Mamas I know there isn't always time for hour long yoga classes, and we don't all have the luxury of shutting ourselves in a quiet room for guided meditations. And yet it is impossible to not loose our shit if we are constantly running on empty.
I am writing in the midst of the COVID19 Pandemic, as our governor has just announced the "stay at home" order will be extended at least another 3 weeks, and knowing that parents will now be homeschooling for the remainder of the school year. Stress levels are high to put it mildly.
So how do we keep from running on fumes or even empty?!
Take time to fill up a little at a time!
Close your eyes mama and breathe in 1,2,3,4,5 breathe out 5,4,3,2,1 and repeat for 10 breaths!
Maybe the kids notice, maybe they don't. If you practice it enough times they will inevitably see. And guess what?! It's okay if they do! Its okay if they ask "mama what are you doing?". And it's okay to say "mama is taking a breather". You just gave them permission to do the same! (check out The Breathing App if you need a guide/timer to help!)
Stand up or sit down and close your eyes. Reach your arms up and lean back as you breathe in. Fold your body forward and breathe out. Come back up breathe in. Lean to the side and breathe out. Come back up breathe in. Lean to the opposite side and breathe out. Come back up and breathe in. Twist side to side. You have moved your spine in all 6 directions releasing tension and any tightness created by stress and anxiety! Your leading by example mama! Your family is learning new healthy ways to respond to emotional overload!
This one takes a little prep but the prep is stress relieving too! Post words of affirmation around the house, little love notes to yourself and your family, and/or record yourself saying these affirmations to play back any time you need a reminder. Any time you see a note throughout your day pause and read it out loud! Yes mama out loud! That makes all the difference. Even if you have to say it with tears rolling down your face. Here is a little script to get you started, make it your own, change it however you need to make it personal to you.
"Some days are hard!
Some days I have no idea what I'm doing
Some days it's a victory just getting dressed
And that's okay!
I am not alone
I will take time to breathe
I am worthy of love and appreciation
I am perfectly imperfect
I am filled with love and compassion
Whatever happens or doesn't happen today is enough
I am enough
I will do my best and let go of judgement
I will do my best and let go of guilt
I will do my best and that is enough!"
(for more ideas or a quick guided affirmation session check out affirmation pod with Josie Ong)
What if, mama, when all of this has passed, and it will pass, our children; having watched us BREATHE and MOVE and AFFIRM every time we felt "stressed" or "overwhelmed" or when we needed a "breather", learned a new way of responding to their own feelings?!
What if we walk through this craziness better than we walked into it?!
What if this "time of Crisis" became a "time of healing" for us all?!