Getting Started with Meditation
Photo by Marta Wave
Ah, meditation. Like many mums, starting to meditate has probably been on your list or one of your New Year's resolutions for many years. The thought of sitting in complete silence, in a state of complete relaxation can feel out of reach for most mums. Making time to relax shouldn’t be another thing on your to-do list that causes you stress. Instead, meditation can be an opportunity to take a few minutes for yourself every day, every few days, or once a week depending on your schedule. Meditating for just a few minutes can help you cope with stress, improve your sleep and help you balance your emotions for the rest of the day (and we know your emotions will be tested).
While there are many different types of meditation practices, we think mindfulness meditation is especially helpful for mums and great for boosting mental health. Mindful meditation means focusing on the present moment without worrying about the future or the past.
You can get started with meditation by using a guided podcast like Headspace, Calm, or Healthy Minds Program. For a low-cost option, there are also a variety of free meditation podcasts such as The Daily Meditation Podcast with Mary Meckley, Meditation Minis, The Mindful Minute, and Peace Out if you want to meditate with your kids.
If you’re inspired to start now with a simple meditation, follow the steps below:
1. Take a moment for yourself: Ask your partner to watch the baby or set your kids up with a video (we’re not judging!) so you can have a few minutes uninterrupted
2. Set a timer: Even for just 3-5 minutes, allow yourself this time to focus on your mindful meditation practice. We recommend choosing a gentle sound on a soft volume for your alarm, so you can end your meditation practice peacefully.
3. Find a comfortable seat: This can be anywhere, at the park, in your car, or in the corner of the nursery.
4. Straighten your upper body
5. Unclench your hands and relax your face
6. Close your eyes or unfocus your gaze
7. Focus on your breath: Notice how you are breathing, through your belly or your mouth. Try to breathe in and out deeply and slowly.
8. Observe your thoughts without judgment: It’s hard to stay present in the moment and not be thinking about your to-do list. Try to keep your mind blank and focus on your breathing. When a thought does cross your mind, acknowledge it and let it gently drift away.
9. Rejoin the present slowly: When your meditation has finished don’t rush to stand up and rejoin the world. Take a moment to notice how relaxed your body is and how you are feeling emotionally. When you’re ready (or the baby starts to cry), finish your practice.
10. Carry mindfulness with you: Even after your meditation is over, revisit your breathing exercises and cleanse your mind of intrusive thoughts during the day as necessary. Try to be present in each moment with your family.
That’s it, by meditating for just a few minutes you can reduce your stress level and relax your mind, not just during your meditation practice but throughout the rest of your day. We have lots of ideas for making 2023 your year of self-care, keep an eye out on our blog for more.