Mindfulness, or the practice of finding balance and living in the moment, can be a great way to lower your stress levels and help you become a happier and calmer individual. It’s also nearly impossible if you’ve got a husband demanding your attention and one or more children who are trying their very best to wear out the word “mommy.” It’s worth it, though — learning how to be mindful can help make you be a better mom overall. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you be the most mindful mama you can be.
Learn How to Say No and Not Feel Guilty
Learning how to say no is one of the hardest things you’ll ever learn. We tend to try to say yes to everyone when asked for favors, our time or any other things. We try our very best to be accommodating whenever possible, but it often leads to us over-scheduling ourselves and getting overwhelmed when we try to keep up with everything.
Take the time to learn how to say no — and not to feel guilty about it. Pick your priorities and don’t overload yourself trying to please everyone. There’s no reason to spend all your time trying to cater to everyone else at the expense of yourself. Be mindful of yourself and your family — they come first, so don’t worry about saying no.
Our lives are constantly connected. We’re always getting emails and text messages from friends, family and coworkers. Then, there are the social media updates and news alerts we could probably live without. While this can be a great way to keep in touch with people and stay on top of current events, it also creates a massive source of distractions — and it’s really hard to be mindful when you’re constantly distracted by phone alerts!
Take the time to disconnect from all of your distractions: cell phone, computer, tablet, television — everything. You don’t have to disconnect all day long — just a few minutes at a time can be beneficial. Once you get rid of the distractions, you can focus more on the important things in life, and on being more mindful throughout your day.
Learn to Meditate
Learning how to meditate when you’ve got a busy day fully planned can be a bit of a pipe dream — when are you going to find the time to spend half an hour or an hour in quiet contemplation when you’ve got kids tugging at your shirt tails, friends demanding your attention via text message or a bake sale to get to?
One idea is to get up a little bit earlier in the morning, especially if you can get out of bed before the kids wake up. However, even if you’re not up for setting your alarm to go off an hour earlier than normal, having an extra 10 or 20 minutes in the morning to work on your meditation can help to improve your mindset for the entire day. Just get up, hit the bathroom — because you really don’t want to try to meditate with a full bladder — grab a drink of water, then sit down and meditate.
Take A Short Meditation Break
Sometimes, we all need a break during the day. When stopping and breathing deep to a count of 10 just isn’t enough, step away to take a quick two or five-minute meditation break — or just a Zen break.
Yes, you can meditate in five minutes — just take some time to breathe deeply and center yourself. Let everything that’s stressing you out just roll off your back, and then you can go back to your normal mama duties without the risk of flipping out the next time someone says, “Mommy!”
Focus on the Moment
As a mom, your mind is probably all over the place — you’re thinking about what you’re eating for lunch right now, all the activities you’ve got planned for the afternoon, plus worrying about a conversation that you had earlier. Stop it.
Mindfulness is all about focusing on the moment. The past is past — you can’t do anything about it. The future isn’t here yet, so you can’t really do anything about that, either.
Instead, be in the moment and be joyful about it. Focus on your child’s activities, even if you don’t find them particularly stimulating — yes, we know there is only so much time you can spend watching Paw Patrol before you’re considered legally insane. Focus on being in the moment, no matter what you’re doing.
Get out of the House
Now that you’ve had some time to learn about being mindful, it’s time to take those skills out into the world. Get out of the house with your kids — go find some new experiences or new activities you’ve never tried before, either alone or together. Who cares if it’s cold outside – go to the playground and enjoy being the only family there! Sleigh ride. Do something to connect with your children. Pay attention to everything around you, looking at it with new, and more mindful eyes. You’ll be surprised at how much it changes your experience.
This is the best time to start building memories with your children. Being a mindful mama just helps you to be an active part of those memories — instead of worrying about everything while you should be making memories.