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Stress relief key at any age

Some people say that society seems more anxious and stressed than ever. But a local woman is teaching adults and kids how to cope.
Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 6:58 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Jenn McCullough teaches mindfulness. She says that people of all ages can feel stress, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

It’s all about our attention, she says. “We, as human beings, can choose what we pay attention to,” she tells 13abc.

“Mindfulness is being aware,” she explains. “Like, right now we can be aware that we’re outside and not in a studio.”

It sounds simple, but it takes a lot of practice. She says, “Under that umbrella of awareness is being aware, being able to focus, in a way that is not reactive and judgmental.”

She says once you get the hang of it, mindfulness can help to calm you in a high-stress situation. In the midst of a pandemic, stress can be everywhere. She lists some of those stressors: “Concerns about getting sick, concerns about loved ones, concerns about their economic stability.”

But mindfulness isn’t just for grownups.

“It just shows up in different ways. If you’re in first grade, stress is someone cutting in front of you in line. And if you’re in high school, it’s ‘I never get to sleep because I’m working three jobs and going to high school.’”

So, she developed the mindfulness deck. It’s a collection of cards that highlight ways for kids to practice relaxation.

Some of the items on those cards, McCullough says include: “Breathing exercises, specially curated yoga poses that promote relaxation, other activities like mindful eating, mindful walking.”

Sara Kear is a local artist and illustrated the mindfulness deck. She says she has anxiety, and uses many of the techniques she drew about.

Kear tells 13abc, " I get to do something I love. I get to draw, which is just fun. To actually have it help people, is even better.”

If you’re interested in checking out the mindfulness deck, you can visit Jenn’s website.

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