Fostering the Spirit

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MSMU is founded on the principle of service.

Our founding Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet were guided to serve all, as the dear neighbor, without distinction. Although this mission is worldwide, it starts here at home with each of us. This spirit is alive and abundant in each of us who call Mount Saint Mary’s home; it’s what connects us. How are you fostering your spirit?

Here are some tips to help you stay connected to yourself and your campus community:

Engage in Mindfulness Activities

Mindfulness is a simple, but profound, practice that can be utilized at anytime and anyplace. Being mindful means being purposely and actively aware of the present moment in a non-judgmental way. In other words, when you are mindful, you are noticing simply what is– right at this present moment- and gently bringing your mind back to this each time it begins to drift. This can be done while seated in meditation, while walking outside among nature, while getting ready in the morning, etc. Engaging in mindful awareness has been shown to reduce stress, increase GPA, and foster a sense of centeredness or general well-being.[1]  When you are well, you are better able to help those around you. So take a few minutes throughout the day to breathe deeply and experience the world around you.

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Exercise: Notice how the chair or ground feels beneath you, how the wind or warmth feels against your face, and what it feels like to take air in and breathe it out. If thoughts are beginning to pull you away from your awareness, simply return your focus gently and compassionately, knowing it is not useful to become angry over fleeting thoughts. Do this for a few minutes.

[1] http://spirituality.ucla.edu/findings/spiritual-measures/equanimity.php

Rely on Your Truths

Things inevitably get difficult at times. That’s part of life. There’s no way to avoid this but you can always be prepared by knowing what truths help you get through the day. Some people call these mantras or affirmations. Whatever you feel they are for you, find statements that speak to you and help give you the strength you need. These can be quotes you’ve found on Pinterest or passages from The Alchemist or stories from your faith tradition. Set aside time to nourish yourself with the words that make you feel good.

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Examples: “Success is a journey, not a destination.” – Arthur Ashe

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“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

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“I am Enough, I am Worthy.” – Anonymous   

Practice Reflection

You may have heard the wisdom that says that we have the answers within ourselves –reflection is a great means of accessing that. It is about contemplating on an experience for the purpose of gaining greater personal understanding.

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Contemplative practices include: journaling, meditating, praying, yoga, etc.

Check out the link below to see which activities speak more to you. http://www.contemplativemind.org/practices/tree

Get Involved with Campus Ministry

MSMU offers a community that reaches far beyond academics. With our rich history, values, and mission, you can feel safe knowing you are deeply supported as a whole human being:

Every Mount student is encouraged to grow in their life of faith and their relationship with God. As a Catholic University, our spiritual traditions are steeped in both Catholic intellectual heritage and the roots of our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. But students of every faith tradition are welcomed and encouraged to deepen their own understanding of God’s presence in their lives. You are invited to participate in Campus Ministry programs and to grow as a person of faith, whose life is committed to the service of others and to the unfolding of the mystery of their own purpose and being.”[1]

[1] https://www.msmu.edu/student-life/spiritual-life/

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Check out MSMU’s Campus Ministry site for the latest happenings!

https://www.msmu.edu/student-life/spiritual-life/campus-ministry/

 

 

 

Making Study Time Productive

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Making Study Time Productive

An essential part of being a productive student is recognizing the kind of environment that is best suited for your ability to focus and for your individual study style. It’s important to make the most of your time and remove any potential barriers that can hinder your productivity. To help, we’ve compiled a list of study tips to help you be the most productive you!

Remove/minimize distractions

Remove/minimize distractions around you. Turn off your cell phone and television, and stay off social media. Remember to short breaks ( 5-10 minutes) when needed. Plan a study time when there is minimal potential for distractions or interference.  Consider downloading a “focus timer” App to your mobile devices to block distractions outside of break time.

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Create the right environment and get comfortable

Silence isn’t always golden.  For some, being in an active place like a coffee shop or listening to familiar music can actually help with focus. Explore whether you work best with no, little, or maximum background noise. Ensure that there is sufficient lighting, and be aware of the temperature your body can work in most comfortably.

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Rest

Make sure that you are getting enough sleep, and are avoiding “all-nighters.” Your brain needs sleep to recover in order to retain information most effectively. Choose carefully what you do during your relaxation and down time. Relaxing your mind is important during study breaks, but TV, video games and other stimulating activities may not allow you to relax properly. Exercise, on the other hand, is a great thing to do during a break.

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Eat Well 

Eating sugary foods can be bad for your concentration. Try eating healthy green foods and avoid junk food. Also, limit your caffeine intake to avoid crashing.

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Where to Study

At Home 

Many online students opt to study right at home. This is usually the most convenient option for many online students, but it can also be the most distracting. Find a designated spot in your house; free yourself from all disruptions and get down to business!

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During your lunch break 

Your lunch break or between appointments is an excellent time to get some extra studying in for your online courses.

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Outdoors 

If you are the outdoorsy type, online courses allow you to study alfresco. Whether you’re sitting on your deck or at your favorite park, take advantage of the opportunity to get some extra reading done in the sun!

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