Finding space to focus

Black orchid, the national flower of Belize
Black orchid, the national flower of Belize

As we work through the emotions, thoughts, and difficulties we face today with the near-constant change happening in our lives, we want to share some recommendations we sent to Dragonfly students. The thoughts pertain to everyone. Please take care of yourself and each other.

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Dear Dragonfly Community,

Given all that is happening with COVID-19, we imagine many of you are having a hard time focusing on topics like conservation biology, biodiversity, leadership, publication projects and more. It seems like every time we sit down to work, our phones blow up with the latest news about closures, cancellations, celebrities with corona, etc. On top of that, we are all dealing with friends and family, including kids and elderly that might be especially concerned and express their emotions in different ways. 

A few recommendations:

1) Prioritize your mental, emotional, and physical health. Take some time off to relax. Unplug from the news, even if for an hour here and there, so you can reconnect with your present moment. If you cannot focus on your coursework (which is understandable!), take a break and don’t beat yourself up for doing so. It does not help to force yourself to work when you cannot focus on what you are trying to learn. 

2) Later on, when you hopefully feel somewhat more grounded, try to come back to your coursework. Focusing on the course content can serve as a welcome distraction from the wall-to-wall corona coverage that is dominating all of our minds. 

3) Practice being open to change. It is hard to live in uncertainty, but the reality is that we may be facing lots of updates and changes over the coming weeks and beyond.
Many organizations, including Miami, do not have all the answers at this point for good reasons, because the situation is rapidly changing. Try your best to be ok with some uncertainty during this time.

4) Be ok with slowing down. Ultimately, as scary and tragic as this is, it also provides an opportunity to slow down our lives in this incredibly fast-paced world we live in. Try to take a few deep breaths and be ok with a different pace of life for a while.  

The Dragonfly community is an incredibly courageous and caring group. We know you all will work to be a positive presence in your local communities during this tumultuous time. We encourage you to listen and support others while taking care of yourself and your family. We have asked our entire team to be flexible and understanding with coursework due dates and other issues as we all deal with this situation. 

We will keep you updated as we learn more regarding how corona will affect Miami/Dragonfly. Take care, and know we are here to support you all. 

-The Dragonfly Team

Miami University’s Campus Announcements and updates on COVID-19