BY ELLIE GERST | the Statesman UMD’s Faculty and Staff are now able to take a little break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life at UMD with Mindful Monday. It’s a 20-minute guided meditation every Monday in the Garden Room at 12:05.
“Mindful Monday is an opportunity to take a little break out of your day and just be,” Rachel Gilbertson from the Employee Health and Wellness Center said.
Gilbertson facilitates the meditations, which are free and specific for faculty and staff as a part of the Employee Wellness Program.
“We listen to a 20 minute guided meditation,” Gilbertson said. “It varies week to week and we try to incorporate some yoga or stretching, so depending on the week it’s different.”
For those who can’t make the Monday sessions, Gilbertson has created a Google group called Mindful UMD in which she sends the group online meditations. The group is linked on the website for UMD Employee Wellness.
“What I’ve started doing is finding guided meditations through good resources online that are free and accessible to everyone and then I have a group that I email so that if they’re not able to make it, they can listen to their meditation in their office or home,” Gilbertson said.
Morgan Inman, UMD junior and communications and promotions coordinator at the Employee Health and Wellness Center, is a big advocate of mindfulness.
“I think of it as being present and focusing on what you’re doing in the moment instead of being distracted by everything else,” Inman said. “Most people kind of hate Mondays so it’s something for people to look forward to.”
Gilberston described her own view of mindfulness as the eye of the hurricane.
“A lot of the times we feel our life is moving so quickly, there’s a lot going on and it’s kind of chaotic,” Gilbertson stated. “Mindfulness invites us to operate out of the eye of the storm so that no matter how chaotic or crazy a storm could be, there’s an opportunity to find that place of peace and calm.”