Motherhood is something that can be heavy; it just is that way. Not only are we parents, but we’re spouses, have jobs, and wear kinds of other ‘hats’ in life. And as much as I love being a parent, life in general can just get downright exhausting. So learning to be more mindful and take better care of my mental health has been a real priority for me over the past year or so. Life has been busier and more stressful than ever, as my husband and I started our own business, as well as having the blog and online work. Not to mention that my mental health has taken a dive too, after having my first panic attacks about a year ago. Do you know what mindfulness looks like and what could work for you?
Mindfulness has been defined as:
a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
I am by no means an expert but I have tried a few things in an effort to be more mindful, and a few things definitely work for me and helped with my stress levels, burnout, and just general health.
Small Moment of Joy
Sometimes being mindful can only take a shirt amount of time. Done regularly and those moments can add up over the day and then over the week. Then when done over time, before you know it, you will have a general good feeling about life and being able to cope. So start small. It could just be something like making time to have your breakfast sat by yourself, rather than scrolling through Instagram, watching the news, or trying to do all sorts of other things at the same time! Bring grateful as well as being mindful can really work together for our overall well-being.
Stressful to Mindful
Do you know what to do when faced with a stressful situation when you can’t necessarily just walk away (like when you’re at work)? If you’re at work and feeling stressed, then take some time to be mindful so that you can recharge yourself. Think about your breathing or focus on the pressure of feet pushing into the floor. Think about the sensation of the chair around your body. Breathe deeply. Start to look out the window and focus on something in nature.
We can all feel bad about ourselves from time to time, especially as women. Even when writing this I’m just thinking about all of the other people that don’t have problems with their health or aren’t stressed out by their jobs and by life. The inner critic that we have can just distract us from the positive things in our life and the things that we actually do well. So thinking more positive, to silence the inner critic is a must. If you find yourself thinking something negative, make yourself say something positive instead.
Choose a Hobby
For so long I have just said that blogging is my hobby. And for so long, it definitely was. But not that it is something that I do for work, I have had to separate the hobby side of it, as otherwise it would just consume me as there is more of a pressure with things once it becomes a job. So no, I don’t think blogging is hobby of mine anymore.
I’m not sure I could class Netflix as a hobby, so recently I have really got into other creative outlets, like painting. It is something that I used to enjoy when I was younger. But other than with children, I couldn’t recall the last time that I picked up a paintbrush. So I was really pleased when I was sent a paint-by-numbers for adults, from Winnie’s Picks. The designs are amazing, and they come with everything that you need. I chose the tulips from Keukenhof, as I’d love to visit there (plus tulips always remind me of my birthday in April).
As someone who doesn’t have many resources in the house, I loved that the kit came with everything that you need; brushes of different sizes, the paints, and no mixing needed. It is all labelled and clear too which is great. I honestly loved it, as it was time of just me to paint, and because there is little thinking that goes along with it, I could just be with my thoughts and just focus on the painting. It has honestly been so relaxing!
I would definitely get one of these again, the process of doing the painting is very mindful and I found relaxing. Plus, I am really proud of what I have achieved, and have ordered a frame to get it up on the wall. So each time I look at it I can push that inner critic a little further away.