Learning Exercise

S.T.O.P and Self-Care

The S.T.O.P. practice is described by Magee (2020) as a type of mindfulness developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn.  The S.T.O.P practice is an example of how one can incorporate self-care in a course to help students develop their knowledge and practice of self-care.   This is especially important for service or helping professions, such as nursing, teaching, and health sciences professionals.  The S.T.O.P practice can also be used to incorporate mindfulness with professional composure, information processing, communication, and emotional intelligence development. Teachers can use the S.T.O.P. article and audio that is provided within the article as an individual learning activity or it could be done as a group either online or in person. This learning exercise promotes self-care practices through mindful awareness.  This also impacts communication with others to promote thinking before speaking!  


Rhonda Magee takes us through this simple portable mindfulness practice she uses to find calm when difficult moments... see more


Read the article and then have role plays or case studies for application of S.T.O.P practice.      After reading the article and explaining the practice, students can role play the use of S.T.O.P. practice.  Another option is to have case study or simulation practice of S.T.O.P use with the assignment that students should look for times to use S.T.O.P. over the next week and be prepared to share how they used it in a future class meeting.    The S.T.O.P. practice requires intentional practice to incorporate it as a routine that is used several times daily.  It promotes taking judgment out of thinking and speaking. 

Technical Notes

internet and speakers required


internet and speakers


Topics include mindfulness, S.T.O.P practices  

Nurses and Self-Care A core value of holistic nursing practice is self-care (American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA), 2020).  Nurses are helping, giving individuals who tend to help others and shorten their own self-care. Those in the helping professions (teachers, nurses, healthcare professions, therapists, psychologists, daycare providers, etc.) tend to have higher rates of burnout (Andreychik, 2019;  Hetzel-Riggin et al., 2019;  Zysberg et al., 2017).  The S.T.O.P practice is one mindful self-care strategy for nurses to incorporate to foster composure and professionalism when processing information and communicating.  Magee writes that when one feels distressed or needs to tame emotions as a part of emotional intelligence development, the S.T.O.P. practice is helpful (2020).


American Holistic Nurses Association.  (2020, October 20). Self-Care and Resilience.  https://www.ahna.org/Membership/Member-Advantage/Whatisself-care

Andreychik, M. R. (2019). Feeling your joy helps me to bear feeling your pain: Examining associations between empathy for others' positive versus negative emotions and burnout. Personality and Individual Differences, 137, 147-156. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2018.08.028

Hetzel-Riggin, M. D., Swords, B. A., Tuang, H. L., Deck, J. M., & Spurgeon, N. S. (2019;2020;). Work engagement and resiliency impact the relationship between nursing stress and burnout. Psychological Reports, 123(5), 003329411987607-1853. https://doi.org/10.1177/0033294119876076

Magee, R. (2020, March 23).  The S.T.O.P. practice:  Creating space around automatic reactions.  Mindful: Healthy Mind, Healthy Life.  https://www.mindful.org/the-s-t-o-p-practice-creating-space-around-automatic-reactions/

Zysberg, L., Orenshtein, C., Grimmon, E., & Robinson, R. (2017). Emotional intelligence, personality, stress, and burnout among educators. (2016). International Journal of Stress Management,  24(Suppl 1), 122–136. https://doi.org/10.1037/str0000028



Learning Objectives

After active participation in this learning activity, the learner will

1. Use mindful awareness through the S.T.O.P practice.

2.  Reflect about awareness of emotions and thoughts before proceeding. 



There are several possibilities for an Assessment, depending on the context of the course.  Some ideas are listed:

1.  Include an assessment in which students write a one-page guided reflective report of their use of the S.T.O.P. practice.    Sample questions could include 1) How often did you use the S.T.O.P practice over the last week?  2)  Describe two cases in which you used the S.T.O.P practice.  Be sure to tell why, when, who, and how.  3) How effective was the S.T.O.P practice for you?  4) What could you do the same and differently the next time you use S.T.O.P?

2.  Another option is to have the article and S.T.O.P practice as a set up for a Discussion.  First the students read the article and listen to the audio with the article and then answer the same a) and b) questions above (c) could be optional--in a discussion either online or in person.