Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stress management -- if you need it, take a break!

And here's another piece of end-of-semester advice, this contributed by my colleague and collaborator Melanie Booth from Prattlenog:

Sometimes, when you've tried everything to keep in the groove and stay in the groove and you're still feeling burned out, tired, or drained of all motivation, it's actually just best to acknowledge your feelings and take a little break from it all -- a mini-vacation from school stuff. Even only one or two days away from it, where you don't touch a book or work on a paper or even *think* about an upcoming test, and instead where you do something that will give you energy and focus -- such as planting your garden, going on a long hike, or doing things you enjoy with friends -- you can return to your studies having felt like you've had a little vacation. And even though you may not be actively be doing things during that time, chances are your brain will still be working for you and you may not even know it. (Of course, it's important to schedule your little vacation so that you don't skip classes or miss assignments. It's also important that you do come back!)

Cheering you on in your work!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

End of semester stress release

This from Gerry Oggier, a colleague of mine at Carlow. When you need to relieve some stress and get re-energized for more work:

Get up and DANCE!

And to help you get in the mood (or at least smile), here's an oldie, but a goodie video:

Cheering you on!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

End of semester motivation

"The end of the semester can be an incredibly stressful time. There are days where it feels as though the work will never end, you won't ever do anything except write papers, and you start to include citations in conversations with friends while taking a "break" to drink the 9th cup of coffee you've had in the last hour. In those moments, pause. Breathe. And look at all that you've already accomplished in order to get to this point. Your history is filled with incredible moments of strength, courage, and growth. Remember that you are surrounded by a community that believes that you have something important to offer the world."

- Christina Borel, LICSW, LCSW is a clinical social worker practicing in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has also survived two Master's Degree programs (life does exist beyond graduate school)

Photo by HLS

Monday, April 18, 2011

Time management and staying motivated! Advice from alums

Encouragement from two of my former students:

"I find it extremely important to "block off" periods of time that are specifically allotted for the completion of your work. It is also important to reward yourself with "me time" once you have successfully followed through and completed those smaller goals."
Tera McIntosh (Carlow PRL, 2009; Antioch University, doctoral student)

"Staying motivated at the end is tough! Keep in mind all the hard work you put in and imagine the feeling of accomplish and power when you are finish! Maintain the Momentum!"
Kristen Guy (Carlow PRL, 2009)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Staying Motivated - overcome end-of-semester fatigue - three strategies

More end-of-semester advice. How to maintain your motivation, even late in the year when you may be tired. From my PhD-buddy Lisa:

Promise to allow yourself a specific, desired reward for accomplishing your goal. For example, "I am allowed to buy that fabulous pair of red heels if I finish this paper by tomorrow/ make at least a B on the final exam/ make it to the end of the semester without hurling myself off a cliff."

Create a rich mental image of yourself doing something you plan to enjoy doing after the semester is over. When you are feeling burned out or frustrated, stop for a moment. . .take a breath. . .and call forth your enticing image. (I'm sitting by the pool with my favorite book, husband by my side, sound of a waterfall in the background. . .combined with some beachy music. . .)

Study independently but with friends. And get out of the house or the library! Even if your friends are not taking the same classes with you or you don't learn as much through collaborative study, go to a coffee shop/ restaurant/ outdoor venue with others who are focused on their own work. It is easier to slog through the last weeks of school when you feel surrounded by community.

-Lisa "Buns of Steel" Graham

Friday, April 15, 2011

You can do it! Words of encouragement.

Today begins a series of posts written by colleagues and friends. I asked folks to share some end-of-semester advice.... how to "finish strong" even when you may be feeling tired. Here's the first post, by one of my colleagues at Carlow:

Running on empty? You might think so, but I’m confident there’s a bit more left in your tank. How can I say this with such conviction? Think back to other moments in your life when you didn’t quite think you were going to make it through…I’ll bet you did. We’ve all experienced times when we doubted ourselves, which opens up the door for fear and worry to creep in – to doubt is to give in. If you are at a place where you think there’s nothing left to give, I encourage you to take a moment – several if need be, step back, take a deep breath…that’s right, the deep cleansing kind – in through the nose, out through the mouth, then be still and listen. Eventually, you’ll hear it, that calm voice from within. It might begin with a whisper or it might be a loud rush that shouts “you CAN do this!”

You weren’t brought this far to give up or fail. You can and WILL do this – don’t stop believing!

-Patty Ruffner, Carlow University School of Management

Thanks Patty!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Impostor Syndrome -- more on confidence

Do you sometimes think you don't really belong in school? Or when you get a good grade, do you ever think "the teacher was just being nice?" Do you ever wonder if those around you will "find out" that you aren't as smart as they think you are? If you have any of these thoughts, see the link below, you may be experiencing the Impostor Syndrome.

Along with the strategies that are suggested in the article, I suggest you also monitor your self talk. When you hear yourself thinking things that are manifestations of the Impostor Syndrome, try to acknowledge your thoughts and then correct yourself. "Oh, this is my Impostor Syndrome speaking... I really did earn that A."

Cheering you on in your work!

Photo by HLS

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