Ten Mindfulness Tips for Busy Parents

This is a tongue-in-cheek post that I first wrote for Mummy’s Gin Fund a while ago now.  However on a slightly more serious note I hope it does show you how busy people CAN fit everyday mindfulness into their routine if they are open to it.

hands near a glass of wine with blop post title on

So below are some suggestions for incorporating aspects of mindfulness into a busy day:

7am – set yourself an intention to use the word ‘should’ less.  Consider how many times you metaphorically ‘beat yourself up’ with the word SHOULD.  I should really make a homemade Birthday cake…. I should switch Peppa Pig off as the kids are watching their nth episode today…. I should cook a wholesome meal from scratch after a busy day at work etc.  The thing is you probably don’t even know that you are engaging in this negative self-talk.  Mindfulness helps you to tune into the chatter in the mind.  Once you recognise this habit and ‘watch your thoughts’ you can begin to be kinder to yourself.

10am – go for a mindful walk and take a moment to look up and study the sky.  For example you could give yourself a little extra time to walk to the local supermarket and take it at a slower pace than usual.  Really notice the colours, smells and sounds around you and comment on them if you have the children in tow.  Take the opportunity to tune out the constant thought stream of planning, worrying and ruminating and really focus on the present moment.

11am – try to see the world from your child’s perspective (i) bring a childlike curiosity to whatever you are doing.  Come out of auto-pilot and see the wonder in the simple things the way young children do.

Midday – Kids napping or watching a bit of telly in the early afternoon?  Reconnect with your breath.  Take a breathing space like this 3 minute mini meditation from Professor Mark Williams.  It can work wonders for energy levels, clarity of mind and mood.   Don’t have an electronic device to hand, standing in the Post Office queue or waiting at traffic lights?

Just STOP:

  • Stop what you’re doing i.e. getting frustrated about being held up in a queue,
  • Take a few breaths
  • Observe how you are feeling in that moment
  • Proceed with your day hopefully feeling a little more grounded.

 2pm –  I know it’s ‘stating the bleeding obvious’ but REALLY LISTEN when people speak.   We all fall into the trap of nodding and saying ‘yes darling’ in the right places to our children when we’re busy and hearing them but not really listening to them.

Someone recently said to me that the greatest gift we can give another is our attention and who is more deserving of this then our family?  So whenever possible (and realistically this is not always) pledge to stop what you’re doing, turn to look into the beautiful eyes of your child and participate fully in the conversation.

2pm – With that in mind…Try to have a designated time when your phone is out of sight and on silent. I have been known to hide mine in the spice cupboard! The constant ‘ping’ can interrupt quality family time and take our thoughts away from the present moment.

5pm – try to see the world from your child’s perspective (ii) and as best as you can empathise with the tears and tantrums.  For example keep reminding yourself that sharing is the BIGGEST deal and the HARDEST thing in the world to ask a toddler to do and that the dark really is quite scary when you’re young.  Mindful parenting is said to help us reconnect with our children and therefore the hope is can lead to less conflict.

7.30pm – if it’s been a bad day…. eat chocolate but don’t just gobble it up as quickly as you can, savour every mouthful as per this four minute audio from the authors of ‘Mindfulness: finding peace in a frantic world’.

7.35pm – And of course…. You can always apply the same principle to a mindful glass of wine too.  Study the colour and any reflections of light on the glass.  Feel the weight of the glass in your hand.  The temperature.  How does it look?  How does the glass feel when you pick it up?  Consider how the drink smells. Sip it and hold the liquid in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing?  Repeat and enjoy.

10pm – Finally, energy and inclination permitting make a few notes in a gratitude log.  Note three specific things that you are thankful for from your day.  It could be as simple as remembering the smile you received from your son/daughter on the school pick-up or maybe it’s the yummy dinner you were made by your other half!  Keep it simple and specific.

I’d love to hear how people get on if they give any of these ideas a go?

Please do let me know!

