I don’t need to tell you that life as a mum is full of challenges, some big and some small but in the moment, each challenge we face can feel like a mountain to climb. How do you climb a mountain without taking it one step at a time, breathing through each step, and pushing yourself to reach the top? You don’t….
Mums face so many challenges every day, trouble getting your child to get dressed and out of the house on time, could be a large or a small challenge depending on the day. Throw in a difficult drop off at school, mum guilt creeps in as you leave your screaming child with a teacher who tells you to leave quickly while your heart desperately wants to comfort your child and not walk away while they are so upset. You then get stuck in traffic and are running late for an important meeting. You arrive at your meeting and nail it (high five) but then notice a flat tyre on your car…
Each of these situations on their own can be difficult to navigate but at what point does it all feel a bit too much and the avalanche hits, the feelings of overwhelm, anger, frustration, sadness, anxiety all come crashing down leaving us sitting at the bottom of the mountain now covered in snow not knowing which way is out.
I believe the best place to start is with intentional breath. Breathing to calm an anxious mind, a racing heart, to gain self-control and perspective, to help others when they forget how to breathe for themselves or to rebalance the soul.
By breathing deeply, right down into the belly, slowly in through your nose for 4 seconds, and with intent knowing that being in this moment is vital for your wellbeing and those around you. You can calm this storm, breathe in deeply knowing that this breath is in your control and by taking it, you are doing something positive for you and the situation.
Take a deliberate pause, holding your breath for 6 seconds. This moment allows you to confront the tightness in your chest, the subtle panic that threatens to take over. Yet, in this intentional pause, we discover a newfound control over overwhelming emotions.
Breathe out slowly for 8 seconds, feel the tension in your body release, the belly deflating slowly like a balloon, shoulders relaxing, face softening, your mind letting go of the event that led to this moment.
Take another pause, it’s in the past now, it doesn’t matter, what matters is how you show up for your loved ones. It might take a few breaths to get to a place where you feel ready to deal with the situation, or it might take a few minutes but trust that breathing is a great place to start.
Breathing begins with a simple inhale and unfolds into a practice of mindfulness, resilience, and empathy. For your own sake and for the sake of those who share your journey, remember to stop and take a breath of fresh care.