Practice mindfulness every day

Donna Krug, K-State Extension
Donna Krug

As our day to day schedule continues to be affected by the COVID pandemic, my hope is that you are staying well and finding ways to calm your mind and body each day. It is easy to get overloaded with news stories that we have no control over. Taking time each day for what I call “self-care” is more important than ever. Carving out time for whatever brings you peace of mind may look different for you than it does for me. Those of you who know me, can guess that part of my self-care includes a bike ride,   every chance I get.

A “Mindful Meditation and Do-In” (pronounced Doe-een) class is set to begin February 2nd at the Great Bend Activity Center. The class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 – 11 AM through February 18th.  A $10 fee paid at the Cottonwood Extension Office in Great Bend will hold your spot.  Due to COVID restrictions, class size is limited to ten participants. If you are reading this and have an interest in learning more about meditation and do-in exercises but are not quite comfortable with a face to face class there is an alternative. A link to the recorded session titled, Everyday Mindfulness, can be found on our Cottonwood Extension District web page www.cottonwood.ksu.edu  Click on the Health and Nutrition link on the left side of the front page and you will see the Everyday Mindfulness link.

This was a recording I was asked to do at one of our agent updates. Extension colleagues, Charlotte Shoup-Olsen and Debra Bolton, join me as we share the benefits of taking deep breaths and clearing the many thoughts racing through our minds. About 31 minutes into the recording, my husband, John, a retired chiropractor with extensive training in acupuncture, leads the short meditation and Do-In  exercises.

Mindfulness was a hot topic before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than ever, people are hoping to find a way to cope with the feelings of anxiousness and uncertainty. I encourage you to take time to read the “Everyday Mindfulness” fact sheet I helped write a couple of years ago. It highlights the following benefits that come from a regular meditation practice:

Increased ability to relax

Improved concentration

Increased energy and enthusiasm for life

Increased creativity

Increased self-awareness

Improved self-esteem

Improved work/school performance

If you are interested in checking out the fact sheet and leaders guide, it can be found on the KSRE web site. You can search by the publication title, “Everyday Mindfulness” or publication numbers MF3424 and MF3425.

Donna Krug is the District Director and the Family & Consumer Science Agent in the Cottonwood Extension District. You may reach her at: (620)793-1910 or dkrug@ksu.edu