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UTO Family Gathers Online for Mindful Minutes


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As ASU continues to monitor COVID-19, the university has transitioned from in-person teaching and learning to remote options. In this challenging time, however, the collective innovation of ASU faculty and staff has demonstrated remarkable adaptability. As a method of celebrating the good during uncertain developments, the University Technology Office is gathering success stories of “remote resilience” from the ASU community. The situation globally and across the country is changing daily, but we also plan to share these stories to keep pace.

Work stress may arise even in the best of times. That’s why UTO is heavily invested in shaping a unique and person-focused culture, a model to be shared with the ASU IT community and the university at large. Now, in response to the uncertainty of living in a global pandemic and the added responsibilities of working remotely for individuals like parents, what may have been more easily managed before can appear overwhelming. That is why UTO, under the leadership of Chief Culture Officer Christine Whitney Sanchez, has initiated twice-weekly “Mindful Minutes” online gatherings, 15-minute sessions designed to alleviate and address the problems we are all facing.

Dozens of UTO family members meet for each Mindful Minutes installment, combinations of some kind of mindfulness practice and sharing within smaller breakout rooms in Zoom. Mindfulness practices include meditation, journaling and other exercises to reflect on one’s emotional and physical state. These simple, brief Mindful Minutes meetings have been a welcome outlet for many.

UTO staff have shared numerous ways they’re finding joy at home and at work. Hiking, yoga, new online courses, painting, listening to music and much more have been shared as activities that help refine focus. And others are finding reminders of understanding and open-mindedness to stabilize the sudden change to remote working. “[I am] reminding myself there are many people going through this phase too,” one person said. “[I am] trying to build new routines,” another added. Much more input is given during UTO’s Mindful Minutes, a practice that illustrates a very human component of Remote Resilience.

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