by Katie Yeaton
Self-care. As student affairs professionals we know the term, we get the idea, work/life balance and all that jazz. But as mid-term season quickly approaches, I want to stress the importance of self-care and give a few tips I find to be most valuable as a graduate student and young student affairs professional.
Work Out: Sometimes working in gym time is difficult and when your schedule looks like a kindergartener’s paper mache project, working out might be the last thing on your to-do list. To destress and refocus, I suggest working out. Going to the gym for thirty minutes, walking around campus during your lunch break, just get moving! The best part I have found with going to the gym every Monday and Wednesday this semester is how I have encouraged my roommates to do the same. So get out there and send the positive work-out vibes.
7 Minute Release: Meditate, stretch, separate. When doing work you do not want to overextend yourself. Everyday for the past two weeks I have been trying to give myself a seven-minute de-stress time and it seems to be working. Sometimes I will do a two-minute quick write to jot down all of my stresses and to-do’s, other times I do a few yoga phases. Do what you like to complete this self-check-in as I like to call it. Hopefully you will return to your work feeling refreshed and reenergized.
Prioritize and Time-Manage: As an Academic Success Coach I use semester and weekly calendars every day and minute. I know sticking to a strict schedule is hard, so cut yourself a break every now and again to do something you enjoy. Run, watch one episode of House of Cards, skim through Pinterest for DIY ideas, whatever you enjoy! Mid-semester is perhaps the most stressful time because we all know that after this stress we still have seven weeks to go. My recommendation is to use a planner, semester calendar, weekly block calendar, whatever works for you to schedule your time. Schedule in a few 15-ish minutes throughout the day to reenergize. Also, try using Covey’s Quadrants to prioritize your tasks. Going to the gym might be important to you, but it could not be urgent. You might be able to go to the gym tomorrow instead of tonight when you have to work on your ‘Chickering’ paper.
Best of luck with midterm season! Only seven weeks left!