The more hectic one’s life is, the harder it becomes to find time for one’s self. Mothers understand this dilemma all too well. Its hard to crave out time for self-care when you have little ones tugging at your feet. The only time most moms can get a break is when the kids are taking a nap (or the entire house is asleep for the night).
Even bathroom time is hard, when all you hear is “MOM! MOMMY!” Can I just “potty in peace”? For those who aren’t stay-at-home moms, working mothers have even more added responsibilities which could mean her day is restarting once everyone’s at home. So, finding time for yourself, let alone finding time to mediate might seem a bit selfish, huh? Well, it isn’t.
What is Meditation, Anyway?
First, let’s address the elephant in the room. When most people think of meditation, they immediately think of sitting Indian style on a yoga mat making strange humming sounds. Well, that’s the “traditional way” per se where yoga and meditation mesh together, but that’s isn’t the focus of this article. But first, what is meditation?
“Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal or spiritual growth.” (Source)
Personally, I’d define it as “the act of getting lost in the sauce while doing something that brings you comfort and contentment – physically, mentally, and/or emotionally.” You’re probably already doing activity throughout your day meet that criteria. For example, savoring your first cup of your cup of Joe, taking a bubble bath, wash dishes, cooking, cleaning, etc. For some people such examples are “chores” while for others, it brings them joy to have a clean home or home cooked meals for their family. It’s about finding that thing that you do that you can “relax, relate and release” while doing, Simply put, what are you doing that you enjoy that you need to bring a bit more awareness too? It simply means being in the moment, being in the present.
Frankly, there are different types of meditation, such as sitting or movement-based meditations – both of which could be concentration or mindfulness-focused – more on this later. Nevertheless, regular incorporation of some type of mindful meditation acts can do wonders for your health.
What’s So Healthy About Meditation?
There is a ton of clinical research on the benefits of meditation. Meditation alone can serve as informal therapy for conditions such as “panic disorders, generalized anxiety disorders, substance dependence and abuse, ulcers, colitis, chronic pain, psoriasis, and dysthymic disorder” – not to mention high blood pressure, heart attacks, and hardening of the arteries, arthritis, cancer, insomnia, migraines, allergies and asthma and so much more, (Source)
Easy Ways to Meditate While on the Go…
First, put yourself in time out. If we can do it for our kids, why not do it for ourselves. A “Mom’s Time Out” means take a few extra moments to catch your breathe and clear your mind even if its at the start or middle of your work day. Whether it’s right before you crank up to leave for work (or after you’ve drop the kids off at daycare or school, stop and take note if only for a moment whenever quietness or stillness is present Something as simple as taking a moment to cup your morning coffee or cocoa in your hands and breathe in its warmth, while savoring that first sip can do wonders to clear your mind – at least for a second before the shyt hits the fan, right?)
Second, develop your own evening bedtime ritual – just for you. Even if you can’t do it every night, have scheduled times for an extended bath with music and/or candles. You might have to wait until the kids are asleep if you they are small; while you might need to set boundaries with older kids and other household guests. Aside from a bath, you could journal about your day, create a to-do list for the next day or week, check off the day’s accomplishments, or make a list of everything you’re grateful for,
Third, use your early morning potty break…if you often wake up throughout the night, especially to use the restroom, why not use that time to meditate? For those waking up due to insomnia, then you don’t necessarily need to get out of bed, you could stay put. Just lie there, be quiet, and allow any racing thoughts to come and go without trying to corner then, without trying to judge them – unless something pops up that needs to be on your to-do list. Honestly, that’s a great time – between 3-3:30 AM – to ask/pray for any comforting words or to receive any uplifting messages or guidance from your Higher Power (God/Source/Archangels/Ancestors). Even if you fall back asleep, it’s okay. The answers will come to you when you are ready to receive them. <dphealer>