When I started running mindfulness meditation sessions in the workplace in 2011, I felt like a fish out of water. I've witnessed the sea change over the past 10 years of these practices becoming mainstream.
When COVID hit us all in March 2020, I went into high gear to help the mindfulness facilitators in my community learn how to transition their sessions from in-person to virtual. They rose to the occasion with grace and continued with vigor to help others.
I also wondered how the pandemic would affect the 'demand' for mindfulness.
At a macro level, here is what I've seen happen with the level of interest for mindfulness not only from individuals but also from organizations (employers who care to help their employees cope with the stress and anxiety of the pandemic).
Please note that I have not gathered actual statistics. This is a simple depiction of my felt experience since COVID started regarding the level of interest from individuals and organizations contacting me.
There certainly was a rise in interest once the pandemic took hold. During the first few months, employers and staff were busy trying to figure out a new way of working and certainly for many, their employment situation changed.
Then in the fall of 2020, there was a noticeable jump in the interest level from employers. My assumption was that once the initial shock and pivoting settled down a bit, many employers became very aware of how challenging things had become for their staffs' mental health and took steps to do something about it.
The rise in employers inquiring about mindfulness information and training continues.
And I don't see a decline in sight.
Mindfulness and meditation are very helpful practices for many people, and word of mouth is powerful. As mental wellness continues to become okay to discuss, these practices form an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
A shout-out to all those who practice and advocate for mindfulness meditation, and especially to those who take the leap to become skilled mindfulness facilitators. It's important to share these practices, however, it needs to be done in an informed way that is secular (non-religious, non-spiritual) and with trauma-informed language.
~Wendy Quan, Founder, The Calm Monkey