The pressures facing health care staff working for the NHS is a subject matter close to my heart given my own work within the NHS. Given these circumstances, I value offering mindfulness workshops to healthcare teams. I don’t think of mindfulness as a quick fix, but I do believe that allowing people windows of space just to be, to find space amongst the pressure, to step back and take a breath, can be beneficial. Attending a mindfulness workshop offers time away from what can feel like a frantic energy, to experience a day at a different speed.
In a recent workshop we spoke about the importance of self-care, practiced two mindfulness meditations together and did a creative activity based on: ‘What in your life is Nourishing? What is Depleting? What provides you with a sense of mastery.’ Staff fed-back that they were able to step back and reflect on their lives and work, and could use the ‘Three Minute Breathing Space Meditation’ to pause during their working day. One person realised she had become depleted and could now readdress this by introducing more of what she enjoyed outside of work. Someone else was reminded her that her colleagues were ‘human and not typing machines’. For some participants mindfulness would be continued with, for others there had been an opportunity to meaningfully connect with their colleagues.