When I tell people (especially mothers) that I teach mindfulness and meditation, they often say,
“I would TOTALLY do that if I could find the time!”
How many times have you said you would do something when you could “find the time?”
How many times did you actually “find” the time?
I thought so.
The problem is, in our busy days, if we don’t MAKE time for something, we certainly won’t FIND time for it!
The mothers and teachers and humans I work with frequently tell me that their days just feel so damn busy they can’t ever take a moment for themselves. As soon as they try to close their eyes, they think of 80 other things they could be doing. (Does that happen to you, too?)
But trust me, taking those few moments to sit and breathe is going to be SO good for you!
If you think you don’t have time to pause and breathe, ask yourself if you had time today to…
* check Facebook
* scroll through the news & yell at the world
* chat with co-workers about something on Netflix
* stare off into space and wonder if you should fold the laundry
It’s not that those things are necessarily BAD — after all, sometimes we just need to watch a cat video and smile — but all of those things constitute time we could have used to simply pause and take a moment for ourselves. We could have had a moment of pure rest. A moment to stop doing.
If you think you don’t have time for mindfulness or meditation, I challenge you to take the next few days to be mindful of how you are spending your time. Are there tasks you could eliminate? Are you often distracted by your phone and email? Could certain tasks be combined to make your work more efficient?
And when you DO make the time, I have some super short (like four minutes) guided meditations just for mothers that you can download for FREE!
The Best Times of Day for Moms to Meditate
1. If you’re at home with little kids, the first few moments of nap time are a great time for you to practice. The house is already quiet, and you are probably ready for some recharging.*
2. If your kids are older, or you work outside the home, try waking up just five minutes earlier (I know you can do it!!) to practice the guided meditations I’ve made just for moms. (Actually, they’re only four minutes long, so you can sleep in one extra minute — Woo hoo!!)
3. You probably spend a lot of time in the car — driving kids to activities, driving to and from work, etc. Make your car your mindful place — pay attention while you’re driving, and then when you are waiting in the car (in line at school pickup, or when you’re ready to head home from work, or in the garage with a sleeping baby in the backseat that you don’t want to wake), take four minutes to close your eyes and breathe.
4. When you get into bed, you’re already lying down and in a perfect position for meditation! Take a few moments to bring your attention to your breath, allow all the stress from the day to settle, and think of something you are thankful for. And if you happen to fall asleep while you’re meditating, PERFECT!
5. There’s a famous tale about a mother from India who had like 10 kids and was busy all the time, but, amazingly, at the end of her life she reached enlightenment. Everyone was astounded — how did she do it with all those kids around? And all that she had to do? The answer, according to a respected sage: “She stirred the rice mindfully.”
Sometimes we literally DO NOT have five minutes in our day to stop and breathe. In that case, we have to stir the rice, or change the diapers, or drive the carpool, or wash the dishes mindfully.
*The One Way Moms Should NOT Try to “Save” Time
I wish I could remember where I read this, because I think of it often, but I once read an article that said “it is absolutely soul-crushing to clean the house while the kids nap.”
Amen! When there IS a moment of QUIET and STILLNESS during your day, when you finally have time to be OFF DUTY for a little bit, please don’t fill the time with more DOING and BUSY-NESS.
The reason we hear all the cliches about putting on our own oxygen masks first is because THEY ARE TRUE — if you are not resourcing yourself, you will have nothing to give to others.
So please, don’t try to “find” the time for mindful self-care — MAKE THE TIME. You deserve to make yourself a priority.
Take care of yourself with mindfulness and compassion, so you can be the mom you WANT to be.
All my best to you, mama.
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