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January 2018

Mindfulness For Mums: How To Practice Calm Parenting

As a tired mum of two small children, I’m all too aware of the pressures we face as mothers to keep all our plates spinning at once. and all to often talk to many tired parents who are balancing motherhood and self all day every day.

In this post, we will show you how mindfulness for mums can help you practice calm parenting when things get too chaotic.

  • We rob time from Peter to pay Paul
  • We sacrifice one child’s spellings practice so we can help the other child with their homework.
  • One child can’t attend sports when the other child is ill
  • The kids fight with each other
  •  We are grumpy with our spouse
  • Our spouse is cranky with us
  • We are normally tired
  • Our kids are  tired
  •  Demanding work schedules
  •  After School activities and sports
  • Bills to pay
  • Illness

And so it goes on!

For tips on how to simplify your kid’s lives, click here

 What is mind chatter?

  • The monkey mind is when the brain just can’t stop jumping from one thing to another, it is often referred to as mind chatter.
  • Thoughts are unable to slow down and control themselves and we find it impossible to calm down the mind.
  • The constant barrage of worry and over thinking invades thoughts and sleep, rendering a person unable to focus on what is happening now and be a mindful mum.

 

What are the symptoms of mind chatter?

  • Trouble getting to  sleep due to the constant thoughts whizzing through the mind
  • Difficulty staying asleep and broken sleep
  •  Mind chatter anxiety and being unable to switch off.
  • Exhaustion due to insomnia and broken sleep.
  • Unable to relax and switch off.
  •  Making Less well-informed decisions
  • Having distorted views of certain situations due to stress and exhaustion.

 

The benefits of meditation and mindfulness for mums

  • As little as ten minutes a day of mindfulness meditation exercises can help us start to feel less agitated, and calmer during the day which in turn allows us to think more clearly and make better, more informed decisions.
  • It helps us to get to sleep more easily as our thoughts are quiet and not so busy.
  •  Meditation or mindfulness skills give us a greater sense of wellbeing.
  • It allows us the space to think before we act making us calmer and more patient with our children and spouse.
  • It reminds us to be grateful for the things we have in our lives.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of allowing yourself to focus on the present moment. It is being conscious and being aware of what you are doing whilst acknowledging thoughts, sensations and feelings.

There are various different mindfulness techniques you can practice, for example:

  • Mindful breathing, where you concentrate on the  in breath and out breath
  • Mindful walking, this is done by concentrating on the feel of the earth beneath your feet, putting one foot in front of the other, the sounds and smells you encounter and the feel of the wind or sun on your skin.
  • Mindfulness eating, this can be done by placing a tiny amount of food such as sultana or piece of bread in your hand and feeling the texture, placing it to your mouth feeling the texture, size and flavour of it before slowly chewing.

What are the best books for learning mindfulness for moms?

I’ve read tons of books to help me become a more mindful mum here are my top four mindfulness for mothers books!

mindfulness for mums, calm parenting

mindfulness for mums, calm parenting
Mindfulness for mums, calm parenting

mindfulness for mums, calm parenting

mindfulness for mums, calm parenting
Mindfulness for mothers book

How I started my journey to become a more mindful mum.

One day, during a yoga class I realised that I enjoyed the relaxation technique at the end of the session more than the yoga class itself.  During the relaxation at the end, our yoga teacher guided us into a five-minute meditation session which started with a full body scan. The effects it had on me were immediate, and  I suddenly felt more relaxed than I had in years, I felt calm and safe. It was a strange but beautiful feeling of wellbeing. I looked forward to this part of the class each week and wished it was longer.  I was unaware that this was a guided meditation technique at the time.

Years later during a search for meditation techniques, I stumbled upon some guided meditation sessions online and I realised that it was what I had experienced all those years ago in my yoga lessons. I was thrilled that I was able to practice the same techniques and create my own mindfulness skills at home and conquer my own mind chatter anxiety.

What is guided meditation?

