COVID-19 has put us all in uncharted territory. It presents us with unprecedented challenges, both personally and professionally. Some emergency management personnel are on the front line. Now more than ever we need effective ways of staying calm and focused during shifts and being able to unwind more easily afterward.
ESF has worked with leading mindfulness expert Dr Richard Chambers to develop a suite of short guided meditations especially designed to help people in the emergency management sector do exactly that.
Research shows that mindfulness meditation literally rewires the brain, strengthening our ability to stay focused even when things are stressful, unpredictable and constantly changing.
These simple guided meditations range from 5 to 10 minutes each, making them bite-sized ways of boosting your mental resilience and wellbeing.
Dennis Smith was a 2019 ESF scholarship awardee. He studied how meditation and mindfulness can benefit people working in emergency management. Listen to what Dennis has to say about this program.
Dr Richard Chambers is a clinical psychologist and leading mindfulness expert. He is helping lead an initiative at a major Australian university to embed mindfulness in the core curriculum for its students and helped develop the Smiling Mind app, which has 4.5 million downloads. He knows our sector and has developed these guided meditations especially for us. Watch this short video to learn about how and why you should use this meditation program.
It’s free, takes just 5 to 10 minutes, and can be done anytime, anywhere. It’s worth a try.
With the recent tragic loss of the four Victoria Police officers, many in the community – and especially the emergency management community – are experiencing grief. For a lot of us, we have never been taught how to be with grief in healthy ways, and so we tend to either disconnect from it or suppress it, or we react to the emotion, perhaps with anger.
Being with emotions like grief is difficult, but it is extremely important for us to do this. My work as a clinical psychologist has shown me time and again that when people make space for grief and allow themselves to feel it, without getting lost in it, this prevents the grief from getting stuck, and aids in getting through it in a healthy way. Making space for grief also means we stay connected with ourselves, which means we can remain connected with those around us – a very important part of the grieving process.
Included in the program of meditations is an important 10 minute meditation that has been specifically made to help you process any grief you may be feeling. It is not designed to make the grief go away, and in no way discounts the very real tragedy that we have faced and the suffering that has resulted. The meditation is designed to help you have a healthier relationship with your grief. Give it a go, and if you find it useful please share it with your colleagues or anyone else who may benefit from it.
Dr Richard Chambers
For more information on the benefits of meditation for emergency service workers and volunteers check out this brochure produced by Emergency Services Health