Mindful living as a new mother isn't easy. Use these tips to help you live more intentionally as you navigate parenthood.
Living mindfully isn’t something that’s new to me. It wasn’t really new to me when I was pregnant with Lily, either. But it was something I wanted to focus on more while I was pregnant to make the most of my pregnancy.
In those nine months, I exercised more than I had in the past three years. I consciously ate better than I ever remember. I worked to maintain lower stress levels. I slept more and tried to indulge in more me time than I knew what to do with.
Ultimately, I paid attention to what made me happy and what made me unhappy. Lucky for me, the things that made me happy were the healthy/right things for me. But I knew that while I could easily manage these things during pregnancy, once she was here – it would be a whole different story.
And it has been. Focusing on things like exercise and eating healthy have become about 100x harder with a newborn. Forget things like sleep and me time, too. And lower stress levels with lack of sleep, a crying baby and some unhealthy eating habits? Yeah right.
Luckily, I found a tool that helps me stay mindful of myself: the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker. I wish I would have had this for when I was pregnant, but I am so grateful that I have it now. I need all the help I can get with my new mom brain!
The Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker makes mindfulness more attainable. Not only is it an activity tracker, you can also measure calories, steps, and moments of tension and calm. With in the moment alerts and breathing exercises, you can reach a state of calm sooner with the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker. Paired with the companion app, the integrations allow for better insights to when, where, what and why you’re experiencing periods of tension, calm or focus.
One of my favorite things about the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker are the boosts that can be found in the app. These boosts are great ways to find a state of calm or focus and reduce stress along with other mindfulness exercises from partners like Thich Nhat Hanh and Deepak Chopra.
This has been such a great tool to keep me centered, especially when parenting just feels a little harder than normal. It also shows me when I’m doing enough to stay mindful. On the days that I focus on mindful living as a new mother, I’m much more likely to find states of calm and focus with less tension. Being almost a month into parenthood has already taught me a lot and I’ve found some things that work really well for mindful living as a new mother.
how to make the most of mindful living as a new mother
- Daily Me Time: I need time to focus on myself when I’m spending 99% of my day focusing on the needs of this tiny human. Nathan takes Lily for however long I need in the AM and PM right before bed and after we wake up so I can get ready. I feel SO much better with my morning and nighttime routine. Plus, I try to spend time doing things I enjoy throughout the day when he takes her or even when she’s nursing. Netflix, books, magazines, showers, walks, or whatever else I can squeeze in. Once I fully heal, I plan to start exercising again as well.
- Letting Go of Expectations: I had a very vivid ideal of what life after she was born would look like. Guess what? I don’t think I could have been more off. It really bothered me at first, too. I wanted to get more done and be better at everything. Now? I’ve let go of those expectations. I let the day unfold with very few things on my must-do list and just embrace the moment. I’m pretty pleased with myself when I manage to brush my teeth, change my clothes and eat one meal before its cold.
- Focus on Your Breathing: The Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker helped me tremendously with this, but this was one of the few things that got me through the initial “everything hurts!” breastfeeding moments. I’d focus on my breathing, get it to a steady flow, and then get her to latch on. It’s the only thing that made it seem manageable without tears and now breastfeeding is SO much smoother. It’s also helped me when she’s in the middle of one of her meltdowns with no sign of stopping.
- Embrace Down Time: When Lily first came home, I tried to fill every single moment with something. If she went down for a nap, I needed to clean. If she was nursing, I used my phone to catch up on emails or social media. If Nathan took her, I had a to-do list of fifty things to work on. And it zapped ALL of my energy. Now I enjoy some of the downtime. Sometimes I nap with her. Sometimes while she nurses I’ll just sit there, staring at her or entertaining my own thoughts. Sometimes when Nathan takes her, I just enjoy sitting outside on our deck and taking life in. Sure, the house is dirtier and my work is a bit behind but I am SO much happier now.
- Accept Your Thoughts: Being a new mother brings on an onslaught of thoughts that you never knew you were capable of thinking. And sometimes, those thoughts can bring a heaping side of guilt and sadness to the table. Know that these thoughts do not define you. They are a part of you, but they do not have to be all that makes you you. Feel these feelings, embrace these feelings, change what needs to be changed, and accept things that cannot be changed. All of this will make you the best version of yourself, which is all that you and your little one needs.
- Seek Gratitude: Some days – the really, really bad ones filled with an excessive amount of diapers along with crying and tears from multiple people – the only way to save it is to find something to be grateful for that day. Those days may only yield one thing to appreciate, but one is still better than none. Look for the silver linings. Huge blowout? At least they’re able to poop. Lots of crying? At least they’re trying to communicate with you. No naps? At least you get to spend time with them to help them develop.
Mindfulness as a new mother is rarely easy. It’s rarely natural and it’s rarely the first thought that enters your head in the moments you need it most. But it is worth it. It does make parenting a little easier and it gives you the peace of mind that you’re coming at it with intentional thoughts.
How did you practice mindful living as a new mother or father? What are your tried and true mindful living tips as a parent? Have you tried anything like the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker to help achieve more mindful living?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.