Mindfulness: Self-Care and Stress-Reduction for You and Your Students

Introduction to Mindfulness

Welcome to your new centralized site for self-care. Designed to be used on your own time to optimize your well-being during this unprecedented year, the links on this page provide multiple approaches for you to try for the next 8 weeks. We encourage you to make this (at least) a weekly habit. Schedule the time that you will dedicate to yourself, and see what happens as you watch, listen, breathe, and journal. Any questions? You can always reach us at [email protected]

What is Mindfulness?
This video provides a brief history of where mindfulness began, what it is, what it is not, and all the benefits that come with practice. We close with an invitation to find one mindful moment each day.

Who Practices Mindfulness?*
Sometimes knowing who is doing something can help lend legitimacy to a new and often unfamiliar activity. This video presents famous performers, actors, entrepreneurs, and athletes who all practice mindfulness.

What is Resilience?*
This video defines the term and provides examples for students to relate to. It opens up the idea that some of these activities may feel new and different and even uncomfortable at times. We ask students to keep an open mind and consider that when they work through discomfort there is growth and learning that can come from it. 

Place of Internal Comfort
In this video, Miss Sophie speaks to the idea that no matter what is happening around each of us, there is a safe space inside us where we can find peace. She is clear to remind high schoolers that these activities may be difficult, and they’re not meant to ‘fix’ anyone or anything. Rather they simply help us more skillfully respond to difficult situations.

Click here to submit your reflection form.

Click here to download a digital copy of the journal.
REMEMBER: You must "Make a Copy" (under File) to fill in this journal electronically.

1. What is your intention for practicing self-care?

2. What do you do for self-care?  List at least 10 activities that nourish you, make you smile, or just make you feel like you. Then, add an arrow up^ (shift + 6) if they bring you energy, an back slash\ if they relax you, or an asterisk* if it’s neutral.  Keep this list handy and refer back to it anytime you need.  Or, write each one on a sticky note and place them strategically as reminders to take care of yourself

3. Check out the brief P.A.U.S.E blog, and join the #CFRPauseChallenge throughout the month of December.

  • How is it working for you?
  • Are you remembering to stop or pause?
  • Do you need to move it?
  • How is that moment to pause helping you?
  • Why do you need it there?
  • Where else might you be able to put reminders to pause and take a few breaths?

4. Check in with yourself and reflect honestly and without judgment on how your practice is going. 

    • Is your practice becoming part of your daily routine?  If so, spend the week finishing the sentence below and describing why for each practice.  “Something that surprised me about my practice today was…”
    • Are you having trouble making practice part of your daily routine?  If so, think about why.  Have you lost sight of a daily connection to mindful moments or just not yet settled into a routine?  What are your barriers to practice?  Write them all down, and then pick one that jumps off the page.  Dig into that one a little bit more.  Why is it a roadblock and what can you do about it?

5. Begin to keep a practice journal to note patterns in the post-practice reflection.  With each practice, note the following:

    • Before practice, I felt…
    • During practice, I felt…
      (Don’t judge the practice, simply be aware of how it felt both physically and mentally.)
    • After the practice, I felt…
    • At this moment, I am grateful for…

6. What obstacles, if any, are getting in the way of building your new habit of mindfulness? This week’s prompt is: “Currently, I feel…”. Take as much time as you need to get everything down on paper or in this electronic journal. 

Then, take a minute to reread what you wrote before answering the following questions: “In reflecting on this writing, I am surprised that…” and “At this moment, I am grateful for…”

Click here to submit your reflection form.

Developing a Daily Practice, Mindful Magazine
One of the field’s most well-respected teachers sets up simple and tangible steps for your new habit.

Manage Your Attention, Not Your Time, Mindful Magazine
With so much competing for our attention, how do you direct your focus and attention?

Are you Addicted to “Doing”?, Mindful.org
An argument for “action addiction” actually being an advanced form of laziness!

Mindfulness Works, but Only If You Work At It, Harvard Business Review
The message is clear: if you want the benefits, you have to put in the time to practice.

How Long Does It Actually Take To Form A New Habit?, Huffington Post
On average… 66 days! Keep practicing

Click here to submit your reflection form.