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Wellness and WasserJams: A Playlist

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our wellness series over the past several weeks here on the Wasserman Blog. The end of the semester is always a very chaotic time, so hopefully you’ve put some of our tips on stress reduction and healthy living to good use. And, if you’ve been reading, you’ve seen our staff musical selections at the end of each entry. Below, we’ve compiled them all into a playlist titled WasserJams 2014. Crank it up and hopefully discover some new tunes to add to your rotation.We’ll have a few more wellness-related posts as spring turns to summer, so continue to check back as you enjoy the warm weather.


6 Quick Fit Tips for Overcoming the Stress of Finals (& Getting Your Body Summer-Ready in the Process)

Adriele Parker works at the Wasserman Center with Student Employment. She is also the Center’s resident fitness expert. Here, along with a bit of help from Estela Gonzalez, CAS ’14, she offers forth fitness strategies to get you through Finals. And, after her tips, scroll through for more WasserJams.

Summer is nearly here! Of course, before you can even think about enjoying the warm weather, I’m sure you’re stuck in your Res Hall, Bobst, an IT Lab, or other windowless-study environment, chugging Red Bull and freaking out. Before you go in to full on panic mode, check out these fitness-related tips that are sure to help you relieve some stress, clear your mind, and whip your body into tip-top shape.

Without further ado:

1.) BREATHE. No seriously, it’s that simple. A few deep breaths can help you relieve stress, clear your mind, and strengthen your core (i.e. your abs).  View Time’s “6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in Ten Minutes or Less.”

2.) YOGA. One-up your breathing and incorporate stretching. Check out Huff Post’s “10 Best Yoga Poses for Stress Relief.” Also, check out this current list of free Yoga classes around the city.

3.) WALK. Take a walk around Washington Square Park, around the block, Central Park, etc. Enjoy the warm weather, clear your mind, boost your immune system (from the Vitamin D your body will absorb from the sun), and burn some extra calories. Be smart, wear sunscreen.

4.) CARDIO. Run, power walk, bike, row, dance, etc. Get that heart rate up up up! Working out is a proven stress reliever as it helps increase endorphins (the feel-good chemicals your body releases). Check out NYU Athletics for Coles and Palladium hours. Also, check out the city’s free group fitness classes through ShapeUp NYC.

5.) STRENGTH TRAIN. Guys and girls can benefit from strength training — and ladies, you will NOT bulk up from lifting heavy, I promise. Doing body-weight exercises, resistance band exercises, or lifting weights will help relieve stress and build some pretty impressive muscles. Building muscle not only protects your joints and bones, but it also increases your resting metabolism–which means you’ll continue burning calories even after you’ve completed your workout. Click the links above for NYU Athletics’ facility hours.

6.) EAT. Make sure you’re fueling your body with nutritious, healthy foods. I know it’s tempting and convenient to snack on chips or candy, or live off of cheap, greasy takeout or $1 pizza, but try to limit your intake. The excess sugar, processed ingredients, and unhealthy fats will make you sluggish. If you must eat on the go or consume takeout, opt for healthy options (i.e steamed Chinese take-out or a veggie $1 slice). Fresh fruits, veggies & dip, granola bars, and protein bars make for awesome, cheapie, on-the-go snacks. NYU dining has some great healthy options for meals and snacks. Check out the NYU dining hall hours and go for a swipe (or find a friend that’s trying to get rid of extra swipes or Campus Cash)

So there you have it, six fit tips that will not only help you relieve stress during finals, but that will also begin to help you sculpt your Summer body. Best of luck!

Adriele Parker, Student Employment: “Enjoy Yourself” – Jackson 5…  The lyrics ooze happiness & positivity, plus you can NEVER go wrong with the Jackson 5!

Leah Lattimore, Associate Director: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye feat. Tammi Terrell. You can’t go wrong with Motown.

Dustin Gee, Assistant Director at Wasserman, NYU-Poly: Lately, I’ve found myself commuting to work listening to “Best Day of My Life” by the American Authors. It gets me energized to take on the adventures of a new day and puts me in a proactive mindset.

