Recreation Center
Recreation and Athletics Center
569 Pioneer Drive
Rochester , MI 48309-4482
(248) 370-4REC (4732)
fax: (248) 370-4889
Student Well-Being

Student Well-Being

Student wellness at OU focuses on empowering students to be able to make wise decisions for their health and well-being.

Our team collaborates across campus to provide relevant, high-quality health programs and educational opportunities to all students. Wellness workshops may be requested by resident assistants, academic peer mentors, advisers, academic instructors, student groups, etc. View the current workshop menu below. Series workshops (Wellness in the House and RecWell programs) are open to everyone on campus. 

Looking for iPause info? It has a new look! Check out 'Manage Stress', 'Manage You', and 'Well-being Basics' below. 

Wellness coaching is available to any currently enrolled students who are ready to make changes and engage in healthier behaviors.  

Check out our programs and read about wellness coaching below. Feel free to stop by the well-being suite (bottom floor of Rec Center across from locker rooms) to learn more.

Submit a program request. 

Have questions? Email the Health and Wellness Coordinator, Erica Wallace, at

Fall 2017
Health and Wellness Workshops

All programs are listed in GrizzOrgs and may be counted towards Leadership and Student Professional Development (confirm with your supervisor). Unless otherwise noted, programs will last 45-50 minutes. Faculty and staff are welcome to attend all programs.

Wellness in the House Series: Ask the Wellness Expert

9/18/17, 7:00 p.m. - Vandenberg Glass Room

Representatives from the Graham Health Center, OU Counseling Center, University Recreation and Well-being, and the School of Health Sciences will describe their services and answer all questions about wellness. This session will help familiarize participants with University resources and increase their ability to personally apply wellness information

RecWell Series: What's the Real Deal with Toxins?

9/25/17, 2:30 p.m. - Recreation Center Herman Room

The idea of toxic substances lurking around us is scary, but what are the true risks? And what substances should we actually be concerned about? Join us to learn about the role environment plays in our health.

Presenter: Mozhgon Rajaee, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences

Wellness in the House Series: 13 Reasons Why Not

10/16/17, 7:00 p.m. - Vandenberg Glass Rooms

The popular Netflix show depicts tragic circumstances and a desperate decision, but it is a fictional portrayal. This program will offer a message of hope while discussing the complexity of suicide, affects of trauma, and how to appropriately respond to negative feelings and thoughts. Counselors from the OU Counseling Center will lead the program and be able to offer support if needed.

RecWell Series: Understanding Cancer Risk

10/24/17, 10:00 a.m. - Recreation Center Herman Room

Cancer is a leading cause of illness and death, but many forms of cancer can be prevented, or with early detection, effectively treated. This program will discuss cancer basics, including the role of genetics, environment and lifestyle, as well as evidence-based methods of prevention.

Presenter: Kristin Landis-Piwowar, PhD, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Health Sciences

RecWell Series: There's a Wellness App for That

11/8/17, 2:00 p.m. - Recreation Center Herman Room

Advances in smartphone technology and wearable devices have led to a plethora of wellness applications. How do you decide which ones are the best for your lifestyle and wellness goals? Join us to learn more about the pros and cons of different wellness apps.

Presenters: Erica Wallace, MPH, and Stephanie Willis, MTD

Wellness in the House Series: Screen Time Addiction

11/13/17, 7:00 p.m. - Vandenberg Glass Room

Feel like you are always checking your phone or other devices? Learn the science behind feedback loops and the potential negative impacts of constant checking and use of electronic devices. Participants will learn management strategies and how to better regulate the emotional impact of exposure to social media. 

Wellness in the House Series: Workout Your Stress

12/4/17, 7:00 p.m. - Vandenberg Glass Room

Take a break from studying with a quick lesson on stress followed by a series of mini workouts with RecWell instructors. Burn your stress away with high intensity interval training (HIIT); forget your worries while dancing to today’s hottest hit music; and then exhale any lingering tension with calm stretching. Dress to move comfortably and bring a friend or neighbor who needs a study break (all fitness levels welcome)!

RecWell Series: Bringing Calm to Your Home or Office

12/7/17, 4:00 p.m. - Recreation Center Herman Room

Ever feel like your environment is too cluttered or stressful for you to engage in meaningful activities? Learn how to manage your work or living space to have a greater influence on your productivity and mood.

