I’ve heard a lot about mindfulness practices lately and seen lots of magazine articles recommending mindfulness meditation. I’m wondering if having a daily mindfulness practice could help me handle the stress of being a busy working mum of three with an extra busy life.
I don’t have many moments of calm in my days and things seem even more manic than usual recently. We have been spending more time at home than we normally would due to the drizzly and cold weather. Being inside does not sit well with my outdoorsy boys and has upped the tantrum and squabbling levels.
My calendar for November and December has been extra full. There has been a mixture of socialising with friends, Christmas celebrations and less fun stuff like my driving test. I really love Christmas and choose to do lots of Christmas activities with the kids. Even though we really enjoy them it takes some extra organisation and effort. I think the lack of down time between all the different things going on (fun as they are) is starting to affect me.
There have been a number of times lately when a feeling of being overwhelmed has ambushed me. Feel on edge so frequently can’t be healthy – it’s like I get stuck in fight or flight mode. Small things are making me much more annoyed than they really should. An antivirus warning made me so annoyed this morning I could have smashed my laptop!
I already tell myself to stop and take a breath when things are getting a bit too hectic and find two or three deep breaths does wonders for my ability to cope with life. This has got me wondering if mindfulness could help.
Mindfulness meditation, as far as I understand, can be as simple as taking some time to sit in calm and quiet and focus on your breathing. I’ve decided to try for the next month or so to incorporate 5 to 10 minutes of mindfulness into every day.
I realise there is probably an app that can help me and I’d be very interested if you have any recommendations of what has worked for you. Right now I just want to jump in with trying our mindfulness in its simplest form. I don’t want to add research mindfulness apps to my already lengthy to-do list. I also realise that there is probably a tonne of research that explores if mindfulness works and why but again I’m just going to bypass the science for the moment and just give it a go.
I think having a set sort of time of day to sit and breath will help the practice become a habit. I think this will be quite achievable on days when the boys are at preschool and Sofia is at school. It might be a bit more of a challenge once term ends on Friday. I’m also conscious that 5 minutes might not seem very much. My logic is that doing something small that I can stick to is better than doing something more ambitious that quickly falls by the way side.
I saw a quote on Facebook that said if you have enough time to watch TV you have enough time to meditate – let’s see if switching Strictly for serenity will improve my sanity!
I’ll report back in a follow up post on how my mindfulness experiment is going and pass on any tips that I’ve figured out to make it work. I’d be very interested to know if mindfulness works for you and if you have found a way of making it part of your day to day routine. Please share your experiences in the comments section below.
Wish me luck!