If you liked these tips you may like this post or this one too!

handwritten Hayley

Letters to my Daughter

The Pramshed

 

50 Comments

  1. February 8, 2018 / 7:27 am

    I love the suggestions about having a mindful glass of wine and bit of chocolate! The point about putting your phone away is good too – it’s nice to not have the distractions all the time. #ablogginggoodtime

  2. mackenzieglanville
    February 8, 2018 / 11:52 am

    I have been really enjoying putting my phone out of sight, I’ve even been on a few walks lately and left it behind, it was a little weird at first but it actually is quite freeing. I have also been leaving it inside when I garden which I love, Usually come in and see missed calls but I am ok with that because I know that if I had taken those calls I would have spent all afternoon on the phone and not enjoyed being outdoors in the garden or with my children. Great post, thank you for joining us for #ablogginggoodtime

  3. February 9, 2018 / 12:54 pm

    These are all really great tips! Some of these I don’t do and I will start doing them. I’ve been meaning to focus more or writing about more positive things in my journal but I’ve been so busy this week that I haven’t even opened it but this is a great reminder:) #mg

    • February 9, 2018 / 12:57 pm

      Oh my goodness I am so sorry. I meant to say #ablogginggoodtime. It’s been a long week. I think I’ll take that wine now lol

      • onamindfulmummymission
        February 9, 2018 / 9:34 pm

        Ha ha ha xx

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 9, 2018 / 9:35 pm

      Oooh yes do – when you can – just don’t put too much pressure on yourself xx

  4. February 10, 2018 / 6:56 am

    There are some brilliant tips here. I’ve been suffering terribly with my anxiety this week, I’ll write about it at some point this weekend. I need to focus more on mindfulness but sometimes it’s so damn hard. The anxiety is just too overwhelming. #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 11, 2018 / 9:20 pm

      Ah Rach – so sorry the anxiety is getting so overwhelming at the moment. Take care lovely xx

  5. February 10, 2018 / 7:43 am

    Great tips as always. My gratitude log (this has slipped recently – must start again) and daily dog walks were the things that kept me positive when I was having a really shit time. I’ve started hiding my phone away quite a lot recently. It just drives me insane otherwise. But, can I hide my husband’s phone too? #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 11, 2018 / 9:19 pm

      Ha ha ha – yes you most definitely can (see Sophie’s advice on couple care in the other post :-)). Really hope things are going better for you now hon (they seem to feel like that on IG – but you never know!) xx

  6. February 10, 2018 / 8:57 am

    I like these idea- walking instead of driving is a great way to slow dows, and the tip of keeping your phone out of sight and mind is one I’ll be trying this week. #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 11, 2018 / 9:17 pm

      Fab – good luck with it xx

  7. February 10, 2018 / 8:59 am

    great list Hayley but now I have teens and beyond I have absolutely no idea what 7am is ! #notgloatinghonest #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 11, 2018 / 9:17 pm

      Ha ha ha!!! xx

  8. February 10, 2018 / 9:47 am

    I think if more people new about combining chocolate, wine and mindfulness the world would be a much happier place.

  9. February 10, 2018 / 9:52 am

    Fab tips thank you 🙂 5pm is most definitely the hardest time of day here and I never think of it through there eyes. I will start doing that x #thesatsesh

  10. February 10, 2018 / 10:03 am

    Great tips, I should definitely introduce daily phone free time. #thesatsesh

  11. February 10, 2018 / 1:24 pm

    I need to put my phone away! Out of sight! Focus on what is in front of me at that moment! Good reminder. #thatsatsesh

  12. February 10, 2018 / 1:57 pm

    These suggestions are all great and feel totally doable, except perhaps the gratitude journal, as I already feel I spend enough time writing about our lives these days 😉💕xx
    #thesatsesh

    • February 10, 2018 / 2:00 pm

      PS. I forgot to say, I’ve been doing a lot of these things throughout my life, like studying the clouds, straws of grass, the texture of tree trunks, the warmth of a rock in the sun etc. Now it’s called mindfulness, before it was just me being a bit odd 😄xx

      • onamindfulmummymission
        February 11, 2018 / 9:15 pm

        Ha ha – you are ‘bang on trend’ now 🙂 xx

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 11, 2018 / 9:16 pm

      I understand – maybe do a gratitude journal style post once in a while?! Lots of bloggers do it. xx

  13. February 10, 2018 / 4:32 pm

    Taking a long walk with my dog is my mindful moment of the day. I try to leave my phone in my pocket and really take in my surroundings, like the smells, sounds, the wind on my face. Lovely. #thesatsesh