Presenters:  Ashley Dunham, MA, LPC, CAADC, NCC, and Diane Johnston, MPA, both from Department of Counseling, SEHS
Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid Training 

Mental Health First Aid is a nationally-recognized program that teaches individuals to identify and respond to emerging mental health problems and crises in adults. The training focuses on the topics of depression, anxiety, trauma, panic attacks, psychosis and substance use problems. If you are interested in the youth curriculum (for adults who work with adolescents), email Erica for potential trainings at
Two trainings are available for fall semester:
10/6/17, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Recreation Center - Herman Room
11/3 /17, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Recreation Center - Herman Room
Registration is available here.

General Health
What the Health?! (30-60 minutes)

A discussion of myths, misinformation and facts on GMOs, vaccines, and other prominent health issues. Learn how to make informed decisions about your health and well-being.

Staying Healthy (60 minutes)
Based on the COM 101 curriculum, this program discusses stress management, weight and nutrition management, sexual health, and substance use.

Behavior Change & SMART Goal Setting (30-60 minutes)

Learn how to set yourself up for success when making health changes and setting goals.

ENERGYou! (30-60 minutes)
Discover how to energize your life through simple changes in how you move, eat, and sleep.

Health Jeopardy (60 minutes)
An interactive game format that introduces students to nutrition and physical activity, substance use, sexual health, and stress.

Stop Counting Sheep--Go to Sleep! (30-45 minutes) Learn the importance of sleep and techniques to help you fall asleep and get enough rest.

Mental Health
Grizzlies Response: Awareness & Suicide Prevention (GRASP) (60-90 minutes)
This gatekeeper training teaches individuals how to recognize the warning signs of mental health problems or suicidal thoughts and respond in a caring, effective manner.

iPause (30-60 minutes)
An introduction to stress management through mindfulness techniques including breathing and body scanning.

Mental Health First Aid Adult (8 hours)
An in-depth exploration of common mental health problems in adults and how to respond to them.

Mental Health First Aid Youth (8 hours)
An in-depth exploration of mental health problems in adolescents and how to respond to them.

Relationships and Consent
Relationships 101 (60 minutes)
An introduction to relationships, communication and consent.

Sexual Health
Sexual Health Jeopardy (60 minutes)
A fun and interactive introduction to safe and positive sexual health. Topics include consent, STIs, contraceptives, and barrier methods.

Sexual Health Family Feud (30 minutes)
A fun and interactive introduction to safe and positive sexual health.

Nutrition and Substance Use
Consumption Assumptions (30 minutes)
An interactive program that focuses on the effects of alcohol and responsible drinking.

Made of Substance (30 minutes)
An introduction to substance misuse, abuse and dependence.

Mindful Eating (30-60 minutes)
An introduction to mindfulness-based eating that will help individuals better gauge hunger, satiety and limit mindless or emotional eating.

Nutrition 101 (30-60 minutes)
An introduction to the basics of nutrition and how to maintain a balanced diet.

Nutrition Family Feud (30 minutes)
Love 'healthy' competition? This spin on Nutrition 101 concepts will engage and educate your group.

Stimulants (30-60 minutes)
A discussion of the most commonly used stimulants (focus on caffeine), their effects, and how to manage them.

Eat Healthy, Be Active (45-60 minutes)

Healthy eating and physical activity work hand in hand to help us live healthier lives. Find out the basics of nutrition and physical activity.

The goal of wellness coaching is to help you make changes in your life and take control of your health and wellness, such as managing stress or reaching fitness and nutrition goals. There is no grading in wellness coaching and the changes you make are totally up to you. The coach will not “make” you do anything but will help you along the way by providing you with strategies to achieve your goals. After an initial face-to-face meeting (50-60 minutes), wellness coaching can happen via e-mail, over the phone, or continue face-to-face. This is a free service offered to students. Faculty and staff interested in health coaching should contact their health insurance provider or employee assistance program (EAP). 

If you are interested in meeting with the wellness coach, email Erica Wallace at or call 248-370-4424. You may also submit a coaching request here. If you feel you want personal counseling, please contact OU Counseling Center at 248-370-3465.

Please note: wellness coaching will now take place in the wellness suite of the recreation center. Students are eligible for 6 free sessions. A student who misses more than one session (less than 24 hours notice or no-show) will be ineligible for services until the next semester for which they are enrolled. 


Use these resources to help you gain knowledge and identify tools to recognize and control stress.

