HeadSPACE

About HeadSPACE

HeadSPACE is a CAPLA group that organizes time and space where students can collectively explore ways to destress and have fun. These events are a big part of the CAPLA social culture and student and faculty participation is key. We care very much about the collective wellbeing of CAPLA and hope participants recognize the positive impact involvement in social events can have on happiness. Our primary goal is to insert moments of joy into the stressful demands of learning! (Wise words from an old friend: Learning is HARD... but learning should also be fun... and HeadSPACE works to remind us of that).


Spring 2021 Communications and Events

CAPLA Anti-Stress Kit

#CAPLAheadspace #uastrux #headspacepaint

Current Prompt

Prompt 6 (April 2): Discipline | Freedom

This prompt is a little different. Instead of painting to a single word, think about where two ideas interact. You might start out writing a little and then let yourself create something out of that reflection:

  • What does discipline mean to me? 
  • What does freedom mean to me? 
  • How do these ideas interconnect? 

Today's mantra:

Consistency is the highest form of discipline.

It's important to remember that some days/efforts bear more fruit than others, and that's okay. On a day that we might interpret as being wasted, or crappy, or like we weren't productive, tell yourself: It was enough. It's always enough. If you could produce more, do more, be better, you would. Failures yield growth. When equilibrium is disturbed, creation occurs. 

And of course, remember to celebrate the good days.

Previous Prompts

  • Prompt 5 (March 19): Cornerstone
  • Prompt 4 (March 5): Transformation
  • Prompt 3 (February 22): The Eyes Have It...
  • Prompt 2 (February 5, 2021): Here, Hear
  • Prompt 1 (January 22, 2021): Head Space

Introduction

Welcome back CAPLA cohort! So glad to have exited the lull of the winter break full of energy and high hopes... I hope you all are feeling motivated!

For 2021 we have developed a new plan for channeling that stress-energy into something positive and fun. We will stretch your creativity muscles while also offering an outlet for challenging emotions.

Thanks to POSNER'S and CAPLA for supporting these efforts; a shout out to Rob Miller for offering a little HeadSPACE financial relief to you all and Jenny Marshall from Posner's for helping organize materials and offering product discounts.

The Plan

Give Posner's a call or stop in and tell them you need a CAPLA anti-stress kit:

 

You may also order the kit online.

There are a few options for pick-up or delivery. The first 70 kits sell for $20 even (after 70 the price is $27). Note: there are extra paper pads in the event you want to share a kit with a friend but need extra paper; they are about $6 each. Packets are ready for order Thursday and ready for pickup by Friday.

Every other week we will send out a prompt for your inspiration.

The pads of paper you will receive are postcard size, so when you are done, throw a stamp and an address on it and send it away! OR... burn it... The point is to harness your creativity and then physically let it go: send it off to the universe, spread the love to someone who might need it.

Keep your eyes out for the prompts and please share your work: #UAstrux #CAPLAheadspace #headspacepaint

Connect with me if you haven't already: @fixcityarchitect on Instagram

Even though I won't be sending out long winded words of advice, please know I am always here if you should find yourself needing a friend or someone to take you on a long walk. Cheers to our CAPLA community and staying connected in new ways...

Valerie A.Lane, Architect
Senior Lecturer
School of Architecture | CAPLA | University of Arizona


Fall 2020 Communications and Events

10 minute reflection:

Make a list of 30 things that inspire you.

What did you learn about yourself as a designer this semester? 
     replace "designer" with professor/administrator/leader/parent/friend/worker/etc. - pick 1

Now, repeat the following to yourself 3x: 

     I have been given endless talents. I am the architect of my life; I build its foundation and choose its form.

 
Valerie A. Lane, Architect
Senior Lecturer
School of Architecture | CAPLA | University of Arizona

Hi CAPLA! I hope you are well and holding it together as the final push is upon you...

Just a quick note of encouragement: You are near the end—there is always enough time for the things you will finish. Now might be a good time to reassess your to-do list in terms of reality.  

What can you make time for (or what do you WANT to make time for rather) and what things will make the biggest impact on the overall quality of the narrative around the work you have already completed?
 

 
Before you have this conversation between yourself and your to-do list, take a moment to breathe. We can find extra time if we slow ourselves down a little bit and focus. How might we slow time down? Breathe, breathe, breathe... slowly...

When you slow the frequencies inside yourself down, you should find yourself becoming more focused as the stress disseminates and begins to loosen its grip. Take a moment to organize whatever chaos is around you right now...clean up your desk, your room...take some deep breaths and ready yourself to finish the last bits.  Take some time outside in the sun...breathe in the fresh air and appreciate yourself. 

