Incorporating the concepts of mindfulness into a walk through green spaces also adds exercise and further promotes positive mental health through engaging with nature.
Published Wednesday, 6th April, 2022 in University news
City students and staff recently took part in a guided mindful walk, organised by the Neurodiversity team as part of Neurodiversity Celebration Week. The walk was led by Neurodiversity Support Tutor, Neil Goldwasser, and was a great way for the City community to explore hidden gems and walk-through green spaces near City whilst attendees learnt more about the lived experiences of fellow students, how we can be more accessible and the advice and support available at City.
When asked why he ran the activity, Neil said:
Scientific studies have proven that mindfulness has particular benefits for students with Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs) such as dyslexia and ADHD, and these walks are one way in which the Neurodiversity Support team are offering holistic support to our students beyond the more academic study skills support also provided.
Carolyne Lunga, a PhD student at City and one of the attendees, noted how it was an exciting opportunity as they’d hadn’t practised mindful walking before.
The experience made me realise how much I have missed walking around London without paying attention to my environment, buildings which are endowed with so much history, art, and the diverse people in this beautiful City. I felt very energised after doing the walk and I have since challenged myself to do more walks for my wellbeing so I can do focus better on my PhD studies.
Whilst, as Neil points out, mindfulness has particular benefits for students with SpLDs, practicing the skill is something that can benefit anyone.
My hope is that students and staff will use the walk between lectures or meetings to take time for their wellbeing and mental health, which can be comfortably completed within an hour’s break. Mindfulness helps people in many aspects of their lives, improving focus, reducing stress and enhancing wellbeing generally. Incorporating the concepts into a walk through green spaces also adds exercise and further promotes positive mental health through engaging with nature.
The route, among others, can be found on the Go Jauntly App, a free app, chosen for being accessible and inclusive with detailed visual photos, text description and a full map with GPS making it easy to for users to pick which format works best for them.
The Mindful Walks handout is available via the Student Academic Skills and Wellbeing Moodle site and further information on support offered by our teams is also available on the Neurodiversity and Disability support pages.