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Story in Brief

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that stress during an infectious disease outbreak such as COVID-19 can cause: “(1) fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on; (2) changes in sleep or eating patterns; (3) difficulty sleeping or concentrating; (4) Worsening of chronic health problems; (5) worsening of mental health conditions; and (6) increased use of tobacco and alcohol and other substances.” In March 2020, Clayton County Extension began its Mindfulness in Chaos series in partnership with a Piedmont Health Care representative. This series was a four-part, one-hour series held virtually that allowed participants to explore the techniques and uses of mindfulness. The series was offered via Zoom and then streamed on FaceBook Live. Mindfulness is described as the basic human ability to be fully present and aware of where we are and what we are doing. Research has shown that mindfulness positively impacts stress reduction, emotion and attention regulation, and helps to reduce depression and anxiety. The Mindfulness in Chaos series reached over 250 people with an additional 220 views after the videos were posted online. One participant said, “In the middle of this crazy pandemic, I often forget to protect my mind and take care of it. This series gave me an understanding of what my body needed. I have started taking one hour a week to just sit and meditate.”