Simple Mindfulness Skills all Tired Parents Should Try.
Why we need mindfulness skills.
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.
- 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
And so it goes on!
What is the monkey mind?
- 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
- Trouble 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
The benefits of meditation and mindfulness for busy 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 helps us to be grateful for the things we have in our lives.
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, 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 meditation technique at the time.
Years later 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.
Meditation for mums, how to stop mind chatter .
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.
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 meditation is, that no matter how busy your life is you can feel the benefits of even just five minutes practice a day.
Even with a stressful job and a busy family life, it is a do-able practice.
How To Practice Meditation when you’re a busy parent.
There are a few apps I’ve found helpful when pressed for time or 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
- Mantras and chants
- Meditations for anxiety
- Meditations for loving kindness
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.
If meditation sounds too time-consuming, just try breathing quietly for 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 meditation for moms head on over to Jennifer at Help Mama Meditate she has some amazing meditation advice and help for tired moms.
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