In this week’s data collection exercises, I decided to revisit mindfulness in the form of Mindfulness-Based Intervention (MBIs). Rather than log the theme and story during a 20min guided mindfulness practice (Katie, 2020) as I did in week 2, I colour coded the ‘charge’ of thoughts in terms of the emotions they were evoking. I experimented with mindfulness colouring & anti-stress art therapy (Farrarons, 2015). I tried various approaches including colouring in the entire time of the mediation to synching each stroke with my breath – eventually, I decided only to colour in an area when a thought-story emerged and leave the empty spaces to reflect no-thought or present moment awareness; the colouring itself was of course done mindfully.
Each square represents a session, normally at the beginning of the day. To allow for simplicity as part of the visualisation design, I didn’t want to categorise the boxes into days or even particular times of the day, but to allow more qualitative representations of the general mood and feeling of the participant. The green colour to mark creative insights was interesting as these appeared unexpectedly without any particular intention of my own and also links to studies on the influence of mindfulness mediation on creative thinking (Capurso, Fabbro and Crescentini, 2014).
Although employers record a rise in productivity due to remote work (Aron, 2021), this can often lead to long hours working in front of a digital screen which can lead to eye strain, blurred vision, headaches and neck/back pain (Wilkin, 2021), increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and can impact sleep by interfering with the production of melatonin (Health, 2021). Having a way to monitor mental-emotional wellbeing may be essential for an organisation, particularly during lockdown where remote working can lead to longer hours and potentially more focused screen time due to the lack of social interaction. There is evidence from a number of studies to suggest MBIs can improve teacher’s psycho-social wellbeing, self-care and self-compassion, as well as help to reduce burnout, depression, stress and anxiety (Hwang et al., 2017; Lomas et al., 2017; Dunning et al., 2019; Weare, 2019; Zarate, Maggin and Passmore, 2019). Furthermore, this may call for regular breaks (NHS, 2020) when designing an online digital timetable, adopting pedagogies with a balance between synchronous vs asynchronous load (Lemov, 2021) or the use of apps such as Microsoft Wellbeing to monitor the well-being of students and staff (Madehmer, 2021). This of course raises questions about surveillance and accountability, which, owing to the suggested length of this post, I will discuss in the block summary.
References and Notes
Aron, I. (2021) Employers record rise in productivity thanks to working from home, study says, The Independent. Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/working-from-home-more-productive-b1825440.html (Accessed: 4 April 2021).
Byron Katie (2020) ‘The Gift of Imagination’ – A Meditation. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu6ooIsu5dg (Accessed: 4 April 2021).
Capurso, V., Fabbro, F. and Crescentini, C. (2014) ‘Mindful creativity: The influence of mindfulness meditation on creative thinking’, Frontiers in psychology, 4, p. 1020. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.01020.
Dunning, D. L. et al. (2019) ‘Research Review: The effects of mindfulness-based interventions on cognition and mental health in children and adolescents – a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials’, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, 60(3), pp. 244–258. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12980.
Farrarons, E. (2015) The Mindfulness Colouring Book: Anti-stress Art Therapy for Busy People: Amazon.co.uk: Farrarons, Emma: 9780752265629: Books. Available at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mindfulness-Colouring-Book-Anti-stress-therapy/dp/0752265628/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=mindfulness+colouring+book+emma&qid=1617554513&sr=8-2 (Accessed: 4 April 2021).
Health, A. (2021) What are the negative side effects of too much screen time? Available at: https://www.activehealth.sg/read/screen-time/what-are-the-negative-side-effects-of-too-much-screen-time (Accessed: 4 April 2021).
Hwang, Y.-S. et al. (2017) ‘A systematic review of mindfulness interventions for in-service teachers: A tool to enhance teacher wellbeing and performance’, Teaching and Teacher Education, 64, pp. 26–42. doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2017.01.015.
Lomas, T. et al. (2017) ‘The impact of mindfulness on the wellbeing and performance of educators: A systematic review of the empirical literature’, Teaching and Teacher Education, 61, pp. 132–141. doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2016.10.008.
Madehmer (2021) MyAnalytics Wellbeing page – Workplace Intelligence. Available at: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/workplace-analytics/myanalytics/use/wellbeing (Accessed: 5 April 2021).
NHS (2020) Well-being when working from home. Available at: https://www.uhb.nhs.uk/hr/wellbeing-when-working-from-home.htm (Accessed: 5 April 2021).
Weare, K. (2019) ‘Mindfulness and contemplative approaches in education’, Current Opinion in Psychology, 28, pp. 321–326. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2019.06.001.
Wilkin, D. A., Rebecca (2021) What staring at a screen all day does to your brain and body, Business Insider. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com/screen-time-effects-health-vision-staring-at-screens-bad-for-you-2019-1 (Accessed: 4 April 2021).
Zarate, K., Maggin, D. M. and Passmore, A. (2019) ‘Meta-analysis of mindfulness training on teacher well-being’, Psychology in the Schools, 56(10), pp. 1700–1715. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.22308.