Times are tough for everyone, but nothing trumps the physical and emotional toll of late-night fusses and feedings, sleep deprivation, frequent diaper changes and that seemingly ever-present belly flab. It's safe to say moms have one of the most stressful jobs in the world, and although it offers some of the best benefits, vacation days aren't typically one of them.
Important "mom-me" time only requires a few minutes a day, BUT you have to choose to fit it in. Although we seem to miraculously function without them at times, all moms need and deserve a few moments a day to recharge. It is essential that somewhere between potty training and dinner prep, Mom steals a few minutes to make herself a priority.
Are you looking for a simple way to rebalance and get back to center without having to even leave the house? Mommy Meditations can do just that! Just find a quiet, peaceful space and try one of the following:
Mommy Mediation #1: Relax, Just Do It
Lie down in a comfortable position. Starting with your feet, tense up all of your muscles. Squeeze as hard as you can. Move up from your toes to your nose, tightening as you go, and keep compressing those muscles. When you feel as if your entire body is completely tight, tighten some more. Clench completely and then totally release and let go. Feel yourself melting into the floor, one muscle at a time. When you feel as if you have finished releasing, release some more. Become so relaxed that you aren't sure where your body ends and the floor begins.
Repeat this sequence three times. Continue to tense and then relax each muscle. Finish by tensing your entire body and then completely melting into the floor. As you relax, keep seeing if you can take it to the next level. Relax and let go just a little more. This relaxation technique can provide very quick and positive results.
Mommy Meditation #2: Steady the Flame
Sit in front of a lit candle. With eyes open, watch the flame and how it dances. Now, imagine that your breath can steady the flame. Make your breath smooth and gentle so as not to disturb the flicker. Imagine that the more peaceful your body, the more peaceful the flame. The best way to do this is to become still from within. Find your inner peace and imagine you can share that peace with the candle. Do not be disturbed if an external sound or motion moves the flame; focus on bringing the flame back. This teaches you to find peace even amongst the chaos of motherhood. Imagine that the light of the candle is energy. Draw from this energy and bring it within you to give you light throughout the day.
Mommy Meditation #3: Alternate Nostril Breathing/One-Sided Breath
Yoga masters have long believed that you can balance your mind when you practice breathing with alternating nostrils. In this exercise, block your right nostril by pressing the side with your finger and breathe in for four seconds with your left nostril. Hold the breath for four seconds. Close the left nostril and exhale that breath through the right nostril for four seconds. Repeat on the other side (breathing in on the right and exhaling on the left). Repeat three times. Another variation is to breathe with just the left nostril for a cycle of breaths and then to switch to the other nostril for a cycle.
Mommy Meditation #4: Rainbow Breath
Lie down on your back and lengthen your body with your arms by your side. Your spine experiences compression throughout the day, so do your best to lengthen your body so that your spine can stretch. Let go of all tension and feel your body relax into the floor. Now, start watching your breath with your mind's eye (an imaginary eye between your two physical eyes). Imagine you can watch the breath move up and down your spinal canal. Send the breath deep down into the base of your spine. Envision that your breath is lighting the base of your spine a beautiful and bright red. Ignite it and make it like fire light. Now, move it up a bit and watch the color change from red to orange. Feel this bright and warm color in your low back and pelvis.
After a few moments here, bring the breath up to your belly and light it a beautiful, clean yellow. Feel it like sunshine giving you energy. Slowly move it up now to your heart center and light your breath green like grass. Embody it and feel this color in your chest. Move now to your neck and feel a beautiful ocean blue. Each breath ignites the flame of color and makes it brighter. Finally, bring that breath up to your brain and light it a beautiful lavender. Make it the most beautiful color you have ever see, and experience what lavender would feel like. Don't rush it. Send the breath up and down your spine now in a beautiful rhythm and light up each color like a rainbow. All of these colors and all of this breath will give you energy and peace for your day.
Mommy Meditation #5: SMILE
This is perhaps the easiest of the meditation techniques. Just smile! Keep it on and feel it. Hold that smile until you can't hold it anymore and physically, the happiness will come alive within you. In this case, you can fake it. Even if you don't feel particularly smiley, you will feel happier after this exercise. It may help you to think of a special time with your child or a happy moment in your life. If your mind starts to wander to an unhappy time or stressful situation, gently bring your mind back and smile. Don't wait for a special time or place to do this. Try it in your car or in the shower. Most important, try it when you are in the middle of a mommy meltdown, as it's a great way to see the light.
Hopefully these tips will help you make the most of your fleeting "Mom-me" time!