Life as a mum is so rewarding in lots of ways, but it comes at a sacrifice….You
It is hard, especially in lockdown, to find the time to just stop, breathe and focus on yourself. We are so used to running around doing errands, school runs (homeschooling now!), cleaning the house, making dinner, washing, the list goes on, we forget that to be the best at looking after everyone else, we need to look after ourselves first.
It is something I really struggle with, and after burning myself out midway through lockdown, it is something I am trying to work on every day.
Set Your Alarm 15 Minutes Earlier
This sounds so simple but as a mum I know that a little extra 15 minutes in bed can be golden when you have been up and down all night with kids. Getting up 15 minutes earlier means I have 5 minutes to wake myself up, followed by 10 minutes for a breathing exercise or meditation. For me mantra meditation allows me to settle my mind and feel restored and energised for the day. It allows me to start the day with a positive mindset. More importantly, it gives me a feeling of self love for the day and allows me to give myself at its best to the family I am caring for.
Practice Brings Peace
I am no yoga or meditation expert, but I have used breathing techniques since my first pregnancy to help me through labour. They are powerful but they need practice. At first you will find that your mind may get distracted or wander off with outside sounds or thoughts. This is why I find mantras helpful as they focus your mind and minimise thoughts and sounds becoming distracting. Research mantras and try different ones, I am a big believer that mantras are unique and when you find the right one it will bring you peace when you use it. For me, that mantra is ‘So Hum’, meaning ‘I am one with the universe’. The more you practice the meditation or technique the easier and quicker it will be for you to settle and restore your mind.
So Hum Meditation
To practice my meditation, I lie in bed, making sure I am comfortable and warm. I start by inhaling deeply and slowly, while in my head saying the word ‘So’. When I reach the top of my inhale I slowly release the exhale while in my head saying the word ‘Hum’. When first starting you may find it easier to say the words out loud, this also helps me if I find myself in a heightened state of anxiety or overwhelm. As you repeat the mantra, you will find your breathing develops a natural pattern and your mind starts to settle.
How I Use So Hum Everyday
Now I have been practicing the So Hum technique for a while I find it is a quick and subtle way to help me in my everyday life.
I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and it is something that makes me very self conscious. I use the So Hum technique to be able to mentally try and calm myself down without drawing attention to myself.
If I have been up with the kids in the night, I find it hard to get back to sleep as my mind starts thinking about all the different things I have going on. Using the So Hum technique means I can quickly bring peace to my mind and relax into a deep sleep.
Take Time For You
We can always find a reason to not stop and focus on ourselves as mothers. Before lockdown, I went to a workout and yoga class every week, it was me time, away from distractions of work and home. I don’t have that time now and so I am really focusing on quick and simple ways I can add that Me Time to my day.