Life is hectic - you know it, we know it. There’s a constant stream of demands on our time and energy, and it’s not surprising that this has some pretty drastic knock on effects on our wellbeing.
As with many things, there’s a somewhat gendered element to this: the Business Health Institute found that 32% of women reported feeling burnt out, compared to 28% of men.
And this gets more pronounced when you add motherhood into the equation: almost half (47%) of working mothers reported experiencing burnout.
So what can we do about it? While we’re not suggesting any one person can “fix” or “hack” their own wellbeing, there’s a lot to be said for practising mindfulness and introducing nuggets of calm and self-care into your everyday. It helps soothe frazzled minds and tired bodies, and makes us happier and better people.
Here’s PADA’s top three ways to make mindfulness part of your life.
Set Intentions With A Mindful Wakeup
Sometimes, it feels inevitable that we wake up tired - and the rest of the day can seem like a write-off. Committing to a mindful wakeup is a great way to gently but firmly get your brain off to a positive morning start. It’s really simple to do (and for the best results, we recommend doing this before checking those emails, news updates, or your phone in general!)
Firstly, when you wake, sit up in a relaxed posture - your spine should be straight, but not rigid. Sit like this while you ground yourself and connect with the sensations of your body, then take some long, deep, calm breaths.
Then, ask yourself to set an intention for the day - this can be the way you want to treat yourself and others, the way you want to handle any difficulties or challenges that may come your way throughout the day, how you want to feel connected to the world, or just the energy you want to carry with you.
Then, throughout the day, check in with yourself: how well are you aligned with and acting on your intention?
As this becomes more of an ingrained habit, you’ll find it gets stronger and better, as you become increasingly conscious of your intentions, communications, relationships, moods, and sense of self.
Nourish Yourself With Mindful Eating
So, you’ve set your intentions and you’re going about your day - great! Next on the list is breakfast - but mindful eating can apply to any meal.
Again, this is really simple - instead of rushing on autopilot from the last thing you were doing into a frenetic mealtime, try to check in with your body and enjoy eating.
Take the time to be at one with your body as you prepare and eat your meal - give yourself time and space to listen to your body and its hunger signals, rather than being driven by whatever time it is and what time you think you ‘should’ be having a meal. (We know - this is easier said than done! But give it a go, and don’t beat yourself up if you forget sometimes.)
Take deep breaths before your meal, just as you do with your mindful wakeup. Then, sit down and really savour the tastes and textures as you eat. Especially for mums, mealtimes can be frantic and fraught, and it’s easy to forget that enjoying food is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Remove the distractions (yes, we’re talking about your phone again!) Try to reconnect with that sense of enjoyment, fun, and nourishment.
As with all acts of mindfulness, it’s about making little wellness changes that grow into healthy habits over time. Our relationship with food can be complex, and it’s different for everyone - we at PADA celebrate every woman as unique, and what better way to do this than by encouraging you to find what healthy and nourished feels like to you?
Tone Your Mind And Muscles With Mindful WorkoutsIt wouldn’t be a PADA blog post without our favourite thing: mindful workouts! Yes, the third thing on our list is, of course, the power of mindfulness in your exercise and fitness regime.
PADA leggings are designed to be super flattering and supportive for whatever workout you want to do (and yes we do include running after the kids or pushing a trolley round the supermarket in this!) - and with our stunning designs in our unique colourways, you get the same good vibes whatever your style.
When it comes to adding a mindfulness angle to your fitness routine, we’ve got you covered.
Start with a clearly defined goal or aim (thinking back to your intention-setting in the morning) - what are you going to focus on, what sensations are you going to create, what achievable goal will you work towards for this specific session? This isn’t about big picture thinking - chuck the PB to one side for now, and let your small steps and intentional thinking guide you through this workout or activity in the here and now.
Then it’s time for the all-important warm up session. Take five minutes to do some simple moves in a rhythm that will get you, your body, and your brain into the swing of the full workout.
During your workout - however long or short - it’s also important to maintain that rhythm, so don’t push yourself too hard. Especially for new mums, it can feel overwhelming to get into an exercise routine - so remember, it’s all about little and often. Give yourself credit for your actions - praise yourself as you power through, become your own cheerleader. You’re doing amazing!
Of course, it’s also essential to do a five minute cool down as well. Let your body come to a rhythmic slow, then a stop. Really feel your body and your surroundings - what sensations do you feel? Try naming them, engaging the senses and being at one with your surroundings (even if it’s just your living room). This isn’t glam, but it is important, and it will help boost your mind and body in equal measure.
So there you have it. With mindfulness, you can make small but powerful changes to your everyday life - and chances are, it’s easier than you think!
We’re so excited to welcome you to the PADA tribe, and to join your journey with you.
Browse our PADA leggings and find your new best friend today!