Recreation Center

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

Student Well-Being

Student Well-Being

Welcome. Our focus in Student Wellness at OU is to empower students to lead healthy lifestyles and make positive decisions for their health and well-being.

Program Requests for Virtual Health and Wellness Programs are available

Please complete this Program Request Form, and the Health and Wellness Coordinator will contact you regarding your request.  This form will also allow you to see the different types of program topics offered by our well-being team.

Our team collaborates across campus to provide relevant, high-quality health and wellness programs and educational opportunities to all students. Wellness workshops and programs may be requested by resident assistants, academic peer mentors, advisers, academic instructors, student groups, etc. Our programs, workshops and events are open to all.

Programs &

The purpose of the Green Bandana Project is to spread awareness of resources for those with mental health related struggles, break the stigma of mental health related concerns, and to develop a strong sense of connection and community at Oakland University.

The goal of this opt-in campaign is to continually display a green bandana; provided by Recreation & Well-Being and the Dean of Students Office, to indicate that you are a safe person to approach with mental health related needs and that you are someone who knows where to find campus resources.  Individuals that opt-into this campaign will not only be provided a green bandana, but also a resource card that should be used with anyone with mental health related needs.

Want to participate?  Simply complete and submit this online form and you will receive a Green Bandana in the mail compliments of University Recreation & Well-Being and the Dean of Students Office.

Green Bandana Project

A program designed to foster student, faculty and staff success through interactive workshops focused on stress management through mindfulness, emotional intelligence, anxiety relief and the promotion of related campus resources.  Peer-led for student workshops, and Pro-led for faculty/staff workshops.  Use this program request form if you would like request an iPause workshop.

Bright Light Therapy

All currently enrolled students and other Recreation Center patrons are eligible for free 15  minute sessions of bright light therapy. This is an evidence-based practice that can be beneficial for seasonal depression, sleep and mood regulation. Bright light therapy typically runs from October through March.

View availability here.

Pet Therapy

Thanks to our wonderful partners at The Fur Angels, we are providing our campus community with the opportunity to enjoy spending time with certified therapy dogs that can benefit our health & well-being (mind and body).

Pet Therapy at OU for the Fall 2021 semester:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021 / 6-8pm / Grassy Area between the OC & Elliott Tower
  • Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 / 12-2pm / Grassy Area between the OC & Elliott Tower
  • Monday, Sept. 20, 2021 / 12-2pm / Grassy Area between the OC & Elliott Tower           
  • Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021 / 6-8pm / Grassy Area between the OC & Elliott Tower
  • Monday, Oct. 25, 2021 / 12-2pm  / Oakland Center Lobby by Fireplace
  • Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021 / 6-8pm / Oakland Center Lobby by Fireplace
  • Monday, Nov. 22, 2021 / 12-2pm / Oakland Center Lobby by Fireplace
  • Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 / 12-2pm / Oakland Center Lobby by Fireplace

All pet therapy sessions require participants to wear a face mask if indoors while interacting with the therapy dogs and social distancing will be enforced while waiting to interact with the therapy dots.  All are welcome to participate.

*Interacting with the therapy dogs is 100% voluntary*


Wellness Coaching is currently only available virtually, and is a free service offered to currently enrolled OU students

You may submit a coaching request here

For personal counseling, please contact the OU Counseling Center at 248-370-3465.

The goal of wellness coaching is to help you make positive changes in your life and help you take control of your health and well-being in areas such as managing stress, balancing time commitments, reaching fitness and nutrition goals, and sleep management.

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, rather will help you along the way by providing you with strategies to achieve your goals.


College is an exciting time filled with new experiences and opportunities available to students with many decisions for them to make every single day.  The decisions that students make can have a lasting impact on their health & well-being, and it's important for students to know that there are people, places and programs at Oakland University that can help them navigate their way and aid in having a positive sense of personal well-being.  Here are some Healthy Habits for students to consider.

Manage Your Time

Effective time management is a balance of your time, energy and attention. Time management techniques include:

  • Time chunking: 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. This is also known as the Pomodoro Technique.
  • Combat 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.
  • Get Organized Now: Before the semester even begins, start by updating your planner/calendar with important dates which should include class schedule, exams, work shifts, clubs/organizations, meetings, etc.  Then, organize each category you have (class, work, social, etc.) by filing any and all paperwork and putting away all materials in their respective folder. Being organized from the start will save you valuable time later when you are trying to make plans, study, work and enjoy personal time.


Infographic: 15 ways to beat procrastination

Pomodoro Technique

Pomodoro Timer for Apple

Stress Management

Stress is inevitable and nobody is exempt from having to face stressful situations throughout life. The key is knowing the best way for you to handle your stress and to find ways to combat the stress in a positive manner that will contribute to your health and well-being.

