A Lakeland College student is sharing his passion for holistic healing by hosting Mindful Mondays, a free 30-minute meditation session, so students and the community can nurture their mind, body and soul.
“Stress is a huge issue for students and this is one of the best ways for students to work through their stress - timely, holistically and financially. I want us to get back to our core and learn to listen to our internal conversations,” says Nathan Grindle, a university transfer student.
The types of meditation Grindle focuses on in each session varies depending on who attends and how he interprets the energy in the room. Some include body scan relaxation, mindfulness meditation and breath awareness.
“Why would we not want to enable our next generation of workforce people with a tool that releases stress and anxiety? I’m a firm believer that holistic practices are just as beneficial as the next prescription. Unfortunately, in our western culture it's easier to disconnect than connect,” he says.
Grindle has been practicing meditation for more than four years and leading sessions for three. He’s gained extensive knowledge by attending workshops around Alberta on improving self-worth, teaching meditation to children and silent meditation.
“About four years ago, there was a situation in my life that caused a lot of stress. I wanted to look for a natural way of dealing with it and a friend suggested meditation. I started and enjoyed it, and continued on with it.”
Grindle is taking the basic psychological processes course, which is offered in Lakeland’s university transfer bachelor of social work program
. In the course, he’s developing a thesis on meditation which inspired him to begin Mindful Mondays at the college. He plans to take more Lakeland courses to meet Athabasca University’s admission requirements for their bachelor of arts in psychology program.
“Between the classes and tests, texts and social media notifications, I want to create a mindful culture and community,” he says.
In a National College Health Assessment
2016 study, 90 per cent of students felt overwhelmed and 86.9 per cent felt exhausted during the school year. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, 75 per cent of visits to the doctor are related to mental health, explains Chantel Walker, a registered psychologist and counsellor with Lakeland’s Student and Academic Services
“Through research, mindfulness has been proven to help anyone socially, emotionally and academically. About 80 per cent of students get stressed at any given time. Since we’re an academic institution, I think it’s a great thing we’re hosting. Meditation is one of the best ways to reduce stress levels,” Walker says.
Mindful Mondays are every Monday from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. in Lakeland College Black Box Theatre at the Lloydminster campus. The sessions are free and open to the community.
Lakeland’s counselling and wellness services
provides free on-campus, confidential support for any student. The service offers a wide range of support from one-on-one counselling to physical, spiritual, mental and financial.
Photo: University transfer student Nathan Grindle leads a 30-minute meditation in the Black Box Theatre at the Lakeland College Lloydminster campus.