We recognise that during a busy workday, it is often a low priority to look after ourselves and our minds. By practicing mindfulness and getting into a healthy routine, we can shift this mindset and learn how to become mindful at work, and at home too.
Our specialist staff psychological wellbeing and mindfulness practitioner, Karen, delivers many different mindfulness sessions which may be helpful to you.
Why does mindfulness matter?
When we practice mindfulness, we start to pay attention to our thoughts and feelings, and how we are reacting to these. Mindfulness isn’t about trying to change these thoughts, it is about recognising them as what they are, and allowing them to come and go, whilst we can remain calm and focus on our breathing.
Mindfulness can often be difficult for some people, especially if they are experiencing low mood or high levels of stress. However, the more we practice mindfulness, the easier it becomes. Mindfulness can also help improve our mental and physical wellbeing.
Take a look at our calendar to see all upcoming mindfulness sessions, and how to sign up to these.
What mindfulness sessions are on offer?
MBCT-L – Mindfulness based cognitive therapy for life
This course is ran 1hour and 15 minutes a week for 6 weeks.
It involves mindfulness practices and cognitive behavioural exercises that can enhance wellbeing and flourishing in everyday life. It is suitable for anyone who has experienced stress or mild levels of depression or anxiety. The course introduces participants to mindfulness and meditation and encourages participants to cultivate attitudes of interest and friendliness towards experience whether it is pleasant or unpleasant. The course teaches skills for keeping our balance through life’s up and downs and respond skilfully when difficulties arise, opening more to moments of joy contentment and gratitude.
MBCT-D – Mindfulness based cognitive therapy for depression
This course is suitable for anyone who has experienced clinical levels of depression or past episodes of depression. We have also accepted people onto the course who have clinical levels of anxiety. Participant can enhance their general wellbeing through a greater awareness of automatic patterns of thinking. The course combines mindfulness meditation with cognitive behavioural exercises which enables us to become more aware of our mind and body and begin to identify and dissolve some of our unhelpful habits of thinking, such as critical thinking, worrying and rumination.
Finding peace in a frantic world – a six week introduction to mindfulness
This 6 week introductory course is designed to be an easy and accessible way of bringing mindfulness to everyday life. This course can be an introduction to mindfulness or a refresher for participants who have attended a mindfulness course in the past and wish to refresh or return to practice. The course emphasises the importance of managing difficulties such as stress, and seeks to support a greater degree of wellbeing and flourishing through awareness and self – compassion. Participants can do this course as a stand-alone course or move onto one of the longer 8-week courses.
Which course is right for me?
If participants are considering which course to choose at present, the advice is to do the longer courses if possible. These give a more in depth and solid foundation to mindfulness. These however come with a greater home practice commitment, which may not be possible depending on personal commitments. The staff wellbeing team will be happy to advise you on the different courses available and which one may be more suitable at present.
Referral for staff.
Referral is through self-referral to the staff wellbeing team. The courses available are all on the staff wellbeing page. Staff are asked to fill in a health questionnaire and if they report any health difficulties that may affect attendance of the course, they are screened to discuss if this is the right time to start the course.
Staff who have PTSD, recent trauma or bereavement ( last 12-18 months) upcoming significant life events, or are suicidal would not be able to start the course, unless it has been recommended by a health professional ( for example if they are under mental health services and this is a recommendation and they are being supported in addition to the course.)
Managers support to access the course.
For staff to access the courses ran by NUH, we are asking that managers sign the application form to say they will be released to attend it , and the managers will support in terms of time to attend and reasonable adjustment with shifts, accessing a room or doing the course from home( and then claiming the time back). We have had many staff sign up to the courses and then are not released to attend, or cannot find a room to attend the course. We also have staff who attend and then are called back into clinical work during the course. We hope getting managers support will result in this being considered and problem solved prior to the course starting.
Support on the course.
The course meets weekly for 1-2 hours. This is not a course where participants talk much about personal circumstances. There are some opportunities to discuss these in relation to mindfulness but the course is much more, using the practices and exercises and sharing experience of these.
Staff can access short periods of support, around 5 minutes after the course if they have any questions specific to the course, however this is an occasional rather than regular offer. If staff have significant mental health support needs, this may need to be in place prior to the course starting, as the mindfulness course is not a substitute for this.
Most staff find that the course is supportive and helpful, and this is from the mindfulness practices and stepping back and finding different ways of approaching difficulties they struggle with. Most staff find it helpful to meet and hear that other people also struggle with everyday issues and this normalising and peer support for some is the most helpful part of the course.
When we send out course information we include mental health support lines in Nottingham and make explicit that we do not provide additional Mental Health support on the course. If we have concerns about the safety of anyone on the course, for example someone refers to thoughts or intent of suicide or self-harm in a session, we will discuss this with them after the course and advise them how to access urgent or routine mental health support.