Annie Radillo

A cook, a doctor and an Olympian offered advice for how Yalies can practice self-care, with each of them emphasizing that on a campus rife with pressure, students must watch out for one another.

The Tuesday afternoon panel consisted of Beverly Lorraine Ho, chief of the Health Research Division of the Health Policy Development and Planning Bureau in the Philippine Department of Health, Olympic athlete Simidele Adeagbo and Rebecca Sullivan, who is an advocate for sustainable living. Each of the panelists are part of the Yale World Fellows Program and have been living at Yale since mid-August. Each of them said they have found it difficult to adjust to new dietary and living conditions while trying to maintain healthy lifestyles. Reflecting on their own challenges, they decided to put together the event hosted in Horchow Hall to share “life hacks, tips and tricks,” Sullivan said.

“What I want you to take home from this talk is that making that habit — or breaking that habit — is not your sole responsibility,” Ho said. “We have to take care of each other.”

As a health expert, Ho stressed the importance of community support for individuals hoping to change their diet, sleep habits and drug consumption. After Sullivan’s introduction, Ho presented four habits that she said all Yale students should implement to look after themselves and their peers.

First, Ho said students should stay away from tobacco and nicotine products. Ho added that students should manage their calorie consumption and exercise. She also advised students to drink in moderation and stay mindful of mental health, whether it is their own or that of a friend.

“I think the competition in this environment stops people from knowing how well everyone is,” Ho said.

Once Ho finished her presentation, Adeagbo spoke about exercising and developing proper eating habits. Adeagbo is the first African and black woman to compete in the Olympic Skeleton, a winter event in which competitors race down icy chutes face down, head first on single sleds. She said that young people often resist traditional workouts at the gym and encouraged students to get creative with their exercise routines and schedules. Adeagbo said students can utilize alleys, parks, sidewalks and streets for their workouts.

Adeagbo also discussed body image expectations for women and athletes.

“Personally, as an athlete, something I’ve had to struggle with is embracing my muscles. I used to feel like my arms precede me when I walk into a room,” Adeagbo said. “I think it’s just about continuing to show girls a wide range of beauty in order to build them up.”

Adeagbo added that even as an Olympic athlete, she often struggles with eating healthy and maintaining her shape. She has particularly struggled during her time as a Global Fellow, Adeagbo said. She joked that she has not experienced the “Freshman 15,” but the “Fellows 15.” Still, Adeagbo added that it is important to forgive oneself for occasionally eating poorly or too much.

Before opening the floor to questions, Sullivan asked Ho to share one last word of health advice with the Yale student body.

“It all boils down to good hygiene, because good hygiene makes your immune system better,” Ho said. “And to make your immune system better you just have to eat well and sleep well.”

Among the attendees was Feng Gao, another Yale World Fellow.

He said he found the information interesting and informative. The panel helped him understand “how to actually apply things to [his] life,” Gao said.

Another attendee — Antonio Pita, the father of a student in Morse College — said he was disappointed by the lack of Yale students in the audience. He added that undergraduates are “the people that need … this info.”

“I’m gonna meet with my son now for dinner and suggest some of the things that I’m hearing,” Pita said.

The talk began at 4:30 p.m. in Horchow Hall.

 

Annie Radillo | annie.radillo@yale.edu