How can mothers relax

Some people have a talent at relaxing. Others need to learn to relax. Especially when becoming mothers, it may be wise to take time for ourselves ever since the kids are small. A relaxed mind is fit for coping with our kids’ needs as they grow.

It is important, yet so difficult to relax

Engrossed in the responsibilities of a mother, I’ve neglected one important aspect: to relax!

It took me almost two years to become aware of my mental fatigue. I now understand other friends who said that the first years of parenthood can be tiring.

Complaining about it may help to let some steam off, but it’s a temporary solution.

Ways to relax

It’s up to us to figure out tiny positive changes to our daily life. Here are eleven examples of how we can make time to relax during busy days with toddlers running and shouting around us:

  1. In the morning, despite that the baby decides that it’s time to wake up, we can still linger in bed for 3 minutes. It’s sufficient time to focus our attention on our mind, body and soul.
  2. We may smile. We can salute the new day, “A precious day of my life is about to start!”. We can take deep breaths that cleanse our organs.
  3. After the 3 minutes are gone, we are ready to hug and kiss our kids. Caresses, hugs and kisses from the partner warm the heart and remind us that there is love in the house. And as a symbol of that love, we’ll do the daily routines.
  4. During breakfast, we’d better avoid thinking about the need-to-do tasks of the day. Instead, we’d better take the time to chit-chat with our partner.
  5. The day starts rolling and we are on the road. If we are driving, we can take a slightly different route so that its novelty can take our mind away from whatever we might be tempted to sort out.
  6. If we travel by bus or tram, we can indulge ourselves into a fast but efficient meditation. We can detach ourselves from the surrounding and focus on breathing, thus connecting to our body. We can thank our body for enabling us to carry on with the day.
  7. When the kids are taking a nap, we can rest as well, by using a head massager, for example.
  8. Before putting our babies to sleep, we can spend together 30 minutes listening to soothing music. Or watching some photos – family photos, landscapes – that we discuss about with our toddlers.
  9. When all the members of the family are already in bed, we have the luxury to take a hot shower. Using our favourite shower gel with relaxing scent can help to calm down.
  10. When we put the head on the pillow, there’s another habit that we can take up – to think happy thoughts or say a prayer if the connection to God is important to us.
  11. Once a week, we can have the mommy pampering evening when we spend two hours on our own – going to a massage centre, meeting a close friend, doing some sports we like, reading a book in a cafe, etc.  Whatever makes us relax and forget about the responsibilities of being a mother.

Take away thought

To me, relaxing is similar to doing sports. Twenty minutes of exercise three times a week are more efficient than one hour of exercise, once a week.

Considering how chaotic the family life with kids can be, knowing how to relax daily is crucial for the wellbeing of mothers. Happy mother means happy kids and family.

Let’s choose to relax this moment. You’re on a beach, the breeze is gently caressing your face. The smell of the sea is spoiling your senses just before you can hear your little one’s laughter. He approaches and pinches you, “Mommy, play with me!”

Now, over to you! What are your tricks for relaxing?


Time to take, time to give

As our parents are getting old, there are some sides of their personality which worsen. The love for them gives us the energy to stand by their side. And we need lots of energy! Maintaining our inner balance can be a challenge and an opportunity for personal growth.

You too must have a special person whom you call first when you have a joy or sorrow to share. It comes a time when it’s your turn to be by her side.

You tap into the most empathic and compassionate side of yourself and you listen. You’ve learned from previous experiences that it’s better to be silent.

Previously, you may have tried to be helpful with positive arguments and solutions.

Alas, every single time, the unawareness kept her as hostage in a world of gloom and fears.

This time you’ll take a different approach – you’ll absorb the negative thoughts.

Her soul is tormented and you can’t do anything about it. You can only love her because she’s your mother!

On verge of falling in the abyss of desolation, you realise that the ultimate help is for you to stay present and keep the joy alive.

The joy and hope she’ll have more constructive thoughts too.

In your heart, there is the memory of her – an energetic fighter, kind to you. Today, she’s been ageing.

Today, your relationship has changed. You are her shoulder to cry on from now.

You look at your child and you see your mother in you – when she was young.

Time is irreversibly changing you and her. You can only hold onto the gratefulness that she’s in your life.

It is painful to watch your mother ageing. Each one of us identifies partly with their parents and when they decline, a part of us goes with them.

A new phase starts when the roles have changed – you’re the parent and she’s the child.

Now, about you – how do you cope seeing your parents ageing? How has your relationship with them changed?

Don’t wait for inspiration to come to you

Inspiration, “the divine influence or action on a person”, “the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions”, as defined by Merriam-Webster, can uplift us from the ordinary to extraordinary human beings. It has the ability to energise our inner life to the point where we start taking action and bring the best contributions to our family life, work place and indirectly, society. The secret is to relentlessly look for it, even when we get tired and numbed by stress.  