I offer some guided breathwork—each video is around 5 minutes. I especially appreciate Dr. Brown, Buteyko Breathing and Nadi Shodhan. Wim Hof method is also great, but much more intense. I hope you'll take the time to enjoy...

Hello CAPLA people. As we are transitioning into shorter days, chilly temperatures, and nearing the last push of the semester it's time to check in with ourselves and one another. 

So, how are you all feeling? 

I hope you are well and that you are finding some joy between the hard work and relentless Pandemic! While we remain physically distanced, it's important to remember that we are still one... we are still in this together and none of us is alone! 

Mindfulness is a key aspect to staying happy and healthy—so what is mindfulness anyway?? It's a lot of things, but in general it is the practice of remaining present—of being present in each and every moment and filling those moments with positivity. Each moment strings together to form our days, our pasts, and our futures—so the more moments spent in a positive light, the lighter our lives become.

Instead of a yoga pose this week, I challenge each of you to begin or end your days with a short walk down the street in front of your house... just 5 minutes. Walk slowly. Feel your heal, and then the ball of your foot on the ground. Breath slowly. Feel your leg swing back to front, front to back. Now look around you and take note of three things along your path that you never noticed before.

  • Follow my walks this week and please post your own photos @fixcityarchitect #takeawalk
  • And second, give a friend a call... someone who seems far away, and remind them you are here, and that you care for them. And smile and laugh and carry on...

- BE | HERE | NOW -

Where else is there?? The past is gone, the future is not even real... what we think, we become.

I hope you might find some indulgence in the readings below: 

Valerie A. Lane, Architect
Senior Lecturer

Welcome to the top of the mountain! This is week 8 of the Fall 2020 semester which means it's all downhill from here! Or maybe we have been going downhill this whole time, we've reached the bottom and all that's left to do now is claw our way back up the other side of the Covid CHASM!!! Either way you want to look at it... we have made it halfway and there's no turning back now! 

SO... how are we going to keep it together for the next 8 weeks? By actively managing our stress of course!

One fun fact: American adults spend an average of 10.5 hours in front of a screen EVERY DAY! That's a lot... and I bet that number is increased for you all... The human body is not meant for this sedentary lifestyle. Take ten minutes every hour to stand up and walk around the block or do something with your body, away from your screens. This will increase productivity and creativity... will give your mind some time to process the work you're doing while also stretching the muscles a little bit. 

Another terrible fact: Blue light exposure from the screens has various effects on your body and mind; most notably over-exposure completely alters your circadian rhythm. This means it has a detrimental effect on your quality of sleep. What to do? Spend the last hour or two before bed away from screens... you could read a book, draw something by hand on paper (GASP!), or listen to music.

Lack of sleep is no good... it feeds into a stress cycle that impacts your memory, judgment, and mood—making you much more susceptible to feeling stressed while also lowering your threshold at which you perceive stress, meaning you're more likely to interpret situations as MORE stressful if you are tired versus well-rested. 

Has anyone ever heard of the Four Pillars of Wellness?

  1. Nutrition
  2. Sleep 
  3. Movement
  4. Mindfulness

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but there is hope!  I'll offer a few ideas that hopefully you will be able to relate to and appreciate. 

Nutrition - 
Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.

Sleep -
Shoot for 7 hours a night—every night!  You deserve it...

Movement - 
Just a short walk, a bike ride, some yoga, your sport of choice—any form of movement and if you spread it out throughout the day, it will feel easy and enjoyable. 

Mindfulness - 
Take a nap, sit quietly for 15 minutes doing nothing, write a note to someone you love, spend some time in nature—even sitting with your one house plant, pet a dog, cuddle a cat, listen to your favorite song. 

I wrote you all a sequence of yoga poses that should take about 15 to 30 minutes—all poses are geared at helping your body let go of stress...I  hope you'll enjoy it!  

 
Take care and enjoy the home stretch! 

I almost forgot the best part!!! If you don't like walking... you could try DANCING!!!

Valerie A. Lane, Architect
Senior Lecturer

Hello CAPLA, I hope you are all doing well as we enter the FOURTH week of classes... That means we are nearly 1/3 of the way through the semester!  Crazy...

So, as you continue to work work work, let's talk about sustainability—not the kind related to the environment around you, but the kind that must exist within you in order to make it—through the next 12 weeks. How do you sustain a level of wellbeing that is conducive to productivity and creativity

FIRST, recognize that stress is real and can affect your life in a variety of ways—the outcomes of stress can influence mental, emotional or physical wellbeing, and often in combination.  The effects of stress are complex—how might you be proactive in managing the pressures around you? 

SECOND, your wellbeing is of utmost importance to the overall picture of productivity and creativity. This means you deserve and absolutely should have a plan in place for managing stress if the goal is to sustain a high level of intellectual vigor.   

