Q: Have you any tips on taking mum time when there’s so little time to spare?
“Mum time”, the mere words make us shudder and shake with guilt. I always hear Mums talking about never having a second to spare and being completely exhausted and that is exactly what led me to having such bad post natal depression. Trying to be the perfect person simply didn’t work for me. I’m now settling for just doing my best, which is what everyone should try and do as being perfect is vastly overrated or so I’ve heard!
Long before having James I started going to meditation classes in New York. Initially, I thought everyone was bonkers and as we sat and meditated I kept cheating and peaking to see if everyone else was actually doing it. Over time though I began to understand the power of simply sitting still which is something so rare for any of us nowadays. When you have children the thought of doing anything for yourself simply goes out the window but it is vitally important.
As time is of the essence I recommend finding just ten minutes every day where you can sit still. Meditation is not about connecting with a higher being or feeling like you were transported to another place. I’ve been to a lot of weird sessions which is why people get turned off so let me simplify it for you. Unless you’re dead or an enlightened being (god, Buddha, Dali lama) it is impossible to clear your mind completely. For me meditation is about sitting still in the moment and watching those thoughts pass through. I either focus on my breathing or I listen to some music from www.omharmonics.com or www.zen12.com where you can download sample tracks. You also don’t need to be in a room with candles and sit on the floor with your legs crossed. You can meditate anywhere at anytime. I have often sat in the car when I have ten minutes when I’m early for a meeting or sometimes I set my alarm ten minutes early in the morning. Those ten minutes are there you just need to make sure you find them. You could write a book about the benefits of mediation but here are just a few.
It increases optimism; self esteem and helps with depression. It can also help you sleep better and help your mind to become clear and focused. I find it helps my patience, especially with a 4 year old. It definitely reduces my stress levels and emotional wellbeing. Try it for a week and if you like it tweet me @alicanavan #meditatewithali
4 TOP TIPS:
1. Pay attention to your breath as it’s the greatest way to focus on being in the present moment.
2. Don’t try and stop your thoughts, instead let them float by and focus on your breathing again. This will become easier with time
3. Use music specially designed for meditation. I find it gives me a far better experience. I alternate this with days of silence too for maximum benefit.
4. Enjoy the experience and as a mum enjoy this time alone