How could I incorporate mindfulness into my work to improve students' focus and engagement?
Since the 2000s, there has been increasing interest and research into the benefits of practising mindfulness for educators and students. We divide the resources into two sections here for you:
Mindfulness for educators:
University life is pressured and hectic and some staff report that mindfulness meditation (whether practiced from a secular or religious perspective) helps them to switch off from busyness and to be more present and effective in the classroom. For staff interested in learning more about mindfulness, the following resources may be helpful:
- This free guide to 10 ways to be more mindful at work includes some short exercises advice and a checklist to help you to boost your mindfulness at work
- The Mindfulness App Headspace offers some of its resources and meditations without charge
- See CCCU's Staff Wellbeing and Mental Health pages for links to 1:1 support, online support, chaplaincy support, occupational health and the toolkit Mental Health at Work which includes a stress risk assessment and wellness action plan and courses which you can sign up for
- You can access a helpful set of recordings on mindfulness produced by CCCU staff members for the Daily Wellbeing Pause in February 2021
Mindfulness in education:
Other educators have taken their mindfulness practice further and incorporated some mindfulness activities into teaching sessions in order to calm students during revision periods and to encourage students to learn more about the practice as part of their own self-care skill-set to help them during their studies and in their lives after graduation:
- Dr Denise Meyer - a chartered counselling psychologist and Head of Wellbeing at the University of Portsmouth has produced a range of resources for the charity www.studentsagainstdepression - her short worksheets on Practising relaxation and Learning self-compassion are freely available and useful resources for all students
- The charity Student Minds has produced resources including training for University Staff to help to raise awareness and engender more supportive environments for mental wellbeing at universities
- There's often a lot of focus on Undergraduate wellbeing, but Postgraduates frequently experience poor wellbeing and mental health during their studies, the UK Council for Graduate Education has produced some helpful advice available on their website under the title 'Pinch Points & Good Practice Solutions Supporting Mental Health & Wellbeing of PGRs'