Updated: May 11
What if you could enroll in an online mindful course for free? Although I am sure that you want to leave your home, you will not need to step a foot outside your front door to take advantage of this opportunity. In this post, I will share my experiences in an online mindfulness program and how you may find the resources helpful as you navigate work and personal responsibilities in these unique times.
From the coronavirus pandemic to the senseless killing of Ahmaud Abrey, we need resources to help manage stress and decrease anxiety. Whether we invest time in taking care of our family's health or participating in a social justice movement, we must also develop positive self-care habits.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I discovered a valuable life-enriching learning opportunity. In March, an administrator from the university where I work emailed the listserve a link to the Palouse Mindfulness: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program. This free resource is an eight-week course designed to teach you strategies consistent with mindfulness, remedies to alleviate stress, and practical tips for managing anxiety.
If you have ever wanted to explore meditation, yoga, or other practices consistent with mindfulness, the Palouse Mindfulness program will provide you with a solid foundation. Each week, access is provided to free videos to watch and articles to read. Topics vary from practicing mindful yoga to turning toward stress and unlocking your inner strength.
During week one, we explored creating more awareness of our bodies. To meet this first objective, we followed instructions in a video that included a guided thirty-minute body scan meditation. With our eyes closed, we brought attention to everything from head to toe.
Throughout each of the course’s remaining seven weeks, I participated in similar activities to the body scan to increase awareness of my mental and physical health. If you're like me and driven to accomplish as much as possible with your time on earth, you will appreciate finishing the course and having a record.
After completing the mindfulness program, a certificate is available to participants who fulfill the requirements and wish to receive a form of documentation as recognition. Students must complete formal and informal daily logs to demonstrate the application of the material. The sixteen log worksheets completed over eight weeks and an additional one-page description of your experience emailed to the program's administrator will earn a completion certificate.
I interpreted the one-page description of my experiences requirement as an opportunity to write a letter to the administrator of the Palouse Mindfulness program. In the letter, I focused on how the materials enhanced my longstanding health and wellness activities. For the past eight weeks, I incorporated the course’s protocols into my established daily routines.
What routines do you have in place to keep you sane? Routines are essential in this Covid-19 moment in time.
How often do you revisit your personal and professional goals? I recommend that you make some time every week to determine your alignment with the things, goals, people, and values that are important to you.
Every Sunday, I assess the previous week and think about where I am with achieving my goals. Through a Word document saved on my computer, I review my life's purpose statement and evaluate my progress. Before examining my goals, I meditate and pray to ensure clarity and peace of mind.
For years, the Yoga Studio and Audible apps have served as my resources for home yoga practices and guided meditation sessions. Participating in the recommended practices of the Palouse curriculum, added some variety to my Sunday mornings. On some Sundays, I meditated in a sitting position, and on others, I implemented a mindful yoga session.
Have I yet to convince you to seek out online mindfulness programs? If you're struggling with stress and anxiety due to the coronavirus, shelter in place orders, community violence, and social distancing practices, mindfulness teachings can help you build internal support to carry the weight.
As a student in the Palouse Mindfulness program, I developed skills and knowledge that are transferrable to my life. With my professional role as a university professor and personal responsibilities as a husband and father, the practices enhanced my abilities to function in a remote learning environment and at home. I found myself being able to be more present with students, creative with instructional design projects, and attentive to the needs of my family in response to the resources I explored each week.
Finding the afternoon energy to play with my three young children and adjusting to the Antigua and Barbuda lockdown mandates are examples of the challenges I navigated with the structure of the Palouse Mindfulness program. In the formal and informal logs, I wrote about turning toward the pains of Covid-19 related stress, having limited energy in the evening for my children, muscle fatigue, and self-isolation.
Through the application of mindful practices to praying, training capoeira, writing, working online, and interacting with my family, I found the strength to face problems and uncover internal solutions.
The body scan practices opened my awareness to some muscle imbalances. I have an overdeveloped right calf that influences my posture and how I work at my standing desk. Before the program, I was unaware of the frequent leaning exhibited throughout my day. With the learned concept of simple awareness, I now shift my posture and stand in the proper form whenever I notice a misalignment. I have also incorporated some additional exercises, stretches, and massages to improve recovery post workouts.
None of us are perfect. Getting caught up in the day-to-day problems are easy. It is essential to make time to sit and bring attention to the needs of our bodies, minds, and souls. Developing your protocols for checking-in with yourself will bring awareness to the strengths and weaknesses of your health and well-being.
As a result of my fourteen years of capoeira experience, the deep internal work I began in 2016 when my family moved abroad, professional and personal roles, I am creating a dynamic transformational learning opportunity for you! This new program starts in June. Together, we will explore the mental, physical, and spiritual disciplines helpful in overcoming failures and appreciating success. If you do nothing else today, please subscribe to my email list at this link.
You do not want to miss the announcement and details about this unique life-changing opportunity that I will share with my list serve first. Unlike the Palouse Mindfulness program, this opportunity is not free, but subscribers will receive an early registration discount. In addition to special rates and priority enrollment, you will receive a free sample of my current self-paced online course Frequency: Personal Development 100.
Visit www.vlindsayphd.com/subscribe and enter your email address today.
Peace, blessings and thank you for reading this post. I am grateful for you and wish you all the best in health, wellness, and productivity.