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Making the Effort to be Mindful

Photo provided by Mindful.org Many thoughts can lead to an imbalance of the mind and body. Mindfulness can help center and rebalance one’s attention.

With the extensive changes caused by COVID-19 academics continues to be no exception. To lessen the effects of screen time and online learning, health and physical education teacher, Sarah Verdis has created a slideshow intended to make students practice mindfulness. 

“Mindfulness allows us to show up and experience every moment as our full, true selves,” Verdis said. “In other words, when we practice mindfulness, we can acknowledge and accept that there may be times, especially during virtual learning, where we show up to class with some frustration, stress, [and] confusion.”

The benefits of being mindful are felt by all groups, including teachers, due to this widespread change caused by COVID-19. By including mindfulness in a routine, there can be a positive influence on students abilities to focus as well. 

“I think teachers are doing a great job right now in terms of mindfulness because they are also feeling the repercussions of staring at a screen all day, so they are implementing breaks and activities to alleviate those repercussions” senior Sohil Shah said. 

There are various practices that can help individuals become mindful. Some that Verdis has discussed are breathing exercises. 

“Breathing exercises serve as a quick and effective way to connect mind, body, and breath,” said Verdis. ”Through breathing exercises, we can break through any unhelpful or mindless thought patterns and begin taking charge of our mind again.”

Without implemented breaks students can feel discouraged or take their own breaks in an attempt to be more mindful. 

“I get up and walk away from the screen so I can have a break,” sophomore Molly FitzGerald said. 

Although, mindfulness does not only belong in an online learning environment. The benefits of mindfulness can extend into other aspects of life and future aspirations. 

“Mindfulness helps to empower [young adults] to become curious about their current lifestyle and their habits,” Verdis said. “It’s through this curiosity that individuals can determine what things work for them and what areas of their lives they would like to make changes in.”

Bringing mindfulness into daily tasks will also create a newfound balance. Verdis describes exercises beneficial for regular tasks around the house including a series of questions. 

“ ‘How am I feeling about washing the dishes? Does it feel like an annoyance? A chore? Can I approach it with a different mindset?’,” Verdis said. 

By being in charge of that energy and the reasoning behind actions, you can become more mindful. 

“Most, if not all people, have an inherent desire and drive to do their best,” Verdis said. “Mindfulness can be an extremely powerful tool in helping young people to do their best and to arrive in that space most effectively.”

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