Self-care tips for moms

5 tips for becoming a mindful and calm parent

Julia & Ellen

Getting a baby is a huge transition and for many new moms, it can be very exhausting. For a highly sensitive mom it can be overwhelming. If you think you are losing your mind and want some peace and serenity now, you aren't alone.

Meditation has become a great tool for me to relax, be present, stay focused and centered. Science confirms that meditation can help you cope with the struggles of parenting. Women who used a mindfulness practice in the perinatal and postpartum period experienced significantly less anxiety and stress than women who did not, according to a study published in the Archives of Women's Mental Health. Here are some helpful tips to ease your mind and remain cool.

1. Plan som Personal Time
As a mom, it is easy to forget about your self and your own needs when you have a tiny little one to care for. When was the last time you got some “me-time”? I can not stress enough how important it is to take good care of yourself and find time for your self. You are also a person. If you need to, ask your parents, spouse or a friend to watch the kids for a couple of hours AT LEAST once per week so you can try out a yoga class, see a friend, get a massage, go to a spa or do something else that fills your heart and make you smile.

2. Create a Morning Ritual
Start the day by connecting with yourself. It can be yoga, meditation, taking a bath or just relax with a good book. A simple morning ritual will help you feel relaxed and energized so you can get the most out of your day. I highly recommend that you include some breathing exercises and positive affirmations in your mourning routine.

3. Find good Routines and Schedules
Routines are helpful for the whole family. When the kids know what to expect you can prevent over tiredness, tantrums, and chaos while you are getting more time for rest and recovery. Create a good schedule with routines for naps/bedtime, meals, and playtime while you are home with the kids. Do not let the kids create their own routines, try to find a routine that works for everyone and stick to it. It is also important that you prioritize your own sleep and maybe a power nap for yourself during the day. You will have a hard time functioning if you are a tired zombie.

4. Just Breathe
Breathing is essential in mindful parenting. Try to carve out at least 30 minutes a day and make it a priority. You can listen to a guided meditation, sign up for a class or practice mindfulness while you are walking, running, taking a shower or washing the dishes. Pay attention to the present moment and slow down. Feel the natural rhythm of your breath and notice how your chest expands and contracts. If you are exercising, be aware of how your body moves and try to get your breath and movements together. It can look something like this: “inhale, step, step, step, exhale, step, step, step ...”. Notice what happens around you, listen to the sounds and notice the air temperature as you breathe in and out. Watch the stream of thoughts that arise in your mind like clouds that floats across the sky, just let them come and go. Breathe through your nose down to your belly. It soothes your mind and heals your body.

If you feel like you are “losing it” and need to calm down you can practice “four-square breathing”. Simply inhale as you count slowly to four. Hold your breath for four counts, then exhale slowly as you count to four. Hold the breath to a count of four before you inhale again. Take deep and slow breaths. Repeat this breathing exercise for 2 minutes and you will feel better and more clear-headed.

5. Practice Gratitude
Sometimes we easily forget how much there is to be grateful for. By focusing on gratitude you can lower the stress hormone cortisol and activate the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for rest and recovery. Try to cherish every magical moment you have with your kids. You truly have been blessed with these wonderful children, be thankful for that. Say thank you and make a list or a journey of all the things you are grateful for.