Childcare Resources of Indian River recently hosted transcendental meditation (TM) classes for a dozen local early childhood educators. Funding provided by Indian River Community Foundation made this enrichment opportunity possible for students and alumni of the Childcare Resources Education, Advancement, and Training for Early Educator program.
“Early educators are tasked with challenging situations and circumstances on a regular basis,” said Shannon McGuire Bowman, Childcare Resources Executive Director. “Childcare Resources is committed to providing them with personal growth opportunities, tools, and support so that they can thrive in the classroom and positively impact their students.”
Developed more than half a century ago, TM involves silently repeating a word or phrase to quiet the mind. The benefits of TM include lower blood pressure, improved sleep, reduction of stress and anxiety, and increased productivity, creativity, and energy.
“I first learned about the benefits of TM during the COVID-19 shutdown when the Community Foundation helped fund the ‘Heal the Healers’ project designed to help local healthcare professionals to reduce stress and re-energize to continue caregiving,” said Jeff Pickering, Indian River Community Foundation President and CEO. “Extending the learning opportunity to early childhood educators seemed like another good application of this trusted method for stress reduction among people doing such meaningful work with children in our community.”
Childcare Resources hosted sessions across four days that included one-on-one meetings and group educational instruction. The intensive training was facilitated by Nancy and Sue Dudley of Transcendental Meditation for Women.
In a follow-up session, participating educators reflected on the benefits they felt TM had brought to their lives including increased emotional regulation and reduction of stress.
“TM is slowly but surely changing my life,” noted one attendee. “It is changing how I will view things going forward.”