Healthy Eating for the NYU Student During the Most Stressful Time of the Year!, Part II

Destiny Arturet is a Wasserman Center Graduate Assistant and a Master’s Student at Gallatin. As part of our Wellness Series, she offers some advice on healthy eating habits. If you missed Part I of her series, click here for a recap. There, she advised students to: 1) Know their finals schedule, 2) avoid those sugary drinks during all-nighters, and 3) steer clear of binge-eating during finals. Below, you’ll find her next four tips. And, be sure to scroll to the bottom for the latest installment of our Wasserman Playlist.

4.  So, you have a long day ahead of you:

  • Eat a large breakfast!  The best kinds of breakfasts are packed with protein because they keep you fuller longer.  Try oatmeal with walnuts, half a banana (chopped), and semi-sweet chocolate morsels, or huevos rancheros.  Additionally, the Health Promotion Office (726 Broadway, 3rd Floor) is offering a free cereal breakfast each weekday morning from May 7th through May 20th.

  • Pack snacks the night before and store them in your bag or in the fridge in case you don’t have time to do it in the morning!  Having something to snack on during the day will keep you going.

  • Do not skip meals!  If you know you have a busy day ahead of you, try cooking or packing lunch or dinner the night before.  If you have a meal plan, take your lunch or dinner to go.  Eating throughout the day will keep you fueled and energized!

5.  Limit your alcohol intake:

Finals can be stressful and you might feel like you want to blow off some steam or be social after finishing a paper or completing a final.  Instead, take this time to rest and prioritize your upcoming projects.  If you decide to head to the bar or attend a party, have one drink so as to not overindulge and keep yourself on track throughout finals.

6.  Drink plenty of water:

Stress can affect more than just our mental and emotional state.  It also takes a huge toll on us physically.  Be sure you’re drinking plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and regulated.

7.  Lastly, reward yourself!

Finals are a doozy.  And if you maintain healthy eating habits throughout the most stressful time of the year, you deserve to reward yourself.  Eat that slice of cheesecake, order the tater tots, or drink that milkshake.

Lesia Harhaj: Assistant Director: Bruce Springsteen “Born to Run” – it’s the first song on my running playlist and is always especially inspiring for runs on the New York City streets!

Heather Morgan, Assistant Director Wasserman SCPS: Sigur Ros: Anything by the Icelandic band, Sigur Ros.

Tanya Hodges: Wasserman Center Front Desk Staff: “Copernicus” by Basia. It’s light and bouncy, and one of my favorite songs for that “happy feeling”.

Healthy Eating for the NYU Student During the Most Stressful Time of the Year, Part I

Destiny Arturet is a Wasserman Center Graduate Assistant and a Master’s Student at Gallatin. As part of our Wellness Series, she offers some advice on healthy eating habits. And, be sure to scroll to the bottom for the latest installment of our Wasserman Playlist.

It’s no surprise to NYU students that eating and living healthy in New York City can be quite expensive and even stressful.  But as a student, you have plenty of resources on campus that can help you stay healthy, energized, and active.  As finals are approaching, we have some tips for staying in the right mindset when it comes to eating well!  Below are my first three tips. Stay tuned for tips 4-6 later this week.

1.  Know your finals schedule:

Knowing what’s to come will give you a leg up on making the right decisions. Write down your finals schedule in your calendar or enter it in the calendar on your phone.  This way, you can plan when you’re going to wake up, eat, and even exercise!  Sleep, fuel, and exercise are incredibly important during finals to keep the stress from building up.

2.  For those all-nighters:

Instead of fueling with sugary energy drinks or tons of coffee (which can be addictive!) try drinking green tea.  Although it doesn’t have as much caffeine as coffee, it is a healthier way to stay awake when you need to cram for tomorrow’s exam.  According to Lara Rondinelli, diabetes educator at Rush University, “Large quantities of caffeine are not good for anyone and even if these drinks are fortified with some vitamins this does not classify them as a health food.”  She suggests eating healthy throughout the day with lean meats, vegetables, fresh fruit, and low-fat dairy products to keep your energy up throughout the day.

