What is mindfulness? Rachel Carter and Andrew Slemp want you to find out through the Mindful Mondays program at UVa-Wise.
Carter and Slemp, professional counselors at the college, started the Mindful Mondays program in in the fall 2017 semester as a way for students, faculty and staff to take a break from their everyday responsibilities and to just be able to be stress free and be in the moment.
The Mindful Mondays sessions draw upon the concept of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Kabat-Zinn, in his website (https://www.mindfulnesscds.com), describes mindfulness as, “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”
Carter and Slemp each stressed that there are many benefits of Mindfulness, both personally and professionally, as they both practice this and introduce students to this in counseling sessions. They hope that more students will take advantage of their weekly sessions.
In each session Slemp and Carter briefly talk about mindfulness before showing pre-selected YouTube videos related to the session’s topic.
The benefits of mindfulness include reducing overthinking, reducing stress, boosting working memory, increasing health benefits and to have less emotional reactions.
Sessions are held each Monday at 3 p.m. in the campus Chapel of All Faiths, and are open to faculty, staff, and students. Yoga mats and chairs are provided.