10 Practical Mindfulness Tips for Stressed Mothers
Mothers juggle many roles every single day, so it is no wonder they become stressed with never a moment to take time out for themselves. Many are working and coming home to the bedlam of motherhood. They are mothers, partners, employees, friends, cooks, housekeepers, counsellors and so much more. Many mothers end up operating on auto pilot just to survive each day.
Parenting does not come with a manual. You mostly learn from your own parents, what you think is right and any mistakes that you make. Motherhood is such a delicate balancing act that leaves you exhausted, burnt out and the stress can sometimes make you ill.
But there are things you can do to reduce your stress so you do not lose your mind and feel like you are going to constantly explode. You probably cannot reduce your busyness, but you can enhance each day to bring yourself back to the moment when you need to.
The solution is mindfulness which brings you back to the present instead of focusing on what happened in the past or may happen in the future. It helps to break the stress so you can respond to what happens around you instead of reacting.
Here is a guide to mindfulness with the 10 best mindfulness tips to incorporate into your daily routine to reduce your stress levels.
1. Learn to breathe
Learn to breathe when you feel stress building. The best thing about this is you can do it anywhere, anytime. You can take a few moments to refocus. Download my free mindfulness audio to help you focus your thoughts back into the present.
All you need to do when your thoughts start swirling and stress begins to rise, and you start feeling overwhelmed is to breathe. When this happens take a moment. Stop what you are doing and practice this quick mindfulness meditation technique. Play my mindfulness audio and take some deep breaths. Take it slowly and count to four as you inhale, hold for a count of two, and count to four as you exhale. Repeat several times until you feel better. Focus your mind on your breathing and let go of what worries you. It will bring you back to the present instead of the past or the future.
Deep breathing lowers your blood pressure, reduces stress and helps you deal with every day pressure in a calm manner.
2. Be compassionate
When the kids are screaming, demanding your attention, it can send stress levels soaring and you feel overwhelmed. Show the kids and yourself some compassion when this happens. Look at the situation from the child or children’s point view which will help you to respond with compassion. Instead of screaming ‘’shut up” at the kids to stop the noise, sit down with them and calmly ask them why all the noise. You can apply this to all situations.
You also deserve to show yourself compassion. As a mother, you are over stretched each day trying to cope the best you can. There is no point judging or blaming yourself for how you feel. Instead realise everyone struggles in some way and your feelings are normal. Understand that you and every other mother is continually learning and being compassionate towards yourself is recognising that fact. Just remember, if the way you deal with something does not work, try a different approach next time. Also, take a few minutes to listen to my free mindfulness audio and practice some deep breathing until you feel better.
3. Manage how you feel and react
No matter how often you practice mindfulness you will still feel frustration and anger at different times. It is the nature of motherhood that children will rebel, fight and be defiant. For when you lose your temper with children in those moments, you are teaching them their behaviour is acceptable. What you can do is manage how you feel and react. When you react in a calm manner, your children learn they can count on you to be the voice of reason even when they are going through tough times.
How do you do this? It is not easy but it is simple. Before you react, stop and take a few deep breaths to clear your mind and dispel any stress that is rising in your body. This will help you not to snap or yell in reaction to whatever is going on.
4. Be present in the moment
It is challenging to be in the present moment when you have so much to do and a lot on your mind. It is easy to let your mind wander and do two, three or four things at once. When doing anything such as the housework or having a cup of coffee, focus on what you are doing rather than running through all the things you need to get done. This makes it difficult to feel annoyed, stressed and overwhelmed when other thoughts arise. While this is challenging as your brain is so used to being busy but, with persistence and practice, focusing on one thing at a time becomes easier.
5. Focusing improves relationships
All too often you may be playing with your child while focusing on everything you need to do. Children can sense your lack of presence when spending time with them. Next time you find yourself distracted when with your children, acknowledge this without judgement then dismiss it. Refocus on spending quality time with the children. When you spend time with your children, give them your undivided attention. It will improve and strengthen your relationship, and magic will happen.
6. Savour coffee breaks
Instead of grabbing a coffee on the run, savour your coffee breaks. Practice having a mindful coffee (or tea) break. Use this break to enjoy time out and slow down your busy mind instead of worrying about what you still need to do. As you enjoy your coffee, feel the warmth of the cup as you hold it. Smell the aroma as you drink it in. As you do, allow thoughts to arise without judgement. Notice how they make you feel and let them go. Let the sensation of enjoying your coffee take over to give your mind a break from your busy day.
7. Mindfulness enhances your intuition
When you practice mindfulness, your negative self-talk subsides and leaves you open to your intuition. Being open to your intuition lets you know what feels right for you and your children. As a mother you may be bombarded with all sorts of well-meaning advice about how you should handle parenthood. This can be overwhelming and make you feel like you are not a good mother. Mindfulness allows you to access your intuition so you can act on what is right for you and your children without stressing out.
8. Observe your thoughts and feelings
Observe your thoughts and feelings instead of letting the worry of the past and what might be take over. When your mind runs away on a tangent and negative talk kicks in, consciously recognise this is happening and bring yourself back into the present moment. This is really difficult to do as it is a habit you need to break. It takes a real conscious effort to recognise when you are letting your thoughts carry you away. Next time your thoughts a swirling and negative observe how they make you feel mentally, emotionally and physically. The more you practice this the easier it gets to dispel worry and negative self-talk.
9. Hug your child for five deep breaths
Hug your child to help them calm down. Do it with intention and take five deep breaths and teach them to breathe with you. As you breathe deeply together, close your eyes, and relax your shoulders and the tension in your muscles. Just relax as you breathe in synchronisation with your child. And feel the tension in you both melt away.
Practice this five-breath hug whenever you say goodbye to your child for the day, whenever they are upset or just to say, “I love you”. And, you never know, you may find your child come running to you to give you a five-breath hug when you are upset and frustrated.
10. Practice grounding yourself
When you find the stressors of life distracting you from the present moment—ground yourself. Use mindfulness techniques to bring you back from negative thoughts and into the present. It is really simple to do. Go out into the garden in bare feet, lie down in the grass, watch the sunset or rise, take a barefoot walk on the beach, hug a tree and practice deep breathing. Take the children with you to enjoy these activities. It will ground them too and their behaviour is likely to improve.
When you are not coping with motherhood stress, contact us to find out how we can help get your life back on track. But, if you are in crisis, call us immediately. We can help you quickly deal with things better. We can work with you in our Spas, over the phone or via Skype. Book in today for my Emotional Empowerment Program. I have an introductory offer for just $79 so you can start taking back control of your life. We can help you be the mother you dream of being with renewed energy and love of life. Invest in yourself today.
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