3.  Avoid binge-eating under stress:

Finals can induce large amounts of unwanted stress and it’s tempting to eat your favorite foods under pressure, especially if you’re working throughout the night.  Before finals week, go grocery shopping to stock up on healthy ingredients for meals and snacks.  Here are some tips for grocery shopping:

  • Eat a snack before you venture to the grocery store!  We tend to make rash decisions when we’re hungry and we might buy food that we don’t need but look appetizing on an empty stomach.  Eat a granola bar, fresh fruit, or nuts, or have a smoothie before you leave apartment or dorm.

  • Make a list!  Making a list can be difficult if you don’t know what you want to buy.  We suggest looking up healthy recipes for meals (online or in a cookbook) and buying those ingredients.  But there are some staple pieces that you should always have on hand:

    • Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables

    • Canned vegetables and beans (great for soups)

    • Frozen fruit (great for smoothies)

    • Whole grain breads (or a gluten-free substitute if you have a food allergy)

    • Lean meats (or a vegetarian substitute if you do not eat meat)

    • Eggs (or a vegan substitute if you are dairy- and meat-free)

    • Rice or pasta

    • Cereal or rolled oats

    • Low-fat dairy products (or a vegan substitute if you are dairy-free)

  • Buy store-brand items!  They are often cheaper than the name-brand and have the exact same ingredients.

  • Make sure the ingredient list on the package is short!  This is a good way of making sure that there are no additives or preservatives in your food.  Basic rule of thumb: if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t eat it.

  • Find the best deals!  Trader Joe’s is an excellent place to shop as a college student because it’s inexpensive (despite the terribly long lines but if you’re patient enough, they move quickly.)  If you prefer not to venture to Union Square to take on the crowds at Trader Joe’s, see what grocery stores near you are having deals.  And don’t forget to frequent your local fruit and vegetable stand.

  • Always have snacks on hand!  It’s easy to get hungry when you’re tending to last minute responsibilities and finals as the end of the year approaches.  But be sure to always have some healthy snacks in your bag to keep yourself from venturing to the nearest fast-food restaurant.  Some great options are chopped fruits and vegetables, hummus with pretzels or pita chips, granola bars, and Nabisco 100 calorie snacks.  It’s healthy for you and your wallet!

If you don’t know how to cook:

  • YouTube!  If you want to learn how to make rice, pasta, hard-boiled eggs, or baked chicken, there are cooking tutorials on YouTube. YouTube isn’t just for your beloved cat videos.

  • Ask a friend!  You most likely know a friend who has some basic cooking knowledge.  Ask him or her!

  • Learn how to use a microwave effectively!  If you don’t know how to cook or don’t have a stove, or oven there are ways to cook your favorite meals in the microwave.

If you have a meal plan:

  • Download the CampusDish Mobile App on your phone to search today’s menu.  You can search by venue, calories, nutritional information, and more!

  • Look for the “Healthy for Life” logos on campus menus to help you make better choices about your breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner!  To learn more about NYU’s Healthy for Life program, please visit their website at http://ow.ly/w8eI4.

  • Do a walk-through!  Scope out all of your dining options before you grab a plate.  You can make a better decision about eating healthy before you sit down for dinner!

If you have to eat fast food:

  • Make smart choices!  Instead of ordering the cheeseburger or the most loaded item on the menu, choose an item with lean meat or with greens, substitute ketchup or mustard for mayonnaise, and drink water (it’s free)!

As promised, here are some more musical selections, with a particular emphasis on the “Bons”.

Destiny Arturet, Wasserman Center Graduate Assistant: Anything off of the Bon Iver, Bon Iver album is great and highly recommended.

Gracy Sarkissian, Associate Director: Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” in honor of New Jersey!

Lauren Lipsky, Manager of Alumni Career Programs: Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer”. I think it has a great rocker beat that can get people moving to action, whether in school, work or personal lives.

Still Hunting for a Summer Gig?

