It’s the buzzword for 2014 and by now we all know we should be putting down our gadgets and reconnecting with our inner Zen goddess with a whole load of yoga breathing and meditation. The goal? To recapture that sense of living in the moment rather than through our devices, and to feel calmer and more centred by reducing the stress brought on through constant email and phone connection.
What if you’re a mother though, and aforementioned gadget is used to plan your entire life (and snap photos of your little ones) and the only part of your day that feels even remotely close to meditative is your morning shower with the door locked (for once)?
Well, we’re here to help with some quick tips to achieve a little bit more inner peace in ways that even the most frazzled of us mamas can tackle. And breathe…
- There’s an app for that. Yes, we know we just said mindfulness is about putting down those iGizmos, but they do have their uses in the mindful revolution. Check out Headspace for an easy way to try out meditation in your own time, without needing to schlep to a class.
- Delete Facebook from your phone. Yep, we know it’s a shocker, but we find ourselves drifting to scroll mindlessly through our newsfeed in the middle of other tasks… leave the checking ‘til you’re at home on your computer and it’s not just a way to tune out of what’s going on right in front of you.
- Ask your kids to call you out. Kids love to nag mamas – we all know that! So tell your kids it’s your special project to look at your phone less and ask them to tell you when you’re failing at it. There’s nothing like that little voice to get you to wake up and realise you’ve checked out again…
- Have no-phone Sundays. Sunday is one day of the week you’re most likely spending with your family together, so why do you need to bring along your phone on outings? Get competitive with your partner about who can use their phone or Blackberry the least at the weekend to help you get motivated!
- Reduce your sensory inputs. Do you find that you have got into the habit of permanent multi-tasking, without any actual increase in productivity? Reduce the number of things you do at once (watching TV + surfing the internet, eating + texting) so that if you have a gadget in your hand while you’re doing something else, a mental red flag goes up.
- Practice gratitude. Yes, we know this one sounds a little hokey, but we’ve found that the times when we’re brought back to the present moment most intensely are when we remember just how much we have to be grateful for. Just read a sad story about someone else’s suffering and get the urge to give your kids a huge cuddle? That’s gratitude bringing you back to mindfulness. It only takes a minute a day to think about all the ways in which you’re lucky.
- Resist the urge to be a snap-happy mama. We know this is tough, but how many times have you been in the middle of a beautiful moment with your kids and thought, “I should take a photo of this”? We’re all guilty, and why is it so bad? Well, from taking the photo you’re then going to just super-quickly email it to hubby, or grandma, or post it on Facebook, and by the time you’ve finished the magic moment is finished and you’re left once again holding your phone and tapping away…
- Take a hike. Walking in nature can bring you back to the present moment and make you happy like nothing else (yes even if you’re incredibly sweaty at the end of it!). Take the play date outdoors, cancel the soft play and hit up the park instead of the mall – it’s what memories are made of. The bonus? Your wallet will thank you too!