I know I don’t have to tell you that parenting is a full-time job that requires constant and sometimes relentless nurturing and caring for our gorgeous little ones! They make our hearts swell with love but, let’s be honest – some days are tough stuff.
Something that has really helped me get through those days is practising being more mindful and present. It’s an acquired skill and to do so, we need to consciously engage in an inner spirit of ourselves, which is about putting small steps together to create a balanced journey.
Here are some of my easiest tips that’ll lead you to being a more mindful and conscious parent:
1. Engage in an early morning stretch
You’d be surprised at how getting your body moving and being active can make all the difference.
By stretching and engaging in some basic breathing exercises just after waking up in the morning you can energise and centre yourself in preparation for whatever your day is set to throw at you.
It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in our innate desire as women to try to do everything in the one day.
Instead, write down your top three priorities for the day and stick to them.
And, if it all goes to potty, which happens from time to time with little ones, be kind to yourself, let go and snuggle with your bub. There is always tomorrow.
3. Hydrate yourself
Get a healthy routine happening first-thing with a glass of warm water and lemon.
Drink lots of water throughout the day and be mindful of the fact that your body naturally dehydrates overnight so rehydrating yourself early on helps you to be more present and energetic throughout the day.
4. Pump up the music!
Ditch that flat screen for music that calms and moves you.
Make a conscious choice to listen to music that nourishes and inspires you.
I love to put on music first thing in the morning when the kids wake up, we listen to Happy, by Pharrel Williams and it sets the tone for our day.
5. Breathe deeply
Often, you may find yourself holding your breath without realising it, it’s actually quite common to do so when we are stressed and it fuels anxiety and tension.
Remind yourself to check in and centre yourself by taking three deep breaths.
You’ll be far more present while engaging in any conversation and have a clearer mind afterwards as well.
6. HALT! Slow down
As they say, stopping to smell the roses could do you a world of good.
Take a moment to truly be present in whatever you are doing and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. After all, life really is a miraculous thing and practicing being grateful opens up more abundance.
7. Tell someone…
Just how much you love and appreciate them.
It’s easy to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. So much so that you forget to communicate to those important people just how much they matter!
Share a compliment and let someone know you care and notice their wonderful nature.
8. Give an old friend a buzz
Sometimes, you don’t have to see someone on a daily basis to share an amazing connection.
Just hearing a loved ones voice can make your day and fill your heart (and theirs) with warmth that’ll help you through those more challenging days.
9. Don’t mindlessly assume things
We can all be guilty of this one.
Just remember to always challenge and consider the ways you look at people and situations.
Not everything is always, as it seems at first glance…
10. Know it’s okay for some things to slip by
So what if you don’t have a spotless house? And do you really need to schedule every second of your child’s life?
Break away from the trap many parents fall into of overscheduling both themselves and their child. Instead, simply be and rejoice in the fact that you don’t always have to be doing something to feel productive.
11. Toss aside perfection for passion
Perfection doesn’t exist. Yes, you read correctly…
It doesn’t exist in you or anyone else. Passion however, certainly does. For most parents, it’s their passion for their kids and to provide the most nurturing environment that really keeps them going when the going gets tough (and it will).
There will be times when you will be exhausted but it’s your passion that will ultimately feed your need to soldier on.
Being a mum is a journey and our children are our greatest teachers.
We could never predict just how much of us parenting will require, demand or test us to our extreme limits but with some simple mindfulness techniques we can tackle each day with our best intentions and know that if it turns into one of ‘those’ days then we can take a deep breath and know in our hearts, without any guilt that it is ok.
How do you get through the tough days, anything that works for you?