Time Management

Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities.  Effective time management is a balance of your time, energy and attention. Time management techniques include:

  • Time chunking  Try this technique instead of multitasking. To time chunk, work consistently on a single task for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break, and repeat. It may be helpful to set a timer to stay on track.
  • Combating Procrastination Determine why you procrastinate. Is it hard to get started? Do you get bored? Are you a perfectionist? Use this infographic to learn ways to beat procrastination.
  • Getting organized This starts at the beginning of the semester. Begin by updating your planner with important dates, getting a folder for each class, and putting away all study materials in their respective folder. Being organized from the start will save you valuable time later when you are trying to study.
  • Using the 5 Day Study Plan 


Infographic: 15 ways to beat procrastination

Pomodoro Technique

Pomodoro Timer for Apple

ClearFocus: Pomodoro Timer for Android

Organizational tools: Evernote or OneNote

Every Study Tip You Ever Wanted to Know! Really.  

More Time Management Strategies

How Time Chunking Works

Note Taking Strategies for Success

Test Anxiety

Test anxiety is a type of performance anxiety experienced by students both before and during an exam. However, not all test anxiety is bad. Everyone needs some amount of stimulation to feel motivated toward a challenge. Too much or too little stimulation can negatively affect your motivation and performance. You should find your optimal zone of stimulation to achieve your best performance.

Test anxiety can be caused by: poor time management, failure to organize class information, or by our own negative expectations or thoughts about our personal performance. Common signs and symptoms include: sweaty palms, headaches, tense muscles, going on questions, doing poorly on an exam even though you know the material, and difficulty organizing thoughts.

 Strategies to help:

  • Build an exam routine; consider using an exam checklist to prep for your test
  • Outline the test material into small, manageable chunks
  • Practice a relaxation technique
  • Avoid cramming
  • During the exam, don’t rush when reading the questions



Merriam Webster defines purpose as “the reason why something is done, the aim or goal of a person” or “what a person is trying to do or become.” Finding your own purpose can be challenging. Purpose can be found through a combination of the following:

  • Attitude- how we interpret our experiences
  • Creation- what we create, achieve, and accomplish
  • Experience- what is gained from our experiences

Purpose lies within our attitude, which is one thing we can always control. Research shows there really is a science to positive thinking. Our positive attitude can be increased by practicing self-care, being mindful and thankful, and replacing negative self-talk. Maintaining a healthy attitude and sense of perspective is key when handling challenging situations.


Science of positive thinking

The Three A's of Awesome: Neil Pasricha, owner of the blog, 1000 Awesome Things, reveals what he believes are the 3 secrets to an awesome life.


Checking and savings accounts can both help you get a grip on your finances. Checking accounts function like a wallet, while savings accounts serve as an indestructible safe. Many banks offer joint checking and saving accounts with no fee for enrolled students. Credit cards, when used correctly, are a great tool for establishing good credit. Building positive credit history now will make your transition into adulthood, as well as your future finances, that much easier. Follow the “golden rules” of money management:

  • Track your purchases
  • Implement a budget plan
  • Pay off your balance at the end of each month
  • Be cautious with your credit card information


National Endowment for Financial Education Guide

Oakland University Financial Services

Oakland University Credit Union

Better Money Habits

How To Not Go Broke In College

MINT- personal financing app for Apple and Android

Balancing a Checkbook


WORKSHEET: Estimate a Budget  


All relationships take work; healthy ones are built on mutual respect. Mutual respect allows your relationship to continue to grow through trust and support, compromise, separate identities, and good communication. Communication is not just about what is spoken, your body language has a large impact on communication as well. Body language includes eye contact, facial expression, and gestures. Conflict is expected in any relationship. Assertive communication through the use of “I” statements can help you effectively manage conflict. There is something to learn from every relationship. Manage your expectations and accept the differences of others to have healthy, fulfilling relationships. It is also important to be able to identify an unhealthy relationship.

Unhealthy relationships involve:

  • Isolation and/or excessive control
  • Threats and/or intimidation
  • Physical and/or emotional abuse

If you recognize these characteristics within any relationship, know that there are safe and confidential resources available to you, including the Oakland University Counseling Center.


Self Awareness

Self Awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self Awareness allows you to understand how people perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment. With better self–awareness, we can improve our relationships, and reach our goals more effectively so that we can live the life we desire. This leads to better self-assessment and finally to greater self confidence. Self awareness is developed through practice of focusing your attention on the details of your personality and behavior in the moment. A mindfulness practice is the foundation for self-awareness. Mindfulness is a tool for investigating the mind and for discovering more about ourselves and how we relate to the world. As we observe our emotions and thoughts we develop a calm and clear mind.


