Mindfulness and Covid-19
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic I was a proponent of Mindfulness. It is something I have practiced in my personal and professional life for many years. For those of you not familiar with the concept of Mindfulness, Dictionary.com has two definitions for the word mindfulness:
- the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
- a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Some people may associate it with meditation and therefore may be intimidated by it. When I talk with kids about it, I explain it as a way to teach your mind and body to relax and it can be helpful with coping with their stress and anxiety, as well as other emotions. We cannot avoid stress, especially these days. Many of us, adults and kids, are feeling the impact of Covid -19. Just the challenges of online-learning can cause us to feel more stress. Kids of all ages are missing social interactions with their friends, classmates, and teachers, and may be feeling isolated and lonely. While our teachers are working very hard to teach online and meet the needs of all their students, Zoom and Google meetings can not replace social contact. Social interactions are an important part of development, along with being just plain fun. Parents may also be feeling stressed with trying to support their kids with online-learning, keeping their kids safe, and trying to provide fun entertainment (that does not include electronic devices) for their families. Mindfulness can not change the situation we are all in right now, but it can help us cope with it. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has funded research that has shown that mindfulness can help reduce stress and increase well-being, and help in the treatment of addiction, anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, cancer, chronic pain, heart disease, stress, and many other mental and physiological problems. I am attaching a short article from Yale Medicine that talks more about Mindfulness strategies and its benefits. Please take a few minutes to read it, as it may be very helpful to you or your family.
I hope you are all staying healthy and remembering to be kind to yourselves. Remember, I am here to support you and your students. If I can be of any help, please reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org. I am still providing support through Zoom meetings and phone calls.