Avoid the Mardi Gras Blues

 Happy New Year! Super Bowl Mania! Mardi Gras Mambo! New Orleans at its finest!! Now what are you suppose to do until spring break? It has been a great six weeks to be in New Orleans and witness the Super Bowl and be a spectator for Mardi Gras so now is the time to get back to some normalcy. To keep a normal routine going until spring break I want to encourage you to stay focused on your classes, continue or start a daily physical activity program, and find time to reflect on your inner self and daily work. Taking care of your body, mind and spirit is an important part of the Ignation education process.

If you have not already mapped out a weekly calendar it is not too late. Mid terms are coming up so you have to get refocused on your daily class work. If you do not have an organized weekly calendar you need to get on it. Your weekly calendar should have every class period, study periods, eating times, physical activity time, and rest time blocked off for the week. Be disciplined with the schedule and make sure you give yourself ample time to prepare for tests (3 to 4 days) and class projects. Work in study groups with the right classmates for major tests and projects. Stay connected with friends and meet new friends.

Make sure you find 30 minutes to an hour for physical activity at least three times a week. This is very important to help beat the “winter blues” or to avoid self imposed stress. Getting a workout buddy is one way to make sure you stay with your workout routine. If you have trouble sticking to a workout plan, having someone pushing you when you have the urge to walk away is always a good idea. Another way to stay motivated is to join a group exercise class at the Sports Complex or use the pool for lap swimming. The Sports Complex offers over 20 different group exercise classes on a weekly basis and the pool is a great way to get rejuvenated.

Spiritual reflection can take place any time of the day. To find 10 - 15 minutes of reflection in the morning is a great way to start your day. Sometimes the best time is during the middle of the day. Carve time in your weekly schedule (see above) to step away from your busy schedule and spend 10 -15 minutes reflecting. Visiting the Ignatian chapel during the day for quiet time is a nice way to spend time alone and reflect. Some people find retiring time the best time for reflection. In St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, one of the steps (there are 5) of the Examen is noted as “a review of your day”. Reverend James Martin, S.J., in his book, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything asks the question in “reviewing your day”: “What happen today?” Reflect on all the moments of your daily activity and as Fr. Martin stated, “each moment offers a window into where God has been in your day.”

It has been a great six weeks to be a “New Orleanian” but the real time to enjoy your spring experience is just getting started. To avoid a Mardi Gras let down, stay motivated and dedicated to your school work, stay committed to your physical activity routine, and always find time to step away and reflect on the direction your body of work is moving you. Make sure your actions are always in alignment with your values.

Just think, spring break is only six weeks away.