To Telford for the Unite-CPHVA Annual Professional Conference 2016. Sharing applied mindfulness techniques for health visitors to use to stay balanced and calm as they cope with increasing workload and stress.
Top Tips for Health Visitors
1) The Transitional Pause. Take a small pause to acknowledge the impact of your last activity on your body and mind. Engage with whatever is there with non-reactivity and non-judgment. You may feel sad, angry, impotent, enraged, proud. Take a moment to really feel that in the body. Notice and engage with any sensations, related to any emotion.
It’s ok to feel these feelings. Engage with them now so you don’t take them into the next appointment or meeting.
Next, bring your attention to the here and now, the body, the breath. Just hold this focus for a few moments. Managing emotions, thoughts, associations, memories mindfully. Seeing them as passing events that you can choose to engage with, or not. Bring the full focus of the attention to the present moment.
Finally, orient your mind to the future by setting your intention. Having acknowledged what’s past, how do you want to be in the next interaction you have? What is your intention as you go into the next consultation, visit or meeting?
These three key steps are the way to transition mindfully as you go about your work.
Feel the sensations in the body – can you do this without the need to verbally label them? Just sense.
2) Mindful Listening. Use every conversation as a chance to practice mindfulness. Set the intention to just listen. Anything your brain is doing that is not directly listening to the person who is talking is a distraction to be mindfully managed. Try not to react or judge as you listen (both to the other and to your own mental activity) and hold firm a commitment to deep, active, mindful listening. Try it out! Here are some nice resources.