Building a Mindfulness Routine As a Busy Parent

Feeling overwhelmed lately? Or always? As a parent, maybe you feel like you can never slow down. This article will teach you small ways to bring balance back into your busy life, and it all starts with mindfulness. With a few simple practices, you’ll discover how you can find your oasis of peace.

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What Is Mindfulness Anyway?

Mindfulness is about recognizing what’s going on in your mind and body without passing judgment, it’s about embracing the present moment. Research on mindfulness has grown and now the benefits of the practice are becoming more widely known. It reduces anxiety, enhances immune function, and improves mood and memory.

Mindfulness takes many forms ─ breathing, walking, journaling, and body scans are all under its umbrella.

Simple Mindfulness Techniques

Journaling

Don’t wait until you’re stressed out to journal. Even an average day is worth recording. Journaling before bed can improve sleep, boost creativity, and reduce anxiety. It’s also one of the best ways to identify patterns in your life.

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Gratitude journaling

It’s hard to recognize the good in our lives when we go numb from stress. Gratitude journals are a quick way to overcome that. At the end of the day, write down the people, moments, and objects you are grateful for.

To get the most out of journaling practice, start small. Set a goal to write twice a week for one month and record any emotional shifts along the way.

Here are some journal prompts:

  • Why was today challenging?
  • When have I felt this way before? What helped then?
  • What do I need to let go of right now?
  • What encouraging statement do I need to hear?
  • What do I think about my daily habits?
  • What would happen if I let myself feel negative emotions?
  • What can I do right now to feel better?
  • What is something I should forgive myself for?
  • Write 3 things you are thankful for.
  • What trait do I have that I’m most proud of?

Body Scanning

Body scans let you reconnect with your body. It’s a self-examination done for the purpose of relaxing the body. To perform a body scan:

  1. Get in a comfortable position.
  2. Close your eyes and breathe normally.
  3. Notice the breath filling your nose and lungs.
  4. Bring your awareness to the top of your head. Focus on that area for 30 seconds to a minute.
  5. When you’re ready to move on, focus on your eyes, ears, jaw, and mouth. Keep focusing on a different body region until you get to your toes.  
  6. Make a mental note of any soreness or discomfort you feel in your body. Notice the feeling that arises and bring your awareness back to your breath.
  7. Take a couple of deep breaths and take in the sounds and sensations of your environment before slowly opening your eyes.

Affirmations

Affirmations are phrases that encourage positive thinking. With repetition, affirmations can shift your negative perception of yourself, allowing a more confident you to rise to the surface. These are easy to slip into your morning routine too. When you look in the mirror, remind yourself of your capabilities and positive attributes. Feel free to get creative with sticky notes and write down what you need to hear the most.

Meditation

Many people have trouble meditating because they make it more complex and intense than it needs to be. As a parent, you need a straightforward meditative exercises so try guided imagery meditation.

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Guided imagery

Guided Imagery meditation is awesome! It’s one of the more engaging meditative practices out there. It requires visualizing peaceful scenes─ your happy place. Where you go is up to you.

To start, find a quiet place to rest and choose a comfortable position. Turn on a recording and let it guide you through a scene. After the meditation ends, you will still be able to recall your scene even when you’re amidst the hustle and bustle of the office.

If you choose, you can skip the recording altogether. Simply visualize a space—it could be a fictitious place or a real place like your favorite spot as a child. Picture the sounds, the smells, and the feeling of being there. When your attention shifts, redirect it to your scene.

Box breathing

Box breathing is a simple but effective breathing technique for busy parents who just need a minute to pull themselves together.

It goes like this:

  1. Picture the four sides of a box.
  2. Breathe in for a count of four, letting your stomach expand.
  3. Hold that breath for another count of four.
  4. Exhale for a count of four.
  5. Hold for a count of four.
  6. Repeat.

Mindfulness is great; however, if you need a quicker way to de-stress your life as a parent, check out this article about making your morning routine easier.

10 Steps to a productive morning routine for working moms (callemmy.com)

Mindfulness is about challenging negative thought patterns by first building an awareness of them. No mindfulness practice will magically make parenting less stressful. But through a combination of techniques, you can acknowledge and let go of those stresses over time.

Call Emmy can help you with small stressors in your life, like finding trusted sitters for your kids. You can book a sitter or home cleaning service here.

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