Stress may start in your head, but your body may be quick to pick up on it.  Some physical warning signs indicating that you are stress could include:

  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Upset stomach
  • Abnormal irritability
  • Exhaustion
  • Rapid heartbeat/elevated blood pressure

Here are some ways to combat stress:

  • Get physically active
  • Talk with a friend
  • Relax your mind and body by doing some deep breathing
  • Do an activity that you enjoy
  • Take 1 minute for yourself
  • Remember to catch your zzz's - aim to sleep 7-9 hours per night
  • Organize your Environment - tidy housing space, paperwork filed, etc.


American Psychological Association's (APA) list of Stress Indicators

OU Counseling Center

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Six Ways Happiness Is Good for Your Health

Mini Meditation to Let Go of Stress


Sleep plays an essential role in our overall health and well-being.  How much sleep one needs varies across ages and lifestyles, but for adults ages 18-64, you need 7-9 hours each night.  Here are some ways to help yourself get better sleep:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule; even on weekends
  • Develop a relaxing and desirable bedtime routine
  • Make a to-do list for the next day and get your thoughts out on paper before you start snoozing
  • Exercise daily
  • Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool in temperature (between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit) 
  • Turn off electronics before bed
  • Avoid consuming alcoholic or highly caffeinated beverages before bed


National Sleep Foundation

Sleep Deprivation & Deficiency

Manage Your Money

Checking and savings accounts can both help you get a grip on your finances. Checking accounts offer easy access to your money for daily transactions, while savings accounts allow you to build interest on funds you've saved for future needs. 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 credit. Building positive credit history now will make your transition into adulthood, as well as your future finances, that much easier. Here are some “golden rules” of money management:


Oakland University Financial Services

Oakland University Credit Union

Wells Fargo - Basic Finances

MINT- personal financing app for Apple and Android

Savings Calculator


All relationships take work and come in many different forms.  A relationship with someone could be as a family member, an intimate partner, a co-worker, a classmate, a friend, a teammate, etc.  The goal with all relationships is to establish and maintain healthy relationships; which are built on mutual respect, trust & genuine care.  However, even in healthy relationships, conflict is expected, but can be positively navigated through assertive communication and respect.

There is something to learn from every relationship throughout life, and no matter the type of relationship, you deserve to be respected, feel safe and have the freedom to express your feelings.  Below you will find a list of healthy & unhealthy relationship characteristics.  

Healthy Relationships Involve:

  • Comfortable Pace
  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Independence
  • Respect
  • Equality
  • Compassion
  • Taking Responsibility
  • Loyalty
  • Communication

Unhealthy Relationships Involve:

  • Intensity
  • Jealousy
  • Manipulation
  • Isolation
  • Sabotage
  • Belittling or Physical/Emotional Abuse
  • Guilting
  • Volatility/Fear/Threats
  • Deflecting Responsibility
  • Betrayal

If any of the "unhealthy relationship" characteristics resonated with you for any reason, know that there are safe and confidential resources available to you at Oakland University to seek help which include the Oakland University Counseling Center and the Dean of Students Office.


Physical Activity

Physical activity is about moving so you can stay energized & healthy to keep your body able to do what you want it to do.  Here are some tips to help you get & stay physically active:

  • Move around often during the day so you aren't sedentary for too long
  • Exercise regularly - at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week is the general guideline for optimal health
  • Strive to take at least 10,000 steps a day
  • Find something that interests you (group exercise class, sport, go to the gym, take a walk)
  • Find someone to help keep you accountable with your activity goals
  • Track Your Progress (whether you are aiming to build muscle mass, lose weight, improve your balance, or simply climb a set of stairs without being tired), it's important to keep track of your progress.
  • Seek enjoyment with the physical activity that you are doing to better sustain the habit


Oakland University Recreation & Well-Being

Physical Activity Recommendations

Physical Activity Basics

Exercise Has Mood-Boosting Benefits

11 Ways to Measure Your Fitness Progress

10,000 Steps a Day

Nutrition & Hydration

"Every food choice is an opportunity to direct, shape and remake our health". - Precision Nutrition.  Below are some suggestions & tips regarding nutrition and hydration:

  • Practice Mindful Eating
  • Avoid eating on the go unless pre-made healthy food is involved
  • Pay attention to the ingredients in your food
  • Notice the liquid calories you may be consuming (lattes, sodas, alcohol, etc.) - here are some easy ways to cut those calories
  • Use the serving sizes recommended by the American Heart Association
  • Try splitting an entree with a dining companion
  • Make at least half of your plate at every meal filled with fruits & vegetables
  • Keep track of your nutrition & look for unhealthy patterns and opportunities for easy change
  • On average, aim to consume half your body weight in ounces of water per day (160lb person = 80oz/day)


Precision Nutrition


National Eating Disorder Association

The Student's Guide to Nutrition

Mindful Eating

Eat Right

Avoid Portion Size Pitfalls

10 Tips for the Dining Hall

Mini-Fridge Makeover

Rethink Your Drink

Healthy Hydration

Serving Sizes


Set Goals for Yourself

Understanding how to set realistic and productive goals for yourself throughout your life; especially while you're at college, can help you stay on top of things and help you get the most out of your education & experiences.

