This article was featured on Mums in Beirut website for the month of October. Mental health month.
As a Leadership, Wellness and Relationship life coach I work with women who are leaders in different areas of life. They are all looking to find balance, purpose, and fulfilment. I always tell them that the best way to design a balanced life is through purposeful choices that feed your body, mind and soul. Usually people find it easier to care for the mind and body but often neglect the soul.
In most of the articles you read about self-care for women (especially mothers), the recommendations are often things like: “Pamper yourself! Get a manicure! Eat healthy! Find alone time to read!” Yes, I agree taking time for yourself is very important but what if your mind set is, “I have no time for this crap. It never works. I feel trapped….”
I’m certainly not telling you not to pamper yourself or create some alone time. On the contrary I recommend it along with exercise, eating healthy food, sleeping well, and getting connected with others but, I think there is a problem when we believe that self-care means a spa treatment or the need to escape form our problems. The fundamental thing missing from all the self-care for mothers in my humble opinion is Mindfulness. Staying connected to yourself, to your inner most passions; this is what will keep you alive and joyful.
Meaningful self-care for mothers, means to feel truly nurtured and whole in our day to day life. It means we engage in do-able practices that promote well-being. It means we find ways to be present, to cultivate compassion for our children and ourselves, to become emotionally intelligent, reduce our exaggerated reactions, and improve our relationships. It means making time for meditation, silence, prayer, or any form of self-reflection you enjoy. It means giving yourself the gift of stillness and peace, if only for a moment, during your crazy and noisy day as a parent.
Mindfulness is seeing things exactly as they are instead of the way our anxious, stressed out mind interprets them. Mindfulness gives us the space to breathe, count to three, reflect and find a useful response instead of reacting, yelling or crying. Sarah Rudell Beach says, “When we are intentionally present, with curiosity and without judgement, our experience of motherhood is transformed.”