Meditating and getting your Zen on amidst the chaos of a hectic family schedule may seem pretty near impossible. The good news is, mindfulness doesn’t need to mean hours of meditation; there are other ways to build mindfulness into the busiest of days. Finding those tiny gaps of space in a crazy schedule could be the difference between surviving or going under when there’s so much to be done at home.
"Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular warm-hearted way – on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally” Ed Halliwell, author of The Mindful Manifesto.
Getting into the habit of mindfulness takes some effort but the payoff is worth it.
With practice, you’ll become calmer, less reactive and more able to step out of the craziness of family life that can feel overwhelming at times. If you’re a busy mum or dad feeling stuck on finding a way to weave presence and awareness into the day, we hope these tips will help!
Even if you only wash your face for 30 seconds or shower for a couple of minutes, use this time to get mindful. Breathe deeply and let your breath out slowly and focus all your attention on the task. Notice the temperature of the water on your skin - is it warm or cool? Pay attention to the scent of the cleaner or soap, how the water feels and what the droplets sound like splashing on your skin. Focus completely on the sensations of washing your face or body and be mindful of the water coming to a stop.
Meditation is about not getting lost in your thoughts, not eliminating them altogether. When the word ‘should’ pings around your mind, it can be easy to get lost in the long list of things you think you ‘should’ be doing. I should bake homemade cookies for the school fete, I should cook a wholesome meal from scratch every night, no matter how hectic the day was, I should have checked everything off my to-do list. The endless loop of ‘should’ is exhausting. Paying more attention and being mindful of limiting the ‘shoulds’ can help reduce negative mental chatter.
Practising mindfulness at bedtime can help you and your child quieten the monkey mind - swinging from thought to thought - that can keep you both lying awake for hours.
Mindfulness for Children is a free, audio-only app designed to help kids relax before bed. With easy language for a child to understand, the app guides you through a body scan, visualisations, and breathing exercises. Or you can skip technology and practice simple breathing techniques together without an app.
Commit to putting your phone out of sight for at least 15 minutes a day. No checking, responding or scrolling. If it means hiding it away on the top shelf of the wardrobe, do it. Making changes to your phone's settings like switching off notifications and hiding apps can help reduce its attention zapping role in your daily life.
Energy permitting at the end of a busy day, take two minutes to jot down a couple of things you feel grateful for that happened during the day or life in general. Keep a notebook and pen on your bedside table to make it a simple thing to do before bedtime.
Putting on a load of washing, paying the bills or pureeing veggies; give whatever it is you’re doing 100% of your concentration. This is the core of mindfulness and the best thing is, it doesn’t require any extra time during the day! If you need to do ‘all the things’ anyway, why not be totally present and focused while you do?
Have a simple mindfulness tip for busy parents? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!
Guest Blog for June Superfoods by Cedar and Stone - www.cedarandstone.com.au
Cedar and Stone is an Australian, 100% Plant Based Skincare company with a firm ethos on minimising the harsh chemicals we put on ourselves and into our environment. Founded by sister duo Kate and Anna who were sick of going into 'organic' shops and still finding products filled with hectic chemicals. Their no chemical journey really started when kids arrived on the scene. With kids comes various ailments, this kick-started us into researching, delving, experimenting and learning all we could about what we put IN and ON our bodies - it directly affects our whole being.
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