Do you find yourself struggling to stay calm and peaceful during your daily routine as a mom? Does being a mindful mother seem out of reach? It doesn’t have to! You can practice mindfulness even with a busy schedule.
Daily life, packed schedules, to do lists, and deadlines can make it seem difficult to pause for mindful breaks. However, a few minutes here or there during your day can be an effective way to handle most stressful situations and ward off negative emotions.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, an American professor, is the founder of MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) and he is credited for introducing mindfulness practice to the western society. It does not have to be tied to religion but can definitely affect your mental health.
Use these nine ways to start practicing mindfulness as a busy mom! Each of these are things you can start doing today, and little by little, you will be a mindful mother!
If you want to practice mindfulness, you have to make time. It may seem impossible with your busy schedule, but you can do it. Even if it is for a few minutes here and there, that is all you need!
Start by doing small increments throughout the day. Schedule in just five minutes every single day. Soon, you will see you can go longer and want to continue with your mindfulness activities past your scheduled time!
Sometimes you need alone time to practice mindfulness. In that case, call in support to help you with the little kids. Maybe grandparents can watch the little ones, or use a babysitter if you have to. Then use that time for yourself to practice mindfulness and nothing else!
I remember being a first time mom and feeling like I needed to do it all myself in order to be a perfect parent. No one told me or maybe I didn't listen that it was a myth and and an easy way to experience postpartum depression. Exploring mindful parenting was a breath fresh air as it truly helped me with realistic ways to combat difficult situations that can be a part of everyday life with young kids.
You can also seek support elsewhere. Maybe you feel better taking a yoga class or other mindful activities with your friends or other moms. Do what works best for you!
Create Your Happy Place
No mom wants to practice mindfulness when the house is a disaster. Before you can be mindful, be sure to create your own happy place. Find a spot in your home or your backyard that brings you peace. Keep that spot clean and open so you can go in and relax any time of the day.
If you don’t think you deserve time for yourself or don’t think you have the time, try practicing positive affirmations. These are mantras that you can use to help you gain confidence and believe in yourself.
One of the best ways to say these affirmations is through mirror talk. Stand in front of the mirror and repeat the positive affirmations out loud while you look at yourself. You may not feel a difference after a few tries but stick with it. Soon you will believe what you are saying!
Here are a few of my favorite affirmations to help you truly believe you are an amazing mom:
- I am in tune with my needs and will prioritize self-care.
- I have wants and needs of my own.
- I serve my kids best by honoring my needs.
- Taking care of myself makes me a better mom.
- I deserve uninterrupted time for myself without guilt.
- I give myself permission to spend time, money, and attention on myself.
- I choose to practice self-care so that I can be the best mom for my kids.
Practice saying these affirmations daily to help you get that time for yourself! You’ll also find yourself calmer and happier too!
Breathing exercises are some of the most common ways to practice mindfulness. Mothers can use these exercises throughout the day, making them a great choice when you are super busy. It can be as simple as a deep breath. Use the following two breathing exercises while driving, amidst a toddler tantrum, or right before bed to practice being mindful!
For belly breathing, it is best to lay down, but it is not required. If you can, place one hand gently on your stomach. Allow your body to relax, but especially your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose. While you breathe in, you should feel your stomach start to rise and fill up like a balloon. See how big you can fill your belly. Then, exhale through your mouth slowly. Your tummy should flatten. Repeat for five minutes at a time, slowly working your way up.
Box breathing is very easy to do and can be done anywhere! Breathe in for four seconds, hold for four, breathe out for four, and hold for a count of four. That’s it! Repeat for a few minutes at a time.
Tension exercises use the breathing patterns mentioned earlier but go a step further to relax your entire body. One tension exercise involves using the box breathing. When you inhale, clench a section of your body. Keep it clenched until you exhale. When you breathe out, let your entire body relax.
Follow this pattern to relax your entire body:
- Entire body
By the end of this exercise, you should feel more relaxed and mindful of your body!
Self-compassion is a part of being a mindful mom. When you have self-compassion, it helps you to view yourself in the best way possible. Self-compassion is being mindful of how we treat ourselves.
To practice, simply put your hand over your heart. Rub your heart and tell yourself, “I am enough.”
You can also hug yourself and say something you love about yourself.
A grounding exercise helps you to focus on the present, which is another aspect of being mindful. A present moment can make you a better parent. When you can be fully present, your worries will melt away. One amazing grounding exercise consists in holding yourself or rubbing your arms up and down. Then tell yourself things you see and what you are experiencing right now. For example, “I am on my bed. I am holding myself. I am safe.”
You can also do this easy grounding exercise:
- Name five things you see
- Four things you can touch
- Three things you can hear
- Two things you can smell
- One thing you can taste
Focusing on the senses will allow your body and mind to come back to the present.
Keeping a gratitude journal is another quick way to practice being mindful as a busy mom. Keep this journal by your bed so you can write in it either right when you wake up or before going to bed. Try to name at least three things you are thankful for each day and don't hesitate to expand on them.
You can be a mindful mother! Try these nine easy ways to practice mindfulness even during your busy schedule as a mom. Remember, start small and work your way up. Even five minutes can help you be your best self. You deserve it!