This article is part of our Healthy Body Healthy Mind series
by Natalie Hudson
Being a busy mum can mean your mind is continually racing and you never find time to stop. Finding time to meditate can help you slow down, improve your concentration and calm your mind. Meditation can help you decrease stress and anxiety. So try and find a few minutes for yourself every day.
Meditation can be challenging for the average westerner, so I will keep this simple. Practice this when you have a few minutes by yourself. It doesn’t matter how long try to do as much as you can do each day…1 minute of meditation can have the same benefits as 20 minutes. However due to the nature of the mind it can agitate, frustrate and cause anxiety, if you start to feel any of these please stop.
If during this process you feel your mind wandering onto thoughts about kids, to do lists, noises around you see it as a way of observing your thought’s like clouds moving in a sky, your just watching but your not following them, then bring your focus back. It’s a positive to recognize how your mind wanders its about training it to be more focused, also meditation is not about thinking blank thought’s or stopping the mind, because the mind never stops, it’s about getting the nature of the mind to be more peaceful, the thoughts to flow more freely and at ease. Also when you do yoga and move with your breath and movement this is meditation in practice.
Meditations for Mum
1. If baby or toddler falls asleep in the car and you don’t want to move them, sit quietly in the car – switch off the mobile phone!!! Just close your eyes and visualize a nice place, a place that you feel relaxed and happy in (for me it’s in a hammock on a tropical beach). Stay with this visual the best you can then just breath in and out, never forced. If the mind wanders acknowledge it, then come back to your visual. Do this for as along as you can/want.
2. If baby or toddler is having a day sleep or down for the night (well, part of the night!) take yourself somewhere in the house that is quiet. Lay on the floor or sit in a chair (I like laying on the floor) – whatever is comfortable. Close your eyes and scan your body, feel the floor beneath you, feel your body relaxing, notice where tension sits and breathe this out. Maintain your breath but just allowing it to breath in and out, then bring your mind’s eye to the tip of your nose. Choose a colour that you like and visualise your breath as this colour – each time you breathe in, breathe in this colour and visualise it working its way around your body. Try and stay focused on this and not fall asleep. Meditation and yoga is about learning to be consciously relaxed – sleep is a different state.
Natalie Hudson is a yoga teacher in Sydney, Australia with over ten years experience teaching, she specialises in pre and post natal yoga (currently on maternity leave)