Mindfulness and Motherhood
By Terra LaRock, CEO/Founder of Mindful Mamas
The joys of motherhood come with a fair dose of challenges like sleepless nights, mood swings, and mini-meltdowns from sheer exhaustion. Mindfulness counters the chaos and helps foster your well being.
What is Mindfulness, you ask? And how does it differ from Meditation?
First of all, meditation is a process of aligning the body, mind, and emotions through conscious breathing and awareness of your thoughts, sensations, environment, or inner landscape. You can meditate in any position but it’s typically practiced in a seated position or lying down.
Researchers say that brief, daily meditation enhances attention, memory, mood, and emotional regulation in non-experienced meditators. Meditation gives you a way to clear the mental noise, so you can feel calm, clear, and centered.
Mindfulness, on the other hand, is like mini-meditations sprinkled throughout your day that help you bring your attention to the present moment.
Here’s the good news: You don’t need a lot of time to practice mindfulness. You can take “short sips” of self-care by giving yourself little mindful moments throughout the day. Some of the times you can insert mindfulness into your everyday life including:
While brushing your teeth or your hair before you start your day (and before everyone else wakes up).
When you’re standing in line at the grocery store or waiting for an appointment.
When you’re sitting in your parked car before you run errands or head home after a long day.
While putting the kids to bed, as they drift to sleep.
What can you do during those times? Take a minute or two, close your eyes, and breathe slowly and deeply. Using an app like the Mindful Mamas app can help calm and center you by guiding you through mini-meditations called Mini Pauses. Or simply do a slow head-to-toe body check—tense and release each body part (jaw, neck, shoulders, back, etc.), noting the areas in your body that are holding onto stress, then consciously release the stress.
Practicing mindfulness helps you shift out of a state of chronic depletion, into a more stable, energized, and emotionally controlled individual.
Mindfulness takes the practice of meditation — aligning the body, mind, and emotions through conscious breathing and increased subtle awareness — and applies the skills to your day-to-day life. Moms need all the help we can get. It’s time to start mothering YOU.
Terra LaRock is the Founder/CEO of Mindful Mamas, a wellness company dedicated to serving moms and moms-to-be. She is a psychologist, wife, mother of two, postpartum depression survivor, and women’s health advocate. She resides in Denver, Colorado.