Pei Fen: I had no previous experience with mindfulness practice but had heard it being used in undergraduates’ settings to reduce students’ stresses. I attended the preview session with Erin and signed up through the SkillsFuture program.
MiMo: Tell us about your experience in the MBSR program.
Pei Fen: I thought the 8 weeks were necessary as it gave us enough time to practice and explore various mindfulness practices. It was only when we could appreciate the bodily effects of mindfulness practice were we able to relate it to our daily lives. In fact, many of us experiences the positive effects of the MBSR programs 2-3 weeks into the practice. I have benefited much from my classmates during the program; the sharing sessions provided non-judgemental assurance since we experienced similar struggles.
MiMo: How has mindfulness contributed to your personal well-being?
Pei Fen: Having the knowledge and experiences of being in a mindful state of mind provides a distinct contrast to being in a frantic, restless state. First, having the awareness of myself being in a fanatic state allow me a choice to remain frantic or go for a change. Although I have just completed the 8 weeks of MBSR program, I am a more restful person than before and I am able to spot frantic moments and centre myself to focus faster.
MiMo: How has mindfulness supported you in your professional work?
Pei Fen: My work as a registered nurse involves countless moments of multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is seen as a virtue in many cases. However, I can name at least two moments that full attention is mandatory. First the administration of medications deserves full attention from the administrator, to reduce the risk of medication error. Secondly, being present when we are communicating with anxious or grieving caregivers. Having mindfulness skills and awareness allow me the control of my attention during important situations as such. These behaviours could improve both patient safety and experiences during their hospital admission.
MiMo: How have you incorporated mindfulness into your daily life?
Pei Fen: Being a fresh graduate of the course, mindfulness doesn’t come automatically. It does require a conscious effort to choose mindfulness over the hectic daily routine we so often live by. I’ve chosen mindful eating as a daily practice in appreciation of food and health. In terms of work-related stress, mindfulness has given me the opportunity to “take a pause” and to respond to difficult conversations or work arrangements.
MiMo: Any words of advice for people who are thinking about learning mindfulness?
Pei Fen: Explore with an open mind; we live in a shared world where many things are not within our control. However, learning mindfulness will allow us the control over one of the most powerful organs - our mind. Which can then in return allow us to shape our perspectives for all things.
A registered nurse, privileged to be working with ill children. In addition to the provision of care to the patients, pediatric nurses take care of the families as well. Mindfulness practices allow Pei Fen to remain centered during emergencies and the ability to provide emotional support to people even in the face of death.