Before I had my first child I was always told how rewarding being a mother is. But they didn’t tell me how stressful and exhausting it would be. This was especially true during the first couple years. With countless sleepless nights, I grew increasingly irritable and anxious tending to her every need. Most times, playing with and caring for my child gives me pure bliss. There isn’t a care in a world when I have my little one by my side. But other times, I find myself constantly running around and my mind running at a million miles without a single moment to myself. Eventually, I realized how important even 60 seconds of relaxation can be. I’ve found that using this time to meditate can make all the difference. Yes, even in 60 seconds.
So all you restless parents are probably asking, “how do you do it?” With the constant chaos of children, how can I possibly find the time? Here are some helpful suggestions to slip in moments of blissful isolation.
Many meditation experts will agree that beginning your day with meditation is the most effective way to practice. I’ve found this to be very true so I try to start my morning a little earlier so I can begin my day with a feeling of peace and purpose. Set your alarm to 30 minutes before your usual time, and if your child is your alarm clock, try waking up before they do. If you’re not a morning person or your child’s sleep schedule is unpredictable, then see the suggestions below. There are plenty in the day to get in a solitary session to meditate.
For most, being in the shower or bathtub can be the only time during the day that doesn’t involve children. Use this time to calm your mind and body. Use all your senses to completely feel and take in the experience. Feel the water flow down and ripple around your body and you will suddenly feel your worries and anxiety wash away. Focus on deep breathing, smell the soothing scent of your soap and let the stress leave your body and down the drain.
Develop a Mantra
When you’re short on time, repeating a word or phrase can provide much positive reinforcement. Words and phrases like patience, keep smiling, and stress is not my friend can greatly help you ease the mind. Kind reminders to yourself will let your brain know that the panic is only temporary and will allow the relaxation to kick in.
Stroll Your Way to Nirvana
Being cooped up in the house with the kids can make the days feel longer. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and meditate outside. This doesn’t mean you have to sit in one spot, so put your kids in the stroller and go for a walk. You’ll find that the sun will unwind and reenergize your body. You’ll be amazed at the feelings of peace nature can bring. Ask your children about the things they see and feel, and suddenly all of you will achieve feelings of inner peace.
Some moms don’t get a minute to themselves until the last few minutes before bedtime. When I can’t fit in a meditation session in the morning or throughout the day I make sure my day is ended with peace and relaxation. As you climb your way into bed take some time to relax and reflect before you finally close your eyes and slip away into slumber. Use this rare moment to take deep breaths and decompress with each inhale and exhale. A usual ritual of mine is to unplug and turn off all my electronics and just lay in my bed. Separating myself from the distractions of phones and TVs really helps ease the mind and prepares me for a good uninterrupted sleep.
Try these methods throughout your day and experience the wonders of meditation first hand. You will surely find yourself more relaxed and ready to take on any parenting obstacle. Maybe your children will take after your newfound peace which will make for a happy, healthy, and more easygoing family. We’re there any meditation tips that we missed? Be sure to let us know on our Facebook page.