In the midst of all the transition in healthcare today, with 2 out 3 healthcare providers reporting feelings of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion, Boulder Community Health (BCH) wanted to offer their staff relief and support them in preparation for moving their hospital to a new facility. Administration wanted to give staff practical tools and skills to help ease the stress of the transition and engaged them in the Chaos to Calm in 30 days Mindfulness Challenge a month before the move.
572 employees of BCH signed up for the challenge, which involved taking a brief standardized stress survey and committing to a minimum of 5 minutes of a mindfulness practice a day for 30 days. The practices were provided on a website created specifically for Boulder Community Health, making them simple and accessible for everyone. The guided practices included deep breathing, movement, letting go and loving kindness meditations, and body scan.
To complete the challenge, Boulder Community Health employees took the post-challenge stress survey after 30 days and the results reflected a reported decrease in stress of 20.32%. The average number of days practiced was 19 and deep breathing and the letting go meditation were the most popular practices. Participants self reported feeling more calm, relaxed and focused and additional comments included:
- Just five minutes of this kind of practice can make a difference in your attitude for the day.
- On days that I practiced mindfulness I felt more calm and in control.
- I’m more open minded about my daily life situation.
- I stop and put my self in a better place if things get to stress full or hectic.
- I’ve haven’t been as stressed, I’ve been able to control my angry emotions better and have a better outlook on everything.
- My attitude is more positive with a realistic perspective and I communicate it better. I am able to think around a problem with more objectivity.
- I was surprised that I was more flexible with the irritating sudden schedule or rule changes at work.
- I can stay calm and carry on. Even if things get off track..it’s not the end of the world.
- Increased ability to focus on solutions rather than problems. I am more observant of others, and can de-escalate better and provide a more calm atmosphere.
- I can actually go within and find tranquility with practice.
- It really helps!! I feel re-energized after.
With such an overwhelming positive response, Boulder Community Health is considering participating in Your Mindful Year, a year-long online program to give continued skills, structure, support for their employees to continue to practice mindfulness. Boulder Community Health is to be commended for their innovative approach to deal with the challenges we all face in healthcare today.