As an exhausted mother of two young children, I am acutely aware of the immense pressures we, as mothers, encounter to juggle multiple responsibilities simultaneously. Far too frequently, I engage in conversations with fellow fatigued parents who strive to balance the demands of motherhood and personal well-being throughout the day.
Discover how embracing mindfulness can empower mothers to cultivate a sense of tranquility in the midst of chaos. Join us as we explore the profound impact of calm parenting and share effective strategies to help you navigate the challenges of motherhood with grace and composure.
We often find ourselves in a difficult situation where we have to prioritize between different needs. For example, we may give more attention to one child’s homework at the cost of another child’s spelling practice. Similarly, when one child falls ill, we may cancel the other child’s sports activities. In addition, several other factors can contribute to our tiredness and grumpiness, such as demanding work schedules, bills to pay, and illnesses. Despite all these challenges, we try our best to maintain a balance and care for our family. However, sometimes it can feel like we are constantly in a race, trying to keep up with our responsibilities and never having enough time for ourselves.
What is the monkey mind?
The monkey mind is when the brain can’t stop jumping from one thing to another, often called mind chatter. Thoughts cannot 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. This can lead to feelings of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm. Mind chatter can also make it difficult to make decisions and take action, as the constant stream of thoughts can create confusion and doubt. It can also affect our relationships, causing us to be distracted and not fully present with our loved ones. The monkey mind can be exhausting and detrimental to our mental well-being.
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
- As little as ten minutes a day of mindfulness meditation exercises can help us feel less agitated and calmer during the day, allowing us to think more clearly and make better, more informed decisions.
- It helps us to sleep more easily as our thoughts are quiet and not so busy.
- Meditation or mindfulness skills give us a greater sense of well-being.
- It allows us the space to think before we act, making us calmer and more patient with our children and spouses.
- It reminds us to be grateful for the things we have in our lives.
What is mindfulness?
There are various mindfulness techniques you can practice, for example: deep breathing, meditation, and body scanning.
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of your thoughts and feelings in the present moment. It involves focusing on the here and now, without judgment or attachment to those thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness has been shown to have numerous benefits for both physical and mental well-being, such as reducing stress, improving focus and concentration, and increasing self-awareness.
One simple mindfulness technique that you can incorporate into your daily routine is deep breathing. This involves taking slow, deep breaths while paying attention to each inhale and exhale. Deep breathing can help to calm the mind and relax the body, making it a great tool for managing stress or anxiety.
Another popular mindfulness practice is meditation. This involves sitting quietly with your eyes closed and focusing on your breath or a specific mantra. Meditation can help to quiet the mind and promote a sense of inner peace and clarity.
In addition to these techniques, you can also practice mindfulness in everyday activities such as eating, walking, or simply spending time in nature. The key is to be fully present in the moment and engage all of your senses.
It’s important to note that practicing mindfulness takes time and consistency. It may feel challenging at first, especially if you’re used to constantly being on the go. But with patience and dedication, it can greatly improve your overall well-being.
So next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, take a few minutes to practice mindfulness. You may be surprised by how much calmer and at peace you feel. And with continued practice, you’ll likely see a positive impact on your mental and emotional health.
In addition to mindfulness, there are other strategies you can use to manage stress and promote overall well-being. These include exercise, proper nutrition, getting enough sleep, and connecting with others. Remember that self-care is not selfish – it’s essential for your overall health and happiness.
Be kind to yourself as you embark on this journey of practicing mindfulness. It’s okay if your mind wanders or if you miss a day of practice. The important thing is to keep coming back to the present moment and being gentle with yourself along the way.
How I started my journey to become a more mindful mum.
During a yoga class one day, I realized that I enjoyed the relaxation technique at the end of the session more than the yoga itself. Our yoga teacher guided us into a five-minute meditation session, which started with a full-body scan. The effects were immediate, and I suddenly felt more relaxed than I had in years. It was a beautiful feeling of well-being. At the time, I was unaware that this was a guided meditation technique. I looked forward to this part of the class each week and wished it was longer.
After years had passed, I was searching for meditation techniques when I came across some guided meditation sessions online. It was then that I realized that what I had experienced all those years ago in my yoga lessons was actually a form of meditation. I was thrilled to discover that I could practice the same techniques at home and develop my mindfulness skills. This allowed me to conquer my own mind-chatter anxiety.
What is guided meditation?
Guided meditation is an excellent starting point for beginners. All you need to do is surrender to the teacher’s voice, allowing your imagination and subconscious to take over. No need to struggle with emptying your mind or sitting still without scratching that itchy nose. It’s a truly delightful way to unwind and relax your body, offering genuine tranquility.
During meditation, a trained practitioner or teacher guides us through verbal instructions such as focusing on our breath or doing a body scan to relax every muscle in our body from top to toe. They use visualization and mental imagery to help us imagine a relaxing scene such as sitting on a beach or walking through a beautiful garden. Using the four senses, they ask us to imagine the scenery, for example, feeling the warm sun on our face, smelling the fresh flowers in the garden, or feeling the breeze touching our skin. We are encouraged to use all our sensory skills, including touch, sound, smell, sight, heat, and texture.
Popular guided meditations.
Guided meditation can help you sleep. Counting along to a guided meditation can be effective, and I often fall asleep within seconds.
The “total body scan” is a relaxation technique that helps bring mindfulness and awareness to the body. It involves focusing on every single part of the body, starting at the top of the head and ending at the toes. This technique is a great way for moms to practice mindfulness and recharge their entire body.
“Mindfulness of breathing” is a technique where the practitioner guides you to focus your attention on your breathing. It is a simple and easy-to-learn method that can be a marvelous way to stop the mind chatter completely.
With consistent practice of guided meditation, you will soon be able to transition to quiet contemplation. During this practice, you focus on your breath and allow your thoughts to come and go without getting caught up in them. This is an excellent way to deepen your meditation practice and improve your ability to concentrate.
How long should I meditate for?
It’s up to you to decide how long you want to meditate, based on your lifestyle. However, the more often you practice meditation, the easier it becomes to sit for longer periods. As a mom, you can experience the advantages of mindfulness even by practicing for just five minutes a day, regardless of how busy your life is.
Despite the demands of a challenging job and a bustling family life, practicing mindfulness alongside motherhood is achievable.
Discovering moments of tranquility amidst a busy schedule can be challenging, especially for mothers. However, incorporating meditation into your daily routine can bring a sense of calm and balance. Here are some tips to help you embrace meditation and find inner peace, even amidst the chaos of motherhood.
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, which 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
If meditation sounds too time-consuming, try breathing quietly for about five minutes a day, you’ll be amazed at how much focused breathing can make you feel.