THIRD, make a list of things you know you enjoy doing (if it brings you joy, it is guaranteed to reduce stress). Start with 10 to 20 things. They can be as small as watering a plant or as involved as taking a road trip. Then divide the things up on the list based on time it takes. You may end up with three separate lists—things you should do every day, things you should do once a week and things you should do perhaps once a month or once a semester. And then you can turn those things into a... YES... my favorite thing, the habit tracker: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/516cbd34e4b0bb1f91d354ed/t/
5ea348c12796ff422ab68876/1587759298690/Habit+Tracker.pdf

As you compile your own lists, I will leave you with two additional tools you can try: Please remember, these tools may not be for you, so rely on your list and listen to your own needs. I implore you to keep an open mind and give something new a try to see if it works for you! 

First is an app, appropriately titled Headspace, that is intended to help establish a mindfulness practice:

https://www.headspace.com/meditation/vipassana

Second is music. Many of you may already be familiar with the beautiful sounds of R. Carlos Nakai. He is a traditional Native American flautist of Navajo/Ute heritage. The music he plays is incredibly relaxing and makes a great background for establishing a low-stress atmosphere.   

And finally, the yoga pose of the week: Child's Pose! There are multiple variations—see photos below.

Child's Pose helps stretch the hips, thighs, ankles and back. It reduces stress and fatigue and slows and moderates the breath. Try Legs Up the Wall for a few minutes followed by this pose and you will be as good as new! 

 
A more restorative approach, you can stay here for as long as you like! 

 
If you have a friend nearby, you can both benefit!

 
And if you need a little more in the way of active intention:

 
Valerie A. Lane, Architect
Senior Lecturer

Hello CAPLA! Welcome back to an exciting, compelling, and sort of weird new existence and way of being in the world... This message is a little long, but I like to think it's full of really inspiring and fun ideas so I hope you'll take the time to read through...

At this time, we will not be able to organize any official in-person events but will continue to reach out with ways you can self-monitor your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. As the public-social situation evolves, it is our hopes we can find safe ways to engage in person later in the semester.  As we move through uncharted times together, please know that your ability to remain happy and healthy is of paramount concern.  Your well-being is linked directly to your ability to find joy in the learning process, and it is our hope that you will find things in this or future emails that resonate with you.  

Throughout the isolated months of summer, perhaps you were able to reconnect with practices or habits that helped you relax and cope positively with the changing world.

It is important that you realize the value in those behaviors and work to ensure you keep doing them as you transition into a new schedule! 

Here is a link to a free PDF habit tracker that you can use in order to check in with yourself daily to ensure you are engaging in at least one or two healthy habits that make you feel good.  As an example, my habit tracker includes things like 7 hours of sleep, walk dogs, ride bike, meditate, paint / draw, 10 minutes in the garden, read.  These things make me feel really happy, and if I can check at least one off per day, I know I am doing alright...just 10 minutes a day! 

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/516cbd34e4b0bb1f91d354ed/t/
5ea348c12796ff422ab68876/1587759298690/Habit+Tracker.pdf

Additionally, we are all engaged in a new way of working.  Some of us will be mostly working at home, others may be surrounded by housemates, and others still will be working to take advantage of the school's facilities.  Regardless, we are all working together in some fashion but with a lot more independence and control over our own schedules.  SO...try out the Pomodoro Technique to organize your time.  Time management is a skill that takes practice and attention each day.  Especially now, where we all have varying degrees of accountability. This technique can help you to stay focused and efficient with your days. Don't be afraid to set timers and use your Gmail Calendars!  

I have taken on a new way of thinking about time management - rather than saying "I don't have time for that"...I have come to think of myself as a Time Bender!  I create time; I always have the time I need - for all the things I want or need to do. If there is not time for something, it must be because I didn't want to do it...So be in control of your own very precious time. 

It may feel a little compulsive to utilize these tools - yes, you will be looking at them frequently throughout the day!  And yes, the timer is an important tool.  BUT, in time, you should begin to notice that habits are beginning to be set within you and if you don't make time for the good stuff, happiness and joy are quickly pushed aside...

Last but not least...this week's favorite yoga pose - Legs up the wall - this amazing little pose is a restorative posture that relaxes body and mind, relieves stress, tension and anxiety.  When you stay in this pose for 10 to 15 minutes, it will allow your mind to slow down and your parasympathetic nervous system to take over - which means you get a deep and restorative REST!  Anytime you have a little time between classes, take this posture and you will be surprised at how invigorated you will fell after. There are some variations with bent legs or you can roll up a blanket to place under your butt.

 
Welcome back! 

Valerie A. Lane, Architect
Senior Lecturer


More Information

Faculty Lead: Valerie Lane, Senior Lecturer in Architecture, laneva@email.arizona.edu