What has been the impact on the Austin hospitality community since HEARD launched there?
There has been a wide acceptance of normalizing wellness and mental health support in the Austin community. Through the work of HEARD and other programs like Ben’s Friends, there has been a shift in conversations surrounding the sustainability of those working in the industry. There is a long way to go, but I can see the tide shifting.
We love to provide our Balanced Bartender viewers with a wellness challenge each month. What would be your challenge to our friends and fans for February?
My wellness challenge would be something I call, “do 15 minutes differently.” It’s a meditation and mindfulness challenge that takes 5 minutes a day, for 3 days out of the week. The goal is, out of all the minutes in a week, just do 15 differently.
Set your timer on your phone for 5 minutes, and here is what to do:
- Sit somewhere comfortable
- Close your eyes
- Drop your shoulders, so they are loose
- Unclench your jaw, so it is loose
- Now breathe normally, and for 5 minutes, just concentrate on your chest or your belly moving as each breath goes in and out. As thoughts enter your mind, acknowledge them, then let them pass and go back to concentrating on your breath and your belly or chest moving.
Do that for 5 minutes, and you will notice a difference. You can certainly adjust your time up if you want, however.
Where can people find more information on HEARD and the resources it offers?
On IG, we are mainly at @heard_org or @HeardATX for Austin-specific programs. Also, @Heard_online has our national online support group meeting days and times. You can also find out about all our programs at iheardyou.org.
Thank you, Joel!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.