Mindfulness and Calm

Student life at MLWGS is often a dazzling jumble of coursework, club meetings, sports competitions, music performances, and social time.  Add a part-time job or college application season and Wowza! finding a few minutes of calm can be challenging. Fortunately, there are strategies that can help when you’re feeling frazzled – strategies like breathing, coloring, and physical movement.

beanbagPeriodically, Ms. DeGroat teaches Mindfulness and Calm lessons (in collaboration with teachers in AP Psychology and Health/PE) that cover techniques to help you feel calmer or more focused – and perhaps fall asleep more easily. The curriculum is from Koru Mindfulness, a program developed to support students at Duke, and Ms. DeGroat is Koru-certified mindfulness teacher. The MW Library has Youtube and Soundcloud playlists to facilitate understanding and practice of the concepts and techniques taught in these classes.

For a moment of calm or creative diversion, stop by the library’s Creativity and Calm cabinet or sink into one of the bright, comfy bean bags in Counseling’s Mindfulness room. If you need to talk to someone about your worries, see one of the counselors in the MLWGS Counseling Department.

Need a resource now?  Here are some free resources and ideas to get you started.

Mindfulness Recordings (brief talks & guided practices)

MW Library’s Mindfulness and Calm playlist on Soundcloud (note: if you’re at school, the recording may take a few minutes to buffer, especially around lunchtime)

Mindfulness and Calm Apps


These apps offer a variety of strategies for shifting your attention away from your worries, whether to your breath, your senses, an image, or a recording.

  • SAM app from the University of West England, Bristol – designed to help people understand and manage anxiety
  • Mindshift app from BC Children’s Hospital and Anxiety BC – designed to help teens and young adults cope with anxiety
  • Breathe2Relax from the National Center for Telehealth and Technology – developed to teach diaphragmatic breathing (a.k.a. belly breathing) for stress relief

If focusing on an image helps you concentrate on breathing, the one-minute animation below might be useful. For more videos, see the library’s related YouTube playlist.

Soothing Sounds


Creative Play

bhangra2016Physical exercise is a fabulous stress reliever.

Get active during lunch or after school. Walk, run, or roll around the track. Throw a frisbee. Shoot hoops. Hula hoop. Prefer to be with a group? Play sports or join the Dodgeball Club, Bhangra Dance Club, or Frisbee Club.

Make. Build. Color. Coloring books are available in Counseling’s Mindfulness room and the library’s Creativity and Calm station (where you’ll also find origami paper and rainbow looms). Prefer to be with a group?  Sign up for an art, photo, or digvid class, join the Art Club, Robotics, or Technology Student Association, or participate in an activity organized by the Fine Arts Honor Society.

Choir performs at Fall Fest 2016Soundplay. Sing with friends, laugh, play an instrument. Prefer to be with a group? Sign up for a music or chorus class, or join a music-related club like Deadbeats or the Appalachian Heritage Music Club.

Imaginative play. Read or write a story, play, or poem (the library has a wide array of books). Play chess. Try improv. Game. Prefer to be with a group? Sign up for Creative Writing, join Chess Club or Drama Club, or try out for a school play.


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