Being Mindful in Motherhood
[This is also an episode of Friday Free Talk on The Tranquility Tribe Podcast on iTunes. Listen here.]
Happy spring, Tranquility Tribe! In today’s podcast, Hehe got the chance to talk to self-care guru Sarah Bivens about the ins and outs of practicing mindfulness and the ways in which taking time to connect with yourself can have a huge impact on how you interact with your world.
But first, who’s Sarah?
Sarah is a rock star mom, wife, and entrepreneur who uses her story to help others. Halfway through her pregnancy with her daughter, Maya, Sarah and her husband Matthew decided to have a home birth and were shocked at the limited amount of information and support they found. So the couple decided to take matters into their own hands by documenting their experiences and launching their podcast, Doing It At Home, the week that Maya was born. Since then, Sarah and Matthew have used their podcast as a platform for other moms and birth workers to share their stories, providing more awareness and resources for parents considering a home birth.
So where does self-care come in?
Sarah’s path has not always been easy. Throughout the episode, she shares her struggles with viewing herself as a victim in many aspects of life, which led to depression and limitations and made it hard for her to stay in relationships and connect with those around her. By practicing being mindful and recognizing what her mind and body need in any given moment, Sarah has grown to be more patient and loving towards herself. But, as Sarah emphasizes, this transition has required constant practice, and there’s always room for improvement.
In our society, self-care has become such a buzzword that many people feel apprehensive or even turned off by the concept. But in reality, taking time to care for yourself is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle! Self-care doesn’t have to require extravagant actions or a lot of money as it is often portrayed to; even taking five minutes a day to practice deep breathing can make a difference. Self-care isn’t always glamorous, either – simply cleaning the house or crossing an item off your to-do list can be a great way to show yourself some love. The most important thing to keep in mind is not to worry about what others are doing, but to focus on what helps you to best connect with yourself.
Ultimately, Sarah says, it comes down to your mindset. Sarah reminds herself often that nobody is completely and truly independent – we all rely on others to survive and be successful. Letting go of that false sense of independence and opening up to help from others can give you the time that you need to take care of yourself and the peace of mind that you are doing your best in any given moment. Sarah also likes to practice adjusting the words that she uses in order to frame her world in a more positive light; for example, instead of saying that something is a problem, she views it as an opportunity for future growth.
What advice does Sarah give to those who are looking to step up their self-care? Start off by creating a vision of what a balanced life looks like for you, and then work towards that life by starting with small actions and shifts in mindset and growing from there. Be patient with yourself and try to practice these changes every day. Utilize the supports around you, and welcome feedback from others, even if it makes you feel upset or uncomfortable. While sometimes hard to hear, this feedback can help you understand what is working for you and what might not be as effective as you thought, so use it to your advantage!
What about mom guilt?
Many moms may feel that by taking time for themselves, they are taking away from their kids and partners, which can cause self-care to seem like something to be guilty about. And with the rise of social media, it’s even easier to compare yourself to other moms and convince yourself that you aren’t doing enough. But in fact, it’s just the opposite! Your family depends on you for an enormous amount of strength, but giving your all without devoting time to replenish yourself can cause a lot of stress and unhappiness, which can impact your family dynamic in addition to your own health. Taking time for yourself allows you to provide support for your family without completely burning yourself out, and it’s also a great opportunity to role model healthy behavior for your little ones!
As far as social media goes, Sarah says to make the most of its positives and take its negatives with a grain of salt. Social media can be a great way to connect with others and share stories. It can also provide an extra source of support and connectedness, especially for moms. But remember that every post has a backstory; everyone is human and experiences their own struggles, even if they don’t broadcast them on social media. And don’t take your own growth for granted! Recognize, appreciate, and celebrate the work that you do for yourself every day and the progress that you make, big or small, on your self-care journey.
If you want to hear more about Sarah’s amazing work and check out her podcasts, visit sarahbivens.com!
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Written by our Guest Blogger, Kyra Shreeve. She is a Biochemistry, Health Policy, and Music student at Brandeis University.
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