Focus on setting S.M.A.R.T. goals:

  • Specific: know exactly what you need to accomplish and what you hope to gain from doing so
  • Measurable: make sure you can easily assess whether or not your goal was met & how beneficial it was to you
  • Achievable: be as realistic as you can be while challenging yourself
  • Results-Focused: develop clear and distinct outcomes for meeting your goal & hold yourself to them
  • Timely: set a specific deadline for each goal and for each major stage of the process

Set goals in areas such as these:

  • Academically: set a realistic goal for the grade you think you can earn in each class you take - then invest actual time working toward this goal
  • Professionally: set a goal to speak with someone from the career services office & look for opportunities to further develop yourself professionally through new experiences or internships both on and off campus
  • Physically: set a goal to reach regarding your physical well-being (gain muscle mass, lose weight, perform a certain exercise with good form, etc.) 
  • Socially: set a goal to step out of your comfort zone a little and see how engaged you can be on campus or within your community (volunteering, with a sport group, with a religious group, through student life, etc.)


SMART goals

Oakland University Career Services

Oakland University Intramural Sports

Oakland University Office of Student Involvement

How to Set Goals

Living Intentionally

Check-In with Yourself

Life is busy...very busy, and it's easy to get caught up in the rush of a hectic schedule with stressors all around us; which is why it's important to dedicate time every day to be mindful for yourself.  The goal of practicing mindfulness is to set aside intentional time to re-connect with yourself and to acknowledge how you are doing & feeling.  Being mindful can be as simple as asking yourself these questions:

  • How am I feeling right now?
  • What am I grateful for in this moment?
  • What challenges am I facing?
  • Am I making progress?
  • Am I happy in this moment?
  • What am I learning in this moment?
  • Have I acknowledged & accepted my feelings without judgement?
  • Have I taken care of myself today?


Mindful or Mind Full?

Cultivating Mindfulness

OU Counseling Center

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Peaceful Mind, Peaceful Life

The Importance of Checking-In with Yourself

Daily Mental Check-In

Mental Health America

How to Check-In with Yourself Daily

Practice Self-Care

Self-Care is any activity done purposefully with the intent to take care of yourself and have a positive outcome.  Self-Care doesn't have to take a lot of time, but it is important to give yourself "you time"...which should be time spent doing something that you enjoy and brings joy, happiness, and or peace to your life.

You can't pour from an empty cup, so continually fill yourself up.  Here are just a few self-care activities to consider:

  • Journal
  • Eat well
  • Exercise
  • Take a nap
  • Practice 5-9 breathing
  • Take a bath
  • Watch your favorite movie/show
  • Read a book
  • Get some fresh air
  • Go for a Nature Walk
  • Treat yourself
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Take a break from technology
  • Listen to music
  • Try a fitness class
  • Dance
  • Enjoy time with loved-ones


Understanding Self-Care

Self-Care Starter Kit

OU Counseling Center

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Self-Care can Manage Stress

50 Ways to Practice Self-Care

5-9 Breathing

Staying Motivated

Motivation is the reason for our actions and our willingness to achieve our goals.  Finding success and staying motivated comes by eliminating excuses, not procrastinating, and taking action towards what it is that you want to achieve.  Apply these three steps to your own life and see what difference it makes:

  1. Decide what your priorities and your goals are
  2. Plan how you are going to achieve your goals and maintain your priorities
  3. BEGIN.  Turn your thoughts and plans into ACTIONS.

We are all given the same amount of time every's what we do with that time that makes all the difference.  Regardless of what it is that you are striving for in life (better grades, improved relationships, healthier & fitter body, etc.), the critical component is getting things done; which requires discipline and consistency. 

Decide -- commit -- act -- repeat


6 Minutes to Start Your Day Right-Morning Motivation

Psychology Today - Getting Motivated

Regular Health Screenings
Health screenings can prevent worsening of illness and are important to detect other ailments.  Oakland University's Graham Health Center offers a wide variety of services related to common health concerns that students may have. Common screenings with a healthcare provider may include:  dental exam, an eye exam, a physical exam, a check on blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, infectious disease, immunizations, a breast exam, a pelvic exam and pap smear (female), and a testicular exam (male). 

Alcohol & Other Drugs
Prevention and harm reduction are the key components of reducing the risk and impact of alcohol and other drug misuse and abuse.  Educating students and providing them with tools to deal with alcohol in a mature manner is the goal.  

Practice Gratitude
Gratitude can have a positive impact in one's daily life.  Showing gratitude can open the door to more healthy relationships, it can improve physical and mental health, it can enhance empathy and reduce aggression, it can help improve sleep and can also increase one's self-esteem.  Giving thanks can actually make you happier!