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Somehow I Manage | Balancing Act: Navigating May's Transitions with Self-Care and Support

by Britt Yenser

May marks a period of transitions, both in endings and beginnings, highlighted by Mental Health Awareness Month. Events like Commencement can be exhilarating yet stressful, particularly for those managing them. Following this, AV professionals swiftly transition to summer upgrades, racing against time before fall. How can you manage this cycle without feeling overwhelmed?

Take Time for Yourself: Ryan Gray described this best on his AV/IT Amplifier Podcast I highly encourage you to listen to that 30 minute episode about Sharpening the Saw. 

Breathe: Breath work is an amazing tool for calming the body and mind, and it only takes a minute or two! You can use apps like Headspace, your Apple Watch (how many times do you just ignore those notifications?), or even Youtube! Here is breath work available for free on Youtube: 

Pro tip: I also like to find breathing exercises for kids, because they tend to be a bit faster and work just as well.

Practice Gratitude: Studies have shown when you have a positive mindset, you are less likely to succumb to stress and burnout. You don't have to do this work. You get to do this work. Try framing your tasks as a privilege, and see how your feelings start to shift.

PPPPPP: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. You've probably planned Commencement and Summer Projects for months. You've set everything up, and now you get to knock it down! Frame this as being a great place to be! And if you are not feeling prepared, that tells you something about your planning. Go back to your processes, and create a planning process and documentation that will set you up to feel more successful. 

Reach Out to Your Network: Studies have also shown that social ties help relieve stress, help us make decisions, and help our brains function at higher levels then they can when we try to fly solo. If you're reading this, you're probably aware of HETMA. Use the Mighty Networks App and reach out to your Higher Ed AV Colleagues! There are thousands of people who are only one notification away, and they are happy to help you!

In navigating the whirlwind of transitions that May brings, from the excitement of commencements to the urgency of summer upgrades, self-care becomes paramount. Take time for yourself, engage in breath work, cultivate gratitude, plan effectively, and lean on your network for support. Remember, amidst the chaos, prioritizing your well-being is not just beneficial but essential. By implementing these strategies, you can navigate this cycle of change with resilience and grace, ensuring that you emerge stronger and more capable on the other side.