By Terri Burns, CAS Class of 2016 and NYU Wasserman Peer in Career Member

Howdy. My last blog post was all about starting off the semester with a bang. Seems like it was just yesterday, right? Yet somehow we’ve made it this far, with (semi) warm weather, finals around the corner, and summer on the horizon. For those of you who’ve locked down awesome summer jobs and internships, congrats! I hope you’re gearing up for a summer of hard work, learning, and fun. For those of you who are still on the hunt, don’t fret.  Though April is soon coming to a close, don’t think that there aren’t great opportunities still out there. Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling on snagging a last-minute position:

Chat It Up

Email professors. Call former employers. Gchat with coworkers.  Inform your professional connections that you’re interested in work in order to market yourself as a possible hire.

CareerNet/ Wasserman Counselor

Log into CareerNet to search through job positions within your field of interests. For tips and tricks, be sure to come into the office for a 30 minute appointment with a counselor. There are also walk-ins, and you can even call or Skype if you’re overloaded with end-of-the-semester to-dos.

Do More Research

In addition to Career Net, there are other fantastic resources that may be helpful. Some useful places:

Consider Your Options

Having a summer job or an internship is great, but there are also other options from which you can gain valuable experience that also looks good on your resume.  Summer research and projects are a great option.  Get in contact with friends, professors, and mentors (either in NYC or in your hometown) to discuss working on an interesting project over the summer. (And who knows? You may even get paid for it!)

Don’t Give Up

Luckily for NYU Students, we are in a hub of resources to help us get places. So don’t give up! Take advantage of it. If you’re done with midterms, you may have a few weeks to cruise before the insanity of finals kicks in.  This is a great time to keep searching for those who are still on the job hunt. Good luck, and remember, there’s a whole team of people who can help you at NYU Wasserman!

And, as a bonus, here are more Wasserman Staff selections for your summer gig search listening pleasure:

Heather Tranen, Associate Director: “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen.

A Jersey gal at heart, anything by the Boss gets me up and moving. However, something about the tempo and message in the Rising makes it a go-to for me. Whether meeting a deadline, going for  a run, or prepping for a presentation, Bruce gets me through it!

Rebecca Salk, Assistant Director: “Hammer and a Nail” by Indigo Girls – I was obsessed with this song in college – I listened to it all the time whenever I needed a pick-me-up!

Paula Lee, Director: “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac

Stress Reduction for Working Well, Part III

Sheila Lynch is a Master’s student in Steinhardt’s Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness Program. She also works at the Wasserman Center front desk where she’s probably helped you log in for an event or appointment. Here, she offers the second in a three-part series for managing stress. Check out Part One here and Part Two here. Be sure to scroll all the way through to check out the latest selections in the Wasserman Center Playlist.

  • Step 3: Take action! Now that you’ve done the evaluation, what can you do to directly impact the stressor(s) or cope with the effects of the stress? Think of the 4 R’s:

Resolve. Reduce. Rethink & React.

    • Resolve: Do you have a lot of control over your stressors? Can you resolve it so it no longer produces negative effects? For example…
      • Stressor: Midterm paper due next week. Pages completed: 0
      • Resolve it: Get it off your plate and out of your mind! Break the paper down into smaller tasks: research, outline, write, edit, print. Keep breaking it down into manageable chunks. Make a list and give yourself a deadline for each item. Then start crossing things off, one at a time.
    • Reduce: Even when we don’t have complete control over our stressors, we may be able to reduce their negative effects by taking action to directly impact the stressor in some way. For example…
      • Stressor: Getting to work late via subway. Panic sets in every morning as you sit below ground unable to communicate to your boss that the train is running sooo sloooowly.
      • Reduce it: Leave earlier! If you’re regularly late, it’s time to re-evaluate how much time you need to get to work. Trains will be trains and we need to allow extra time for delays. Extreme delays and sick passengers are a part of using public transportation that we cannot control, but we can impact how many times we hit the snooze button each morning.
    • Rethink & React: Sometimes there is very little we can do to impact our stressors directly in a significant way. When this is the case, it can be helpful to rethink the situation and take action by deciding how you will react. Some ways of doing that are…
      • Finding acceptance: “I can’t control this situation, and that’s okay.”
      • Future-thinking: “The semester ends in three weeks!”
      • Coping: “I can’t avoid this interview, but I can still reduce my anxiety by…”
        • Talking with a friend, family member, or trusted colleague
        • Talking to a professional:


Desalina Allen, Senior Assistant Director: “River of Dreams” by Billy Joel is a stress-reducer that always takes me back to childhood.

