For the past few years, physical therapist Rebecca Eller has been promoting mindfulness among the youth in her community.
She has found it to be one of the most effective stress-management techniques for young adults.
“Mindfulness practices can change habitual patterns of reacting to stress,” Eller said, “to respond in ways that help regulate our nervous system and reveal our best self. We become present to our work and leisure in a way that is productive, trusted, creative and balanced.”
The Waunakee resident has taught several classes on the subject for the Lodi School District. Her main focus has been on teens, who encounter frequent stress due to transitions in their lives.
“Many of our youth are faced with high amounts of stress,” Eller said. “Living in our fast-paced society of high-volume doing, our world of technology and distractions, and the pressures we put on ourselves to know more, be better and keep up with (others) can be exhausting.”
Therefore, her aim has been to reduce levels of stress among those who are most susceptible.
She has started a camp called “Using Art to Build Mindfulness in Teens,” a four-day workshop designed for 12- to 17-year-olds in the Waunakee area.
“Each class includes mindful movement,” Eller said, “contemplative and creative processes to learn about our inner self and how we relate to the world around us. Students come home with unique experiences and projects to remind them of these strategies.”
People who sign up will engage in activities such as meditation, movement, art and games.
“Mindfulness practices are relatively simple practices,” Eller said, “but not easy to remember to do or to integrate into life without some training. I found that the best way to bring mindfulness to youth and families is to offer various strategies and experiential learning.”
Eller’s next camp will take place June 17-20, with a second from July 22-25 at Schumacher Farm Park. Anyone interested should contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.