Mindfulness and more

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A man in work clothes meditates on a calm lake surrounded by nature.
Empty your mind, or empty mind? insspirito via Pixabay

Mindfulness has a place in every aspect of life

Oftentimes, mindfulness is viewed as a space where one detaches oneself from the world for a time to immerse themselves in yoga and other meditative practices to learn more about themselves. But there is so much more to it than just yoga and physical practices. 

According to the American Psychological Association, “Mindfulness is awareness of one’s internal states and surroundings.”  

When mindfulness is seen as just a recreational practice we neglect to practice it in our daily lives, especially at work. However, times are changing. Companies and organizations are switching their structure and making themselves more inclusive and humane. Mindfulness is becoming a lifestyle. 

Twello is one organization working to bring forth corporate mindfulness in workplaces, and is giving employees the opportunity to practice and integrate it into their work lifestyle. Twello has normalized the notion of practicing mindfulness in the workplace and evolving with the practice. 

Started by Kayla Baum, the CEO of Twello, this organisation has grown and flourished even when nobody was talking about mindfulness and mental health. While there were few other organizations normalizing and integrating corporate mindfulness, Baum took the initiative and launched her venture to invite others into a mindful space.  

“It started with her doing workshops, and keynotes, […] in Regina. It kind of started to pick up and we started focusing on more topics and how you can relate mindfulness to it. Mindfulness for work-life balance, for focus, for all different types of categories that employees can relate to,” said Kaitlyn Stricker, an Operations Manager at Twello.  

Twello is a local startup that has grown and flourished to become an internationally recognized organization. It has broken societal barriers about mindfulness at work and brought to attention the different tools and resources that employees can use to find a work-life balance. 

Stricker learned more about mindfulness on the job and it grew from there. Twello gave her clarity about her mental health, which has extended to helping her learn how to guide others on this journey. 

“It is really just like being aware of the present moment and where a lot of the stress comes from for the employees. They are focusing on the past, […] they are stressed out,” Stricker said. “We just really try to teach employees about being present, being in the moment… that’s kind of the concept of mindfulness, which I am still learning a lot about, […] and trying to apply to my life.” 

“Beginner meditators, they don’t even have the time [to] sit in silence for five minutes. I think it’s when they [try to] for the first time in their life, there is no silence,” said Stricker. “I am thinking of a million things all the time and on [the] go, […]  and I think also, aside from just taking care of your mental health and stress, the other thing is like a loss of productivity.” 

Stricker shared one main reason for people losing productivity as simply losing focus on the task at hand. Due to a consistent state of chaos in people’s lives, they might find themselves thinking of something else while working on a separate, specific task. “They are not putting all of their effort into the task that they are actually doing,” said Stricker. Mindfulness and short breaks can be used to extract oneself from the constant hustle. 

“Personally, I definitely do want to get better at practicing [mindfulness] because I don’t think I do enough, and I am seeing how beneficial it can be,” added Stricker. Working with Twello has expanded her knowledge of mental health and made her more aware of the tools and resources available to the public. 

Twello is a platform that can help employees become more connected with themselves even with the challenges and hustle and bustle of work. Twello, and its mindfulness practices, also have the capacity to increase the productivity and efficiency of a workplace. Companies like Hello Fresh, Netflix, and Microsoft use Twello’s services for their employees. 

Some of Twello’s discussions include yoga, mindful eating, meditation, improving sleep, mindfulness for stress reduction, resilience training, gratitude journaling, work-from-home wellness, and breathwork basics. Twello has an array of tools and resources for employees in the workplace. 

These resources and tools are always improving however, as innovation brings forth new ideas and new ways to incorporate mindfulness in the workplace. 

In Twello’s workplace, mindfulness is especially important. Stricker describes the boundaries and mindful practices that CEO Baum has in place. Baum not only encourages mindfulness to the world, but within the team as well. 

“She has created a lot of work-life boundaries for us, and it’s little things. […] take a step back from work, go for a walk around the park, even just choosing [a] start time and end time. Little things, like [a] mental health day,” said Stricker. 

Allowing its employees to take a mental health day speaks a lot about the culture and work lifestyle that Twello promotes. With this notion, mindfulness can be about helping people get through tough times. 

Stricker also discusses how mindfulness impacts her daily life. Mindfulness allows Stricker to focus on the important things in life, without being distracted by work. Taking time for family and building lasting memories are important without having your focus lost on something else like work stress. Practicing mindfulness can prevent people from missing out on important events or memories. Twello and mindfulness are a step back in life to get two steps forward to efficiency, productivity, and a healthy life.  

Editor’s Note: At the request of Kaitlyn Stricker, her position title was updated from “Senior Wellness Consultant” to “Operations Manager” on November 15, 2023.

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