I think we can all agree: mom-ing ain’t easy. Am I right?
So what can you do when the days are long, and your patience is gone? I’m going to make this offering short and sweet for you today because I know on the days you are really struggling to hold it all together you need quick, simple and effective ways to calm yourself, soothe yourself, and be available to the tiny human(s) who are needing you.
Let me just say one thing here mama. You matter. I am a mother too and I know how hard it is to put yourself first, to find ways to take care of your own needs, sometimes to even make the time and space to know what those needs are. That’s why I am here. I know that radical self-care doesn’t always come as easily as sacrificing yourself for motherhood. I’m a mom advocate. I write what inspires me and the moms in my life (both personally and professionally) because we all need it. We need to be cared for and looked after. So consider yourself found. Let yourself be supported. Let yourself matter.
Ok, let’s do this.
When your anxiety starts running the show what can you do? Here are three, one-minute practices to get you more centered, heart-focused and relaxed.
1. Stop and Drop
Literally, stop whatever you are doing and get down on the ground. It can be a deep squat, laying on your tummy with arms overhead like you’re flying or full surrender on your back like yoga class just ended. Get down closer to earth.
The act of stopping, slowing down and radically changing your physical motion will interrupt the spin that’s working its way into a frenzy in your mind. Change your energy, and you change your thoughts. Give a little wiggle if that feels good. This action pairs nicely with the rest of our practices…keep reading.
2. Count Your Breaths
The breath is your closest friend and most supportive ally in this whole being human experience. I implore you, do not underestimate this practice. My favorite part about this one is you can do it anywhere and everywhere. While driving, walking, nursing, showering, getting dressed, or even in front of your toddler while he or she is throwing a tantrum (yes! Modeling self-regulation right here. But that’s a post for another day.) This practice is almost always available to you regardless of your environment or stressor.
Keep it simple. Become aware of your breathing and inhale while you count to 4. Now exhale while counting to 4. Now do it again. And again. Keep counting. Keep breathing. Do that 8-10 times and notice how it impacts you. Notice how your energy shifts. (Bonus points if you put your hand on your heart during your practice. Go on, try it😃.)
3. Name It and Reframe It
Anxiety can be a trickster. Its movement is upward and outward. It encourages us to move faster and faster, do more, be more, say more and see more. Try giving your anxiety a well deserved break by saying hello to it with a gentle smile, like you would a dear friend who is suffering.
‘Hey anxiety, I see you there, freaking out and trying to move me through today as fast as possible so I can get everything done. Keeping me worried and vigilant so that nothing gets missed and I will excel in all ways in every moment of the day. You know what? I got this. Go ahead and take it easy for a minute. I know you are just trying to protect me and keep me ‘happy’. But you know what? All I’m feeling is stressed the heck out. And I can’t connect with those other feelings I like so much like contentment, ease and enjoyment. So please dear friend, go ahead and rest for a minute. Take a much needed break. And hey while we’re chatting, let’s schedule some time to meet up and find some better ways of working together in the future.’
If this practice of talking to a part of yourself feels a bit out there or new to you, I get it. It can feel strange to try new things and new ways of interacting with yourself. It can be helpful to grab a pen and paper here and write something down instead of talking out loud. Set a timer for one minute and let yourself write a letter to yourself. You can also put a hand on your heart and say it all out loud. There’s no wrong way to talk to yourself here.
I hope something on this list sparks an interest and that you find one minute to practice today.
Drop a comment below to share how life is going for you today.
Kim is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who specializes in holistic wellness for moms. She is passionate about supporting mamas through the journey of motherhood from pregnancy through postpartum. Kim currently offers holistic psychotherapy and counseling to individuals in El Dorado Hills, CA. Contact her for your complimentary 15-minute consultation.