By DullesMoms, Feb 2023
Being a mom is a never-ending balancing act. Between playdates, doctor’s appointments, and that pile of laundry that seems to multiply when you’re not looking, it’s easy to forget someone really important — you!
So, how can you practice mindfulness and self-care in the midst of parenting chaos? Small, realistic steps can make a huge difference.
You may think you don’t have time for meditation. Still, according to Dr. Sara Lazar from Harvard Medical School, even a few minutes of mindfulness meditation can help improve focus and reduce stress.
Use the time while your little one is napping or deeply engaged in play to sit comfortably, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing for just 5 minutes.
The Five Senses Exercise
Mindfulness involves being fully present in the moment. A quick way to do this is by engaging all your five senses. Take a moment to see, touch, hear, smell, and taste something. This method is recommended by Dr. Patrizia Collard, a stress management consultant and mindfulness teacher.
Do this while having your morning coffee or during a walk in the park with your toddler. Notice the aroma, the cup’s warmth, the flavor, the sound of birds, and so on.
Move That Body
You know exercise is essential, but it’s also a form of self-care and mindfulness. As per the Mayo Clinic, exercise effectively combats stress and anxiety.
If a gym session seems impossible, have a mini dance-off with your kids. It’s a win-win—you get to move, and they get to giggle.
Sometimes, the mind needs to ‘dump’ its thoughts somewhere. The University of Rochester Medical Center suggests journaling can help manage anxiety, reduce stress, and improve mood.
Keep a journal near your bedside table. Before sleep, jot down three things that went well that day and why.
Engaging in creative activities can serve as a fantastic mindfulness practice. Artistic expression allows the mind to focus and flow, says Dr. Cathy Malchiodi, an art therapist.
Doodle while waiting at the pediatrician’s office, or engage in a fun DIY craft with your kiddos.
Disconnect to reconnect. According to a study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, limiting social media use can significantly decrease feelings of depression and loneliness.
Set aside a specific ‘phone-free’ time each day to be fully present with your family—or yourself!
Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s self-preservation. Give yourself permission to take a timeout for mindfulness because a happy mom makes for a happy home.