Muses are still on demand

The Greek mythology speaks about the nine Muses, daughters of Zeus, who were the source of inspiration for humans creating poetry, literature, music and science. Poets and writers of Renaissance and Neoclassical era would invoke the presence of the Muse, usually embodied by a woman, for inspiration.

In the modern society, we all need our sources of inspiration, irrespective of what kind of job we perform or what kind of life we live. We need someone or something that triggers positive changes in us and makes us perform at our best.

This June, I attended the Elevation seminar where 70 people from 18 different nationalities participated. It was a three-day event during which, the running nose and hoarse voice didn’t prevent me from chatting with the other participants, with different professional backgrounds – technology designers, real estate agents, bloggers, business executives, rap musicians, academics, stay-at-home moms.

Their stories had a common element – the need for inspiration! And we were at the right place, with the philosophy professor Esa Saarinen whose lectures aimed at helping us reflect on what uplifts us.

In every day life, when routine kicks in and the stress dulls the mind, it’s easy to loose sight of what’s the most important in our life and profession.

We let ourselves sink into the ordinary. It’s perfectly fine and human to be ordinary now and then. The problem is that when we stay for too long in the realm of the ordinary, we miss out the opportunity to surprise ourselves with how much we can achieve by aiming at the extraordinary.

We need a person or an event to brighten the day, to help us get in touch with the extraordinary side in each one of us.

“The ‘Muse’ is not an artistic mystery, but a mathematical equation. The gift are those ideas you think of as you drift to sleep. The giver is that one you think of when you first awake.” – Roman Payne

In order for the Muse to serve its function, we may want to develop the habit of thinking about it and actively looking for it. Here are a few ideas where we can find our modern Muses:

  • Personal heroes – Childhood stories are known for enriching children fantasy. Kids are introduced to a world of supernatural characters where anything is possible and the good wins.

Children become fond of the heroes, they admire them and they may even try to behave like their favourite story characters.

We may forget that we were ever kids. But, if we take a closer look inside us, there is a tiny bit of Peter Pan in each one of us – the boy who never aged.

The way Peter Pan interacts with mermaids, fairies and pirates, the Peter Pan in us can help us keep our heart and mind open to being inspired by people from different areas of life.

Our grandmother, elementary school teacher or a stranger about whom we read in a book or newspaper, can become inspirational figures.

For example, my latest hero is Mendeleyev’s extraordinary mother, stoic and determined. Dmitri Mendeleyev coined the Periodic Table, helping chemists to have some order and clarity in the chemical elements.

He was born in 1834 in western Siberia, in a very large family. His mother not only that she gave birth to fourteen children (seventeen, according to other sources) but she was the only supporter of the family. Quite extraordinarily for a woman of those times, she became the manager of a profitable glass factory!

When the factory burned down and the family was left penniless, she hitchhiked with her youngest son, Dmitri Mendeleyev for 4000 miles to St Petersburg to enrol him at the Institute of Pedagogy. She died soon after that. (Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything)

  • Stories about people – There is another aspect of hearing stories about others: they remind us of what’s important and valuable in life. At the Elevation Seminar, professor Esa Saarinen shared an emotional story about a prominent figure in the Finnish history, general Mannerheim.

The inspiring aspect of such story came from general Mannerheim’s wisdom to cultivate human connection with his soldiers, thus uplifting their moral.

Each morning, the general – who didn’t smoke – would walk among soldiers with a cigarette in his hands. When a soldier would come to lit his cigarette, Mannerheim would start a small dialogue with the respective man, whom he would ask, “Where’s your house, soldier?”.

  • Be around inspiring people – feeling accepted and appreciated by someone else can have a tremendous drive on everything else that we are doing.

A strong hug, a heartfelt smile or a compliment can make us excel at our tasks.

Have you noticed that there are some people in our network of friends and acquaintances that have the beautiful gift of making us blossom when interacting with them? The chemistry or the natural connection results in bringing into light sides of ourselves we were not aware of.

Magically, we become funnier, more incisive, smarter, wittier, etc. This kind of human beings can effortlessly help bring the best in us.

  • Relaxing – Another wonderful effect when interacting with this special group of people is that they can make us feel relaxed. Their presence helps us forget about everything and focus on the present with them.

When they are not around, we can use another trick to relax and find the inspiration that comes from within: meditating for 10 minutes under the window wide open, each morning. The fresh air connects us to the source of life and revitalizes the body, soul and mind.

  • Inspirational quotes, such the ones in Hugh Prather’s Morning Notes, should not be underestimated. They take a few seconds to read and they can help keep the inner balance throughout the day!

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

One of the biggest miracles is the inspiration that a person can give to another person.

How about you? Where do you get your inspiration from?