Guided meditation is a great place to start for beginners as there isn’t much that you need to do except allow yourself to be transported by the teacher’s voice, your imagination and sub-conscience does the rest for you! There’s no trying to empty your mind or trying to sit still and not itch your nose, its a genuinely lovely way to wind down and relax your body.

A trained practitioner or teacher instructs us, using verbal instructions such as focusing on the breath, body scan, (which is learning to relax every muscle in our body from top to toe) and guides us, using visualization and mental imagery through a relaxing scene such as sitting on a beach or walking through a beautiful garden. They call upon the use of the four senses to imagine the scenery, for instance, they might ask us to imagine the warm sun on our face or to smell the fresh flowers in the garden or feel the breeze touching our skin. They will encourage us to use all our sensory skills such as touch, sounds, smells, sight, heat and texture.

Popular guided meditations.

  •  Guided Meditation for sleep. This may involve counting along to some guided meditation and is very effective, I usually fall asleep after a couple of seconds during most guided meditations for sleep!
  •  Total body scan this is a relaxation technique which brings mindfulness and awareness to the body encourages us to concentrate on every single part of their body in order, usually starting at the top of the head and finishing at the toes. This is a super effective way to practice mindfulness for mums as it is a total body recharge!
  • Mindfulness of breathing this is a technique where the practitioner gets you to focus your attention on your own breathing. it is simple and easy to learn and I find this is a marvellous way to completely stop the mind chatter.

The good news is, that after a short time practising guided meditation, you will probably find you are ready to move on to quiet contemplation in which you practice concentrating on the breath and allow your thoughts to come and go without engaging with them.

How long should I meditate for?

You can choose to meditate for as long or short a time your lifestyle dictates, however, the more you practice meditation, the easier it is to sit for more extended periods of time.
The beauty of mindfulness for mums is, that no matter how busy your life is you can feel the benefits of even just five minutes of practice a day.

Even with a stressful job and a busy family life, mindfulness and motherhood is a do-able practice.

 How To Practice Meditation And Mindfulness For Mums

There are a few apps I’ve found helpful when pressed for time or really overwhelmed, one I use daily is a free app called Insight Timer, it offers thousands of free guided meditations to get you started. the free app is packed full of:

  • Meditations for deep sleep
  • Nature sounds
  • Meditation to music
  • Mantras and chants
  • Meditations for anxiety
  • Meditations for loving kindness
  •  Guided meditations for mothers.
  • Mindfulness with a newborn
  • Daily meditations for mothers

And many more.  Start by choosing a five minute guided meditation until you get used to the technique then gently increase the duration over the next few weeks.

To practice some five-minute self-care techniques at home click here

Today’s meditation

If meditation sounds too time-consuming, just try breathing quietly for about five minutes a day, you’ll be amazed at how much five minutes of focused breathing can make you feel.  For a more in-depth look at mindfulness for mums head on over to Jennifer at Help Mama Meditate she has some amazing meditation and mindfulness advice and videos to help you be a more mindful mama!

Fancy trying a digital detox for mums? click here

 

 

 

 

 

FAQ and answers

What is the best app for mindfulness meditation for moms? I have a few go-to apps for meditation and my favourites are:

  • Headspace
  • Breathe
  • Insight Timer

What is the best time to meditate or do mindfulness? Mindfulness can be practised at any time of the day and whilst doing everyday tasks such as household chores etc. Meditation is best practised when you have some quiet uninterrupted time, the morning is a great time to practice meditation, however, you can choose whichever time of the day is best for you to meditate.




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Morning routine ~ how to create a calm morning routine.

How I Stopped My Spouse From Snoring.


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How To Sleep With Someone Who Snores

Sleeping with a snorer can be exhausting, in this post we will give you some tips on how to sleep with a snorer, talk you through some tips and tricks to show you how to block out snoring and give you some great ideas on how to sleep with someone who snores!

