WHAT IS MINDFULNESS
Mindfulness is a practice, a skill, a technique, a state of mind and a way of living in order to fully consciously experience, embrace and accept the present NOW with awareness.
Instead of getting depressed, angry or regretful about the past, or worried, anxious and stressed about the future we can find peace in Mindfulness.
It’s the key to inner peace and joy. It can help you feel stellar!
- the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
- a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT
We live in a fast-paced society where it’s normal and accepted to be in a constant, permanent state of adrenaline-fuelled stress and anxiety. This is not healthy long term for any of us. Parents especially have an important, responsible and stressful role of looking after their children. Children can be severely affected by the stress of the adults around them and this is further motivation to start a mindfulness practice. All tips for mothers also apply to all fathers. Mothers and fathers. Mums and dads. Moms and pops.
Reasons for busy mothers to practice mindfulness:
- Reduces stress
- Reduces anxiety
- Manages rage
- Increases state of calm
- Increases energy
- Creates a sense of inner peace and joy
- Increased focus
- Increased self-awareness
- Reduces OCD and addictive behaviours
- Increases libido
- Increases effectiveness of exercise routines
- Increases work productivity
- Balances hormones
- Improves relationships and communication skills
- Increased self-confidence and self-belief
- Increased clarity in decision making
- Improves memory
MINDFULNESS FOR A BUSY MOTHER OF FOUR
I love mindfulness. It’s a non-negotiable part of my daily life, whether that looks like meditation in the morning, a massage or appreciating the beauty in life.
Any task or event can be experienced in a mindful way and life becomes exciting 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Mindful days build a mindful life. Peace, energy and joy are the rewards.
It hasn’t always been this way for me though and as a new mum, I struggled to make time for self-love, self-care and time for myself, my passions or even just a long bath. My health suffered as a result and I made a conscious decision to make a change. I used my kids to help me with that as a constant reminder.
Kids naturally live in the present, enjoying the moment. They find it stressful to think about too far in the future and get a bit sad talking about the past too much. I try to be more like my kids!
I started with 1 minute of mindfulness. A way to teach them a bit about mindfulness.
Busy mothers can start with just 1 minute. Like this:
When we walk to or from school/ nursery we stop for a minute. We notice something beautiful that Mother Nature has given us that moment.
My youngest like most babies ( he’s not a baby anymore, but we keep pretending) looks up to the sky.
We talk about what we see, the shapes of clouds, the colour of the sky, we say hello to the sun and feel the warmth on our faces. We say hello to birds flying and thank them for their songs.
If it’s cold we talk about how cold it feels and how lucky we are to have hats, gloves and snow boots.
We pay attention to our breath. Blowing out like Welsh dragons and inhaling.
We talk about what we can smell. My 5-year-old says he loves the smell of snow. My 4-year-old says he can smell dog poo and wonders if it’s under the snow.
They all want to touch the snow, ice, trees, leaves and that is part of mindfulness too.
Finally, we talk about how we feel. Our emotions and where we feel them in our bodies, joy, sadness, anger, worry, self-doubt, excitement, pleasure.
My daughter likes to talk about what makes her want to dance, jump and run around. My 4-year-old says he’s hungry and wants a sandwich. The “baby” agrees and pats his tummy.
We blow away all the “bad” feelings with love.
As we head home we talk about the things we love and what we are grateful for, as well as the best thing that happened or will happen today.
All of them agree on this one and ask “when is pappa coming home?”
9 MINDFULNESS TIPS FOR BUSY MOTHERS YOU NEED TO KNOW
Set an intention and remember the benefits, the reasons you chose this. Start slowly, be patient and kind with yourself.
- Take 5 deep belly breaths while you wait for your coffee or tea or waiting in a traffic jam in your car.
- Sit down for 5 minutes and notice what you see, hear, feel, taste.
- Focus on the present during a boring activity like washing the dishes or washing your hands.
- Enjoy a brain dump, write down all your thoughts in 5 minutes in a list.
- Tidy up your room in 5 minutes listening to one song just focus on TIDY.
- Shower meditation. Enjoy the water washing away all your worries down the drain.
- Concentrate on one thing at a time instead of multitasking. Batch tasking work or tasks at home.
- Look out the window for 5 minutes and say hello to everything you see, the tree, the clouds, the bird.
- Watch a sunset or the clouds or feel the sunshine on your face and appreciate the beauty in that moment.
Mothers or humans, in general, like to compartmentalise. It makes life easier to understand and manage. We like to put people in boxes, give them labels, stick to our own groups. We’re suspicious of others who are different from us, have different views, beliefs, attitudes, habits. This is partly an evolutionary survival response to keep us safe. I also think it keeps us small and stuck.
This extends to motherhood or parenthood too. We group or label ourselves and other mums. The breastfeeding mums, the yummy mummy mums, the lattepappas (Swedish yummy daddys), the working mums, the single mums, the babywearing mums etc etc etc. This creates division and mistrust. Of course, we all do things differently, but I think as mothers, we’re all in this together. We all have the same goal. Survive and enjoy and do our best with our kids.
So a common misconception is that mindfulness is just for those zen mums, the yogi mums, the mums with just 1 kid. I understand, I’ve been all those mums and yes it might be easier to prioritise mindfulness with 1 kid compared to 4 (if you’re 1 kid is an angel).
The fact is, we all need more mindfulness in our lives, mothers and those women who don’t share their home with kids.
Mindfulness is a mindset and a practice. It takes commitment and time. You start with an intention to prioritise mindfulness because you are aware of the benefits and you know you could feel a bit better, you could do with a bit more calm and energy in your life.
THE LAST THING YOU NEED TO KNOW
WARNING: Making the decision and making time to practice mindfulness in your daily life, even if it’s just 5 minutes will cause drastic changes in your mind, body and soul and life.
You will experience increased energy, a beautiful calm which makes you feel invincible and unf*ckwithable. Your children, partner, friends and family will all notice and benefit too.
Thank you for reading!
Please share on Facebook if you know a busy mother who could benefit!