10 ways to become a more Mindful Mama
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the journey of Motherhood. When you are a sleep deprived, emotional, stress ball, your thoughts and mindsets are often not very positive and optimistic. It’s important to squeeze in some “you” time into your day and some mindful moments to break up the hours of having a little human (or two!) demanding your attention. Here’s 10 tried and true (by yours truly), steps to inject some much needed Mindful moments in your busy day.
1. Vitamin N. Nature that is. Get out into nature EVERYDAY, whether its 5 minutes or 2 hours, fit in what you can. Preferably child and technology free. If that’s not possible, take a moment to close your eyes, with child, listen to the birds, the wind. Touch your hands and feet against the earth. Be present. Nature is a wonderful, free, abundant resource for clearing our minds, instantly calming our frazzled Mum brains and great at putting things into perspective.
2. Nourish. As easy as it is to get fish and chips when you are a sleep deprived mess, try not to. Fuelling your body with nourishing food, really does nourish your mind in return. Do what you can to ensure that you have access to healthy wholefoods. Cook big batches at dinner time and freeze portions for your lunch. Make easy breakfasts like smoothies, chia puddings and overnight oats. Stick to simple meals for dinner, or get your partner to cook. Drink water, all the water, and reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake. The better your body feels, the easier for your mind to flip negatives to positives, to be clearer- and you don’t have the added guilt of binge eating crap!
3. Ask for Support. Please. Never, ever be afraid to ask for help if you are struggling. Whether it be house cleaning, cooking dinner, babysitting, or just an ear to listen. Reach out, get those feelings out of your body! Do this, however suits you. It could be journaling, a Facebook live, talking to a close friend or relative or screaming into your pillow. Do what works for YOU! Ask for what you need. Know that it is NOT weak to ask for help or admit you are struggling, in fact, it is incredibly strong. You know how you feel, you know what you need, and you ask for it – amazing!!
4. Gratitude. The simple act of listing a few things you are grateful for each day, often puts those hard times into perspective. You can write them down each evening, think them, say them out loud to your family and share. There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for, whether it be something small like a roof over your head, or something big like winning the lotto!
5. Awareness. Become aware each time you catch your mind wandering down the negativity spiral. When you catch yourself, switch it. So, “I can’t do this anymore”, could be switched to “this is only temporary, I can get through this”. Use affirmations if they call to you. Find the positive. Ask for support, do what you need to do to help your negative thoughts and mindsets. A more positive mindset = a happier Mama.
6. SLEEP. Yes, I know, it’s hard to sleep with little humans waking at all hours. Sleep when you can, as much as you can. If that means the washing piles up while you take a nap during the day, so be it. Sleep is imperative for your health, mind, body and soul. It is often demoted after the birth of our babies, but, we must aim for as much as possible. The more sleep we get, the easier it is to be mindful, to think clearly, to be happier and in turn the more sleep we get the more our bodies heal and re-generate.
7. Breathe. When you are feeling overwhelmed, STOP. Breathe. Deep, diaphragmatic breaths. Lie with one hand on your chest and one on your belly. Breathe in deeply through your nose, your belly should rise and your chest should stay relatively still. Release through the mouth. Repeat until you feel calm. Do this as often as you need to! If you are on the go, take some deep breaths while driving or pushing the pram.
8. Move. As hard as it is to move our bodies when we are super tired and feeling blah, it’s another key ingredient to snapping out of those funks and feeling good. I don’t mean go to a Pump class everyday, I mean go for a walk, do a bit of yoga at home, go for a run. Something that you enjoy, that you can do with the kids or when your partner get’s home. You’ll feel so much better after, trust me!
9. Practise being present. It’s all too easy to sit and scroll Instagram while your children play. To watch TV while you are eating. To multitask. However, all that we end up doing is several things half-assed. Try and inject 100% present moments in your day. Fully engage with your children, talk to a friend and be THERE, listening. Not thinking about what you have to do later. Be present. The past has been, the future is yet to come. By focusing on the present, we get to truly LIVE. Bonus, it improves the connections and relationships with those around you as you are putting all your energy into being present and engaging with them, with no distractions.
10. PATIENCE. Yes, changing a mindset or habit won’t happen overnight. Stick with it, cultivate that awareness, practise the above steps, until it becomes your new reality.
Remember, it takes a while for a new habit to become ingrained. Start small. Set reminders on your phone. Know that just a few minutes here and there is enough!
By Sarah Noble.
#Bio – Sarah Noble is a Mindset and Mindfulness Coach, Speaker and Writer, mental health advocate, honest motherhood sharer and postpartum supporter. She loves getting out in nature, plantbased food, rock music and swearing. You can connect with Sarah #on Instagram and Facebook.