It’s December and a time of year when Mums make even less time for themselves (if that’s even possible). So this month we are sharing a series of tips to help you survive the Christmas craziness.
This week’s post is from new team member, Shona Mitchell Beat. As former COO of meditation App Headspace it’s fair to say she knows a thing or two about mindfulness. As a new Mum she also knows just how hard it is to make time for herself. Here are her tips for how to squeeze in a few minutes that are just for you…
Before I got pregnant, I was in a blissful place. Having gone through a debilitating period of anxiety and panic attacks at 30, I discovered meditation, and it was a game changer.
As soon as I realised the immediate benefits and positive impact on my health and wellbeing, I got stuck right in! I sat for 40 minutes in the morning, (yep, that’s 40, not 4), and 40 minutes in the evening. That’s 1 hour and 20 minutes to myself a day meditating, finding peace, clarity and calm. The kind of calm that followed me around all day like a waft of beautiful incense or the light of 100 candles. Life felt totally doable.
As I said, that was before I got pregnant.
Morning sickness, (which is a stupid name – it’s 24 hours a day), hit me hard. No one, and I mean no one can meditate when they are vomiting in the toilet for hours a day. How can you meditate for even 10 minutes when you only just managed to get to work and back before your head hit the pillow (or floor, if the bed was too far away), and you were out like a light until the following day, by which point the toilet once again became your best friend for a few hours?
Getting pregnant was my first experience into the world of motherhood. And the lesson was hard and fast – your life will never be your own again, and from now on, a magical little being(s) will be the boss of your time.
So us Mums have to dig deep. There is no question that we have to put our own oxygen mask on first. Motherhood pulls on your energy sources in so many ways, so you have to top them up each week as best you can. It’s vital. Do not underestimate the impact on your nervous system and stability of nightly wake up calls, chaotic birthday parties, and drawn out negotiations to get a coat on little arms whilst stood in the pouring rain.
No I don’t meditate for 40 minutes a time now. I do 10 minutes a few times a week when my daughter naps, or I’m on the bus, or I’m walking with the pushchair, (yes, walking meditation is a thing). I run (proudly sporting my #Fearless TMR jumper!), for 20 minutes when I can, to feel the rain, to get some peace. And when I can’t meditate in the day, I do it lying down as I fall to sleep, (try Yoga Nidra – it’s the ultimate meditation for the woman with no time).
So in the lead up to Christmas, don’t ask for more perfume. Ask your loved ones for more time. Just 10 minutes of it. Plug in your earphones, sit back, and let someone guide you through a meditation. Prefer to meditate on the go? Add a meditation practice to your run. There’s a whole series of running meditations on the Headspace app.
However you chose to take your ‘me time’, just make sure you take it. I promise you, it’ll be the best gift you get.