I used to think that meditation was for self-realized people who had it all together. And that was definitely not me.
But it was during my long journey to becoming pregnant, when my doctor suggested that I try meditation.
To be quite honest, I was skeptical at first. I felt like I just did not have the time to sit around and just think. But as I learned about meditation, I realized that I had understood it all wrong.
Meditation is a practice that helps us to calm and focus our minds. For me, that practice takes on a variety of different forms during my day. And one of the most important parts of my practice of meditation is consistency.
So how can we as busy parents work daily meditation into our days?
Here are four ways:
1) Wake up early in the mornings
With two young children, my mornings are full of chaos. And as painful as it sometimes can be, one of the most important parts of my day is waking up before my family wakes up. This gives me quiet time to sit with my coffee and just breathe. Taking a few minutes in deep breathing brings calm to my mind and body. It is my morning ritual that sets an intention for my day from the very beginning no matter what stressors come my way.
2) Make use of the morning commute
Morning commutes can oftentimes be stressful-especially if yours is long! But they don’t have to be. I used to arrive at work already feeling depleted after dealing with morning traffic until I realized that I could use that time sitting in the car listening to something positive.
This is why I love podcasts. I believe that words, whether spoken or written are powerful. They can shape our beliefs and guide our behavior. Listening to a positive and inspiring podcast on my way to work has done wonders for my mental well-being. For me, this is also a form of meditation as it calms my mind even if the traffic around me is chaotic.
3) Lunchtime walking meditation
It’s so easy to spend all of our time inside of an office or a building as we go through our work day. However a study done in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports showed that a lunchtime walk can elevate our mood, help us to be relaxed and to be more enthusiastic about our work. As we walk and pay attention to our steps and our breath, we bring awareness to our body and our connectedness to the world around us. I have found that taking a walk in the middle of my day helps me to approach the rest of my day with as much energy as I had in the beginning.
4) Have a nighttime routine, just like your children!
Whenever children are going through stressful times, I often recommend that parents keep a routine as much as possible. This is because routines serve as anchors of stability for both children and adults. They can help to bring calm into an active mind. So having a nighttime routine after my children have gone to bed is a meditative practice for me. Whether it is reading an inspiring book or practicing deep breaths, a nighttime routine helps to keep both my children and I grounded.
Incorporating meditation into your day might be easier than you think! I’m Dr Smita and I hope this helps you on your path toward finding bliss.
– Dr. Smita