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Ready or Not, Here They Come! Staying Mindful Through Training and Move-In

Posted By Sean Sean Brown, MS Residence Education Coordinator, Michigan Technological University, Wednesday, September 4, 2019


August is here! It seems like less than a week ago that we bid our students goodbye for summer and closed our buildings.  It’s hard to believe that in the “short” summer we housed summer students, hosted summer conferences, and completed countless special projects.  It’s easy to get into the summer routine and can be a jolt when it comes time to jump into training and move-in. Hopefully during the change of pace this summer you’ve had the chance to recenter yourself and took some time to reflect on your purpose for the work you do.



By the time you’re reading this, odds are your staff are back on campus and you may have gone through move-in.  Nothing crashes the nice summer routine quite like the countless hours that go into setting up a strong RA team and welcoming a new community of residents.  All bets tend to be off when your schedule shifts so drastically. It can be easy to see numerous changes to your regular routines, such as less time for exercising, changes in your diet, more evening activities, and other challenges.  Working to stay mindful through the changing schedule can help with the transition.

How do we do this?  It’s easy to talk about mindfulness during busy times and look at quotes by people like Rachel Kable that say “if your heart says no, you say no.”  This is great in theory and works for some people, but can be hard to do depending on your department culture and student needs. So, how do we actively stay mindful during busy times?  

  1. Create tangible goals. Goal setting can help you proactively look at what things are important to your well-being.  These goals can focus on any area of your life that you desire, but they should be action-based items that you can do.  Pushing them to be action-oriented keeps you from setting general goals, such as taking more personal time or sleeping more, which are great in theory, but easy to lose track of.

  2. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!  Your to-do list will never be done.  Hopefully this isn’t a surprise to you.  Recognizing that you only have so much time in a day and that student life will interrupt your work is the reality.  Taking time each morning to map out the most important things can help you feel more in control of your day.

  3. Embrace that business is both a state of being and a state of mind.  Rarely will you hear of professional staff having too much time on their hands.  You’re likely going to be physically busy, but you can control how your mind reacts to being busy.  If you dwell on your business after hours, your work will follow you home. Try to write down what still needs to be done and other must do’s before you leave the office each day.  You can leave your notes at work then and step away, both mentally and physically.

  4. Remember mindfulness is not a destination, it’s a journey.  You won’t ever be fully mindful.  It’s not something you achieve. Instead, it’s a change to your mindset to be more intentional about what you’re already doing.  Why do you do it? Does it have a positive impact on your students? Do you love it? If the answer is less than positive, take time to think about how you can change this.

I know this is a busy time of the year for us all.  Keep being awesome and don’t forget to look after yourself, so you can best help your students!

Tags:  #wellness #SAPro #SAGrad #GLACUHO #H_W 

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