Motherhood! A lifelong commitment. It doesn’t come with a manual. We step into it with certain beliefs and learn on the job. Every century had its challenges. Your mothers parenting styles and yours, for example, is different on so many levels. More so now, with the current social distancing and homeschooling. There is absolutely no way to sugar coat this. These are challenging times. A true test! For all the mommies out there who are trying to juggle fifty different things during the day? Clean the house, feed the children, teach the children, entertain them and the list goes on and on and on.
How do you stay sane? Now, that is the question!
The answer is: ‘MINDFULNESS’
According to Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside of us, moment by moment. Mindfulness is often associated with meditation practice but it is more than that. It’s a form of being present that can be practiced at any time.
Now you must be wondering, how does one practice “mindfulness” during these chaotic times. I want you to ask yourself this:
If you find yourself with your mind full; here are a few strategies to start enjoying little things in life in few easy steps.
Slow down, you got this. Break your day in chunks. Plan a “me-time” .Pick a hobby you have been delaying to take up, read that book you have been meaning to read, exercise. The trick is to quiet the nagging voice inside your head that says you have a hundred million things you need to do. Remember, you are the caretaker. You deserve some “me-time”.
There are many types of breathing exercises. Breathing helps you slow down and add more focus and clarity to your consciousness. The 4-7-8 is an effective breathing method guaranteed to help you gain a calmer state. Find a comfortable spot, somewhere outdoors or in the terrace will ensure you breathe clear natural air.
To use the 4-7-8 technique, focus on the following breathing pattern:
- Empty the lungs of air.
- Breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds.
- Hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds.
- Exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds.
- Repeat the cycle up to 4 times.
Being kind and non judgmental is at the core of Mindfulness practice. This means that you accept what is and don’t argue with the reality. This sounds simple but when you start to practice Mindfulness you will realize that you judge things and yourself all the time:
- We can’t step out
- The kids won’t sleep on time
- The house is such a mess
- Why can’t I just focus?
- I have no control
Mindfulness is about taming the inner critique. It’s about accepting things the way they are in the present moment and making a decision how to tackle current challenges from a heart space and with compassion, kindness for self and others.
There is a lot of scientific research on the effects of Mindfulness practice and the research shows that Mindfulness practice is not only linked to well being and stress reduction but it is also linked to increased creativity, productivity, physical health, self esteem and quality of relationships. It reduces symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression,
The beauty about Mindfulness is that it is free, simple and you can use it anytime and anywhere. It is the perfect way to take care of your brain and keep it healthy.
Dear Mamas, this journey of motherhood consists of steps forward and backward, and a lot of trial and error, falls and resurrections in between.
I hope you will take a step back and appreciate the simple things in life. Celebrate your health, celebrate yourself and everything else will fall into place.
— Nuvaira Dhedhi
Early Childhood Educator