Ever find yourself going about your day only to realize you’ve forgotten to breathe? Like really breathe – filling your lungs as much as you can with intention and letting the air out as an audible sigh? When we find ourselves breathing as shallow and short as possible, we know we’ve neglected our mindfulness for the day.
As moms, cultivating a mindfulness practice is invaluable. When we’re actively engaged and present (kind of the definition of mindful here, Peaches), we feel more calm, focused, happy and content in each moment of our lives… even when we’re up to our elbows in toilet water as we attempt to find the action figure we’re sure is clogging the drain… ahem.
We’re tackling mindfulness for moms today in an effort to bring some zen into your day – nay, your life! Big task? You bet. But we know we can help you get there because, at least some of the time, we’ve got this whole mindfulness for moms thing down. Here are a few of our strategies:
Remember that whole breathing thing? Yeah, super important when attempting to be more mindful. The trick lies in remembering to take those deep, cleansing breaths. One way we remind ourselves to breathe fully is by using essential oils. Just a drop on your wrist or a few in a diffuser will scent the air around you for a bit, keeping you aware of your breath, even if it’s just for a short time. What oils should you being reaching for? Citrus often works to improve mood, lavender can be relaxing, and eucalyptus can help those seasonal coughs.
Being Mindful of Your Mindfulness Practice
Making ‘being present and peaceful’ a priority might mean scheduling it into your day as just that… a priority. Now, it’s not a super chill feeling to have a reminder on your phone to meditate or breathe or do a mindfulness exercise (see below!) but if you’re able to force it into your day consistently enough, it will become a habit and will no longer feel like just another commitment on the calendar.
Our Go-To Mindfulness Exercise
Now we’re going to cheat because we actually have two mindfulness exercises we use regularly… couldn’t pick a favorite, sorry. Ready to boost your mindfulness mojo? Dive right in:
1. Become aware of your senses
Take a breath and observe the world around you. Notice something you see, hear, touch, smell, and taste, if applicable (this may be where you realize you haven’t brushed your teeth yet today so get on that!). Take another breath and do it all again. By checking in with each of your senses and the input they’re receiving in the present moment, you’re bringing yourself to the here and now, the most important (and only) place you should be. Repeat as many times as you need (up to five would be entirely reasonable) until you’re feeling more present in the now.
2. Be grateful
It’s so easy to get swept up in what we don’t have and the pressure we feel to be things we’re not. If you stop whatever it is you’re doing and simply list five things you’re grateful for in that moment, you’ll find yourself feeling the benefits of being mindful. Having trouble coming up with things to be grateful for while you’re doing yet another load of laundry? Sometimes we do too. Here’s a list of a few things to get you started: your child(ren), the roof over your head, the food in the fridge that always needs cooking, cutting or reheating, your partner, the clothes that are always getting dirty, coffee, wine, drinking coffee and wine… need we go on? We didn’t think so.
Now that you’ve got a couple techniques under your belt and know the importance of mindfulness, especially for moms, we want to hear from you! Share in the comments here or hop on over to our Facebook page to tell us how you’ve incorporated some mindful practices into your life!