Two doctoral residents at Memorial’s Student Wellness and Counselling Centre are introducing a new mindfulness program this summer.
Jodi Stuckless and Tyla Charbonneau say Walking Mindfulness is open to all students and aims to help bring a sense of calm into everyday life on campus.
Walking Mindfulness will take place – weather permitting – every Thursday from 12-1:30 p.m. from July 13–Aug. 17. Walks will take place on campus and in surrounding green areas, including Long Pond and Pippy Park.
An hour of mindfulness
Ms. Stuckless, a psychology resident, says the program is being developed with Memorial’s Student Wellness and Counselling Centre and is free of charge to all who attend.
“We wanted to do something the whole university can participate in,” she said. “People will gather at the clock tower before the walk begins. The hour will begin with a few mindfulness exercises before the walking component.”
She says that while the walk is taking place, participants will talk about the importance of noticing their surroundings, including the smells, sights and sounds they might not have noticed before. The exercise is meant to bring participants into the moment and to help them appreciate their surroundings.
“Walking Mindfulness is not intended as a therapy session, but it’s an escape from the hustle and bustle of a daily schedule.”
Ms. Charbonneau, a psychology resident, says the program is a great way to get outdoors and take a pause in the busy work or study week.
“This program is a great way to slow down, learn some mindful skills and get a little mobility in your day – all while being out in nature,” she said. “Walking Mindfulness is not intended as a therapy session, but it’s an escape from the hustle and bustle of a daily schedule.”
She says there are a variety of benefits that can arise from taking breaks and resting the mind, especially out in nature. She also says the program will aid in reducing stress, improving mental as well as physical wellness, and help Memorial students take advantage of the summer weather.
Both say that many students, especially graduate students, become so immersed in their work that it becomes overwhelming. By participating in the weekly program, it can help teach students, faculty and staff to better manage their time and workload, which aids in overall mental health.
“The goal of this project is to be available and accessible, and to help the participants learn valuable relaxation and mindfulness skills to carry with them throughout their lives,” said Ms. Charbonneau.
For more information, please visit the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre website to check for dates, times and cancellations. Cancellations will be weather dependent and will be posted on the webpage and on the MUN Students Facebook and Twitter accounts. This is a drop-in program and no preregistration is required.