Thriving at UBC

Posted by: | October 18, 2011

This week is our busiest of the year: UBC Thrive.  Lots of you hear me talk about it, see me tweet about it and so many of you are kind enough to support it.

We are releasing videos this week, featuring faculty and staff (including our wonderful UBC President, Professor Stephen Toope) talking about how they maintain their mental health at UBC. I love the videos; these people all make me so proud to be a part of UBC.

Thrive is, however, a very stressful time of year for me. It matters to me, both personally and professionally, that we do a good job with this event that’s focused on building positive mental health for all.  We all have times of the year that are ridiculously busy, when we feel like living our lives requires us to run our entire day in a series of sprints to and fro.

With all this in mind, I realized what’s helping me thrive during UBC Thrive (my busiest time of year) is a balance between two things:

1. Alone Time.

2. Good People.

Let me explain further:

Alone Time

I worked quite a bit on my Friday off (to be honest).  I also worked all morning on Saturday.  But at 1 pm on Saturday, I said, “That’s enough!”  I drew a boundary for myself, so that I could face this week with spirit and energy.  I knew I needed to take some downtown.  So I ran away from my life!

We all need time away from others. My way of finding alone time is to get

in the car with my tent and my dog, and take off to a beautiful spot in the wild.  Balancing alone time before a week that I knew would be filled with lots of “people time” is essential to my survival! Even Professor Toope talks about his need to have alone time in his day in his Thrive video.

Relaxing in the tent with my favourite companion.

We all need our own form of "hideout"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good People

I surround myself with people, as much as possible, that will focus on the positive, at least enough to laugh or smile at the ridiculous lives that we lead.  For example, I made a moment to laugh yesterday with Patty about how ridiculously busy things are, and how sometimes even the simplest of tasks get very complicated during busy times (and nothing seems to run as smoothly as one would expect).  I also got to spend a moment with my friend bobbi who reminds me that what I do is important.  bobbi is one of those lovely human beings who lights up like a kid in a candy store whenever she sees me (which is the nicest compliment ever, I have to say).   Or when I’m running to a meeting with Miranda, she’ll be willing to let me talk aloud to her to make sure I have everything in my head straight for the next speaking engagement.

It’s all about people for me: people make life manageable.  I feel like I have this great network of friends all about campus, and we all are “in it together.”  We all want each others’ lives to be easier, so when I pop by bobbi’s office and I’m in desperate need of checking my email to take care of something during a break, she lets me hop on her computer for a minute.  Or when I forget something, Miranda calmly brings it with her.

How I thrive is by recognizing that as a community, there’s two options: we either work together towards making each others’ lives easier, or we work against each other and make all of our lives harder.

Anyways, I have to run to another Thrive event, but I wanted to assure you that we can all find ways to thrive, even during our busiest days!

 

Filed under: Suzanne Jolly

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