May 05 , 2019
Being a parent can often leave us feeling like there isn’t a moment in the day to stop and consider yourself and your fulfilment. Life is a constant race against the clock from when we wake up in the morning until the kids go to bed at night and by then we’re too knackered to get anything done!
However, there are moments in your day that you can take back. Small ones maybe, but they are there (we promise) and the 5 mindfulness enhancing techniques below will help you find them.
The sorts of changes we are going to suggest are really just baby steps and if they prove helpful then maybe you can take bigger ones. These are just small places to start.
For those of you who are still sceptical, there are lots of good reasons to give this stuff a go. As you become more mindful of yourself, you will in turn become more aware of how your habits and behaviour might effect your child.
Taking the time to consider your emotions will help you to manage them, no more losing it over the small things.
If you ever find yourself just running to stand still then you might need to have a think about the direction in your life, find ways of making things easier, sharing the load. All the sorts of things that you won’t be able to think about if you don’t take the time to.
1. Set an intention for the day
This is an important one, how you start your day sets the tone for how you will continue it and ultimately how you will end it. Starting your day with a mad rush to get the kids and yourself fed, washed and ready for what’s next is not the best way to enter the rest of your day with composure and intent.
This will sound radical to some of you but getting out of bed just 20 minutes earlier than everybody else for a peaceful coffee and a quick, quiet breakfast will do absolute wonders for how you deal with whatever comes after that. It will give you the time to really focus on what you can do to improve your life and the lives of those around you.
If you can manage more than 20 minutes then you could find yourself in a position where you’re fed, watered, washed and dressed before anybody needs anything from you! That might not be realistic for everyone and obviously different lifestyles will allow for different alarm clock settings, but 20 minutes is realistic for most people.
It might mean getting to bed a little earlier, it might mean adjusting other aspects of your routine, but we strongly recommend this as a first step towards being more mindful.
2. Breathing Breaks
In between chores or tasks at work when you find yourself wondering “what do I need to do next?” or walking back over to your to do list, stop and take 30 seconds just to breath deeply a few times.
Close your eyes and really feel the breaths. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Taking little moments like these in your day will bring you back down to earth and give you the energy to keep on going.
3. Enhance the mundane parts of your day
If you find yourself folding laundry or doing the dishes, there is no reason that you can’t add a layer of something more interesting to the experience. Use this time to listen to an audio book or just some of your favourite music.
Get a good friend on speakerphone and gossip the afternoon away.
Moments like these can be dull and a little soul destroying, but they really don’t have to be. They can even become something that you look forward to.
4. Keep a journal
Keeping a journal is a great way to track everything in your life, if you find yourself writing about the same problems week after week then it will serve as a stark reminder to do something about them.
It’s also important to do something similar because it’s 5 minutes of your day that is devoted purely to you and your betterment. Not something we get very often as parents!
It’s very simple and very effective way of making progress in many areas of your life. Not just relating to being a parent.
5. Make time for yourself
This one really encapsulates everything that we’ve said in the previous points and is really the main thing that we think you can do to improve your state of mind.
Whether you do this buy waking up earlier in the morning, keeping a journal, stopping for a few deep breaths or taking a long bath after the kids are in bed. It really is a worthwhile endeavour.
Solitude and peace and quiet in reasonable doses are essential for most people’s wellbeing and you, are probably no different. So please for your own sake and for everyone close to you find a gap in your day and make it happen!