How Are You Really Doing?

The title of today’s post comes from the workshop I attended last week which discussed how faculty and staff are doing mentally and as well as how their wellbeing is while working remotely during a pandemic.

It was an interesting workshop because we were able to express how we are doing and feeling. In the small group that I was in the main theme of the discussion was anxiety, stress, and adjusting to being home all of the time. On the positive side my other two members talked about how they feel that education and learning as well as the way we work is changing. That what the pandemic showed us was that we don’t need to be chained to our desks or classrooms and that we can do as good of a job if not better with a more flexible work schedule as we did when we work 100% on campus. It showed us different way of living and working. One that allows as to balance our lives better. Being able to go to campus once a week to teach and touch base with the students instead of 2 or 3 times a week is a big change. Of course, I have been saying this for years and have been talking about hybrid courses and the benefits that come with this type of teaching mode.

Even the staff that I spoke to were hoping to go to campus as they had missed interacting with colleagues and students, but also hoped be able to stay home a couple of days a week and use zoom to communicate with faculty, staff, and students. They felt that it offered a better way to balance work and home life especially for people raising children. Once we finished the small group discussion, we all came together again and talked about what themes came up. Which you can see above in the word cloud I created.

The other thing that surprised me was that the majority of the faculty and staff were women. I guess I shouldn’t be as women tend to be more in touch with their feelings and emotions. Having said that you would think that we would take care of ourselves better and yet as most of the women there admitted (me included) that they put themselves last on their daily to do list. As mothers, wives, and educators, most women make sure that everyone else’s needs are taken care of before they even get to the point where they can take care of themselves or ask for help. Giving ourselves permission to look after oneself is important in order to take care of everyone else. As well as learning that it’s ok to ask for help.

Overall, the workshop ended on a positive note with the promise to continue the discussion and inform the university about how we are feeling and doing. I see this as first step towards good mental health and overall wellbeing as well as bringing the university into the conversation.

So how are you feeling today?

Katherine

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