It is midterm season …

Katie Sloter

Katie Sloter

… kind of like an extended hunting season for your weary synapses. They are tired of firing. What do you remember about the past few weeks? Are you too cooped up in the confines of your ‘dining room,’ or do you maintain a sense of balance even as life gets hectic?

Now hold on, I know what you are thinking. Your eyes might be rolling slightly. “Okay Katie, I know you are about to wax poetic about living a balanced life … what does that even mean? Practically? Not just in pretty words?”

One of the best pieces of advice I took from orientation was to pick one organization, volunteer opportunity, or what we will call ‘personal wellness activity’ to be a part of. I do not know about you, but I moved to Ann Arbor two weeks before class started. This means that I had two weeks of exploration and pretty much wanted to sign up for everything all at the same time– research opportunities, cooking classes, volunteering, a million organizations. Of course, then class starts. You meet people. All of a sudden, the good intentions of taking a pottery class or teaching yourself Spanish (icarcajada!) fade.

However, commiting to just one activity that gives you joy or allows you to give joy … this might be doable, yes? Whether it is water-polo or mentoring; fencing or joining {insert-worthy-organization-here}, having a consistent activity that is yours can definitely add to the balance factor. Taking an hour to catch up with a relationship you want to maintain, getting off the bus a few blocks early so you can breathe; walking slowly. Noticing beautiful things, paying attention. I am sure there is much more to balance, but these things at least help me not be so wobbly. Any suggestions? What helps you maintain sanity/life/balance/happiness? Share with the class.

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