Feeling overwhelmed by the demands of life is a very common experience for busy moms these days.
I get it. I’ve been there. In fact, if I look back 10 years ago when my triplets were just little ones, I think I think I could have written the Bible of Multitasking!
I know how it can feel to be totally entrenched in a stressful or high performing job, trying to do your best to raise well-adjusted children, maintain a good relationship with your spouse or significant other, pay attention to your health, and find time to connect with other women.
It often can feel like there are not enough hours in the day to do it all? Am I Right?
Sometimes it can all just feel like too much. A lot of busy moms feel anxious, unsettled and frenzied. I can’t tell you how many women I’ve worked with who say they just want to experience a feeling of inner peace….
Let me tell you a little secret:
Inner Peace is there for the taking. You don’t have to quit your job, win the lottery, move to Tahiti, or take a class with the Dali Lama.
Inner peace is always there, waiting for you. I liken it to being on an airplane on a cloudy day. When you’re on the ground, all you can see is gray. Maybe even a little rain. But the sunshine and blue sky is always there, above the clouds, just waiting for you to break through. Once the airplane lifts off and you bust through that ceiling of clouds, you are reminded of what a beautiful day it is.
The key to accessing that inner peace is to practice finding that space of calm, clear, blue sky that we all have inside of us.
This isn’t a skill that happens overnight. It comes with practice, mindfulness and INTENTION. But once you learn it and practice it, you can’t unlearn it. It’s in your toolbox for life. And you know what? Life starts to become more…..Peaceful.
I have seen mindfulness make a HUGE difference in all areas of my life: parenting, spouse relationships, family relationships, and interactions with patients and colleagues. Where I used to feel stress and conflict, I now feel more ease and grace, less REACTIVITY. That’s huge. That is a GAME CHANGER. People around me notice the difference. They can’t put a finger on it, but they’re like: “Waiter! I’ll have what she’s having, thank you”.
So what exactly is mindfulness? Think of it as NOTICING your behaviors in any given situation and being able to pullback (becoming less reactive) and going to a calmer internal place. It’s INTENTIONALLY taking yourself off autopilot and changing the way you respond to situations.
If you’re experiencing “Busy Mom Overwhelm” I’d like to give you 5 tips to begin your journey of self care and mindfulness.
- Get to bed on time. How many of you find yourselves intending to get more sleep, but when it gets down to it, you’re watching TV way too late at night, or scrolling through your social media and before you know it, hours of precious potential sleep time have slipped through your fingers? In order for you to build resilience, and be your best, your brain needs sleep. 5-6 hours is not enough! Set up the conditions so you are consistently getting seven hours a night or more.
- Take a few minutes to meditate. Nowadays, there are so many free resources to guide you on how to meditate. All it takes is 5 or 10 minutes a day to begin reaping the benefits. If you’ve never done it before, check out the Calm app or Headspace app on your phone.
- Turn off the radio during your commute in the car and just practice breathing. Breathe in to the count of 5, hold for the count of 5, breathe out to the count of 7. Continue breathing and relaxing while driving.
- Do something nice for yourself. What makes you feel good? A hot bath? Some good smelling body lotion? Curling up on the couch and reading a book? Petting your cat? It doesn’t have to be a fancy or expensive endeavor. It might be as simple as cutting some flowers and putting them in a vase where you’ll see them.
- Use your senses to enhance relaxation. Everyone has a primary sense that they connect with. Some people are visual people. Some tune in through their sense of smell or feel. Whatever yours is, use it to your advantage. If you are an auditory person, then put on some music that helps you relax. If you like aromatherapy, then check out some essential oils and diffuse them in the air and set the mood. If you like the sense of touch, then try tapping (EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique) to help you get in the mindset.
Getting out of overwhelm starts with a series of little steps that set you up to find that place of inner calm. Remember: sunshine and clear, blue skies are always there, you just have to bust through the clouds to see them.
If you’d like to learn more about mindfulness, consider signing up for my upcoming class: Mindfulness for Busy Moms. http://JennyLaBonteMD.com/mindfulness