As a woman, I know how busy life can be. What I didn’t realize fully before I became a mom is how much more life comes with children. You are living your “normal” life and now you have a little person there who relies on you as their source of security, entertainment, and livelihood. Life is full.
I’ve been a mom now for about 10 ½ years. I have two girls who are wonderful and they are a challenge at times — just like all our children are. They are a blessing and a gift to my spiritual journey. I learn about myself through them on a daily basis.
Having two children, running a business, doing my best to be a good wife, daughter and friend keeps me moving! No matter what your life looks like it could probably stand to be a little more calm and you could feel more balanced. Am I right? Most of us moms take on so much for our families! We carry way more than we need to and all this to the detriment of us. If we are stressed, anxious, worried and worn out all the time, how are we to really fulfill our role as mother?
Here are three simple things you can do to help you let some of that stress go.
Full stop. Just breathe. Most of us tend not to breathe very well or very consciously. Do you know if you are a chest breather or a belly breather? If you tend to breathe primarily up in the chest, it is an accelerator to your stress levels. If you use your diaphragm to breathe and feel the movement of your inhale expand your abdomen and contract it as you exhale then you are a belly breather. Using this kind of breath allows the lungs to expand more fully, getting more oxygen into your system, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure and inducing more calm in the mind. A few deep, slow belly breaths is a healing balm to your daily stress.
When you feel anxious, stressed, worried, or just out of sorts, take a moment to place your conscious awareness on your breath. Start with five deep belly breaths and notice any shifts that occur. You are in control of you. Your breath is the key to feeling better.
2. Take 5 Minutes for Yourself Every Day
This is another great tool to help you know your true worth and value. When was the last time you took five minutes just for you? A glass of wine or sitting down to watch your favorite show doesn’t count. Many of us moms are on the go from the moment we wake up in the morning until we get the kids to bed and pass out on the sofa from exhaustion. Why do we do that? I think it is because most of us are trying to prove our worth (at some level) to show how valuable and important we are to our family unit or to the community.
You are valuable. Again full stop. You are valuable. You don’t have to run around 16+ hours a day proving that to anyone (not even to yourself).
My offering to you is to be kind to yourself for just five minutes today, tomorrow and for the next 5 days. See what happens if you take five minutes a day for a week. If it feels like something good is happening with this practice keep it up after the first week. You are worth five minutes every day. (Actually you are worth a whole lot more than that! But let’s start with something you can accomplish fairly easily.)
Here are a couple ideas to get you started with 5 minutes of self care:
- Sit outside in a place you can just be and feel the elements on your skin.
- If you have a sacred space in your home, sit there quietly breathing and being with yourself.
- Go for a five minute walk listening to the sounds of nature around you — the birds chirping, the gentle breeze on your skin, the moisture in the air, etc.
3. Stop “Should-ing” On Yourself
One of the things that has been super powerful in my life is to recognize when I “should” on myself. Yes, you know what that sounds like – it is one and the same. When you use the word “should” in reference to yourself such as “I should finish the laundry” or “I should be happier” or “I shouldn’t be so pissed off” you are negating how you are feeling in that moment. You are not honoring all of you.
If you feel tired, then rest! If you feel sad, then feel sad. Let that emotion move through you. If you are pissed off, don’t tell yourself not to! That’s just sweeping it under the rug. When you repress your emotions they don’t go away–they come back even stronger the next time until you are willing to feel them and let them move through you.
This does not give you an excuse to pop your top in rage at someone or to be sad for weeks on end. You don’t have to become your emotions. In fact, becoming your emotions is the flip side to repressing them and you get lost in them, feeling like you’ll never get back to the real you again. Emotions are meant to flow — it’s even in the word “e – motion”. Feel what you feel. Let the emotions, tears, laughter, bitterness, rage, let it all move through you.
When you can stop “shoulding” on yourself and let everything move through you more easily you will get to honor all of you.
Putting it all together
These three tools can be used separately or together. Think about a time when you were upset and had to do something with the kids – pick them up from school or have playtime at home. Perhaps you are just mad at them and their behavior. What would happen if you said out loud to them (and just as much to yourself), “Mama is really upset right now. Let me take a few deep breaths to let this anger move through me?” Breathe slowly and mindfully letting your children see how to handle strong emotions. If the few deep breaths don’t do it, let them know you need to step outside or to the other room to take a “time-out.”
Go spend five minutes by yourself — your children will survive (I know you are a good mom and won’t let anything happen to them when you are out of the room). Put the baby down somewhere safe, let the toddler play in their room, let the older kids know you need some space. After the five minutes you will have honored yourself and your emotions. Let them move through you instead of pushing them aside. You will clear the energy and feel better for taking the time and effort to get back to a better version of you.
See you on the inside,