Parenting ain’t easy, am I right? I see you, sneaking a sweet snack in a lettuce wrapper, hiding in the closet to get a five-second break, and taking a call in the car for a moment of peace. When kiddos are young and needy, it can feel (okay, it is!) impossible to have a nanosecond to yourself, even if it’s just to go to the bathroom without company. So the idea of working in a mindfulness routine seems laughable.
But as a parent, you’ve heard it a million times: you can’t pour from an empty cup. Whether the kid crew is acting mild or wild, chances are, your days would go a little more smoothly if you started and ended them with a few simple mindful moments.
How Are Mindful Moments Helpful?
Mindfulness as a general practice has been widely proven, scientifically, to help alleviate stress, decrease pain, and lower blood pressure. It can also impact your brain clarity, sleep, focus, concentration, and overall health and wellbeing. And let’s face it, all parents can use a little help in that area!
What Are Mindful Moments?
Mindfulness is purposely focusing your energy and attention on one thing. We’ve been hearing this for decades, but there really is something to the whole phrase: take time to stop and smell the roses. Mindful moments often include taking the time to use your senses deeply and intentionally in order to focus your attention or calm yourself. Mindfulness can be practiced in a variety of ways, and there is no right or wrong way. Here are a few to get you started.
5 Simple Daily Mindful Moments
1. Morning Affirmation
- Wake up, stretch, close your eyes, and repeat an affirmation one to two times. Stuck for a good affirmation? Consult your PeaceMakers mantra cards, or make one up that you need to hear: “I am worthy of love.” or “I can do anything.”
- Waking up with a cosleeper or nursing a little one? You can still take a moment to say an affirmation as you first wake up, even if just whispering to yourself, or wait until you plant your feet on the floor and take an intentional pause before standing.
2. Intentional Eating
- Take a moment to really savor a bite of food each day. Explore the food item using all your senses, not just taste. What does it look like? Smell like? What’s the texture? Chew slowly. What do you feel?
- If this is hard to do alone, set a timer for two minutes and focus on how many senses you can use to quietly investigate a food each day with your kiddos.
3. Mindful Mini Breaks
- Set an alarm or use a meditation app to alert you each hour. When you hear the ding/vibration, stop for a moment. Take 3 deep breaths, and count 3 things you can see, hear, and/or feel. Your kids can join in!
4. Calming Corner
- Decide on a time each day to visit the Calming Corner as a family. Reset your mindset with a quick calming strategy like stretching your body, doing a wall push-up, or taking a moment of silence. And then see what happens next!
5. Bedtime Body Scan
- Begin at your toes, intentionally focus on each part of your body, one at a time, until you reach the top of your head. It may help to squeeze and release each part as you move across your body.
Take a few weeks to practice each of the five simple mindful moments mentioned above, and decide which ones might be best and easiest to apply to your daily life. Once you incorporate mindful moments as a new routine, you will certainly see the benefits on your stress levels, overall health, and ability to show up as the rockstar parent you already are.