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How To Be A Mindful Mum

Learn amazing ways to use your mind so you stay calm and avoid that overwhelmed feeling

Almost every we look, mindfulness is being touted as the new way to stay calm and in control of your life. But what exactly is it? Mindfulness is about training your mind to be in the present moment instead of the past or future. You learn to recognise where your attention is, and choose whether you want it to stay there or bring it back to ‘now’. In one University of Miami study, people with this training were less distracted and more focused.

This approach is particularly useful if you're a working mum who's worried that you’re not making the most of time with your child because you’re always rushing around.

Do less, think more

Aim for quality over quantity. Your day may be full of toddler classes, but it could be worth considering cutting back on the number of activities you do if you’re not actually spending quality time with your child. ‘Really listen to what he’s saying, and engage with it, rather than letting it become background chatter,’ says Maret Dymond, of the University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre.

'Really listen to what your child wants to do, and engage with it, rather than letting it be background chatter'

It can be hard to stop your mind wandering when you’re building Duplo or playing hide and seek with your toddler, so set a reminder. It could be useful to download an app, such as Mindfulness Bell, which rings at set intervals to remind you. ‘Once you’ve acknowledged your mind is elsewhere, practise bringing your attention back to the present moment,’ says Maret.

Bring focus to babycare

Even during basic tasks, pay attention to how you feel during the activity, so you really experience it. So, in the bath, let your mind register the feel and smell of your baby’s skin and the water on your hands. ‘It’s possible that acknowledging all this could also help boost your levels of the bonding hormone oxytocin,’ says Maret.

Calm down and tune in

If your baby’s wailing non-stop, hold him close and walk around the room. Notice your posture and breathing, which may be shallow if you’re anxious. ‘To break the cycle of stress, explore focusing closely upon how he feels, looks and smells in your arms,’ says Maret. Your breathing might also naturally slow, which can have a positive effect on him, too.  

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