  14. February 10, 2018 / 5:38 pm

    I always try to get out for a walk every day, even if its for no purpose, it really clears my head. Great post #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 11, 2018 / 9:13 pm

      Good stuff – and thank you xx

  15. February 10, 2018 / 5:54 pm

    I must admit. I’m a firefighter, I never spend time on mindfulness but ill give some of these a try. (note the absense of the world ’should’ in that sentence 😉). #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 11, 2018 / 9:13 pm

      Ha ha – well done – you’re learning! 🙂

  16. February 10, 2018 / 6:29 pm

    I have started to not charge my phone overnight, so I need to charge it at some point during the day, which then usually gives me a couple of hours with it away from me so I am not distracted by it. Some great tips! #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 11, 2018 / 9:12 pm

      Oooh that sounds a cunning plan to help you be away from the phone a bit! Good thinking xx

  17. thesingleswan
    February 10, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    I am rubbish at mindfulness, but these tips are great. I will make a point of trying them. thank you. Pen x #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 11, 2018 / 9:12 pm

      Ha ha – I remember you saying before Pen that you weren’t sure about mindfulness – pleased these may be a way of helping you with it 🙂 xx

  18. February 11, 2018 / 12:14 pm

    I think I am going to start my daily gratitude log again it is needed at the moment. I also need to have a silent time and put away the phone more. I am so bad at that! Thank you for hosting #thesatsesh

  19. February 11, 2018 / 5:34 pm

    Yep just stopping and noticing the environment around you is really powerful. Some days you can get so wrapped up in your thoughts that a distraction is good X #Thesatsesh

  20. Alice Letters to my Daughter
    February 11, 2018 / 10:01 pm

    I’m pretty good at the chocolate and wine thing, so that’s two off the list!! #BlogCrush

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 12, 2018 / 9:12 pm

      Ha ha ha – you’re definitely winning then! xx

  21. mackenzieglanville
    February 12, 2018 / 6:05 am

    Mindfullness made a big difference in my life, I use the waiting in a queue or stuck in traffic time to look around and breathe, it does help. #thesatsesh

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 12, 2018 / 9:11 pm

      Yes that’s such a good time to use it! XX

  22. February 12, 2018 / 7:36 pm

    Thank you for sharing these suggestions with us. I don’t actually use a mobile phone currently. However, the not having it makes me think I ought to especially when I want to locate the rest of my family. #ablogginggoodtime

  23. February 12, 2018 / 8:00 pm

    I hadn’t realised until now that I was missing a glass of wine in my hand..yes it’s Monday night but I deserve it haha.

    Love the tip about looking through the eyes of a child, that’s fascinating to me and I’m already trying to do this to see the world through my sons eyes (he is ASD) it’s really quite liberating at times. #BlogCrush

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 12, 2018 / 9:09 pm

      Yes – it really does help both parties! I hope you got your glass of wine! xx

  24. February 12, 2018 / 8:19 pm

    #thesatsesh love this and think its got a lot of great ideas amongst it. I love my gratitude journal and think small mindful tasks are often more useful than a long deep meditation. food for thought?

    • onamindfulmummymission
      February 12, 2018 / 9:09 pm

      Deffo food for thought hon xx

  25. February 14, 2018 / 9:09 am

    I’ve written about mindfulness before and as a teacher I often refer to it at school (often getting called the hippy teacher!) Thank you for the advice to being a mindful parent. Funnily enough it’s not something I had considered.

    #fortheloveofblog

  26. February 18, 2018 / 5:10 pm

    Love these tips! I think it’s really important to be mindful but I’m an awful ‘should-er’. Thanks for linking up to #fortheloveofBLOG

  27. February 19, 2018 / 7:53 pm

    These are all fabulous suggestions! Thank you! #fortheloveofBLOG xo

  28. March 10, 2018 / 7:17 pm

    Love it! Particularly the first comment about “should”.
    #MustStopBeatingMyselfUp

  29. Mummy Thomas' Blog
    March 17, 2018 / 11:18 am

    Great tips 🙂 I plan on having g a glass of wine tonight with a movie. Hopefully. Maybe some chocolate. Shhh. X #thesatsesh.

    • onamindfulmummymission
      March 18, 2018 / 7:44 pm

      Oooh yes enjoy! xx

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