Posts Tagged ‘peaceful sleep’

3 Easy Ways to Harness Inner Peace

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Let’s be honest…motherhood is hard work! Caring for small children is enough to completely frazzle even the most calm and collected spirits. As mothers it is important for us to develop strategies to nurture ourselves while we meet the continual demands of our children. The following 3 tips are easy and quick activities you can infuse throughout the day that will help you feel more grounded and centered.

1. Take your pulse – I actually mean to literally take your pulse. Put two fingertips on your wrist or on your neck and allow yourself to feel the rhythmic pulsation of your heart beating. You may even close your eyes and count the beats. Taking your own pulse helps you to re-connect with your spirit and feel at peace in the moment.

2. Breath Awareness – There are several different ways to practice breath awareness. What does it mean to practice breath awareness? It is simply being aware of your own pattern of breathing and  focusing entirely on your breathing. As moms our minds are often bombarded by a running to-do list. We also spend a great deal of mental energy wondering if we are mothering effectively and challenging ourselves to parent “better”. Breath awareness is an opportunity to let go of all that and just breathe. I have developed a habit of practicing breath awareness when I am putting my children to sleep. This used to be a time when I would lay beside them impatiently waiting for them to drift asleep so I could get started on my “to-do” list. My anxiousness would grow as each minute ticked by and they were not yet asleep. Meanwhile my “to-do” list would continue to grow even longer in my head. I finally realized the nervous energy I emulated likely prolonged their bedtime slumber. By practicing breath awareness I not only help myself approach the night feeling more calm, I also help create a more peaceful sleep environment for my children. Furthermore I ultimately approach my “to-do” list with a great deal more clarity and efficiency after 10 minutes of breath awareness.

3. Be Mindful – Not to be confused with being mind-full where your mind is full of thoughts regarding past and future events. Rather mindfulness is when we are completely present in the moment. When we are fully aware of our surroundings and allow our senses to be fully engaged, we feel more relaxed and at ease. Just as there are many ways to practice breathe awareness there are also various ways to practice mindfulness. One simple place to start being mindful is while eating. As moms we are so accustom to shoving a handful of food in our mouths here and there throughout the day to meet our hunger needs that the thought of actually sitting down to enjoy a meal is kind of a fantasy. However enjoying food can be a great way to practice mindfulness and bring a sense of peace. You can start with something as simple as peeling an orange. As you peel it, allow yourself to be immersed in the sensations of such a mundane and routine activity. You will develop a new appreciation for a simple task that you’ve probably completed a ton of times before but never paused to actually experience it. Young children are masters of mindfulness so an easy way to deepen your practice is by observing and engaging with them!

What do you do to help you stay calm and collected during those hectic periods of motherhood? Would love to hear your tricks for maintaining a peaceful spirit and energy in your home? 


Top 5 New Mommy Must Haves!

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

You won’t find these items on a traditional list of suggested items for a new mommy, although they can certainly help during the early postpartum transition with a new baby.

1. High quality, easy to fill and clean water bottle – Nursing mamas get extra thirsty and need to drink lots of water to stay well hydrated as well as to maintain an adequate milk supply. Having a nice water bottle that is easy to fill, drink from, and clean helps ensure mama gets plenty of water throughout the day. A water bottle with a straw is extra helpful for quick sips since mam’s arms are usually full with new baby.

2. Blackout Curtains – Sleep is a rather elusive concept during the early postpartum period, so having the ability to create a dark, quiet space whenever needed to get some overdue sleep is especially helpful for all family members…mama, papa, baby, and/or siblings included. Add in a sound machine and you’ll be able to create a peaceful sleep environment any time of day!

3. A well stocked pantry and freezer – Breastfeeding mamas need to consume between 300-500 extra calories a day. (did you know making milk was such workout? 😉 ) And that doesn’t mean just adding a daily milkshake to your diet because the quality of the calories is equally (if not MORE important) than the quantity. So as a breastfeeding mama be sure to have lots of healthy snacks readily available for yourself. Stocking your pantry and freezer near the end of your pregnancy can help you to avoid frequent trips to the grocery store with a newborn.

4. A Stash of Light Hearted Reading Material – Newborns nurse a TON…as frequent as every two hours. In addition to high frequency, the nursing sessions also tend to last a long time as baby is still gaining efficiency at the breast. As a mom of a newborn this means you will spend a great deal of time sitting with a nursing baby. Having a good book or a magazine to keep you company is helpful during this period of long and frequent feedings. Although keeping the reading material light hearted is usually best because new mommies operating on virtually no sleep often lack the mental attention for complex, in depth literature. Also hormones are pretty imbalanced during the early postpartum period and emotions can be a bit intensified, so you might want to avoid sad, dramatic literature for a while.

5. Comfortable Clothes – I didn’t catch on to the importance of comfortable postpartum clothes until my third baby was born. During the final weeks of my third son’s pregnancy I bought myself some nice pajamas to wear after baby was born, knowing that I would be spending a lot of time at home with him during the first several weeks of his life. During the early postpartum months feeling as comfortable as possible is essential. A wardrobe full of baggy maternity clothes or tight pre-pregnancy clothes usually leaves mama with limited clothing options that are comfortable. Therefore investing in some nice, comfortable, easy to nurse in postpartum clothes is a nice way to care for yourself (and subsequently for baby). You don’t have to spend a ton of money either; you can shop second hand store or clearance racks.

What non-traditional items are included on your new mommy must have list? Anything special that helped you survive those early postpartum weeks with new baby?


PS. Don’t forget about this week’s Fan Photo Friday! Let’s celebrate mama’s milk with some nursing photos! Send your Favorite Nursing Photo to photo to by Thursday, June 21. Be sure to include any information you
want shared such as age of nursling, significance of photo, etc. Then check back on Friday, June 22 to enjoy a celebration of mama’s milk through a collection of nursing photos! Winner gets 25 Milk Miles deposited into their account! 🙂