Mindfulness for parents

Mindfulness for parents

The first year of twins is probably one of the toughest times of your life. Whilst it’s physically draining, the mental stress can be much worse. Although the usual tactic to is to just ‘suck it up’, there are ways to combat the pressure in a more productive way.

What mindfulness is and how it helps

In a nutshell, Mindfulness is about focusing on the present moment. No future, no past, just right now. Most practise involves focusing on your breath, and whilst acknowledging any thoughts you may have, always returning to the practise.

The concept is that our minds are overly active, and Mindfulness allows us to gain focus and perspective – the result being a less stressed you.

Popularity for Mindfulness has mainly occurred through apps such as Headspace and Calm. These offer short 10 – 15 minutes practises for a range of subjects such as anxiety, stress, and so on.

Our experience

From the time Amy (Mum) was pushing to 6 months (at least!) into raising our twins, it was manic. Literally non-stop stress everyday. When people say raising twins is hard, it’s a massive understatement. Most probably because there isn’t a word that truly describes the experience!

Being permanently sleep deprived and rushed off you feet can leave you (unbelievably) in a state where you find it hard to switch off or sleep. You’re permanently ‘buzzing’. Your brain is just thinking of the next thing that needs doing, worrying about them and working out routines.

This is where Mindfulness came in. James (Dad) had been using the Headspace app for a while prior, and once the twins arrived, he found he couldn’t sleep – even though exhausted! The solution came in practising the methods used in Mindfulness; focusing upon breathing, feeling your weight, noting thoughts but returning, etc.

‘Finding’ time…

There is no free time with newborn twins. We know that. We won’t bulls**t you with trying to ‘make’ or ‘find’. That said, your mental health is extremely important in being a good parent and regulating your own stress levels. So, we won’t say ‘find’ time, but if there is any way to fit 10 minutes into your day, then it’s well worth it.

Optionally, there are sleep Mindfulness practises, designed to help you drift off. These may be an option if there is no other available time in your day.

Final thoughts

The stress that parents of newborn twins experience is insane. Almost 100% of your time will be focused on them, or some aspect of looking after them (article: adapting to life with twins). But always remember the trickle down system. By looking after your own well-being, that will trickle down to your twins through you being able to deliver better parenting.

So look after yourself, both physically and mentally!

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