Change has, without question, been the theme for the Counseling Center in 2013. New staff members, new leadership and a coming soon…a brand new building! Because these changes have been both exciting and energy draining, a group of us decided that this summer would be a good time to practice what we preach to our students by rewarding ourselves for our had work with some healthy fun. Our motley crew from across Student Affairs did our best Bad News Bears impression in order to create a fun loving, laughing out loud, run scoring, fence flipping, strike throwing, softball team.
Unlike The Biohazards who were undefeated for the season and won the championship, our team, Got The Runs®, was not known for….well, runs. However, being run-challenged didn’t seem to have much of an impact on whether we were all enjoying ourselves in the moment. During those games we were benefitting from putting our bodies into healthy action, completely engrossed in what was happening in the world around us, and certainly not taking ourselves too seriously. By giving ourselves permission to take two hours out of our very busy work and personal lives to set our worries and to-do lists aside, we were enjoying life in the here-and-now. The value of that can’t be understated and it’s difficult to get to that place unless you are being intentional about focusing on your own self-care and giving yourself a time-out for fun this summer.
In addition to individual self-care, engaging in a new activity (many of us are not athletes and some had never played a game of softball in their lives) was not only mentally and physically stimulating – it also created an opportunity to meet new people and network in creative ways. We bonded through a shared experience and, if we’re being honest, the time spent grabbing a burger and a drink after the games was probably the time best spent. By committing to trying something new, we got to learn about the people we interact with professionally in a new, more personal way. The mornings after games often included finding new Facebook friend requests and an email chain involving everyone on the team trying to find a way to join a new league together (skee-ball – you’re next).
It’s summertime. Take some time for you (you deserve it). Meet new people. Put your body in motion. Even if you’re busy with a summer job or classes – commit to taking time for yourself and make your self-care a priority. Take a risk. Even if you strikeout, you’ll probably learn something about yourself.
Dr. Sheila Graham & Nathan Sharer
The Counseling Center