Last year I and three other doctoral students submitted a proposal to the American Counseling Association (ACA) Graduate Student Ethics Competition.
I have signed up for Alternative Spring Break (Mar 8 – Mar 15).
I am so excited. My first visit to Jamaica.
It is a service trip. Our focus will be to serve marginalized populations who live in poverty.
Oh midterms, the most wonderful time of the year…. just kidding!
As a second year graduate student, midterms week is just another hurdle standing between myself and graduation/real world jobs. & since I decided to save two of my programs so called hardest classes for my last semester, I am extra stressed with the thought of having to take tests in a few days. With that being said, I decided to share with you, my faithful readers (and most likely fellow students) a few of my favorite stress relief tips, which will hopefully get us all through the next few weeks.
1) Organization: Organization is the key to not being stressed in my book. Making lists and marking dates on my calendar helps me stay focused. Personally, I love to color code my classes, but a simple “To Do” is probably a good place to start for most of you!
2) Exercise: Whether it’s hitting the gym, or going outside to walk around the block, leaving my desk for a few minutes always seems to help my relax. That is until I start to think about all the things I should be doing which just stresses me 0ut all over again…. but that’s another story.
3) Happy Thoughts: I know it may sound silly, but taking a minute to stop what I’m doing, take a deep breathe, and think about something positive always helps me to relax just a little bit.
4) Eating right: I know when most of us are stressed, we want to stuff our face with junk food while staying up to all hours of the night. However, research has proven that eating a healthy, balanced meal can actually help with fighting stress.
5) Getting Sleep: Along with my last tip, getting a good night of sleep is key when it comes to not being stressed. While it may seem like a good idea at the time, pulling an all nighter never works out the next morning.
Hope these tips help, and you guys all make it through midterms week successfully!!
Recently, the organization TED compiled a list of their 20 most popular TED Talks. If you are not familiar, TED Talks are short lectures about topics that fall within the organization’s focus, i.e. Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Every TED Talk I have seen is at least interesting and most are downright fascinating. One that I keep thinking about, and telling others about, is a talk by Amy Cuddy, associate professor at Harvard Business School, titled “Your body language shapes who you are.”
Professor Cuddy came to a conclusion as part of conducting a study, that your body position can reflect your mental state. I feel that this idea on its own is not very surprising to people. When people feel a curtain way it will often show on his or her face or in the way that he or she stands. The part of the study that I found more inspiring was the idea that we are influenced by our own body language and non-verbal communication as opposed to just the other way around. That is, the reflection works in either direction and you can use your body to “prime” your mind before a situation so that can increase (or decrease) your chances of success. You do this mental priming by positioning your body in certain ways. Professor Cuddy found that if one of the participants engaged in certain “high power” body positions they were most likely to be selected as the best in a group. On the other hand, if the participants engaged in certain “low power” body positions they would perform poorer in the activity that followed. These high power positions normally involved standing in a fashion that makes your body appear larger and more dominant. The reverse is true of low power positions.
I found the concept of adopting high power poses to be very interesting. After watching, I think the bigger challenge for the viewer is to put Professor Cuddy’s ideas into practice; not just in interview situations (like in her study) but into everyday life. The older I get, the more I look for ways to control and master my life. Finding a way to boost my successes goes along with and will support that mastery.
Professor Cuddy’s talk goes into far greater detail and I encourage everyone to watch and be inspired by it. I have provided a link below to her talk along with the link to the 20 most popular TED Talks.
I recently had a friend come into town to visit me. and since the last time he visited D.C. was approximately 15 years ago, we of course had to do the requisite sightseing tour around town. Although there are a ton of great museums and monuments scattered around town, these are a view of my favorite!
Natural History Museum: Although all of the Smithsonian’s have something to offer, Natural History is in my opinion by far the best! It has something for all ages, including the awesome dinosaur skeletons seen below, and doesn’t bombard you with a ton of boring reading. Instead, the museum gives you just enough information on topics such as rocks and minerals (be sure to check out the Hope Diamond!) and genetics. In fact, when my sister was in town last year, we were asked to participate in a research project at the museum and are now featured in their DNA exhibit!
The Library of Congress: This was actually my first visit to the LOC, but I had a great time! The building itself is beautiful, and reading about the architecture and different features in the grand lobby of the library was really interesting. My friend Kevin and I also got ourselves library cards, which are free to anyone with a photo id, and although I don’t know if I will ever actually use the card, it was really fun to wander through the corridors of the Library and pretend we were in National Treasure!
Martin Luther King Jr Monument: The MLK monument is newer to DC, but one of my favorite spots along the National Mall to visit. The monument itself is breathtaking, and the area also offers great views of the Jefferson Memorial across the Tidal Basin. If you plan your visit right, the MLK monument is also a great place to see cherry blossoms in the Spring!