Mindfulness practice—that is, focusing on one thing, in the present moment, without judgment—has become an extremely popular addition to cognitive-behavioral therapy. Here are two reasons why I always stress the importance of mindfulness for moms:
- Moms absolutely need to learn to take “mental time-outs” during their day. Life with kids can be so chaotic, and having a method for quickly decompressing, refreshing, and re-focusing in the middle of a busy day can be extremely valuable.
- Motherhood is an unending emotional roller coaster ride. You experience heart-stopping love, gut-wrenching anxiety, soul-crushing boredom, and mind-blowing anger (sometimes, all over the course of one tuck-in, if my experience is any indication). There are a number of mindfulness activities that encourage you to take a non-judgmental stance towards your feelings and thoughts, to simply notice them and allow yourself to have them without judging yourself. In these activities you give yourself permission to feel anxious, or pissed off, or bored, without feeling guilty.
The best part about the increasing popularity of mindfulness is that there are now a number of mindfulness apps, like Calm, that let you access many different guided mindfulness activities at the swipe of a screen. And these activities range in length, starting at just 3 minutes, so even the most time-crunched moms will have time to fit mindfulness into their daily schedule. Moms can also incorporate mindfulness into their routine activities. Why not try mindfully brushing your teeth, or washing the dishes, or eating? Choose what to focus on; for instance, the warm feel of the soapy dish water on your hands, or the sound of the toothbrush scraping your teeth, or the sight of all the nooks and crannies in a raisin.
Trying out some mindfulness practice? Let me know what you think by commenting below.