Though you may have heard the term “mindfulness”, you may not know exactly what it means. Or what it can do for your school’s faculty. Simply defined, practicing mindfulness means focusing on what is going on in the moment—both physically and emotionally—without judgment. Sharing these tips and including some mindfulness giveaways can help staff members:
- Reduce stress
- Boost their immune system
- Improve focus
- Take time for self-care
- Handle difficult emotions
If you’re looking for ways to guide your faculty down a mindfulness path, here are three simple steps and some stress-relief promotional items, to get them started.
Start with breathing
This basic breathing technique is perfect for anyone new to mindfulness. To practice:
- Find a quiet, comfortable spot to sit.
- Close the eyes.
- Breathe normally.
- Concentrate on what it feels like to breathe, whether it’s the feeling of air coming in and out of the nose or the rise and fall of the chest.
- Do this for 5-20 minutes, letting any stray thoughts float away.
- Upon completion, take a moment to appreciate the feeling.
Take time for regular mindfulness
To reap the most benefits, recommend that staff practice mindfulness at least 5 times a week for 20 minutes per day. They can start by picking a regular time and scheduling mindfulness sessions on their daily calendar. Encourage their efforts with a stress-relief promotional item as a prize for participation. Essential oils, a yoga mat or a massage ball can help remind them to continue daily practice.
Build in mindfulness breaks
Of course, keeping a sense of calm throughout the day can be a challenge. Taking mindfulness breaks can help staff members return to their calm and focused state. Encourage staff to take a one-minute mindfulness break when:
- They must perform a task that takes a lot of concentration, like grading.
- The school bell rings between classes.
- They take their lunch break.
When practicing mindfulness, staff members can journal their observations, make lists of things that are bothersome, or even doodle or draw to induce calm.
Be in the moment
Though regularly practicing mindfulness can be a challenge at first, finding the time to become calm and focused can help every faculty member at your school. Offer mindfulness giveaways to promote calm, focus and readiness for work.