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I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating… motherhood can be incredibly overwhelming. So much so that we lose sight of ourselves and feel like there are no answers to the problems we face. But the truth is, being more mindful, taking time for quiet can open up avenues we didn’t know exist. Calm the chaos. And make us feel like more competent and productive mothers.
Mindfulness opens up the pathway to becoming your best self, which greatly improves the odds of living your best life inside and outside of motherhood. It allows you to be more focused.
Most people think that mindfulness requires the act of meditation or yoga to be successful. It doesn’t. While those activities are important and should be an integral part of our daily lives, they aren’t necessary to be mindful. Mindfulness is something you can practice any time. And you should.
Mindfulness can help you handle difficult situations. It is key to allowing you to live in the present moment. And that, my friends, is important to our overall happiness. Live in the moment. Here’s how.
10 Simple Ways to Be More Mindful Every Day
1. Stretch upon waking
I get up early, generally an hour and a half or more before my kids. It’s often dark when I wake up, and while I’ve grown accustomed to it, I’m still not even close to jumping for joy when I roll out of bed.
I’ve found that stretching helps get the blood pumping first thing in the morning, which wakes me up. I exercise shortly after I wake anyway, so this practice helps in more ways than one.
I get out of bed and I stretch. It doesn’t have to be super involved. Just getting up, stretching your body a bit, and practicing a little deep breathing and you’ll feel fantastic and ready to tackle any moment that comes your way.
I’m a writer through and through and journaling is one of my favorite things to do. I love sitting down in the mornings and writing down some positive affirmations and the thoughts that they provoke.
I journal before my kids are up just about every day. It typically just a simple positive affirmation and some goals for the day, but I sit down, pen to paper and help myself prepare for the day ahead. I journal again during my nighttime routine in order to reflect on the day.
At night, I write down any thoughts from the day, three things that brought me joy, and three things I’m grateful for. It took a while to get into the practice, but it’s been incredibly helpful since then.
3. Enjoy Your Food
We always seem to be in a rush, especially as moms. We have kids to get ready and out the door or sitting down to lessons. We have jobs to go to, or homes to tend, or even just work calling our attention in the next room if we work from home. Life is busy, and we juggle a lot of plates.
Since we’re so busy, a lot of times we do not take the time to actually focus on what we’re eating. Many, many times we’re multi-tasking. We have our phone in our hand, the newspaper, a book, paperwork, something else is going on while we are eating.
This is not only a bad habit because a lot of times it means we’re making unhealthy food choices, but even if it is a healthy option, we aren’t taking the time to appreciate it. Then… we run the risk of overeating.
When we sit down and really take the time to appreciate our food, how it tastes, how it feels, how it got on our plates to begin with… it changes things. So, try it. Instead of multitasking, try single tasking your meal. Close your eyes and really focus on how your food tastes, its texture, and think about how it got to where it is. It’s a profound difference.
4. Listen to Music
We try really, really hard to limit our screen use in our home. I don’t like my kids seeing me constantly on my phone. I don’t like to use the TV as an out (I can’t say I don’t ever, I just usually feel guilt afterward). So, we love, love to turn up the music.
I absolutely love music. Of all kinds. Except for a lot of newer pop, that stuff I’m not much of a fan of. But, I don’t consider it music haha.
Anyway, music makes you feel good. It can feel like the person singing or playing the music knows you personally when the music can just touch your soul in a way a complete stranger never could.
I love listening to music that makes me feel good. And not only can music help you relax and reflect, it can also make the not so fun tasks like the dishes go by a lot quicker. Plus, it’s so much better than TV, and can be much more soothing and healing. I recently heard of alpha wave music and I have to say, it’s impact is amazing. Google it and give it a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
5. Be Mindful of Every Day Activities
I’m all about doing things on autopilot as much as possible. I mean, who wants to truly focus on the mundane everyday tasks that make up being a mom? I’m not talking about your kids, either. I’m talking about the laundry, the dishes, the mundane every day stuff.
Now, we do love to make those tasks more fun and enjoy them by turning up the music and tackling them as a family, but it’s still nice that they can be done without a lot of thought.
