Busy mums can benefit from being mindful this Mother’s Day
This weekend, mammies across Ireland will be honoured with breakfast in bed, flowers, chocolates, and the promise of a chore-free day. However, as demands of motherhood become more complex in a modern society, taking time out to mind the wellbeing of hard working Irish mums is something we should do every day.
St Patrick’s Mental Health Services is highlighting the benefit of Mindfulness for mothers who are struggling to make time for themselves while navigating the relentless demands of work and family life.
Edel Fortune, Day Service Programme Manager at St Patrick’s Mental Health Services said:
Motherhood is a juggling act and it is not unusual for mums to put everyone else’s needs before their own. This is why we all need to be vigilant about mum’s mental wellbeing. While we can’t always control life’s demands, mindfulness can be a useful tool when trying to create time for oneself as well as appreciating small moments in everyday life.
Children grow up so fast and parents are often busy doing one job while thinking of the next. Mindfulness gives us the capacity to be present. A mindful approach to parenting can help busy mums and dads live in the moment while doing the everyday tasks such as helping with homework or the school run.
Tips that can help parents become mindful in the home;
- Breathe Take 5 – 10 mindful deep breaths at the start and end of each day.
- Pause for 5 breaths before entering a stressful situation such as a conflict. This will allow you evaluate what is needed from you in this situation and increase your patience as you address whatever issue you are about to face.
- Justing Get in to the habit of “Justing”. Focus on ‘just eating’ or ‘just showering’ instead of using this time to plan and worry. Talk to your children about the food on their plate, how it smells and tastes and even sounds when eating.
- Break distracting habits Try to pay attention to habits that can distract your attention from what you are doing. For example, how often every hour do you check your phone?
- Reminder Remembering to be mindful is a challenge so set an alarm on your phone to remind you in that moment.
- Walk Go for a walk and pay attention to the sights, sounds and smells at this time of year. Walk with as much awareness as you can.
- Make a mindful list Instead of writing the usual ‘to do’ list that will inevitably include some needless activities, sit quietly and ask yourself what activities are going to benefit and nurture ourselves and others and what activities are more avoidable. Focus on what matters.
Remember that any time spent mindfully is time well spent. Mindfulness can be incorporated into the busiest of schedules. It is not about taking time out to meditate, it is about learning a set of skills to help manage daily and on-going challenges that can be practised in everyday life.
For more information on mental health and wellbeing, contact St Patrick’s Mental Health Services Support and Information line on 01 249 3333 or visit St Patrick’s website.