Mindful mummy? Or just feeling worn out by being a mum and the holidays haven’t even started?
I’m lacking the motivation to be a mindful mummy
I reached that point this week. Mainly as I’m giving all my attention to re-focusing my writing business. The writing is hard, but dealing with the boring technical stuff has sapped the energy from me, left me tearing my hair out and wanting to sit staring at the wall.
Mums seem to have this deep energy-well that other people take from constantly – our children, partner, friends, family, the PTA. Not that we mind giving to others. But it becomes a problem when we don’t top up our well for ourselves. The well runs dry, leaving nothing for us. And then we stop giving to others too. It becomes a vicious circle.
A few months ago I wrote about mindful nourishment and the need to keep ourselves in balance. Doing too many activities that exhaust us physically and mentally without balancing sends us into a spiral of exhaustion.
Despite knowing about exhaustion and nourishment I’ve been busy over the past three weeks. I’ve had my play time – going out for cocktails with the girls and doing a bit of leisurely shopping. I thought I was giving myself a bit of time out. But I haven’t done an exercise class recently. Or drawn any mandalas. And I haven’t done a mindful meditation in all that time.
What I’ve also been doing is working. Updating my writing website, re-writing my business plan, setting up the background technical bits of a newsletter. But these activities have drained me. My little bit of ‘play time’ wasn’t really relaxing. It involved drinking alcohol and spending money which left me hungover and seriously worried about my bank balance. No wonder I’m exhausted.
A reminder of how to be mindful
Mindfulness isn’t a one-time cure-all. You need to practise regularly to get the benefit. But it’s not difficult to be mindful once you remember. Sometimes we just need reminding how to be mindful again.
Today, whenever you can, become aware of your posture and breathing for 10 seconds. When you pop the kettle on to make a hot drink, or turn the tap to get a glass of water, notice what you’re doing.
When your little one asks a question, really listen and give your full attention. I know that one is hard, I spend a lot of my day responding to statements like ‘look at my Lego tower mummy’ or endless questions, usually starting with ‘why…?’ It’s draining! But if you take the time to actively listen, you might surprise yourself (and your kids!) by enjoying the moment and that sweet question of ‘mummy, why is the sky blue?’ for the hundredth time!
It might not sound like much, but this is the essence of mindfulness – being aware of the moment. Too often we live in our heads, ruminating on the past thinking about something we said or did. Or we think about the future, planning out what needs to be done or things that have yet to happen. It’s hard to be a mindful mummy when you don’t live in the moment.
Mindful mummy essentials
If like me you’ve got out of the mindful habit here are some reminders of mindfulness essentials.
- Simple mindful breathing for instant calm
- Mindful eating or drinking. How to practise a mindful tea meditation.
- A reminder of my 3 favourite nourishing activities. I need to put these back on my to-do list!
- Being grateful for small things is a lovely idea. It helps ground me and makes me feel like a mindful mummy even when I’m feeling rubbish.
- If you feel like you’re panicking and overwhelmed, think about installing a ‘safe place’ in your mind. I did this after I’d used mindfulness to soothe my panic attack.
Mindful awareness even when you’re overwhelmed and exhausted needn’t be tricky. Even a little calm breathing makes a world of difference.
I’m getting back into the mindful habit now before the long school holiday begins! How about you?
How is your mindful practice coming along? Do you find it hard to be a mindful mummy? What do you struggle most with?