Steamboat resident’s Mindful Life program expands to businesses | SteamboatToday.com
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Steamboat resident’s Mindful Life program expands to businesses

Teresa Ristow
Dr. Kristen Race, the creator of the Mindful Life program, has debuted a new Mindfulness and the Workplace program.
Courtesy Photo

— Steamboat Springs mindfulness master Dr. Kristen Race’s latest project brings her Mindful Life program to working professionals.

Race started the Mindful Life program to teach stress resilience and calming skills to children, then teachers and parents, but she said she was regularly approached after her trainings by people who thought the skills would apply to busy working adults too.

“It’s pretty universal, whether you’re waiting tables or a CEO — we all have stress,” said Race, who operates her growing business out of a small blue house turned business headquarters on Oak Street.

Earlier this year, Mindful Life debuted the Mindfulness in the Workplace program, which is delivered electronically to working adults over a nine-week period.

A new course is enrolling now, with the first week of the program scheduled to begin Sept. 19.

Skills learned through Race’s programs include breathing awareness, how to intentionally respond to overwhelming situations and how to practice gratefulness on a daily basis.

Weekly mindfulness topics include how to calm your mind on demand, the hidden costs of distractions and how to schedule your day for efficiency, productivity and sanity.

Race said businesses, large and small, can benefit from teaching employees mindfulness, and the program is gaining traction with larger corporations.

Businesses taking advantage of the Mindfulness in the Workplace program include Spanx, Carter’s and Crocs.

Race said employees can enroll in the course individually, or several employees or an entire business can enroll together at a reduced rate. She also customizes programs for businesses upon request.

Last spring, Race piloted the workplace program with select employees from several Steamboat Springs businesses, including real estate brokers, nurses and city staff members.

Participants gave Race positive reviews, with one participant, Wells Fargo financial advisor Laura Cusenbary reporting that the program far exceeded her expectations.

“The micro-changes I made have had such a tremendous impact on my mood, reactions and energy,” Cusenbary said.

Pre-course and post-course evaluations have been used to gauge changes in participants’ perceived stress, mindful awareness, productivity and overall wellbeing, with 83 up to 100 percent of participants reporting improvements in each category.

“You get a lot more done, and you become kind of at ease, and more likely to get in the flow,” Race said.

Race said the improvements for employees translate to paybacks for employers, who stand to benefit from workers who are less stressed.

“There’s a health cost to stress that businesses take on,” Race said.

Participants in the upcoming Mindfulness in the Workplace course are given a weekly 12 to 15 minute electronic “module” they view on their own, which provides a mindfulness skill for the week they can view on their own time.

Every three weeks, the class comes together for a webinar to review the skills and discuss how things are going. The webinar is also recorded for those who can’t attend.

“We want to make it as turn-key and simple as possible,” Race said.

Registration for the upcoming workplace program closes on Sept. 13. Learn more about the program and about Mindful Life at mindfullifetoday.com.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow


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