“This year I will be more present – no more autopilot.”
Sound familiar? Does it also feel nearly impossible to achieve as you sprint through each day? Psychotherapist, writer, and mom Shonda Moralis believes just five minutes a day will get busy moms closer to mindfulness—essentially the opposite of autopilot—and help them reset and refocus.
“Shown to increase attention, optimism, and an overall sense of well-being while decreasing anxiety and depression, regular mindfulness practice literally changes the structure and function of the brain,” Moralis says. Her new book Breathe, Mama, Breathe: 5-Minute Mindfulness for Busy Moms (available January 3) is a guide to creating a daily mindfulness practice, and includes more than 60 “mindful breaks” such as Cuddle your child and take three breaths together, Channel your inner Wonder Woman, and After the meltdown (yours) mindful break. Here is a morning break to get you started.
The Waking with Gratitude Mindful Break:
As soon as you are conscious enough to realize you are awake(ish), pause and take a deep breath. (At first, this may not be until you have stumbled out of bed to attend to a child or poured your first cup of coffee. That’s fine; pause wherever you are. After practicing for a bit, you will catch yourself sooner, before you make your way out of bed.) Bring to mind those things for which you are grateful. Perhaps it is your health, your children, your partner, friends, coffee, birds singing, sun shining, rain falling. Keep it simple and keep it positive. Throughout your day take note of how this mindfulness shifts your perception of those things normally taken for granted into a greater sense of appreciation.
Excerpted from Breathe, Mama, Breathe: 5-Minute Mindfulness for Busy Moms © Shonda Moralis, 2017. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com