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Celebrate LDOC Safely 

April 15, 2022

With the excitement that comes from being able to gather without as many COVID-19 restrictions as we experienced in months past, among many other milestones to celebrate, we encourage everyone in the Tar Heel community to continue looking out for one another this LDOC.   

Being an active bystander means you are observing the environment around you in anticipation of taking action, rather than just expecting someone else will. If we are all active bystanders, we will create a community that promotes healthy values, where we can depend on each other.   

Some ways we can help ensure the safety and wellness of all Tar Heels include: 

Before going out. Arrange a way to get home before you leave the house. Travel together with someone you trust and talk through where you plan on going and what activities you plan on engaging in. This way you can watch out for one another. A good conversation starter can include making the decision to eat before you go or discussing where to get food. Also, if you plan to drink alcohol, set an intention for how much you want to drink before going out. Research shows that this helps people stay within the safe limits they are hoping for. 

Learn more about UNC's alcohol policy and tips for reducing your risk if you drink at alcohol.unc.edu.

While you are out. Avoid consuming substances from communal areas, to help ensure you know what is in your cup. Stay with your group of friends.  

Throughout the night. Count your drinks, and be sure to drink plenty of water. Be mindful of your surroundings —keep in mind that you’re often in residential neighborhoods with people who aren’t students or aren’t celebrating on LDOC. 

Stress Relief & Substance use 

While it could be tempting to turn to alcohol to cope with the stress of exams, know that alcohol consumption can weaken your immune system and negatively impact your ability to regulate your emotions.  It can also affect academic performance and brain function. If you're considering using substances understand what you are putting into your body and the potential risk involved. Know that most Carolina students, if they choose to drink at all, only consume 3 drinks on a night out (NCHA, 2019). 

If you are concerned about your substance use habits, check out the Student Wellness website for resources or send us an email to set up a one-on-one appointment with a trained staff member.  

Take Care of Yourself!

Taking care of yourself, your friends and your family can help you cope with stress and make your community stronger. 

  • Take intentional breaks from your screens. Being on your phone or computer for extended periods of time can be draining.  Schedule in breaks to get outside or call a friend to break up your studying and schoolwork. Try to do some activities outside you enjoy. 
  • Take care of your body... and your brain. 
  • Meditate
  • Eat Well
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Make time to unwind. Practice self-care during this time by journaling, meditating or trying a new self-compassion exercise. If you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out and ask for help. Additional mental health resources can be found here.  
  • Connect with others. If you want to get together, hang with small groups who you know well and trust. Assess your risk with the updated CDC guidelines and recommendations. 
  • Support your friends, family and your community. Send encouraging text messages with jokes, memes, funny pictures and/or inspiration. 

No matter how you celebrate LDOC, take time to reflect on the year, center your well-being and support your fellow Tar Heels.  

Happy LDOC! 

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