Welcome to M-Om: Mindful Mothering in the RVA — 5 steps to a more mindful life

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As a parent, I often feel either half asleep or hyper-focused and judgmental. I overthink and criticize everything I am doing. I’ve felt off balance for a while and I am making a commitment this year to live a more intentional and mindful life. Here are a few ways I am hoping to achieve this goal:

Begin the day with a moment of peace. Spend 5-10 minutes in silence. Sometimes I have to take my coffee outside and go on a short walk to do this or I will meditate on my back deck. This sets the tone for my day. I get a chance to wake up without the immediate demands of my children.

Express gratitude. Take a few minutes to establish good thoughts and ponder the parts of your life whether it be things, people, or events for which you are grateful. My family takes turns expressing what we are grateful for out loud at the dinner table each day. This helps us to focus on what we are blessed with rather than focusing on our wants and what we don’t have.

Eat and drink mindfully. Pay attention to your food and how you feel while eating. Be present while you eat. I try to sit at a table to eat without trying to multitask. This helps me to experience my food and experience the sensation of fullness.

Just say no. Evaluate your current commitments. If your plate is full don’t be afraid to say no to others demanding more from you. By saying no you are saying yes to yourself. I am more productive when I can manage my workload. When I take on more than I can handle I am more stressed and anxious and produce subpar work.

Power down. Set a goal to shut off your phone and social media for either a set amount of time during the day or by a predetermined time in the evening. Going on a technology diet is a scary thought for me. In this fast-paced world I am always worried I am going to miss something but the need to always be connected also fuels my anxiety. Taking a break from technology gives my mind a chance to power down and reboot for the next day.

These daily rituals help me to find the balance in life that I need to minimize stress. I am not always successful in my intention to be more mindful but I take it one day at a time. I am starting to see a change in my daily anxiety level and a more sustained sense of peace.

“In today’s rush we all think too much – seek too much – want too much – and forget about the joy of just being.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

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