Mindfulness is one of those things that can feel almost impossible to attain when you are a new mom. When you are juggling taking care of your little one, having endless to-do lists, and working, mindfulness is probably the last thing on your mind.
Mindfulness is a broad word that simply means being conscious and aware of things. It is a mental state that can be achieved when you focus your awareness on the present moment while at the same time calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and sensations that you feel in your body. It is often used as a therapeutic technique. In this way, mindfulness is a basic human ability that allows you to be fully present and aware of where you are and what you are doing without being overly reactive or overwhelmed with what is going on around you.
A lot of people assume that mindfulness and meditation are the same things. Meditation does have a small role to play in the pursuit of mindfulness. However, it is only a small part of it. Mindfulness is more than meditation or silent retreats. It can make its way into your parenting and your daily life. If you have been wondering how to practice mindfulness as a new mom, this guide is exactly what you need.
Benefits of mindfulness for moms
Before we get to the how let’s first tackle the why. Why should new moms practice mindfulness? What are some of the benefits they stand to get from it? Well, mindfulness can transform your life in a lot of ways. Here are some of them:
It can help you learn how to pay attention to the important things in your and your little one’s life
It can help you learn how not to take things personally
You’ll learn how to speak more purposefully, mean what you say, and show you how to react when things drive you crazy
You’ll become a calmer, more rational person
It helps improve your sleep, making you feel less fatigued
It is a great tool for regulating your emotions
It increases your overall happiness and wellbeing
How to practice mindfulness as a new mom
Now that you have a good understanding of why practicing mindfulness is important, here are a few tips and tricks to help you do it as a new mom:
Pay attention to yourself
Notice how your body feels and what it needs. Mindfulness is all about having the intention of taking care of yourself. Doing small acts of self-care can have a huge impact on your overall well-being. Examples of such small acts include taking a hot shower while your partner holds the baby, or your partner bringing you a glass of water while you breastfeed. As a new mom, anything that makes you feel more like your old self helps in a big way.
Ask yourself, “What can I do to make this better?”
This one simple question can change your life. We all have to do with boring, mundane tasks every day. You have to do dishes, do laundry, run errands, and so on. Whenever you have to do something that isn’t a lot of fun, stop and ask yourself how you can make it better. If you are folding some laundry, play your favorite song as you do it. If you are washing dishes, take advantage of the moment and practice some standing meditation. If you are running errands, listen to an audiobook or podcast as you do. There is always something you can do to make every moment in your life just a little better.
Come up with your own unique form of mindfulness
As mentioned before, mindfulness is more than just meditation and yoga. It is about paying attention to yourself and what your body feels and what your mind is going through. Be fully present in anything that you do; whether it is doing dishes or cooking a meal or walking the dog. Savor the moment and enjoy it, no matter how mundane it is. If you notice your mind racing, acknowledge it, then take a pause and come back to what you are doing. Mindfulness is about being still in the moment, not stopping your mind.
Make time for yourself
Sometimes, it can feel like it is very hard to find time for yourself. However, if you are intentional about it, you will always be able to make time for yourself. To start, set aside 5 minutes a day for yourself. Mindfulness does not have to be a huge time commitment. Something as simple as taking a quick shower or walking in the sun for 5 minutes will do you a lot of good.
Take a pause and breath
Sometimes, things can feel overwhelming. You have just become a new mom, there is so much to do, and the world around you is in chaos. All these things can throw you off balance. If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, take a pause. Then take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Do this four to 5 times to help your mind stabilize and recalibrate.
Mindfulness is a journey. It will take a lot of practice before it becomes a normal part of your life. Be patient. Start slowly by just taking a 5-minute break and breathing. Then gradually increase this time over the next few weeks.
Keep a journal
Journaling is a hobby that won’t take up much of your time. You can keep a worry journal where you write down the things that worry you. Writing down the things that worry you is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that will significantly ease your anxiety symptoms. It can help you relax. Plus, when you look at the problem from a different perspective, it becomes easier to find solutions for the issues.
Selfcare is extremely important for new moms. Today, mothers often have to work, take care of the home, take care of the kids, and take care of their partners, all on top of the hundreds of other things they need to do daily. It is easy to forget about taking care of your own needs in this equation. The good news is that something as simple as subtly shifting your mindset can go a long way in helping you reset your thinking. When you take advantage of these mindfulness tips, they will help you reduce stress and pay attention to yourself while simultaneously making time for the things you love. Who says moms can’t have it all?