Updated: Dec 21, 2019
These tips are for Mama's and toddlers! Guys the holiday's can be such a stressful and anxious time for us all! I've put together some tips for you including my favorite meditation apps so you can enjoy your holidays and relax a bit! I also added a little deep breathing technique I use with Johanna!
I spent this past weekend with my family and let me tell you it was wonderful! One of my family members told me how they couldn't ignore my calm nature and maybe that's why the babies decided it was a good idea to sit in my lap and fall asleep. I'll take that compliment any day of the week! The truth is I'm not always calm natured. In fact, I used to ALWAYS be very high strung and worked up with anxiety. I didn't even know what being calm and relaxed meant. It just wasn't physically possible for me! Toddlers aren't the only one's who have tantrums. We do too Mama's just in a different kind of way. My tantrums come with a lot of anxiety and feeling like I just can't sit still and relax.
I want to share some tips for you on meditation! Meditation is what helps me after a long day of endless anxiety, a moment of weakness where I feel like I'm about to have a meltdown or feeling myself getting worked up to the point of no return. It can be hard to take a break from being a Mama but when and if you can, meditate! It doesn't have to be for a long period of time. You can do some deep breathing meditation for just a quick minute, a long meditation session or anything in between.
You guys know I love my books! I love reading and writing my feelings out. However, I also love doing meditation at night right before bedtime especially after a hard day. It helps calm my anxiety, relax my thinking process and helps me get a good nights sleep. Here are some of the apps I use and I think you'll love them!
Insight timer is my favorite app to use for meditation purposes. There is a 7 day free trial period that use can use to "learn" how to meditate. It is a guided meditation with a calming voice telling you what to do, how to breathe, how to relax and how to clear your mind. There are different series for specific meditation targets. The series last anywhere from a few days to a month! Your intended purpose of meditation is to focus on areas that you want to improve. The app gives you areas such as stress, sleeping, anxiety, depression, etc. Beginning this new year, I am going to start the 30 day meditation "fostering an undefeated heart." This specific series helps you explore a new, daily heart-centered practice to reconnect with yourself and live from a place of love and compassion. Let me know if you want to do it with me!
Headspace is an app designed for both adults and children. You can choose from standalone sessions or themed packs (anxiety, stress, sleep, etc.). There are also meditation sessions designed for ages 5 and under, six to eight and nine to twelve. Headspace also provides you with calming melodies that you can listen to while you do things like clean, cook, etc. You do have to pay for the app but you can use the free 14 day trial to see if you like it first! The app will help personalize your experience by asking questions when you sign up. You can choose a specific topic to work on and you can always change it later. The headspace library has audio-guided meditations and mindfulness exercises designed for your personal goals. This app is amazing because it will guide you based on your answers to the questions. You'll start off based on your meditation experience and build as you do more!
Whispers from God:
Whispers from God is a Christian Biblical Meditation with Daily Devotionals. It is designed to help you align your heart and mind with God's word. Morning meditation helps you to renew your mind and night meditation helps you calm your mind. The meditations include scripture readings which help you through anxiety, fear, hurt relationships and more. I particularly appreciate hearing God's word in the mornings so this is when I listen to this app.
Now that you have read about meditation for you, why not throw it in somewhere for your babies to learn too! Going back to my weekend with my family.... my cousins overheard me using some techniques with Johanna. In all honesty, I thought they would laugh at me but they actually thought it was a great idea. I kind of kept it a secret because sometimes I feel ridiculous doing it but for the most part it works for Johanna!
One day for the first time ever she started to have a meltdown. She was full on crying on the floor as if the world was ending and I had no idea what to do. I waited for her to calm down on her own and then I said, "Johanna look at Mama." Once she did I showed her how to breathe in through her nose and out through her mouth. I told her to do what I did and take a deep breath. From that day on, anytime I notice that she is on the verge of a meltdown I tell her to look at me and take a deep breath. Sometimes I tell her to repeat it a few times and it really helps. First, getting her attention and telling her to look at me helps her to focus on what's going on. To me, it gives her a sense of awareness. She can also see the seriousness in my face. It took some practice for her to understand exactly what I was talking about but she does it pretty well now. I can't be sure that the breathing is actually helping her calm down or if I've just directed her attention somewhere else. Either way, it's working and I love it! Don't get me wrong there are still those times where I can't get her attention but for the most part I think it helps a great deal! I've posted a video below to show you how we do deep breathing! I hope you enjoy!
Remember Mama's you're doing an amazing job! Let me know if any of these tips work for you! I would love to hear any advice and/or feedback from you!