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Mindful habits can help people and organizations

Nik Koulogeorge | Oct 29, 2020

The Virtual Key Leader workbook features six educational tracks. Each track starts with a mindfulness video by Lisa Pyron, development specialist for Kiwanis Service Leadership Programs. “Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment,” she says, “paying attention to the here and now, without judgment, and with kindness and curiosity.”

Mindfulness is important for something like Key Leader, where participants reflect upon their values and their role within a community. It is particularly vital when working with one of the most anxiety-ridden generations of high school and college students in recorded history.  

The great thing about mindfulness is that it easily can be practiced and integrated into your day. Try these four simple tips to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life or as a club activity.  

1. Take mini breaks to rest and refocus.
Whether you are working from home, working from an office or just hoping the baby stays asleep for five more minutes, mindfulness is something you can integrate into any five-minute period during your day.

Body scan exercises or listening activities take just a few moments of time but can help you relax or refocus your mind. The sense of clarity will improve your performance on your next task.  

2. Create vacation-like awe.
Greater Good Magazine defines “awe” as “the feeling we get in the presence of something vast that challenges our understanding of the world, like looking up at millions of stars or marveling at the birth of a child.”

You don’t need a clear night sky to create a sensation of awe. A simple walk in a park will refresh your spirit. It even can be felt at home or at your desk. Indoor plants or videos of refreshing or awe-inspiring scenery can offer subtle and similar benefits.  

3. Calmly kick off a meeting or activity.
Use any mindfulness activity (including the videos in Virtual Key Leader) to kick off a meeting. Meetings can be hectic, so require attendees to set their phones aside and take part in a brief mindfulness activity.  

The activity doesn’t need to focus on the meeting’s topic. Simply helping others set their mind into the present situation can result in a clearer, more productive and more civil gathering.  

4. Create community at the table.
A great benefit of mindfulness is that it builds connections when practiced with a group. Like meditation, reflection, prayer or yoga, mindfulness makes a helpful practice among family, friends and colleagues. Take a moment to enjoy the scents of a holiday dinner or reflect upon the impact of a service activity with loved ones.  

You’ll find thousands of mindfulness resources online to suit a variety of generations and lifestyles. Find ones that speak to you. Start by completing the mindfulness activities in the free Virtual Key Leader workbook  

Download it today at kiwanis.org/virtualkeyleader.

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