Wireless recharging on the campus


The new normal just isn't becoming 'normal' for me. It felt like a relief to be allowed back on the campus. Once again, I have the opportunity to meet with our ID students in Atlas, in our consulting room. And I can see a couple of colleagues in person.

'My desk', in the open-plan office on the third floor, had been given the familiar green sticker. As a creature of habit, I was secretly delighted to be the first to arrive back in the department, enabling me to install myself once more in my old spot. Following a thorough check for mouse droppings, my Atlas day could begin.

Before long I was sitting in the consulting room, talking with a student. Nothing beats talking face to face, does it? I can see the student's body language! At times this sends out other signals than the verbal communication. When I see a mismatch between these two forms of communication, I let the student know what I am observing. Ultimately, of course, it's only my own interpretation, so I feel it is important to check. Often this provides a nice opening for an in-depth discussion. Which is exactly the thing that energizes me! During our discussion, an exercise I can do with this student might pop into my mind, one that seems just right at that moment. This is something I enjoy, it recharges my batteries.

As we know, at some time during their studies, many students feel stressed. So naturally this is a regularly recurring topic in my (virtual) consulting room. Students often put the emphasis on all kinds of matters that are not going well and on the stress this brings that they do not want to experience. (They are no different from you and me!) I see it as my challenge to help them focus their attention on things that they themselves can change and am happy to offer my guidance as they do this. I find there is nothing more heartwarming than seeing how a tentative student blossoms into a young adult standing with both feet firmly on the ground.

In keeping with 'practice what you preach' I am aware of my own desire to increase my focus on those things I can influence during these times of corona. A feeling of aversion comes over me when I imagine sitting at home in my little office until January - or even longer- working at my laptop. I don't want this feeling to get me in its grip.

So I have learned new habits. When I work from home, I take micro-breaks to keep my energy level up. And besides, this is also a good defense against developing CANS problems.

Furthermore, I am in touch with colleagues or students every day because I find social interaction is essential to my enjoyment of my work. I also make sure I take a walk every day to empty my mind of thoughts. Finally, I take a moment at the end of each day to appreciate the things that have gone well or that I have found pleasing. By doing these things, I'll be able to cope at home for the time being, won't I?

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