Greetings Hope Community! I am writing to you as the team leader for the Public Events subgroup of the Culture Action Team.   Public events.   Yeah, that is about as daunting right now as it sounds. Our team has been meeting and thinking about ways that we can contribute to the culture on campus, writing some blog posts to share, and have plans for a series of podcasts and yes, an in-person gathering is on the horizon! Look for an announcement soon!

Amazing examples of culture-building surrounding events are happening all around our campus. Have you noticed that taking time out of your normal schedule to join an art event can elevate your mind and spirit so that you can actually be more productive? Check out some of the events on here!  Have you attended one of the events sponsored by GROW? Spearheaded by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), GROW is a campus-wide collaboration of promoters, allies, and influencers working towards building a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. And check out ALL of the events connected with GROW here! Make sure you check out the offerings from the Asian Student Union (ASU) which is organizing a series of events this month. Also, The Theatre Department is offering a virtual play reading of Ike Holter’s Exit Strategy next Friday as part of The Many Voices ProjectClick here to register for your virtual ticket!

As we approach the break, our team is thinking about taking care of ourselves and we want you to consider doing this for yourself as well. We know that we have been extending our time and energies in a multitude of ways to care for and educate our students. This has been a herculean effort. This time a year ago, we were facing the beginning of the pandemic and the future was unknown. One year of our lives has been under the cloud of Covid-19. Take a moment to acknowledge not only the toll this has taken but also how far we have come with learning new technology, finding different ways to connect with our students, new methods of teaching, and so much more.  

What have you done for yourself lately? We know you are pulled in many directions to take care of others and we see how you have stepped up as heroes to do this. Please give yourself the grace to take care of yourself as well. We have been blessed with what seems like an extraordinary amount of sunshine this winter. Put on a few layers and take a walk. Maybe invite a colleague that you used to enjoy running into in the hallway to join you. Perhaps say no to a request, so that you can save a yes for a project that feeds your spirit!  

Are you getting enough sleep? I just read an interesting article about how many of us are staying awake at night in an unconscious effort to try to get some control over the loss of personal time, but it is robbing us of much needed sleep. Try putting your work away, breathing some nice lavender essential oils, and going to bed an hour earlier.  Is there a book you have been wanting to read for your own pleasure?  Pick it up! 

I know many of you need the time of breaks to catch up on work. I know I have some work projects in my break plans, but try to make a point of not engaging with other work colleagues.  Is there an email you need to send? Think twice if it is necessary to send it over a weekend or break. Use the schedule send function to have it appear on Tuesday morning to the recipient. Try to take at least two days to really disconnect! Creative ideas are more likely to present to our brains when we are taking a break from the daily tasks. Productivity is also increased when you come back to work refreshed and rested after a break.  

Wishing you a restful and enjoyable break and remember, take care of yourself, ok?

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