LEARN MORE: Search inside yourself

APP: SuperBetter

TED TALK: Gaming for Your Life

Mindfulness: Getting Started

Self Regulation

Self-regulation is not the oppression of emotions, but rather, the deliberate adjustment of our behavior. To enhance your self-regulation, you will need to self-monitor and alter your perception. Self-monitoring is the regular observation of your body’s physical and emotional state. To self-monitor you will need to: be aware of your environment, notice your language, and be mindful of your body. Perception is your interpretation of the world around you. What are your biggest stressors?  Time management, test anxiety, personal finances--what are your perception of these factors?  New research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. By altering your perception, you can change your reality.


ACTIVITY: Self-Regulation

LEARN MORE: Search inside yourself

TED Talk: Body Language

TED Talk: Make Stress Your Friend

Get Motivated

Motivation is a skill that pushes us to achieve our goals and a neurological process that relies heavily on dopamine. To get motivated try these techniques:

  • Set incremental goals: Allow yourself to experience frequent positive feedback as you progress through a series of small goals.
  • Reward Yourself: We are more likely to repeat a behavior when we receive a reward after it is completed. Use a reinforcer to motivate yourself through your to-do list.
  • See the future:  Having our “eyes on the prize” can be the extra kick we need to reach our goals. Take a moment each day to imagine reaching your end goal; how you will feel, what will happen after, or how those around you will respond.
  • Lead the way: Be a leader- if not to others, then to yourself. Be in control of the situation. Speak kindly to yourself. Be honest about where you are at. If you aren't happy with it, have confidence in your ability to redirect yourself.


What is Dopamine?

The Dopamine Link

TED Talk: The Puzzle of Motivation

Develop Empathy

Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling. Our fast-paced lives can quickly water down our empathy for others. We may think there isn’t time to consider others’ feelings. Doing so, however, has benefits that reach across our personal lives and into the community. Empathy is a skill that can be built through curiosity, active listening, kindness and leadership. With an increased consideration for others, you can live a more impactful life.


Video: Empathy

ACTIVITY: Loving Kindness Meditation  

Search Inside Yourself: Empathy

Practice Kindness

Practicing kindness has an immediate effect on our mental state, along with various long-term health benefits. Gratitude, self-love, and a connectedness to the world around you all contribute to your ability to be an engaged world citizen. Through small daily kindnesses, you can quickly turn compassion into habit and influence others to do the same. Kindness truly is its own reward.


Kindness Ideas

Be Mindful

Mindfulness is the art of paying attention to the present moment with an open and curious mind. It is a tool for investigating the mind and for discovering more about ourselves and how we relate to the world. There are numerous health benefits of practicing mindfulness including a stronger immune response, improved focus and concentration, improved relationships, and decreased anxiety and stress. You can meditate sitting (in a chair or on a cushion),walking, standing, or lying down and in the midst of your daily activities. While a formal meditation practice is extremely beneficial for bringing mindfulness into our lives, we can also practice informally by bringing our attention to the present moment through mindful pauses.


LEARN MORE: Guided Meditations

APP: Buddhify 2

APP: Insight timer

APP: Headspace

Walking Meditation

Skeptics Guide to Meditation

Make Sit Happen

Benefits of Mindfulness


Use these resources to help you gain knowledge and identify tools for the most common concerns for college students.

Studying Habits

You know you should be starting and keeping positive study habits. Here are a few resources to help you stay on track.
Self Care

It's difficult to study, work, and fulfill all your obligations when you haven't made time to take care of yourself. Don't fall prey to the idea that you should be all things to all people. Learn to take care of you. 

Aim for a balanced diet that incorporates colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats or other sources of protein, and complex carbohydrates. Limit added sugars and processed meats. Stay hydrated by consistently drinking water. 

Sleep is important for all aspects of your health, and it's likely that you're not getting as much sleep as your body needs. 
Physical Activity

30 minutes of activity, 5 days a week, is the general guideline for optimal heart health. But physical activity is about more than just going to the gym (although the Rec has many great activity options!)---it's about moving consistently so you stay energized and keep your body able to do what you want it to do. Get up every hour (or as often as possible) to move during the day. Make time for rest. Exercise regularly.  
An easy way to start physical activity is walking. Strive for 10,000 steps a day. A reasonable goal for most people is to increase average daily steps each week by 500 steps per day until you can easily average 10,000 per day. Many phones have apps that will track your steps or pedometers can be purchased at Graham Health Center for $6.