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14th December 2016

Mind full? Or Mindfulness

Mind full? Or Mindfulness

Is your mind full with CQC inspection and regulation, or are you using mindfulness and taking it in your stride this Christmas?

No room on the shelves

I am stacked out. I mean really stacked out. I don’t have a moment to sit down and just think. My husband has not been 100% since his operation and I think a couple of trips to A&E as well as the usual have tipped me over. It’s always busy this time of year, I need to think about policy and blogs, and I have just been away on pack holiday with 25 Brownies… who felt it appropriate to have a loud chat at 4.30am.

I have to tell you at this point that I’m a bit like the no-smoking guru sneaking out the back for a cheeky cigarette. I don’t manage stress and overload well.  I really don’t. BUT I am trying to kick the habit, and as I am addicted to cramming my diary full… I better start taking my own advice.

How are you doing?

I’m sure you ask colleagues this – but are we listening to the replies? A common response is ‘I’m just on autopilot’ or ‘getting by’. The air is infused with stress, and there can be little left in the tank by Christmas.

Mindfulness - what is it and how do you do it?

I like the definition below, the link also takes you to how you do it;

‘Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to, and seeing clearly whatever is happening in our lives.  It will not eliminate life's pressures, but it can help us respond to them in a calmer manner that benefits our heart, head, and body. It helps us recognise and step away from habitual, often unconscious emotional and physiological reactions to everyday events. It provides us with a scientifically researched approach to cultivating clarity, insight, and understanding. Practicing mindfulness allows us to be fully present in our life and work, and improve our quality of life.’

Source: http://www.mindfulnet.org/page2.htm

No time to do that sort of thing?

Below are some quick ideas of how you could implement this - remember, implementing new ways of working that benefit your service can be used as evidence against the CQC 5 questions. Make sure you audit what you do against your PIR and individual training plans.

Make space in team meetings or workshops – how about involving staff and people using the service?

15 minutes before you start an activity can quickly become the norm.

Top tip: There are plenty of good mindfulness resources available such as ‘head space’. You can also use your search engine to search for free resources and instructions.

Make mindfulness a good word

My husband sets 15 minutes early in the morning for mindfulness… I used to tease him about it. I feel ashamed at that because it has become a popular word I made fun. Make it a good word by setting the example.

Chill out

Space is important. How it looks is as important, and what it smells like.  Think of simple changes to make staff space a place to relax.

Learn to make space for others

When we are pushed, we can push others. Push them past what they are comfortable with to help them meet what we need to get us back on track. This is different from helping people meet their potential. It is hard, but give yourself and others space to be mindful.

Lead by example

The independent research-based charity The Kings Fund run a ‘Developing Compassionate Leadership through Mindfulness’ course. They also provide further reading for leaders at the bottom of the page that you may find useful.

It is 8:26am. I have a meeting at 9.30 and children to take to school, but I will take a mindful step back before I do. I hope you take 15 to do the same.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing

Abi Spence

Registration and Inspection Specialist

Abi has worked for and with Government agencies relevant to social care for the past 12+ years. Primarily with the Department of Health, Social Services Inspectorate, Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and since its inception the Care Quality Commission (CQC). As part of this long involvement Abi has developed a wide and detailed understanding of relevant issues and has worked closely with stakeholders such as people that use services, carers, providers, local government, the Department of Health, Ofsted and the Audit Commission. Read more

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