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Mindful : February 2018
After snapping at a Starbucks barista, a woman came back to leave a $50 tip and apologize for her “trail of unkindness.” A customer at IHOP would always feed his wife, who has Huntington’s disease, before eating his own meal. A server noticed and offered to feed her instead, so the couple could enjoy their meals together. Schoolchildren in Victoria, British Columbia, made colorful “friend- ship cards” and visited a local seniors’ home to give them to the residents. EXTRA ORDINARY ACTS OF KINDNESS Mommy mentors It’s not uncommon for new mothers to experience anxiety and depression in the months after childbirth, yet many don’t seek help out of fear of judgment. One small study found that up to half of new mothers experi- ence depressive symptoms, and 30% said they lacked a close confidant to talk with about their experience. An organization in Florida hopes to relieve the stigma of postpartum depression by pairing new moms with other women who have struggled with and over- come the same issues. The Self-Image Support Team and Emotional Resource (SISTER) prog ram cre- ates a safe, nonjudgmen- tal community through mother-to-mother mentor- ing via phone, text, and monthly in-person meet- ings. The mentor moms are also able to steer the new moms to professional sup- port services, like psycho- logical care, if needed. For women outside of Florida, Postpartum Support Inter- national offers mentoring through a private Face- book group and a toll-free hotline for new moms and their families in need of local support services. A mindful approach brings brain changes in ADHD Monkeying around at Microsoft “Creativity emerges when you are open to detours, not when you approach life, or a job, or a single experience with a set goal in mind.” AZIZ ANSARI Thirty-four teenagers with ADHD in Ontario, Canada, joined a martial ar ts treatment program that blends mindfulness medi- tation, yoga, and cognitive behavioral therapy. After five months, measurements of their brain wave activity indi- cated neural changes reflect- ing improved attention skills. Microsoft is exploring the calming, even immune- boosting effects of trees by building three meeting-space tree houses for employees. They’re open-concept, Wi- Fi-enabled (of course), and designed to flex and expand as the trees grow. Business manager Shanon Bernstine says working in a tree has had positive implications for the company’s culture: “We [get] a lot done in a very dif- ferent way.” PHOTOGRAPHBYGEKASKR/123RF.COM,MICROSOFT,DPAPICTUREALLIANCE/ALAMYSTOCKPHOTO 12 mindful February 2018 what’s new