wining and Dining: Brunch & Bubbly,
Sugar Land Town Square
09.08: John Mayer, Toyota Center
09.09: KISS, Toyota Center
09.13: AdvoCare Texas Kickoff:
Houston Cougars vs. Washington State Cougars, NRG Stadium
09.13: Fall Concert at Market Square Park
09.14: The 7th Annual Houston AfriFest- Festival of African Arts, Culture and Entertainment, Houston Baptist University
09.15: Lenny Kravitz, Smart Financial Center
09.18: BCO & HTXO present: Hiking 101, Memorial Park
09.21: Asian Heritage Tour, Chinese Community Center
09.21: Carrie Underwood: Cry Pretty Tour, Toyota Center
09.21: Fossil Wash Day,
Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land
09.21: Peter Frampton [Final Tour], Cynthia Woods Mitchel Pavilion
09.21-22: Bill Maher, Smart Financial Center
09.21-22: Fast & Fabulous Wine & Bubbles Weekend,
Trellis, The Spa at the Houstonian
09.21-22: Morrissey, White Oak Music Hall
09.22: Annelies: The Diary of Anne Frank, Holocaust Museum Houston
09.22: Iron Maiden, Cynthia Woods Mitchel Pavilion
09.22-23: Alejandro Sanz, Smart Financial Center
09.24: Ciara, House of Blues
09.24: Phil Collins, Toyota Center
09.25-26: The Who, Toyota Center
09.26: Jonas Brothers: Happiness Begins Tour, Toyota Center
09.27: Zedd, Revention Music Center
09.27-28: Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience,
Cynthia Woods Mitchel Pavilion
09.27-28: Oktoberfest Houston, The Water Works at Buffalo Bayou
09.28: Nigeria Culture Parade & Festival, Root Memorial Square Park
09.29: AAA Texas Walk to End Distracted Driving, Minute Maid Park
09.29-30: Meek Mill and Future, Cynthia Woods Mitchel Pavilion
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