Saturday, July 18, 2009
Wondering what to do with your lazy, hazy July days? Whether you are working, playing, studying, or some combination of all three, this month is a unique time to take stock, make plans, and perhaps make changes. Here are some suggestions for things to do with your July days:
Summer offers an extended period of time to dream - ideas for the future, ideas for your future, ideas for your student organization, ideas for an innovation or invention, ideas for redecorating your residence hall room or apartment...My current career didn't exist when I was a student - where do you see yourself after graduation? In an established field? In a still emerging field, or perhaps in a career that does not yet exist? What's important to you in life? How can you get there? Dream!
Take some time to look up at the sky, look up at the moon, look around your surroundings. What came before you? What is yet to come? What things do we take for granted that only a few short decades or years ago were only a dream or idea? Experience the wonder of everyday things, or of the universe!
Explore places, near or far. Get off the train one stop before or after your usual stop. Explore the backyard or a park. Check out what is nearby that you haven't had the time or inclination to try before - go to the symphony, theatre, or zoo in your city or a nearby place.
Items one through 3 above can also be applied to this item! Read for pleasure rather than studying; or read a book you've been meaning to get to for awhile but haven't had the time. Or, read the book our incoming first year students are reading. Better yet, read to a child - a younger brother or sister, niece or nephew, cousin - experience and share the joy of reading with a child.
Get outside and get active! Run, walk, bike, swim - a whole slate of races, competitions, and benefits are coming up soon:The Cancer Resource Center's 5K run and walk, the Cayuga Lake Triatlon, Hospicare's Women Swimmin', the AIDS Ride for Life, or something taking place where ever you are this summer. Set a goal, increase your fitness, try something new or challenging!
Yes, simple but effective. Minds and bodies require oxygen. Sometimes stress can cause us to not fully engage in this important (and required!) activity. Better yet, learn and practice breathing techniques to increase relaxation and positive emotions with these audio tracks from the Counseling Center!
7. Let it go
Try letting go of the slights against you from the past day, the past week, the past semester. A remark or action of a professor, another student, a family member or friend - some of the slights we hold onto may have been unintentional or even well-meaning but just a little off - many can hold us back even as the world moves on. Let go of a slight - a very real one, or perhaps one that stung at the time stung but now has passed and is just not useful for you to hang onto anymore. Use that energy for something else this month!
8. Try Something New
A new hobby, a new skill, a new use for your time, a new wellness practice. You know what it is you've been wanting to do - try it out now!
(This blog is called Out for Good, remember?) Help someone else, regularly or just once, volunteer formally or informally, LGBT or non-LGBT. Just do it. Your contribution matters. You matter. Share the gift of your time, your knowledge, your caring. Make a difference in the world!
10. Rest & Recharge
Try out meditation, relaxation, and visualization practices on your own, or with the help of the Counseling Center (see #6). Take time for yourself, spend time with friends, do things that help you feel good. Everyone needs time to relax and rejuvenate - especially student scholars and leaders! Do if for yourself, do it for those around you, do it to get energized for the coming year!
That's it - ten tips. Try one, a few, or all ten. And now are you wondering, what do I do in July? See numbers 1 - 10, above!
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