2 mindfulness activities that fit into the busiest days
Are you a mindfulness dabbler? It takes commitment and effort to keep a mindful practice going. I’ve practised mindfulness for 8 months now, on and off. I say on and off as I haven’t done it every day. In fact, there was at least 2 weeks where I didn’t feel like I’d been mindful at all.
Like others who’ve practised, I know the benefits of mindfulness. I can feel myself slipping back to moping around, losing my positivity and motivation when I haven’t practised regularly.
Regular mindfulness activities
What do I mean by regular mindful practice? Taking at least 10 minutes out of your day to focus on breathing. Sitting quietly and just letting your thoughts wash over you without additional commentary or judgement.
My mindfulness Holy Grail is adding a daily 10 minute mindful meditation to this. It was fine when I was following a course such as Michael Chaskalson’s Mindfulness in 8 weeks. I then used an app for a while. But slowly, it tapered off.
And it’s not just me that this happens to.
Busy mums don’t have time for mindfulness activities
I spoke to another mum recently who had been stressed and in desperate need of some chill out time.
She’d gone so far as speaking to a mindfulness coach who’d given her a 30-day plan of mindfulness activities to follow. But she confided she was struggling to stick to it. “Do you know how hard it is to find 10 minutes a day to do this?” she asked. “Ten minutes! It sounds crazy doesn’t it? But, honestly sometimes when I have a few minutes to myself all I want to do is close my eyes and sleep.”
I suspect a lot of mums feel the same and I totally get this sentiment. This mum struggles with kids who don’t sleep well. Being a busy working mum suffering from sleep deprivation isn’t fun. I can understand how hard it is to find those precious 10 minutes to sit quietly and well, do nothing.
Recently I re-read a chapter of my favourite mindfulness book – ‘mindfulness on the go: peace in your pocket.’ I did this to remind myself of the quick mindful tools that can be used. The book features a very helpful ‘10 mindful strategies for everyday mindfulness’.
Two easy mindfulness activities you can fit into your day
Two of my favourite mindful techniques can be adapted and slotted into a busy mum’s day, it’s more a case of remembering to do them.
1. One minute mindful breathing
Twice a day stop what you’re doing and just focus on your breathing for one minute. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you, once mid-morning, and once mid-afternoon – I’d recommend before nursery pickup or the school run.
Focus on breathing. If it helps, focus more on the out breath and make it longer than the in breath. This is very calming. Don’t worry about being interrupted by thoughts, let them drift on by.
2. Positive thinking
Think of something positive that’s happened during your day. Do this while cleaning your teeth or getting ready for bed. It doesn’t have to be a major event. It could be something as small as getting your kids out the door on time without a battle over putting shoes on. Or the fact you went to the loo without little people banging on the door and demanding your attention!
This positive practice helps you get into the habit of looking for the positive in situations. I find this a nice way to end the day. I often add something I’m thankful for too – the fact my kids are healthy and happy, or having a fridge full of food.
These activities may not seem to be much, but on busy days you have to take what you can. Mindfulness is all about taking tiny steps. These tiny actions can make such a difference.
You might not feel the benefits immediately but the cumulative effect will help you feel brighter and more able to cope when you feel overwhelmed.
Please be kind and share these tips with your mum friends – they’ll love you for it!