Raising children is no piece of cake.
Then when you add in everything else that needs to be handled on a daily basis- work, diet, exercise, relationships and anything else that demands your time and energy – the pressure can certainly start adding up.
When you consider the amount of hours that are spent supporting and raising a child year after year, the numbers quickly add-up.
As mothers tend to be the primary support giver who tirelessly commits to their child’s needs and activities this makes them a higher risk for parenting stress.
Recent research conducted on 2000 mothers by Arizona State University decided to look into what factors they had in common that helped them to cope with motherhood.
The factors that stood out the most included unconditional acceptance for the child, close and authentic relationships, satisfying friendships, and feeling personally supported when needed.
So what does this have to do with meditation?
One of the main discoveries of the research on parenting stress was that mothers who feel they are supported emotionally in their everyday lives coped better with parenting.
Daily meditation is a simple and practical way to let yourself be supported from the inside-out. It helps you to gain moments of feeling calm and centred regardless of what’s going on in the background
Of course, with parenting it’s obviously not so easy to stick to a schedule when it comes to meditating, especially when it comes to toddlers and younger children. The best way around this is to learn meditation techniques you can use anytime and anywhere, while you’re on-the-go.
Here are 5 simple meditation techniques that would help any mum to bring a bit more balance and energy back into their day.
5 simple meditations for modern mothers
The freeze technique
The benefit of this technique is that it can instantly clear the mind and help you to relax. Whenever you are feeling stressed, regardless of what you are doing – about to pick up a cup, folding laundry, about to rush off to do something – just stop completely.
This is a spontaneous stopping of movement as if you are frozen in time – just for 30 seconds. You can do this as often as you like throughout the day as each time you stop and become aware, you will gain energy and become more focused.
The objective is to observe yourself without judgment, Notice your breath, how your body feels, what you can hear and then after thirty seconds start moving again.
The dancing meditation
Gather your kids around, put some funky music on and get everyone dancing. You can do this for as short or long as you like. Tell your child that you are going to play a game where you dance around for a few minutes and then you lay on the ground and be perfectly still for a minute or two.
This is a fun meditation that benefits everyone and your children grow up learning that meditation is fun and playful. The actual meditation part happens when you lay down at the end and even if that’s just for one minute, it’s a great investment in time.
Listen to the sounds around you
When you have a spare moment where your attention is not being demanded either sit in a comfortable chair with your eyes closed for one to five minutes and just listen to the sounds you can hear in the space around you.
All you’re doing is noticing the sounds, not judging them. Just by listening to as many sounds as you can hear and allowing them to be okay, you’ll find that you’ll feel more centred and relaxed. This is also something you can do while laying in bed to help you fall asleep at night.
Make an effort to consciously slow down your movements for a minute or two whenever you can remember to do so. Once an hour would be great – set a reminder if you need to.
Just by slowing down your movements you’ll start to see more clearly where you are needlessly tiring yourself about by rushing around madly. This is a very simple way to be more present, gain energy and become focused again.
While you are walking, if possible walk slowly. Let your body relax and focus on your feet connecting with the ground with every step you take. Enjoy feeling the ground as you walk. Be aware of the different surfaces you walk on and the feet moving up and down as they lift off the ground and then connect again with it. As soon as you stop walking, sit or lie down for a few moments and let allow yourself to let go of the mind and body and relax. Stay there for as short or long as time permits. Then when you get up you will feel rested and rejuvenated.
These are just a few meditations that can give you an instant boost in energy as well as clear a foggy mind and help smooth out any frazzled nerves.
The key here is to get into the habit of giving yourself a mini time-out each day (or several if you can) so that you are supporting yourself to not let the stress of raising kids get on top of you.