I believe meditation helped me with my anxiety in the early months of being a new mum
Written by Dani B., a buddhify user since 2017
I had a bit of anxiety in the first year of becoming a mum. Anxiety was something that I had struggled with before, and it seemed to come back after a combination of dealing with lack of sleep, going back to work part-time with a 6-month-old, and the hormonal changes I experienced after giving birth and breastfeeding.
Meditation and mindfulness practice has really helped me to relax. Before becoming a mum, I had given meditation (mainly through mindfulness exercises) a go as a way to reduce stress at other difficult times. I now find it helps me deal with the stressful situations that arise from parenthood.
If I have a tough morning, I like to go for a walk, pour myself a herbal tea, and do a 10-minute meditation when my toddler naps. This can completely turn my day around. I shift from being stressed to feeling relaxed and rested, and I’m able to better enjoy the time I have to share with my little man. I can honestly say this practice has made me a lot more grateful for this time in my life.
If I have a tough morning, I like to go for a walk, pour myself a herbal tea, and do a 10-minute meditation when my toddler naps. This can completely turn my day around.
I believe meditation helped me with my anxiety in the early months of being a new mum — it is something I recommend to other new mums and dads. Even if you can’t take a time out and listen to a guided session, you can always practice the theory of breathing / focusing on the present and get through things a lot easier. No matter what is happening, it’s a great way to calm yourself and bring yourself back into the moment so you can tackle the rest of the day.
One of the struggles of being a parent early on is getting enough sleep. When I get up with my little man multiple nights in a row, it really screws up my own sleep patterns. Suddenly, he goes back to sleeping through the night and I am there lying awake waiting for him to wake.
Even once he started generally sleeping through the night, we still had weeks where he would wake up a couple of times during the night from teething — so again this threw me out of whack. My husband always offered for me to go into the spare room and said he’d get up if needed, but I found I still listened out for my son and woke up when he does anyway.
When I was going through a really bad time of not being able to sleep, I went to see a doctor and tried taking melatonin. I also tried eating bananas, taking a shower before bed, taking natural sleep aids, and reading — some things helped and I still do them if I struggle again.
I have a busy mind, so I find it hard to slow down. This practice helps me to clear my head and switch off for the day.
Another tactic I tried was meditating. Meditation is a great help for when you can’t get to sleep. I find it really just makes everything a little bit better. When I was getting all worked up because I couldn’t sleep, meditation helped to calm me and take my mind off it. It also was beneficial for recharging in the daytime. Everyone said I should be napping when my baby did during the day, but I found it really hard to nap. Doing a meditation and having a herbal tea made me relax and at least feel like I had rested — and sometimes I would get a 20-minute sleep too.
These days my son is a toddler, and though we still have instances where he might be sick and up during the night, he sleeps a lot better now. And I do too. At night before I go to bed, I now always read and do a meditation. I have a busy mind, so I find it hard to slow down. I tend to think of a million things I need to do the next day or go over everything that has happened during the day. This practice helps me to clear my head and switch off for the day.
Dani B. is based in Gold Coast, Australia. Her recommended track is Thanks (Going to Sleep), which always help her switch off her busy mind at the end of the day. Find out more about her parenting journey on her Tiny Adventures blog: www.tinyadventures.com.au.
If you feel you have learnt something important through your meditation practice and you’d like to share your insight or experience, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know via [email protected] and we’ll be in touch.