Moms and mindfulness

For moms, the ‘juggle is real’, and if you were to check in on us at any given moment, you’d probably find us running at one million miles per minute trying to balance work, home, kids and our relationships.

Exercise… who has extra energy for that? Sleep… who needs it? Me-time… excuse me, what?

Moms are notoriously bad at setting aside any time for themselves – and it shows.

We’re becoming increasingly stressed and overwhelmed, low on energy and even lower on patience!

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We know that something has to change. After all, in order to look after our family, we need to look after ourselves first… but, where do we start?

While making time for exercise, prioritising sleep and sneaking in some me-time are all musts, we also need to focus on our mental well-being!

Enter mindfulnes

According to Mindful, mindfulness is “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Making a conscious effort to be mindful can help to reduce stress and increase productivity as we gain awareness through observing our own mind”.

In mom terms, mindfulness simply means cutting down on needless stress

In mom terms, mindfulness simply means cutting down on needless stress, like fretting over how your child will fare at the end of the term on her report card, overanalysing your toddler’s (terrible) eating habits or berating yourself for not getting through yesterday’s to-do list! It means making a conscious effort to be present in the moment – whether that moment is on the playground with your kids, or in your car on the way to work.

Now, you are forgiven for thinking that mindfulness and meditation go hand in hand (because we did too) – but it doesn’t need to! You can practise mindfulness through “short pauses that you can insert into your everyday life”.

Carol Surya, psychologist and WISE co-founder shares 10 things you can do at home to practise being more mindful:

  1. Shoulder rolls: Simply rolling one’s shoulders in circles (up to the ears) for 10 counts in one direction and then 10 in the other
  2. Breathing: The 4-7-8 technique is very powerful. Inhale for four counts… hold for seven and exhale for eight. This technique helps calm the nervous system instantly. It’s often recommended as an aid for sleep
  3. Time-saving yoga: You don’t have to spend an hour doing yoga, just what you can manage or fit in. Source videos on YouTube for inspiration. A great channel is Lesley Fightmaster. Check out this quick 10-minute routine.
  4. Self-nourishing pose: Put one hand on the heart and one on the belly and take a few calm breaths noticing your belly rise and drop
  5. Bounce your heels: Simply stand on the balls of your feet with heels lifted and start bouncing up and down, letting all the energy go to the floor
  6. Colouring in: This focuses your attention in the here-and-now. We colour in mandalas in our workshops, but there are a variety of adult colouring books available
  7. Practice something new: Knitting or sewing or doing something crafty with your hands has many benefits for the brain, and brings you into a state of presence
  8. Download the CALM App. It’s free and is a great mindfulness tool
  9. Sit still: It’s harder than it sounds, but just sitting still for five minutes focusing on the inhalation and exhalation of your breath can bring about calm, and sometimes a whole new perspective on things
  10. Go for a walk: Focus your attention on the sights, smells and sounds around you, nothing else!

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