The endless physical and emotional demands on moms worldwide earns motherhood the appropriate mantle, “toughest job in the world.”
The selfless essence of being a mom is too frequently at the expense of her own self-care, subjecting it to a low priority in her own well being. As a result, moms get depleted and their ability to care for loved ones suffers. Simply, when you, mom, give of yourself from an empty tank, you become mired in stress. Cortisol and adrenaline levels rise, mood lowers, energy diminishes, psychological and physical health decline.
Most women have inherent mothering instincts — the wish to protect, nurture and support others — but too few women connect to those same instincts for themselves.
Many women grow to believe that taking time for themselves is selfish, that it is ok to give time to others but not to take time to pamper oneself.
Self-care is not selfish, it is crucial — a basic necessity!
So…this Mother’s Day ask how you can help mom create greater well-being and how you can fill her heart with the energies of compassion, kindness, connection and care. And while a gift certificate for a massage is lovely, there are gifts that don’t cost money that may be of even greater benefit. Consider giving mom a gift of service – give her a break; time to unwind in the tub; an opportunity to take a walk; catch a nap; or engage in a relaxing hobby.
For a gift that keeps giving, teach mom about mindfulness and meditation. If you are a mom, practice it yourself. Starting this lifelong habit is simple and its health and wellness benefits are endless.
One simple beginning practice is to pause, be still and connect to your breath. Tune in to all the sensations in your body related to this breath, then sense each part of the breath itself . Do this with full concentration for 3 breaths to 3 minutes. Doing this several times a day takes hardly any time at all and establishes a consistent practice of being present in the moment.
Additionally, bring awareness to routine tasks of daily life instead of focusing on the to-do list in your mind.
When getting dressed, brushing your teeth, or taking a shower practice being mindful – this means just doing what you are doing while you are doing it and not doing anything else but that! When showering just shower – feel the suds, the steam and slipperiness of the soap. When you notice you have become distracted by thinking and have wandered in your mind to a distant place far from the soothing flow of warm water on your body just let go and return to the experience of showering. It is that simple.
Enjoy this Mother’s Day. Take some time to give the gift of affectionate care for yourself. Mother or not, you deserve it.