The topics we will be covering will be:

  • How to block out snoring
  • How to ignore snoring
  • How to drown out snoring
  • How to fall asleep when someone is snoring
  • How to stop someone from snoring naturally 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 90 million American adults snore , this must lead to a lot of sleepless nights!

Why do people snore?

There can be many causes of snoring, the main reasons are:

  • Being in the wrong sleeping position
  • Weight gain
  • Alcohol
  • Allergies
  • Sleep disorders such as  Sleep Apnea
  • Smoking

What are the reasons for snoring?

Snoring is the noise caused by parts of the respiratory structures rattling due to obstructed air flow. Snoring can start from the nose, throat or the back of the tongue. Snoring can take many forms:

  • Heavier breathing than usual
  • Loud continuous rattling
  • Grunting
  • Sharp high pitched which stops and starts.
  • Low rumbling
  • Loud gaspy snoring followed by silence and lack of breath, then a loud gasp, usually caused by sleep apnea.

Symptoms of living with loud snoring

Sleeping with someone who is continually snoring can be exhausting and incredibly frustrating, you spend your nights wondering how to get to  sleep when  someone is snoring, it can be difficult to know how to ignore snoring sounds and  it can affect you in many ways due to lack of sleep, including,

  • Excessive fatigue
  • Anger and rage
  • Despair
  • Exhaustion
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Impaired decision-making and impaired judgement.
  • Stress

The symptoms of sleeping with a snoring partner are often made more difficult by

  • Denial from the snoring partner that they snore, even when presented with the evidence.
  • Anger from the snoring partner when their spouse tries to move them to stop them snoring.
  • Unwillingness from the snoring partner to try anything to reduce their snoring noises.
  • Unwillingness from the snorer to accept they are suffering from a  sleep disorder.
  • An eventual breakdown in relationships.
how to sleep with someone who snores , the symptoms
Sleeping with a snorer

How To sleep when someone is snoring

There are many different anti-snoring aids on the market which promise to prevent snoring and to help you to figure out how to sleep when someone is snoring!

  • Anti-snore nasal dilators
  • Snore stopper wristband
  • Anti snoring throat spray
  • Oral devices
  • Ear plugs
  • Anti-snore chin strap
  • White noise machine 
  • Nose clips
  • Nasal Strips 
  • Surgery
  • Anti-snore pillows
  • Pillow sprays
  • Tennis ball sewed into the pyjama top!

If your girlfriend snores or your boyfriend snores you have my sympathy, my husband snores and I cant sleep, so I know how hard it can be to know how to get someone to stop snoring!

I have lived with my husband for 18 years, and when I first realised my husband snores heavily, I  knew I had to figure out quickly how to sleep with someone who snores. His snoring was unbearably loud, I’ve tried many snoring solutions but he is so loud that nothing can block out his snoring completely.

If he’s upstairs, we can’t hear the TV downstairs, and on the rare occasions, he has a drink his snoring is absolute torture.

My spouse is in complete denial that he is a snorer and refuses to try any snoring aids like nose clips or wristbands which may reduce the noise of heavy snoring, so, I decided to take the matter into my own hands and do some research into how to sleep with someone who snores!

How to block out snoring.

The best earplugs for sleeping with a snorer 

When you sleep with someone who snores you soon come to realize that you need something to block out snoring so you can sleep through the noise.

 I am somewhat of an expert on the best earplugs for sleeping with a snorer because over the past 20 years I’ve spent a fortune trying to find earplugs to wear to completely block out snoring, I’ve tried them all!

      • Foam earplugs: I found these earplugs to be totally ineffective at stopping any noise penetration at all and they fell out of my ears all night long which completely defeated the object! 
      • Silicone earplugs: These were helpful at blocking out snoring noises but they constantly fell out and got sticky, mashed and tangled in my hair! So I kept waking up all night uncomfortable, these are definitely not the best earplugs to block out snoring.
      • Wax cotton earplugs: these are by far my favourite and when inserted correctly they stay in the ear and effectively reduce approximately 99% of noise, you can get them here Boots Pharmaceuticals Muffle Wax Earplugs (5 Pairs) to wear earplugs , just warm the earplug in your hand and mould it to the shape of your ear to cause a seal. I also prefer to cut each earplug in half, as I find they stay in better than the full size. These are by far the best earplugs to block out snoring in my opinion!

