Life can feel really hard at times and one of my more reliable tools when the going gets rough is mindfulness. I know it might sound like a buzz word for some but it’s really a way of living and being. I try to sprinkle a little in wherever I can but I still get frustrated or worried or scared at times. We’re all human. I think one of the tricks is in our response and recovery. If something unexpected happens and you’re already feeling low or tired or anxious or stressed, then most likely you may react rather than respond. To get closer to calm and respond to frustrating events with mindfulness, we’ll have to practice when we’re not feeling that way so that it becomes second nature and we’ll go to our mindful place in moments of unexpected frustration or stress.
But in the meantime, since practicing a new way of living such as mindfulness can take some time to build it into a positive habit, our recovery is also important. This means how long we wallow in the stressful event that occurred, and how fast we can get back to our center and start feeling grounded in goodness and gratitude again. Recovering well is really helpful as well because no matter how hard we may practice our mindful response, the unexpected is just that–unexpected so we don’t know for sure when it will occur or how it’ll make us feel or what will be triggered in us from past experiences or how well we will have slept the night before, etc. etc. So practicing a graceful and mindful recovery after feeling stressed out can help us move out of the yuck and show us the blessing and lesson in the unpleasant and unexpected experience.
So how do you practice a mindful stress response and recovery? I would say the number one thing to do is start breathing. It sounds obvious, but I mean the deep in your belly on the inhale kind of slow breathing you’d do in yoga class. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a meditation, especially for new moms who are going through so much schedule change and running on low amounts of sleep. It can simply mean becoming more awareness of how often you take a deep breath and being gentle with yourself when you realize you’ve only been taking shallow breaths. Because by becoming more aware, we’re reminded of the breath and hopefully will take the opportunity right then to breathe in slowly and breathe out slowly. That’s the first step to adding more mindfulness to your life.
Once you start regularly taking those big deep belly breaths, then you may want to sprinkle in some more mindfulness, like by taking slower sips of your morning coffee or tea, by eating a little more slowly, even walking a little more slowly, stopping to observe the dew on a plant or look for a hummingbird you can hear nearby (and what a fun opportunity to show your children something interesting as well!).
There are many ways we can add mindfulness to our daily mom lives and it takes frequent baby steps or mini moments of mindfulness to live more mindfully and start responding and recovering more gracefully when stress hits.
That’s why I’ve started going on Facebook live every Wednesday evening at 6:30pm Pacific time to share some mindful hacks that will hopefully help add more mama mindfulness to your life. As a mom of a nearly 20 month old toddler, I get it. Life feels so hard sometimes. And then in another instant, a new word! A new giggle! A big hug! And all is forgotten for the time being and it’s time to bask in glorious motherhood again and marvel at our amazing creations! Motherhood is quite a roller coaster ride and I think mindfulness can be our Dramamine. 😉 For more ideas to sprinkle mindfulness into your mom life, I invite you to watch my previous Mini Mama Mindfulness Moments on my Facebook page. I started doing weekly mini trainings a little over a month ago.
Here is this week’s mindfulness moment for you on what to do on fussy days:
If you have any questions or would like me to cover a particular topic in a future mini mindfulness moment, please let me know! I’d love to help. Also if you’d like a free guide to transforming mama guilt, click here: https://mailchi.mp/aab7bdeb9b43/3-ways-to-transform-new-mama-guilt .