Whew! It is hot outside! I hope you all are doing your best to stay hydrated and cool during this intense heat over much of the country. For you lucky folks not affected by it, count your blessings. (I had something else in mind to say, but I’m practicing restraint.J)

I know I usually try to publish my blog entries in the early part of each month, but I’ve been busy pursuing my own wellbeing this summer a bit. While I still have a lot to do in many areas, I made some strides in a few.

I upped my intellectual, social, and occupational wellbeing attending the NIRSA Director’s Institute in Tucson this past June (all of my director-level colleagues should start planning now for next year’s), as well as the recent State of Texas Director’s Meeting. Both events gave me a great opportunity to visit and hang out with awesome colleagues!

I was also able to head off to Sacramento for a friend’s wedding and took the chance to see old friends from my time there. And just a few weeks ago I floated the Guadalupe River with friends, an experience which not only benefited my social wellbeing, but also my spiritual and psychological wellbeing as well. Good times indeed.

Practice good self-care

Hopefully you too have been able to find some time this summer to enhance multiple areas of your own wellbeing. It is vitally important that we not forget to take care of ourselves while we offer programs and services that help others. It can be all too easy—when we love what we do—to lose track of that. We get so busy providing services which others need that we fail to take time out for ourselves and our families. I’m a bit ashamed to admit five staff members in my own department, myself included, are in a sense “forced” to take vacation this summer, or risk losing vacation hours to rollover limit restrictions. That’s sad!

Even worse is realizing that 52% of Americans (I’m not sure where our Canadian friends are at) say they have lost vacation time. A recent article from Human Resource Executive suggests that among the common reasons cited include too many projects/deadlines, or fear of returning to too much work. The author goes onto make the point that nearly half of those who do take vacation stay connected to work remotely and check-in while on vacation.

As recreation and wellbeing professionals, we’ve got to do better! It is imperative that we find a way to unplug from work and rejuvenate our mind, body, and spirit. I’m recommitting to making sure my team uses ALL their earned time off. And, as for me, I’ll be hitting some water very soon, hopefully for a little vitamin sea!

Where do you thrive best?

Whatever you do this summer, make sure you and those you care about (friends, family, colleagues, and staff) find a way to disconnect from work and spend quality time doing something that refreshes your soul. Your wellbeing depends on it!

Plus, doing so will also help us be better prepared to serve others and help them thrive once we’re back at work.

Don’t forget to post your pics online using #NIRSAthrive and show us what you’re doing in any area of wellbeing to better yourself.

  • For more information, contact NIRSA President, Ken Morton .
Director of Campus Recreation at | NIRSA Profile

Kenneth W. Morton is currently the Director of Campus Recreation at Stephen F. Austin State University and is a Past President of NIRSA. Ken can be reached at mortonkw@sfasu.edu.