We’ve heard it a thousand times: “look after yourself first and then you will be able to look after your children well”, but do we do it? As parents, and especially mothers, we can easily get into the habit of putting our children’s needs first to the detriment of our own.
When you think of doing something pleasurable for yourself do you:
a) feel guilty?
b) dismiss the idea, it will never happen anyway?
c) put it into the schedule so it works for everyone?
d) do it no matter what the cost?
Children learn how to be kind to themselves and others (including parents) by watching how their parents treat themselves. If a mother is able to calmly finish her reading/gardening/exercise without feeling pressurised to jump to every whim, the child will one day mimic these strengths. If a father has the ability to rest on the weekend, free from distractions, the child will see this and one day mimic this too.
Why is it so hard to relax and nurture ourselves?
In many families the pattern of mothers serving others first has been passed down through the generations. In other instances, it may be a reaction to what one thinks is expected of a parent. Whatever the reason, when you continue to neglect your own needs this becomes a habit that can be hard to discard.
Parenting is about giving and guiding. For this very reason one needs to keep ones whole self well looked after in order to give and guide optimally. If you are on low fuel with your sleep, exercise, and relaxation, your emotional reactions will sooner or later turn into deep wounds. One can be fooled into thinking time is being saved or children are benefitting by continuously putting them first but studies show that the opposite is true.
Do you feel like you are in a rut? Could you do with some Me Time but feel frustrated because you don’t how to make it happen? These feelings are normal but can easily be remedied with Brain Balancing. When habits in life are not beneficial and when emotions are unstable, it is a reflection of a chemical imbalance in the brain which then moves throughout the body.
The Good News
Brain Balancing is a simple solution that can turn your life around in a matter of weeks, days or even minutes… it’s up to you. When you understand how your body, mind and heart operate, separately and together, then creating harmony between these areas becomes easy. Likewise, you will more likely seek out that which serves you rather than continuously pick up the pieces after fatigue, anxiety, depression or insomnia has set in.
Breathing is a brain balancing technique you can do anywhere. Yes, we do hear about this often but if done consciously it has the power to shift a situation from intensity to calm in a matter of moments. The next time you are in a tizz trying to juggle your kids lives plus your own, take one minute to stop and focus on your breath. Breath in deeply for four counts and out for four counts. Notice where your inhalation ends. If it’s in your chest, on the next inhale aim to take it slightly deeper into your body. If you feel it moving down into your lungs on the next inhale take it further into your belly. If it’s in your belly send it throughout your body. Whilst breathing deeply and slowly, put your intent on areas of tension and relax them with a conscious thought. After one minute, or more if you can, turn your attention back to the planning roster and now continue with your schedule. You will be surprised to notice how quickly your perspective changes after the brain and body has been oxygenated.
Another effective, but more long term approach to nurturing ones self is silence. When you are given the opportunity to experience quiet, with no media or other distractions, your cortex part of the brain where thinking and decision making takes place, is able to process the past events. Studies reveal that when the brain rests it is able to integrate information quicker and easier. Likewise, silence breeds creativity and solutions. So if you are having a hard time wondering how you are going to be able to get away for a few hours of spoiling, start with twenty minutes of silence at home, even if it’s after the children have gone to bed. During this time focus on being, not doing. If you have to do something let it be of a right brain nature, such as drawing, knitting, doodling etc. Before you begin, ask a question, such as when can I take time out to go for a massage? Then forget about the question. After twenty minutes bring yourself back to the question and notice what answers come to mind. This exercise is a wonderful relaxation technique to wind down after the day and prepare for sleep.
Would you like to learn many, many more experiential exercises for balancing your brain, your emotions, your relationships? Join Helen Hansen, Transformational Facilitator, for a live event where she will be sharing this knowledge. These skills are for life and they can be adapted and taught to children. The Brain Balancing Talk will be held at the Indaba Hotel, William Nicol Drive, Lonehill, Johannessburg on Tuesday 27 September 2017 from 6 to 7pm. Tickets are R100 per person at the door and if you book before 22 September you can bring a friend for free. To book contact Helen on 0724097664 or firstname.lastname@example.org (please note there is no .za in the email address). Visit www.helenhansen.co to see what else is on offer.