Tara Schwartz, Assistant Director: Oasis’ “Wonderwall”

Rachel Frint, Assistant Director Wasserman Center SCPS: “Samson” by Regina Spektor.

Stress Reduction for Working Well, Part II

Sheila Lynch is a Master’s student in Steinhardt’s Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness Program. She also works at the Wasserman Center front desk where she’s probably helped you log in for an event or appointment. Here, she offers the second in a three-part series for managing stress. Check out yesterday’s Part One here. Be sure to scroll all the way through to check out the latest selections in the Wasserman Center Playlist.

  • Step 2: Evaluate. Once you’ve identified the stressors, think about each one and ask yourself, “How much control do I have over this?” How much control do you have over the various parts and effects of your stressors? Is there a problem that can be fixed with a little help, time, or focused attention? Is it an event or series of events (perhaps an interview or two) that have an end date in the near future? Is it a part of your life that’s here to stay for a while (chronic illness, caring for a loved one, paying loans)?

It’s not unusual for a stressor to feel more or less in your control depending upon the circumstances or timing of its arrival. However, sometimes a new perspective can make all of the difference. Perhaps you didn’t realize how much you can influence your stressors or how helpful it might be just to recognize the extent of your control. Regardless, in many cases, there is more than one way to take action (and thankfully, when it comes to interviewing, we can help).

Jeannie Liakaris, Director at Wasserman Center, NYU-SCPS: Jump in the Line by  Harry Belafonte — this song puts me in the best mood, no matter how tough the day is.

Dexter Hazelton, Systems Administrator at the Wasserman Center: “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley is a great stress-reducer.

Manaf Mansure, Assistant Director: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams is definitely my pick!

Stress Reduction for Working Well, Part I

Sheila Lynch is a Master’s student in Steinhardt’s Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness Program. She also works at the Wasserman Center front desk where she’s probably helped you log in for an event or appointment. Here, she offers the first in a three-part series for managing stress and offers a song below as part of our ongoing music playlist.

We thought it would be a good idea to start our series on “Working Well” with some stress-busting basics. Then again, whether you’re in undergrad, graduate school, or dusting off your diploma– you’re probably already an expert on the topic. Perhaps you learned about the flight or fight response in Intro to Psych, or discovered the difference between eustress and distress when your sister transformed into Bridezilla last spring. Maybe you just deal with it Every. Darn. Day. Point is, you get it: some stress is good, too much stress can be trouble.

But we all get to a point (be it monthly, weekly, yearly) when the stress gets to be too much, and suddenly we don’t feel so well-equipped to deal. So what can you do when the pressures of work and school start piling up and the usual quick fixes aren’t working?

Next time all of your responsibilities are crowding your plate (and your judgment), try using this three step process to start clearing a path:

  • Step 1: Identify. What’s the source of your stress? Is there just one source, or can you identify a few? Write them down. Try prioritizing them according to which ones are giving you the most grief.

    • Need help identifying your stressors? Here are some common sources of school- and work-related stress to get you started:

      • School: adjusting to new environments, borrowing money, taking exams, finding employment, pressure to achieve, time management (Read more.)

      • Work: feeling powerless, unclear job description, poor job fit, poor working conditions, job insecurity, commuting, traumatic events (Read more.)

According to The American Institute of Stress, when it comes to workplace stress,“It is not the job but the person-environment fit that matters.”

No doubt, stress in one area tends to affect another. See if you can trace the stress back to its root(s). It can take time and serious self-reflection to understand if the stress you experience around midterms is in anticipation of the tests… or if it seems like something more than your average exam anxiety. Perhaps roommate troubles? Chronic illness? Internship search…?

