9 Ways Welcoming Mindfulness Helps You Flourish At Life

You love your kids and wouldn’t be without them, but it’s an undeniable fact – being a mother can be incredibly stressful. Dealing with tantrums, trying to keep on top of all of the everyday chores and running around after the family can take a heavy toll on your state of mind, and every mother out there will recognise the feeling of sometimes struggling to keep your head above water. Luckily, research from Oxford University has shown that practising mindfulness could be the answer you’ve been looking for. Their studies showed that mindfulness is not only a powerful stress reliever, but it also helps to improve resilience to future stress, building up an inner strength that boosts physical well being and inner happiness.

So, What Is Mindfulness?

If you’ve never heard of mindfulness, don’t worry, you aren’t alone! Put in basic terms, mindfulness means that you focus on staying firmly grounded in the moment, aware of what you are doing and feeling, without being overwhelmingly influenced by events that are taking place around you. Now you’re probably thinking “Easier said than done” as your toddler howls for your attention, your teenager needs help with their homework and you have dinner to get started, and you’d be right – mindfulness takes practice. However, it’s well worth putting in the effort to achieve the many benefits that mindfulness brings.

How Can Mindfulness Help Me?

1. Better Decision Making

When you practice mindfulness, you have a much greater awareness of what’s going on inside your head. We all have a tendency to experience a gut reaction as soon as a thought pops into your brain, and your response might not always be the right one. When you are aware of your thoughts, you are much more able to take a step back and to analyse them fully without reacting to that immediate stress response. In short, you’ll become a better decision maker.

2. Slowing It Down

We’ve all been there – flying off the handle because of a stressful situation. But those immediate reactions are rarely the most sensible response and all too often we regret the way we’ve handled things. Mindfulness helps to slow down your reactions, giving you time to think sensibly and to come up with a more appropriate solution.

3. Relaxation

When you practice mindfulness, you are learning to focus on the here and now – in other words the “being” state of mind rather than the “doing”. While the “doing” mindset is associated with stress, the “being” mode is linked to relaxation – and which mother doesn’t need a bit more of that in their life?

4. Awareness Of Bodily Needs

Every mother’s been there – pushing themselves to the limit to get things done for their kids, pushing themselves to hard in the gym, collapsing under the pressures of work. It’s all too easy to ignore the signs that you need to take care of yourself and treat your body with more respect. As much as exercise can assist in reducing stress and anxiety, mindfulness makes you more sensitive to your bodily needs, and when you notice pain earlier, you can take steps to treat the problem so that it doesn’t get out of hand.

5. Less Conflict

It’s no secret that most families are full of conflict, and it can be very easy to snap at each other when emotions are running high. Mindfulness makes you more sensitive to the emotions of those around you, and this boosts your empathy. When you understand the way your kids feel, you’re much less likely to get into conflict with them.

6. Greater Compassion

There’s a distinct lack of empathy and compassion in modern society, so it’s no wonder that often we aren’t as caring or considerate as we should be. Practising mindfulness is very soothing and lowers your gut response to stress, making you more compassionate and more able to help others.

7. Less Background Stress

We’ve become so used to an ongoing backdrop of stress in our lives that we just don’t notice it any more. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t taking its toll on your physical and mental health. When you practice mindfulness, the activity in your amygdala (the part of your brain that switches on your stress response) is reduced, cutting back on all that background stress and making your life simpler and happier.

8. Better Focus

As a busy parent you’ve always got so much going on that it can feel impossible to focus on anything. How many times have you stood in the kitchen, realising you’re in the middle of three different jobs and haven’t got anything done? Mindfulness boosts your focus and concentration so you can get tasks accomplished more efficiently.

9. Change Of Attitude

One of the best things about mindfulness is that it can change your attitude to stress in your life. Whereas before you struggled to see beyond the negative consequences of stress, being mindful gives you more space and helps you to think in a different way about it. By recognising that added pressure gives you more energy to get more done, your mind and body can enjoy the positive benefits.

All things considered, mindfulness really is one of the best tools to add to your knowledge box to make you, not only flourish at parenting, but flourish at life and all the stresses it throws at you.



New Mom Traveling With A Baby? What You Need To Know…

You may love to travel, I know I do! However, if you are a new mommy, you might think your globetrotting days are over. Don’t worry, mommas! Traveling with a baby is not as daunting as you think. Between mom groups, the internet, and this website  – we’ve got you covered! Start packing and don’t be afraid to take the littles along.

Here are some helpful tips to help prepare you for traveling with babies.

 1. Call the airline

Before you even book a ticket, I recommend you call the airline’s customer support team to know the restrictions regarding gate-checking strollers or traveling with any baby gear. American Airlines, for example, changed its policy in 2011. The new system requires collapsible strollers to be not more than 20 pounds.

The last thing you’d want is to have to leave a stroller behind or be stuck without any options. Call before and save yourself any trouble.

2. Create a packing list

Baby brain exists, trust me! The most important thing you can do before you travel is make a packing list. This way you’ll avoid forgetting something vital for you and your baby. Be sure to include any breastfeeding items, formula, bottles, baby medicines, pacis, teething items like the Baltic amber wonder necklace, or your baby’s favorite toy. It’s better to over prepare than to be somewhere away from home and wish you would have thought to bring an item.

Make those lists! You don’t want him having tantrums while riding a plane or in a car for hours, do you?

 3. Bring snacks

Lots of them! You must not leave your house without bringing snacks for your baby. They’re a travel diversion as they can keep your kids’ hands and mouths busy while you’re on the go.

But ensure that you pack healthy goodies. You can have crackers and cereals or sliced fresh fruits. Protein bars may also be a good option as a travel snack if they are old enough.

 4. Schedule on mellow days

Don’t plan your trip on busy day if possible. If your schedule is flexible it’s best to plan trips more mellow times. There’s nothing worse than waiting in lines or being delayed when you have a tired grumpy little one.

 5. Take your time

Don’t rush through security or feel like you have to accommodate to everyone else. It creates anxiety for you and your baby. Babies cry, that’s reality and you’ll find most people understand and are willing to help.

 The TSA agents can also help you out. In fact, some of them will just advise you to leave your stuff and wait on the bench while they’ll do everything for you.

 6. Bring twice the necessities

If you’re traveling with a toddler, make sure that you bring twice as much formula if you bottle feed and diapers on your trip. You won’t know when an unexpected day will come. Also, most airports do not sell diapers.

By bringing twice the necessities, you don’t have to worry about being stuck in a bind with a hungry child in a dirty diaper. You’ll have everything to appease your baby.

 7. Savor the moment

Your kid won’t be a child forever. So, slow things down. You and your child should savor the moment. Enjoy the time spent bonding with your baby away from home. You’re making memories and those last a lifetime.

 8. Avoid getting ill

Easier said than done, but it’s not fun when you or kids are sick when traveling. Therefore, it’s vital to bring medicines and ointment for you and your family just in case. If you are traveling abroad, make sure that you and your child have gotten the proper immunizations and boosters recommended.

9. Arrive to the airport early.

Airlines recommend that their passengers arrive at least an hour hour before take-off. However, you may want to try to get there an additional hour earlier for peace of mind as you can never estimate security wait lines or lines to check in baggage.

 10. Change diaper before boarding

Right before you board put baby in a fresh diaper. Changing diapers on the plane can be a hassle and most times baby will fall asleep – so you don’t want to have to wake them to change a soiled diaper.

Lastly, don’t stress and enjoy!