4 Ways for Moms to Get in Self-Care During Anxious Times
posted by: Mile High Mamas
Mothers have, on average, 17 minutes a day to themselves. Because of the COVID-19 virus, this already minimal amount of alone time for mothers is dwindling rapidly. School and daycare cancelations; library, rec center, restaurant shutdowns; and work changes are placing an exurbanite amount of stress on households.
With the upheaval of schedules and the lengthening of to-do lists, as mothers, it is imperative that we stay as filled-up as possible through self-care practices. We can lead our families away from anxiety and into calm.
Below are 4 accessible ways for Moms to get in self-care during this anxious and uncertain time.
Take a mindful shower: Water is renewing to the soul, and showers can wash away more than dirt. For your next shower, practice mindfulness by following these steps:
As the water drips from the facet above, close your eyes and feel where the water touches your skin. Notice how it travels down your body.
As you lather the soap between your hands, count to ten while looking at the way the bubbles form between your hands and fingers. Note if the bubbles are big or small. Do they pop quickly or seem to hold their shape?
Allow the water to wash away any tension or stress. Imagine the stress flowing down the drain as the clean water is pouring peace and comfort over you.
Start a family gratitude jar: Gratitude is known to “gladden” the heart. Every day this week, invite your family to write one thing they are grateful for. Then place these gratitudes in a designated jar. You can even decorate a label for it and title it “Gratitude Jar.” Place your pieces of paper in the jar and watch it fill. You’ll be surprised at just how much there is to be grateful for.
Say this mantra: I am feeling ______ and that’s okay. When you name an emotion, you are less likely to suppress it, and when you say “that’s okay,” you give yourself permission to feel exactly what needs to be felt in the moment. The first step to process strong emotions is to identify them.
Practice meditation: Meditation is so beneficial to help relieve stress and increase a ground feeling. When meditating, we aren’t only calming our nervous systems, we are affecting the nervous systems around us, like those of our children.
- Find a comfortable way to sit or lay down.
- As you let your focus blur, soften your jaw and relax the muscles in your face.
- Drop your shoulders and tune into your breath.
- As you take your first deep, intentional inhale, place your hands on your belly and feel it expand out.
- Exhale and feel your hands draw back into your center.
- Repeat this 3x.
- If it feels good for you, keep breathing like this for as long as you’d like or return your breath to its natural state.
- Now as you breathe in, say silently to yourself, “I am here now.”
- As you exhale, say, “I am safe in my body.”
- Again, breathe in. “I am here now.”
- Exhale. “I am safe in my body.”
- For the next few moments, bring to mind something or someone that brings you peace. This can be your favorite place, your grandmother, you higher being.
- Try to imagine the positive energy that either your sacred place or person exudes.
- Perhaps you bring a soft smile to the corner of your lips as you bask in the warm energy you feel.
- Stay here, imagining the details. When you’ve filled yourself up from head to toe with warm, loving energy, go ahead and refocus your vision and look around.
- Come back to your meditation anytime you need to leave the chaos and find your center. Your breath is a powerful way to bring you to clarity, calm, and rejuvenation.
And if you want more guidance with meditation and self-care practices, download the Mindful Mamas app (available for iOS and Android). We have hundreds of practices designed by moms for moms just like you. Find out more about the app and pre-order it before it goes live at www.mindfulmamasapp.com
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. In partnership with Mile High Mamas.