Whether you’re at the very beginning, middle, or nearing the end of your career as a graduate student, library school can be overwhelming. In this often liminal space, the lines between work/school and life are constantly blurred. It can be difficult to be present when you’re working to reach a finish line—or in the LIS student’s case, a degree.
Mindfulness, the practice of being present in the moment, is not something I’m great at embodying. But it’s a quality I’ve found essential to my mental and physical health in library school. For me, steps toward mindfulness have included turning off Outlook notifications on my phone (so liberating!), finishing one task before starting another, making an effort to be aware of how anxiety and stress manifest themselves in my body, and engaging in reflection.
In my search for mindfulness support, I came across an excellent community of practice. As fellow LIS students, I hope that you, too, will find yourselves right at home with the folks at mindfulinlis.
mindfulinlis is a community “for those learning about or practicing mindfulness in library information science.” To this end, mindfulinlis posts reflection prompts, encouragement, and shares stories from LIS professionals who engage in mindfulness practices.
As a student and an LIS paraprofessional, I was thrilled to come across this community on Twitter and Instagram. I personally enjoy responding to journal and reflection prompts that help me explore which boundaries I need to put in place to protect my health and wellbeing, how I can work to improve different areas of my life, and which goals I most want to work toward. mindfulinlis posts a wealth of reflection prompts throughout the year, and I’m beginning to use them (gratefully!) to engage in deeper mindfulness practices.
If you’re beginning to incorporate mindfulness practices into your life, mindfulinlis could be an excellent resource for you, too. It’s encouraging to see that this community of professionals in our field are openly talking about mental health and authenticity.
Do you engage in mindfulness practices at work, at home, or at school? If you have practices that work for you, please share in the comments!