As much as I’d like to believe I have it all together, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, as a mom who is trying to juggle work with being an attentive and present parent, I am totally stressed out. If you follow me on Instagram (and you should) you will know I have recently begun meditating. Yes, I am the last person I would have thought would do this too, but I am so grateful I am on a mission to find my zen. I already see a huge difference in how I manage stress, confrontation and my limited time when I meditate with Headspace. In fact, by taking 10-15 minutes a day to just for me, I have actually created more time. Weird right?
I have had so many friends tell me to just chill and live in the moment and as much as I try, it’s easier said than done. Life just keeps throwing curve balls and we are all just trying to do the best we can. Yet where I really see a difference is when it comes to mindful parenting. As an older mom to two active boys I want to make sure I take every minute in and make my time with them count. So when Momtrends invited me to attend a luncheon in NYC last week with roughly 30 other NYC-based influencer moms and the meditation app Headspace to learn friendly meditation tips with co-founder Andy Puddicombe, this novice was all over it! I had already been using the Headspace app (as well as attending some local mediation classes), but was eager to learn more.
Start Mindfulness Now!
Summer Is Super Stressful for Moms
Prior to the event Montrends reached to 300 moms and surveyed them on what is stressing them out most. Are you surprised to learn 40% of moms are more stressed out by the summer months than any other time of the year? Back to school and the holidays followed. Those three months of no school, arranging childcare, a change in routine and too many activities are attributed to stressing us to maximum levels.
We aren’t the only ones stressed out during the summer. So are our kids. 46% of moms say our kids are stressed by the change of routine and 34% by boredom (guess reading a book isn’t enough).
According to the survey, what parents want most for the summer is to spend quality time together (37%) and we also want to start a new family tradition (17%). After all we only get 18 summers per child to spend with them! That’s not a lot when you think of it that way (more stress).
Meditation Tips For Moms
Now I had been fortunate enough to try out the Headpiece before the event and was dying to to meet the person behind the calming British voice that helps anyone who uses the app get zen. It’s none other than Andy Puddicombe the Co-Founder of Headspace. He told me he has recorded more than 1,000 sessions in the studio and more are always coming. Andy shared his personal story with us which was really inspiring. As a college student in London he witnessed a tragedy that took the lives of some of his friends and it really messed him up mentally. So instead of taking the route of escape which many might take (drugs or alcohol) he became a Buddhist monk for 10 years! He had planned to continue as a monk indefinitely but he felt a calling to teach and therefore decided to share his knowledge with the world. Headspace started with retreats and small events and with the launch of the app now reaches 30 million people a year.
When Headpsace launched back in 2012 it was the first and only meditation app on the market. Over the last six years they have listened to users and have added session packs that focus on topics such as managing anxiety, grief, self-esteem, productivity and finding focus (there are many more). Additionally they even have sessions for kids that will help them with appreciation, kindness and paying attention to name a few. Headspace even works with schools so teachers can begin their classes with a few minutes of meditation. Their goal is “to improve health and happiness around the world.”
5 Mindful Parenting Tips for Summer
Andy suggests that being mindful and spending more time “in the moment” with your family can make all the difference. Sit and talk during family meals like we used to in the old days. Also this summer try to start a new family tradition (doesn’t even have to cost a dime, just get creative) to improve your time together. Here are 5 mindful parenting tips Andy suggests trying this summer:
Daily Family Meditation: Research shows mediation can reduce stress, anxiety and anger while increasing focus, compassion and happiness. Taking a deep breath, closing your eyes and clearing your head 3-10 minutes a day using the Headspace and Headspace For Kids app can bring much needed balance, peace and togetherness for the whole family. Just make sure to set the same time every single day (can be first thing in the morning or right before bed). Set an alarm as a reminder if you need to. Make it a priority.
Device-Free Dinner: Remember when you ate dinner in the days before devices? You talked at the table right? Have the whole family commit to turning all the screens off. In fact, don’t allow them at the table. You’ll find the conversation and the food a lot more enjoyable. Ask each other questions that require more than a yes or no answer. It’s perfect opportunity to slow down and check in with your family.
Mindful Eating: Summer is the best time to enjoy all the foods the season has to offer. Slow down and really taste them. Start by unplugging and engaging with the kids. A fun game is to ask them to tell you where they think the food comes from and how many miles they think it traveled to get to the store. Or ask what the ingredients are in what they are eating, noticing the flavors and and calling out as many as they can. This simple game helps to develop a healthier relationship with our food and the environment. It also makes for fun conversation.
Write In A Journal: This one is for the parents. Start a gratitude journal about your family. Every night before you go to bed, write down one or two things you appreciate about each child (and/or your spouse). It could be something they did that was spectacular that day or something about their character you admire. Then give the journal to your child at the beginning of the school year. This special surprise will not only help you be more mindful, but show how much you care. Additionally your child will treasure it forever. My mother did something like this where she wrote down funny things my brother and I said and did as little kids and we both treasure them to this day. Studies show gratitude journals aid in sleeping and even help you feel more rested and relaxed.
Breathe: This one is for the entire family. You might be thinking “I breathe every single moment of every single day.” And while you are right, are you all breathing correctly? Are you breathing past your chest and deep into your belly? When you feel the pressure building, and are about to lose your cool, take 30 seconds to stop and focus on your breath. Simply take 10 deep breaths – in through the nose and out through the mouth. It’s just 30 seconds, 10 deep breaths and yet the outcome of this practice can change the entire family dynamic. In 30 seconds you can defuse a situation that you might later regret. Besides, who wants yelling or tears? Who wants to be a stressed out person?
Start Your Own Meditation Practice
Fountain Of 30 readers will receive 40% off code for a 1 year subscription!
Instructions to upload the code:
1. Register and enter the promo code here: https://www.headspace.com/code.
2. Once you log into the app on your phone, it will automatically connect to the subscription you just activated.
Why you need the code: It’s free to download the basic pack session from Headspace, but the paid app gives you access to everything and you will want this because there are literally hundreds of meditations.
What You Get From a Paid Headspace Subscription
- Access to the full Headspace Library, which has hundreds of meditations, mindfulness exercises and animations to help you build the practice
- Over 30 packs of themed meditations on specific topics like stress and sleep
- Dozens of one-off exercises designed to add more mindfulness to your day. Super-short mini meditations you can do anytime
- Sleep Sounds that help ease the mind into a truly restful night’s sleep
- Animations that guide you through essential meditation techniques and bring to life traditional stories like the Very Impatient Yogi
- Continued guidance from former monk, and Headspace co-founder, Andy Puddicombe
I really hope you’ll join me on this mindfulness journey. I want you all to experience the amazing benefits with me.
This is sponsored post but all opinions are expressly my own.
Photos: MomtrendsAre you following Fountain Of 30 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest? We’ve got lots going on, so join in on the fun! Subscribe to our newsletter here. You don’t want to miss a post and promise not to bug you to death. Oh and we also started a Facebook Group called Aging Backwards! for women to discuss everything good and bad about being over 40.