School of Mindfulness NI – Member in Focus #54
Interview with Jennifer Cousins of School of Mindfulness NI
Tell us a bit about yourself and/or your organisation.
I am Jennifer Cousins and I run the School of Mindfulness NI. I set up the business in December 2019, as I am passionate about helping people, especially children, with their mental wellbeing!
I have been able to educate myself on mindfulness and wellbeing through study and practice, having had episodes of depression in the past. There are decisions we make which influence our physical health (diet and exercise), and there are choices we can make that can help our mental wellbeing also. Mental health is of vital importance. I empower and educate on the tools and techniques we can all use to keep mentally well.
I have developed a ‘colourful minds’ children’s mental wellbeing programme, which lasts 6 weeks. I have taught this to groups of 6 to 12 year olds to help them to challenge how they think and improve their confidence, giving them vital life-long skills and coping techniques to take forward with them into the future.
Many parents approach me personally to thank me for the difference in their child, which fills me with such joy, as I love to help!
I am in the process of building a new website and making my ‘colourful minds’ children’s course for sale online, with lots of fun videos, tasks, worksheets and notes to enjoy! Topics covered include:
- Coping with big emotions such as anxiety, anger or sadness
- Stepping out of our comfort zone (where the comfort and magic happens!)
- Mind focus games to improve attention
- Challenging thinking style patterns
- Problem solving techniques for stress or worry and much, much more!
I aim to make an adult/teenager version of this course available for online sale in the near future. I also wish to take my ‘colourful minds’ programme into schools and educate more teachers on how to implement this in the classroom.
How well have you/your organisation adapted to the pandemic?
During the pandemic, I stopped trading for 6 months initially from March 2020 to September 2020, however, since re-commencing my business has grown from strength to strength. I now offer services over zoom which has meant I can reach a wider audience. The move to remote learning has also encouraged me to list more online services and grow my business.
With Childhood anxiety being the number 1 issue that many parents approach me with, I have increased the number of 1 to 1 sessions provided. I have also taught some primary school teachers my ‘colourful minds’ children’s course over zoom to enable them to take forward the skills required to assist the wellbeing of children in their classrooms.
The main difference the pandemic has made I believe, is that it has encouraged people to reach out and be kinder. My neighbour set up a facebook neighbourhood group for people to reach out to each other and share information. Local shops have offered delivery for free when it was needed most due to large supermarket delivery slots being booked weeks in advance.
Kindness and community should be at the heart of our neighbourhoood and the pandemic has helped us achieve this, even if in a small way.
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