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Got 15 minutes? Stop, and take a deep breath

Tina Balazovjech of the West Island Therapy and Wellness Centre giving a meditation class on Zoom: “Press the reset button, bring your focus on just yourself.”

Many of us are feeling frenzied these days. We’re coping with added workloads, disrupted schedules, stress and anxiety. For those seeking relief, meditation can help.

Our CIUSSS’s Human Resources team in collaboration with the West Island Therapy and Wellness Centre is offering meditation classes on Zoom. Led by teacher Tina Balazovjech, the live-streamed lessons offer participants a relaxing interlude filled with birdsong, soothing music and gentle meditation instructions.

The goal? Slowing down for 15 minutes and quieting your mind.

“We’re hoping to encourage people to stop and pause,” says Ms. Balazovjech. “Take 15 minutes for yourself. Press the reset button, bring your focus on just yourself. Let those cortisone levels come down, relax, feel calm, feel clear, and then be prepared to carry on with your day.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has made life more stressful than ever for healthcare workers. While there’s no magic solution to alleviating pressures at home or on the job, meditation can help manage it.

“We want to offer tools to relieve stress. Meditation happens to be a superb tool,” says Francine Levi, coordinator of the Employee Engagement and Recognition team of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal.

Experts say meditation can help restore calm and improve emotional well-being. Tung Tran, Director of the Mental Health and Addiction Program at our CIUSSS, says the practice has been shown to be beneficial for both mental and physical health.

“It allows our system globally to regulate and diminish stress, and as such to improve sleep and even increase concentration,” he says.

“During the current health, humanitarian and social crisis we’re going through, many aspects of our lives are being disrupted. Meditation is a way to ‘live in the moment.’”

And it can help on the job, too, Mr. Tran adds.

“In a professional context, meditation has shown not only an ability to decrease stress and avoid burnout but to increase a feeling of ‘mission accomplished,’ which is so important at the end of the day.”

The meditation sessions, which are bilingual, continue to the end of June. The schedule is:

Monday, June 8, 15 and 22, at 4:45 p.m.

Wednesday, June 10, 17 and 24, at 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 6, 13, 20, 27 at 8:45 a.m.

Join the meditation Zoom meeting [1] (Meeting: 864-2859-3259 password: 331172)