(Check back soon for Step Two of Three…)

Sheila Lynch, Wasserman Center Staff: I never paid much attention to the olympics until the summer of 2012 when, having recently discovered my own inner athlete, I began running home to watch swimming, diving, track, and (my favorite) gymnastics. I even liked the promos: hands clapping, chalk dust flying, pre-performance jitters being shaken from limbs, and Philip Phillips’s “Home” playing in the background. That song has become my own personal anthem– fueling my excitement and helping me gather courage as I prepare for a race, interview, or the start of a new school year. If you ever feel out of your comfort zone, give it a listen and you might make that zone your home.

Thande Shange, Career Coach: My current go-to stressbuster is “Winelight” by Grover Washington

Lindsay Unger: Manager of Global Career Development: My choice is “Pompeii” by Bastille. This song helps me unwind and lighten my mood if I’m stressed. It reminds me of my wedding when we played this song before it was on the radio and no one knew what it was. As expected, the dance floor cleared but my husband and I owned it and slowly but surely others were motivated by our enjoyment to join us. It was just a happy, liberating moment that I like to relive when I’m stressed.

Relaxing After a Tough Day

“There’s nothing like music to relieve the soul and uplift it.”-Mickey Hart

It’s important to find a couple of minutes each day to step back and take it all in. Maybe you had a crazy meeting at your internship that lasted longer than expected. Maybe your test contained questions that the professor pulled out of thin air and all that study time went by the wayside. Maybe, too, it snowed again. (Yeah, that happened today…on April 16th!). Regardless of the situation, take some time to relax and let go of the worry, stress, and anxiety that the day can compound. A great way to do that…listen to music! Here are three more particularly relaxing suggestions from the Wasserman Center Staff.

Robert Caparaz, Associate Director: Cucurrucucu Paloma (version sung by Caetano Veloso). The singer looks like my maternal great-grandpa, except he’s Brazilian, and with long hair. Very understated singing, and a lullaby voice.

Lisa White, Assistant Director-SCPS:

My song is “Fantasia on a Theme” by Thomas Tallis (Ralph Vaughn Williams).

I have been playing the cello since elementary school, and I still continue to play in a community orchestra in NYC. Classical music is a great stress relief for me and I often play classical music in my office when I need some background music. Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (Ralph Vaughn Williams) is one of my favorite orchestral pieces.

Jenn Parson, Wasserman Center Graduate Assistant: My song is “Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. I love it because it reminds me of my time in Hawai’i and immediately transports me to driving my car through the mountains of Oahu. Aside from that, the song has a great message and the tempo and style is very soothing. It’s like a lullaby for adults!

A Few Words On Wellness…

The spring season is upon us! And while this time of the year always brings with it optimism, hope, and good spirits, it can also be a time of stress and anxiety. For every warm and sunny day that beckons from outside your window, there is a midterm to study for, a paper to write, or a job application that demands your attention and keeps you indoors. While these scenarios are not appealing, they are nevertheless inevitable. Here at Wasserman, we want to help keep things positive as we strive to help in making the remainder of your spring semester a meaningful and productive one.

Join us over the next several weeks, as we post a series of wellness articles and links designed towards helping you relieve that stress and focus all of your energy towards achieving your goals and maximizing your productivity. Of particular interest to us here at Wasserman is music. A good song can always bring about positivity and has been proven to aid in motivation and productivity. Each of these wellness posts will feature hand-selected tunes from our staff, which we’ll compile into a playlist at the end of the series for you all to enjoy and share. Consider it a bonus gift, and perhaps a welcome addition to your own personal music collections.

Trudy Steinfeld, Executive Director: Carole King’s “You’ve Got A Friend” is like an old friend to me.  It takes me back to another time, but reminds me what’s important.

Diana Gruverman, Director: “Manic Monday” by The Bangles because I am a child of the 80s.  Every morning for me is a manic Monday (oooooh, oh…) as I race to get two kids dressed, fed, to school, and arrive at Wass in time to start the NYU day.

Jeff Strowe, Assistant Director: Son Volt’s “Windfall” is a classic song for so many reasons, three of which are that it’s simply relaxing, a bit inspirational, and makes me want to take a road trip out to the country. And it gets bonus points for the pedal steel/fiddle combination.