Malcolm Radke, wearing hats as the CEO of the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation and co-owner of Nevermind Wellness, a yoga and mindfulness business, tried out a meditative mindfulness session with fellow members of the Rotary Club of Lloydminster on Monday. The session ended with him tapping a singing bowl to help focus attention on the sound and relieve. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO
Malcolm Radke, CEO of the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, has an antidote for the so-called saddest day of the year —this Monday.
His potential cure-all for Blue Monday and the days to follow is to introduce mindfulness to adults and elementary school students in Lloydminster and surrounding areas.
Radke and his girlfriend Crystal Charbonneau own Nevermind Wellness, a yoga and mindfulness business, and have partnered with Lloydminster and Area Drug Strategy to hire on a few instructors teaching mindfulness in elementary schools from December to March.
“Mindfulness is basically a proactive mental health tool that helps you pay attention to the present moment,” said Radke, who spoke about the scope of mindfulness and the school initiative at the Monday lunch meeting of the Rotary Club of Lloydminster.
He said the meditation aspect of mindfulness that he tried out with Rotarians can ward off the depressing mood of Blue Monday, a day based on a pseudoscientific formula including weather conditions, debt levels and time since failed new year’s resolutions.
Radke said when it comes to resolutions, mindfulness is mental health related and he said it works wonders to calm restless students.
“Teachers say this is fantastic; it seems to calm the room right down,” he said.
“It gives the kids tools they can use on their own—the feedback has been positive.”
He said it’s catching on all over North America in his opinion in response to the wave of technology with the Internet and social media, and the access to cellphones and tablets.
He said as a result, our attention spans have really been shrunk.
“Teachers obviously see that on the front line with students and children every day, and they’re saying ‘we’re desperate’ for anything here,” said Radke.
“They tried it in a few schools in North America and had some success, and now it’s starting to catch on.”
The Lloydminster Region Health Foundation got grants totalling $10,000 from Saskatchewan Lotteries and Family Community Support Services for Nevermind Wellness to run the program with their partners in the Border City and surrounding elementary schools.
“Crystal and I learned the benefits first hand and now we’re spreading the message,” he said.
Radke said it helped him personally to “sort through the crazy thoughts of life” instead of being bogged down in the stories in his own head.
He said one of the benefits of mindfulness, especially with school age children, is that it builds their ability to focus and concentrate.
“It’s said it also gives them some tools to essentially manage and regulate their emotions – strong emotions, outbursts—that kind of thing.”
He calls it a proactive mental health tool that helps with lowering stress and handling “crazy thoughts.”
“Some of the feedback we are getting is fantastic,” he told Rotary.