MADISON, Wis. – To help address a rise in parental stress, UW Health is offering two mindfulness parenting and caregiving courses in November.
These courses will explore the idea of mindfulness in parenting and show attendees how to engage in practices such as yoga and meditation. This is an opportunity for parents, grandparents and caregivers to connect with others facing the joys and challenges of parenting, according to Dr. Mala Mathur, pediatrician and mental health expert, UW Health Kids, and associate professor of pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
These sessions will provide practices to nurture your body, mind and spirit, and in turn, support a healthy relationship with your child, Mathur said.
“Early on in the pandemic there was an increase in parental stress impacting the mental health of parents,” she said. “I noticed this in my practice with parents working from home, with daycares closing and children attending virtual schooling. Additionally, I experienced this with my own three children during the pandemic.”
The Department of Pediatrics and the UW Health Mindfulness Program developed these courses last year to address pandemic-related parental stress and the need for self-care through the lens of mindfulness and meditation. The first course was held in November 2021 and another in February 2022. Mathur and Lisa Thomas Price, the program manager for the UW Health mindfulness program, run the courses.
Mindfulness is the practice of bringing one’s consciousness and awareness into the present moment and a way to acknowledge one’s thoughts and feelings, according to Mathur. Yoga is a technique that combines physical postures, meditation and regulated breathing to focus the mind and body, according to Mathur.
“These practices can lead to important rest for the mind, body and spirit,” she said. “These activities benefit both parents and kids and can be a potentially effective therapy for coping with emotional, mental, physical and behavioral conditions.”
The courses will be held via Zoom, cost $20 and are open to the public. The first one is 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Nov. 13, and the second one is 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 19. Registration is open.
A recorded interview with Mathur is available.