As a self employed mom, finding time for myself is a challenge. In those free minutes between clients and making dinner, my inclination is to squeeze in a few quick tasks, so I get a jump on tomorrow. The result is a self imposed, never-ending string of things to do.
For moms feeling the strain of similar bad habits, I give the best advice. “Take a day off!” I say. “Drop the kids off at school, and then get back into bed with tea and a book”. “Don’t overextend yourself by making commitments that don’t work for you”.”Book a spa day”. I could give a seminar on what and what not, to do.
But…when it comes to the application in my own life, I am the first to admit, I fail with flying colors. My routine, that leaves little time for me, is one of my own making and a habit I am determined to kick. And so… my journey to “being mindful and slowing down” started a month back. The results are a stronger and healthier me. Heres how.
Step one is setting aside the time to do what you enjoy. I have always loved yoga so it was time to get back on the mat. As my schedule doesn’t always overlap with the yoga classes in the area, I decided to make it happen at home. I unpacked my yoga mat and scheduled Monday and Friday mornings as “my” time. Come hell of high water, I was going to get my yoga on.
For you, yoga may not be the answer, you may love to paint, run, or dance. Find that something that makes you feel like you are indulging in yourself, and start.
Being somewhat higher on the OCD spectrum, I need order in which to truly relax, so a few minutes before my meditation time, I do what I call a “Blitz Clean”. Hide dirty dishes in the dishwasher, make my bed and straighten up the lounge. A clean, uncluttered space removes distractions and will help you make the most of what you choose to do.
Living in an apartment does not leave much open space, so if you have the option, set up your mat in the garden. Its’ a great environment to take in the fresh air, boost your Vitamin D by getting some sun on your skin, and zone out to the calming sounds of the outdoors.
Grounding or Earthing
What is grounding or earthing exactly? It’s a new science that reveals how direct, barefoot contact with the earth, or ground, allows your body to receive an energy infusion. I know this might sound a little strange, but here’s the scientific argument.
The Earth is an electrical planet, and we are bio-electrical beings living on it. By making direct contact, we are exposed to a healing and balancing, natural energy. Benefits include reduced stress, increases energy, better sleep and the reduction of pain and inflammation.
Being that it’s so simple to do, kick off your shoes and plant your feet on some soft grass. Close your eyes and let mother nature give you a boost of natural goodness.
Whatever you choose to do, be in the moment. If your mind is running off a list of things you need to do during the day, write them down, and then get back to your personal time. It may not be easy at first. If you are anything like most busy moms, you have some long term conditioning to break, but it’s doable, and the benefits are so worthwhile.
As you repeat the activity, it becomes easier to do until its a natural habit. Day one and two may not be perfect, but you’re headed in the right direction and finding balance in the process.
Where to Start
So you set aside the time and made it to the mat, now what? A few stretches and sun salutations and you’re out of ideas. Don’t panic, Pinterest and YouTube have an abundant collection of tutorials that will have you yogaing like a pro.
The goal of the process is not to master a headstand (although it could be). Focusing on your breathing and clearing your mind is a great way to start and end a day. By calming your thoughts and simply meditating for 10 minutes, you will energize yourself and better equip yourself for what your day has in store.
5 Tibetan Rites
The Tibetan Rites, also referred to as the Fountain Of Youth, are 5 exercises that enhancing flexibility by strengthening and stretching the main muscles in your body. They can be done in a quick 10 to 15 minutes and should be practiced daily for maximum benefits. These benefits include improving sleep and memory, detoxification, balancing of your chakras and reversing the aging process… I believe that got your attention.
Like with yoga, they will improve your strength and coordination and have been known to relieve joint pain. A great way to mix up your yoga routine and they are simple and easy to do. Click here to find out exactly how to do them.
Support your Gains with Healthy Food
This may be a phase two for some, but eating right has been an additional goal I set myself. Busy days that are unplanned, leave a person at the “effect” of them. With simply planning (maybe a post for another day), my days became way less chaotic and finding time to make and eat good food came rather naturally.
By becoming “cause” over my day, I grab for a fruit and nuts in my bag, instead of a finding the closest Mc Donalds Drive through. The benefits of which have influenced the whole family. I now have a son that loves grilled fish and sweet potato, a first in my house.
Ps: And water, lots of water!
Finding and making time for myself has left me feeling invigorated, and I can confidently say the last month has resulted in a happier and more balance me. Frankly, I love going to bed knowing I had a full and successful day, and all without compromising on me. I’ve used my body, fed it well, and feel great because of it.