How to reduce heavy snoring with an anti-snore pillow!

I noticed that when I got rid of my partner’s feather pillow his snoring reduced dramatically! Try swapping your partner’s pillow for an anti snore pillow!

£17.99 Amazon

How to drown out snoring 

Here are a few simple ways to drown out snoring and great ideas about how to sleep through snoring :

 

 

Noise-reducing ear muffs 

 Noise-reducing ear muffs do not block out snoring completely but simply muffle the sound to a level which will enable you to get to and stay asleep. They will allow you to sleep through snoring and make it easier to sleep when someone snores.

 

Noise-reducing ear muffs Amazon £11.99

 

 

 

 

White noise machine. 

A white noise machine will help  you to ignore snoring by listening to other noises instead such as Rainforest, Thunder, Windchime, Fan, Wind, Campfire, Ocean, Seagull, Brook, Birds, Bubble, Typhoon, Rain, Brown noise and more you also have the option of having a sleep timer on for when you nod off ! 

 

White noise machine £51.99 from Amazon

  • Noise reducing music pillow.
Music pillow from Amazon

These snoring aids will allow you to concentrate on something other than the loud snoring noise.

How to fall asleep when someone is snoring 

Sleep headphones, I use there to help me get to sleep by listening to:

  • Audiobooks
  • Meditation
  • Music 
  • White noise such as rainfall, birdsong etc 

 

Sleep headphones £12.97 from Amazon

How to reduce snoring naturally

Because my husband snores so loud that I can’t sleep, I thought I would find out how to deal with snoring naturally.  I thought I’d try to find out how to make someone stop snoring rather than try to drown them out. I did some research on most of the best selling snoring aids and I realised that most of the stop snoring solutions had lavender as their active ingredient.

So I went ahead and dropped some lavender essential oil on my husband’s pillow. The result was quite amazing, his snoring was reduced to a heavy breathing sound and all the jerky rattling loud animal noises went away!

The next night I added two drops of eucalyptus oil, as well as the lavender and oil and that, seemed to mellow the sound even more!   Essential Oils to try if you want to know how to make someone stop snoring without killing them are:

 

Frequently asked Q&A

How do you sleep with someone who snores?  Sleeping with someone who snores is one of the hardest things to do, you will first need to try to see if the person who snores can be moved into a position that stops them from snoring. If this doesn’t work you could try some of the suggestions above to see if you could reduce the snoring noise or block out snoring completely      ( wear earplugs ).

How do I convince someone that their snoring affects my sleep and health?   It is difficult to convince someone that their snoring is affecting you. it is very hard for a snorer to accept that they snore let alone have any idea of the extent to which their snoring keeps other people awake. even after I recorded my spouse snoring and played it back to him he was completely non-plussed and thought it was just a one-off he still says he doesn’t snore! I’ve come to the conclusion that most snorers don’t care about what it’s like to live with someone who snores, so it’s up to us to figure out for ourselves how to sleep when someone snores. I’ve included the best snoring solutions in this post to help you if you want to know how to muffle the sound of snoring or how to block out snoring.

How do I avoid someones snoring to have a good sleep? Its ok to move to another room if you feel you need to get a good nights sleep. I move rooms when my husband snores so loudly that I can’t sleep, it is a solution but I can normally still hear him through the walls so I  always wear earplugs too!

How do I stop someone from snoring without waking them?  My spouse gets very grumpy if I wake him up, so I have to be quite clever if I want him to stop snoring. My favourite method to wake him up is to slightly tug at his pillow, this way he wakes up naturally (or so he thinks ) and turns over onto his side. I also love using essential oils to reduce the sound of loud snoring.

