Mindfulness for Teens & Mindful Parents Groups Begin Next Week!
When I began practicing mindfulness meditation formally 4 years ago, it was on a whim. A classmate of mine, who led meditation at the UVM Mindfulness Practice Center, invited me to join him during their drop-in hours. I began to attend regularly and also took a few mindfulness-based courses that contributed to my psychology degree. The positive effects mindfulness can bring to our minds and spirits quickly fascinated me.
I currently work in the mental health field and bring my mindfulness practice while working with children, adolescents, and families. I have found that when I cultivate my own mindfulness during the moments I spend with those I work with; I am able to open myself to a deep sense of compassion, non-judgment, empathy, and attunement. Working in the field for the past couple years has inspired me to bring Mindfulness for Teens and Mindful Parents to our community today.
Mindfulness for Teens will meet for 6 weeks and explore the various ways mindfulness can be brought into our everyday lives, especially when our mind feels full. Skills will be practiced through movement, music, and eating. Formal practices will also be explored through short sits and body scan meditation. The final meeting will conclude with a metta (loving-kindness) practice. Research studying teen populations who practice mindfulness skills report that teens experience a decrease in stress, anxiety, and depression and an increase in self-esteem. Teens who practice mindfulness skills may also notice increased attention at school.
While working in the mental health field, I quickly discovered there weren’t many support groups for parents with children experiencing mental health or any issue in our community. Mindful Parents will provide the space for open discussion and allow an internal support network to be organically created. Parents will also practice mindfulness skills formally through sitting, walking, body scan, and metta practices. Parenting mindfully gives permission to open our hearts and develop compassion for others, and ourselves but also give us the skills that can allow us to better deal with stressful or difficult situations. Most importantly, Mindful Parents is an opportunity to dedicate time to nourish and simply be with yourself. Research studying mindful parenting reports that both parents and children are better attuned to one another and parents experience an increase of positive affect and decrease in stress.
Mindfulness for Teens will meet Monday afternoons, 3:30-4:30 starting August 29th.
Mindful Parents will meet Monday evenings, 5:45-6:45 also starting August 29th.