The Mindful Mama by Liz Zdunich

The Mindful Mama by Liz Zdunich
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Liz Zdnuich

Believe it or not, in your sleep-deprived state, you can bring more bliss into your life of mamahood. It’s all about taking small steps to focus your intention and being creative in finding balance. Mamahood doesn’t have hours of operation and there is no off switch or restart button to give you time to reboot. To make matters worse, many of the recommendations out there, meant to help create calm in life, seem to result in the opposite—more stress.

Here are 10 tried-and-true tips for finding more joy and peace in mama-hood.

1. Rise with intention.

As mama’s, our whole occupation revolves around nourishing, inspiring and supporting our families. In this role, it can be easy to lose ourselves and forget to nourish, inspire and support ourselves. Start your day by doing something for yourself. If you have a little one who is raring to go with the dawn chorus, it may only work to squeeze in a small gesture before being called into action. No time for a quiet, long cup of tea and a full morning ritual? I bet you can get the kettle boiling, even if the tea itself is on the go. It is the intention of starting your day by taking care of yourself first.

2. Plant a garden.

Time spent connecting with nature reduces depression, inspires environmentalism, sparks creativity, and can even increase life expectancy. Get your hands into the dirt and connect with Mother Earth. Tending a garden allows your mind to relax and become focused as you are immersed in the sounds, smells and sights of your surroundings. Also, by planting a climbing rose bush, a budding dahlia, or an herb and veggie garden, you will be decreasing your carbon footprint. No space for a garden? Plant an indoor herb garden on your windowsill or find indoor varieties of your favourite roses to improve your indoor air quality.

3. Breathe.

Part of the job description for mama-hood includes trying moments—even with the most tranquil tots—that will test your patience. In those moments, close your eyes. Take a slow, deep inhalation filling your belly then your chest. For the exhalation, just let go of the breath and the stress. See yourself blowing your frustrations and worries away. Just by taking moments in your busy days to breathe—“pranayama” in yoga—you can soothe anxiety, calm emotion, lower heart rate, reduce stress, and quiet the brain.

4. Do yoga.

Whether it’s a mom-and-tot class or your own unguided practice, create opportunities to roll out your mat. Let go of judgment in what your practice should look like, or looked like, and enjoy what it has become. Get creative. Enjoy a few invigorating poses to energize yourself for the rest of the day while your child naps, indulge in some restorative poses at bedtime to wind down, or share your mat in some playful partners or groups poses all together. New to yoga? Find a beginners class, DVD, or book and test a couple of styles and teachers to find what revitalizes and resonates with you.

5. Read.

Find something inspiring and uplifting to rejuvenate your soul and shift your perspective of the day. Remember that it does not need to be a big literary read-a-thon. Maybe it is taking your book to read for 10 minutes in a bath before bed, a chance to fill your mind with positivity and inspiration for guiding your dreams that night.

6. Create a daily rhythm.

Our bodies thrive on routine—not a militant schedule, but a routine, ritual or rhythm that guides your day. If we rise, eat and sleep at approximately the same time every day, our digestive systems and circadian rhythm are supported, resulting in feeling more energized, sleeping more restoratively and improving overall wellness. Work with your body to promote vitality.

7. Get moving.

Our bodies are amazing. A form built of bone and flesh that can do more things than we can even imagine. They flow, wiggle, grow, dance, pause, move, breathe, stretch, and groove. Better yet, we feel good while doing all of the above. Crank up some tunes and “dance like no-one’s watching.”

8. Play.

Let your children take the lead and play along. Through the fits of giggles in the middle of a great game of hopscotch, hide-and-go-seek, or fort building with blankets in the living room, I assure you, your little ones are not worried about how they look, what should be made for dinner or the mountain of laundry waiting. Jump in, enjoy that moment, giggle along, and neither will you.

9. Community.

Create a network of like-minded mamas. Do work trades for each other. Surround yourself with people who are inspirational, who share your values, who value you, and who have qualities that you respect. Being mothers is not enough to sustain a true and nourishing friendship. Your time is precious—share it with those who are worthy of that gift.

10. Meditate.

End your day as you began—nourishing your spirit. Meditation need not be a long traditional session, unless that is what you need. Just before you climb into bed, once you are in your most comfortable jammies, set a timer for 10 minutes. Close your eyes. Find a comfortable seated position and start to breathe in for a count of six, holding for two, and exhale for six. Sink into a calm smooth rhythm and savour being still and quiet.

Mama's often misinterpret self-care as selfish and forget that we must nourish ourselves before we can give of ourselves to others. Just as our children will struggle to learn and develop to their full potential without the work we do, we will struggle to do our best work without self-care. Time invested in replenishing the well is time invested in evolving into better and better mamas for ourselves and our children.

Namaste.
Find the original article here: http://www.kidsinvictoria.com/index.php?kic_article_action=display&kic_a...

Liz is a playful yogini, teacher and coach, lover of sweet beats and a goddess of GROOVE, Master Trainer in THEGROOVE, Reiki practitioner, blogger, business owner/operator and above all, a mamma of two beautiful, bright lights. Follow her blog at lizzdunich.com/musings

LizZdunich.com
LizZdunich@shaw.ca

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