Fitting mindfulness and meditation into life as a new mum
Make time for mindfulness as a new mum
Before you scoff, you don’t have to be Gwyneth Paltrow to incorporate mindfulness and meditation into life as a new mum. You don’t need hours to spare, or need to sit cross legged in a butterfly pose repeating om mantras. The stereotype of what mindfulness is couldn’t be further from the reality.
Put simply, mindfulness meditation is a mental training practice that involves focusing your mind on your experiences (your emotions, thoughts, and sensations) in the present moment
We are all extremely busy and it can be very difficult to make time for the ‘now’. The baby, the housework, the social media, the dinner. It all takes up so much of our day and we are always planning ahead, worrying and stressing.
Learning mindfulness is actually very simple and even a few minutes every day can make a difference. If you search Google or YouTube you will find plenty of examples.
Here is a basic technique for you to get started:
1. Find a quiet and comfortable place where you know you won’t be disturbed (so ideally baby will be napping!). Sit in a chair or on the floor with your head, neck, and back straight but not stiff.
2. Try to put all thoughts of the past and the future to one side; stay only in the present.
3. Become aware of your breath, focusing on the sensation of air moving in and out of your body as you breathe. Feel your belly rise and fall, and the air enter your nostrils and leaves your mouth. Pay attention to the way each breath changes and is different.
4. You will experience a range of different thoughts, possibly including worry, or anxiety. When thoughts come up in your mind, don't ignore or suppress them but simply note them, remain calm and use your breathing as an anchor to let the thought pass.
5. If you find yourself getting carried away in your thoughts, observe where your mind went off to and simply return to your breathing. And remember it’s completely normal for thoughts to race through your head.
The more times you practice mindfulness meditation the easier it will become.
You may simply not be able to find the full 10 minutes to set aside but if that’s the case, it can be done during times of the day when there are few distractions; as you’re doing the dishes, just before you go to sleep, before you get out of bed or while you are driving. You are not zoning out, all you are doing is focusing on the here and now, and on your breathing. Try it.
There’s a reason why you’ll have heard the phrase ‘count to ten’. Calming down, getting hold of yourself in the here and now really can help regain your composure and recharge yourself.