Things we know are good for us but don’t do enough of:
- Drink less wine
- Put money away
Today I’m going to talk about the last one - meditation. I’m not going to address the other three because I haven’t figured them out yet.
It’s not that I have meditation all figured out either. I’ve tried it and I can tell you it feels good and I want more. But with little kids around, I don’t know how to get more of it.
Closing your eyes and taking deep breaths has its benefits; getting in touch with your inner-self, keeping calm, and deepening your breathing, which will increase your mental focus and make you a happier person to be around.
In the short run, it’ll help you stay sane so maybe you’ll make it through a whole day without yelling at the kids and feeling bad about it.
Except you have kids! Who has time to meditate?
When you wake up in the morning and you realize you’re the first one awake you practically bounce out of bed. ALONE TIME! WEEEEE!!!!
You rush to your butt to your meditation pillow, settle in…breathe in… ahhhhhhh….
Then you hear a noise from the bedroom, followed by what sounds like elephant feet.
“My bed is wet.”
“Me” time is over. Total pillow time – 6 seconds.
You want to meditate, but the kids have other plans.
So why not work in little bursts of mindfulness throughout your day?
Here are seven practical tips to meditate while you mom:
1) Steal a moment among the madness.
When you notice a moment when the kids are calm and quiet, close your eyes wherever you are and take a few breaths. Feel their presence. Feel how grateful you are to have these crazy little nuggets in your life.
2) Meditate with the kids.
If your kids are old enough to close their eyes and sit criss-cross-applesauce on the floor, they can meditate with you. Sit together on the floor with the TV and other distractions quieted. Tell your kids exactly what’s going to happen next. Close your eyes together and guide them through some deep breathing. Walking them through it as their guide will be a calming experience for both of you.
3) Do it in the bathroom.
You’re alone anyway. Stop using this time to check Facebook and instead use it for a quick sanity break. When you’re in the shower, or even sitting on the toilet. Close your eyes, pay close attention to your breathing. You’ll emerge from the loo feeling like a new person.
4) In the car.
Please keep your eyes open at all times when you’re driving the car. Except if you find yourself at your destination early, and the kids asleep. Don’t let this moment pass you by! Turn some calming music on and enjoy the moment of meditative bliss.
If the car is in motion, you can practice mindfulness with your eyes open. As you travel along, focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, shoulders back, inhale, exhale, and repeat. Doesn’t that feel good?
5) Take a walk.
Walking meditation is the new black. Even if you have kids with you, you can point out interesting things along the walk; a funny shaped rock, a chipmunk, how the bark on that tree over there looks different from all the others. The goal is to relax and connect with nature, your kids, and yourself.
6) When you sit down to dinner.
When you all sit down to dinner you can take a moment to be grateful even if you’re not the praying kind. Silent your phone, light a candle, sit down and just enjoy two breaths focusing on your food before you start. You can do this as a family or do it alone – no one will know. Take one mindful inhale and one mindful exhale, in your head, say, “thank you”, then enjoy your food using all the senses you used to prepare the meal.
Take a bite of food, and pay attention to what the food feels like and tastes like.
7) In bed.
Before you get out of bed in the morning, linger for just a minute. Set a simple intention for the day, like, “today I’ll keep calm when the kids fight.” Then smile to yourself and enjoy the day.
You can do something similar before bed too. Take a few minutes to think about the three best things that happened today, jot them down in a notebook if you like. As you lay there before you drift off to sleep consciously relax every part of your body, starting with your toes, working your way to your head – if you even make it there before you enter dreamland.