Can I use hypnosis to ignore snoring? There are hypnosis aids that claim that they can help you ignore snoring. They claim to be able to help you   “switch off” even if there is loud snoring and to help your brain process the snoring sound so you can ignore snoring and drift off into a deep sleep.

500x300 Buy One Get One Free

Do you find it impossible to sleep with someone who snores? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Get Organised: How To Get Your Life In Order

You’re geared up for success, you work hard, you spend quality time with your family, you work at keeping your house clean, but you still don’t feel you can get organized or in control, you think you don’t know how to get your life in order.

You think other people seem to have it all together, they know when their kids have activities, they know when projects are due,  you assume they’re on top of their game at work, they always look put together, and their house is perfectly clean.

You ask yourself why you missed that important meeting, or forgot your kid’s swimming kit, or feel your house is dirty and disorganised; you wish you could spend more time with your kids rather than trying to juggle work commitments and chores.

In this post, we will give you tips, tricks and tools to get organised and we will show you how to get your life in order!

It’s not easy to get and stay organised and everyone has their battles to deal with,  perhaps you’re struggling with:

  • Lack of free time
  • Chronic pain or illness
  • ill family members or family members with special needs
  • Lack of support from family members
  • A spouse who is absent most of the time.
  • Being a single parent
  • Financial instability
  • Elderly relatives living at home
  • Depression
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • A very demanding work schedule
  • A  very demanding job or business.
  • After school activities
  • University or work commitments
  • Busy family life
  • Having a new baby, small children or both.

Many people struggle to cope every day; there isn’t a magic potion we can use to have more hours in the day, or to have a spouse who is home at 5.30 every day, or a pain-free day.

But there is an “order” in which we can do things which help us become more efficient and organised with the small amount of time we do have spare.

 

 How to get your life in order.

 

The sequence in which we do things may be affecting the way we succeed at being an organised person.

To be successful at anything you must have the determination not to stop until you’ve reached your goal, no matter what life throws at you along the way, you’ve just got to keep going.

So, what is this magic system?  

It’s a routine that you set yourself to follow each morning, and you strive to do this routine every day.

For instance

  • If you are sick of coming home from work to a messy kitchen, you need to schedule filling up the dishwasher into your morning routine.
  • If you’re sick of missing your kid’s events at school, you need to schedule check the calendar into your morning routine.
  • If you struggle to keep the bathroom clean,  you should add “flash clean the bathroom ” to your routine.

Here is an example of my morning routine,  I do this without fail every day if I’m working I get up early to do it before I leave for work.

I don’t do anything else until I’ve done this routine, as this is the smallest amount of work I have to do to keep my life and my family organised and running smoothly.

I have people relying on me for hundreds of tiny things every day; if I’ve not got certain things completed regularly then other things will not get done, the big stuff, the things that matter.

My Morning Routine ~ your key to an organised life.

  • Prepare ingredients for tea, ~  defrost meat, chop veg or start the slow cooker.
  • Tidy kitchen and dining area, ~  load dishwasher, clear surfaces.
  • Tidy entrance,  ~  sort post, tidy up shoes, clear floor.
  • Tidy lounge, ~ tidy up the floor, put everything away, tidy the toys.
  • Tidy daughters room, ~ straighten up, declutter paper, check for any dirty laundry, check she has made her bed, opened her curtains
  • Tidy son’s room   ~ tidy any toys or books which the kids have played with before school, check for any laundry, make the bed, open curtains.
  • Tidy master bedroom, make the bed, put clothes away, remove any items which belong elsewhere.
  • Flash clean bathroom, i.e. sanitise sink, toilet, wipe shower doors, hang towels, dry bath mat, polish mirror, stash toiletries away.

These are the things I  do before I leave the house for work every day. My kids do tidy up after themselves, open the curtains and make their beds, but I am just going round double checking they’ve not missed anything.