That being said, how many of us do things like brush our teeth without a thought? It’s the same as eating, we do multiple things every single day that we don’t even think about. It’s just “second nature”.
But, once in a while, we should think of these things. So, instead of brushing your teeth mindlessly in a rush to get out the door. Pay attention to the actual activity. Realize how the brush goes across your teeth, how the toothpaste foams, the taste of it. All of it. Try it with some other simple activities as well. Like, washing your hair, or applying lotion.
6. Drink Water
I used to hate water. I’d rather drink just about anything but water. But once I started trying to be more mindful and lose a little weight I started to realize the impact my water intake had on numerous facets of my life.
If I don’t get enough water, I feel sluggish. I get cranky a lot more easily. And I just don’t feel like I’m being the best version of me I can be. Water is important, it’s life. You need it. Plus, we don’t need to drink our calories. I’ve lost so much weight by not drinking so much juice and soda because I didn’t think I liked the taste of water.
If you truly don’t like the taste of it, try putting some lemon in it. Or other fruit. Or make tea (no sugar).
You should drink a minimum of half of your body weight in ounces every day. For instance if you weigh 140 pounds, you should be drinking about of 70 ounces of water, on average. Put a graph in your bullet journal to keep track of how much you’re drinking.
It’s good for you, it helps you stay energized, and it keeps you more focused. There’s no crash afterwards, and no empty calories. Drink up!
7. Turn Off Your Phone
Oy… our phones. This one used to be so hard for me. I would justify it because as an online entrepreneur I needed to check up on things. Then, I stopped.
Our phones are begging for our attention. They are the biggest distraction in existence. It’s so bad that we’ve lost connection with the people around us in turn for whatever’s calling our attention on the screen from worlds away.
FOMO is a big no-no. What you’re really truly missing out on is right in front of you.
It’s gotten to where we don’t even know how to be bored anymore. And this is bad! Boredom sparks creativity! But, we feel the need to constantly have something going on. But when we are sitting with nothing to do, there’s that phone calling us to turn on the screen and mindlessly scroll through facebook, instagram, something.
Don’t do it. Shut it off. Put it in another room. Take all of the social apps off of it. Have a tech free afternoon, or weekend, or detox. Whatever you need to. You’ll be amazed at how different your attitude is and how much you’ve really been missing out on that wasn’t on Facebook.
8. Go Outside
Did you know that prisoner’s in the United States are guaranteed a minimum of 2 hours outside time every day?
Yet, our children spend less than an hour outside every day. Adults, generally even less (unless, of course, their job requires it). This is so crazy backward.
Every single day, we need to spend some time outdoors. It is essential to our wellbeing. We need to be in nature, to connect with it. Regardless of the weather, we need to step outside for a few. I love that saying there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. Or, I think that’s how it goes.
We need to go outdoors for at least a few moments every day. Close your eyes and breathe in the fresh air. Feel the sun on your face. Enjoy the rain, go dancing in it! Catch snowflakes on your tongue just like your kids. Jump in puddles. Smell the flowers. Just go out and enjoy the moment.
I know when I haven’t been outside in the fresh air for at least a few moments every day,
9. Be Present in the Present
You ever sit and stare and totally miss what someone just said to you. Your mind was wandering off into its own little world.
Our minds naturally wander. It’s only human. I think moms are the worst at this because we tend to be worriers.
We can try so hard to be in the present and our minds will wander to what once was or what may be. When you find your mind doing this, gently bring it back to the now.
The thing is no matter how much we would like to try, absolutely nothing can change our past. It molded us into who we’ve become and it’s over. And no amount of worry will change the future. Gently remind yourself of this any time your mind goes wandering.
10. Learn to Meditate
You do not have to meditate to be mindful. But, meditation is the key to mindfulness. It doesn’t have to be involved. It doesn’t require a lot of thought or preparation.
But, meditation teaches us how to be mindful. Without it, it is a lot more difficult to train our minds to be in the moment, calm, collected and focused. So, sit down, close your eyes, focus on your breathing and just be in the moment. You’ll be so glad you did.
Mindfulness has been shown to improve overall health, improve our brain functionality, and will enable you to be a calmer, happier, more intentional mother and person. These are just 10 simple ways to be more mindful in your every day.