 

 


 

The benefits of creating a routine and being organised

 

  • If I hadn’t defrosted the stuff for tea, I would not have the ingredients I needed to cook a healthy home-made dinner, and I would have to grab something quick which isn’t always the best option.
  • If the house isn’t neat, my kids and spouse will make a bigger mess, and if it is tidy, they won’t leave as much stuff lying around and are less prone to lose things.
  • If the kitchen surfaces are clear, it is much quicker to make my kids a healthy meal than if I have to start clearing a cluttered kitchen.

 

How To Create  A Morning Routine.

 

    1. Write down all the things which you’d like to be more organised with, the areas you feel always trip you up or catch you off guard, the things which you think are out of control.   For example:  If you are often unprepared at tea time and end up feeding the kids a last-minute unhealthy meal.
    2. Write down a solution to each of these problems. For example, prep veg or start slow cooker with a home-cooked meal.
    3. Take this solution and work it into your morning routine.
    4. Continue to do this until your list is complete
    5. Your list could be as short or as long as you like if you only decide to commit to preparing the tea before you go out in the morning that’s ok, as long as it improves your day.
    6. Commit to following this list every morning, including weekends and holidays. Don’t slack, make it a habit, it should be the bare minimum you need to do to keep your house running smoothly, more organised and in control.
    7. Do what it takes to make this a habit, get up earlier than the rest of the family, stay off social media till its done.
    8. Don’t start any other jobs until you’ve done the bare bones, don’t get distracted by the big stuff until your routine is complete.
    9. For instance, I can’t start to clean until my house is tidy!   I’m not going to start on my ironing until I’ve prepared tea because at the end of each day my kids need have a nutritious, healthy meal.
    10. To read more about creating a routine for your kids click here
Get organised, how to get your life in order
Here is the planner I use everyday.

Creating An Organised Life

  • Your routine should flow for you.
  • Start with the most accessible room to do first.
  • If you plan on getting up earlier than the kids you would be better to do something from your routine in the furthest room away from their bedrooms, so you don’t wake them up and lose your precious time alone.

I, for instance, schedule the bathroom last, so it’s cleaned after everyone else has made their mess.

After my routine is complete, I  make sure I do one load of laundry. Put one load of laundry away and do 15 mins of ironing ( or about ten items), this saves me from having to spend a full afternoon catching up on laundry or having to do any panic ironing when someone needs something for school or work. It also prevents the awful Sunday afternoon spent tediously preparing school uniforms and work shirts.

I should point out that I do other loads of laundry throughout the week but one load per day is the bare bones required to keep the chaos away!

Other jobs to do to have an organised home.

 

All the jobs listed above are done when there is space during the week, in between working, picking up the kids, after-school activities family days out etc. (but after the  morning routine is complete), however, you may find that some of these jobs are already in your morning routine!

Being organised

Each day that you do your routine, you will find you get quicker and quicker, you will get more done than you ever imagined and you will get more and more organised.

The more organised you are, the more free time you will have, and you will feel more in control, this, in turn, will make you feel more energised to deal with other areas of your life that may have overwhelmed you.

Remember,

Your morning routine should be as long or short as you feel comfortable with,   you know how much time you have to dedicate to it, use that time wisely, tackle the jobs which really will make the most significant impact in your day and prioritise the critical jobs!

Every time you do something from your routine, you’ll find that it gets more natural and comfortable, for instance

  • If you’ve vowed to open your post and file it away every day, you’ll soon discover that you are spending less and less time doing paperwork.
  • It won’t be a huge task which you keep putting it off anymore, and you may find that you now spend five minutes decluttering the file with the spare time you’ve accumulated.
  •  Eventually, your filing system will always be up to date uncluttered and easy to use, which in return makes opening your post every day a minimal job which should take seconds to complete.

 

 

If you’ve got any tips on how to get your house in order, drop us a line in the comments!

 


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