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19th Jun 2015

Easy-to-do mindfulness for you: Because a Happy Parent = Happy Family

Lorraine Lynch

So far we’ve looked at what mindfulness is and why it’s important for our health, as well as how mindfulness can be facilitated for young children. However, my work is built on a solid foundation of “Happy Parent = Happy Family”.

Because you are the driving force behind your family’s holistic health – physically, psychologically and socially – it is vital that you take care of yourself as a matter of great importance.

Irish Mammies have a terrible habit of taking care of absolutely everything else before themselves. I would like to challenge that premise and turn the logic on its head. As soon as you have your first child, that is when you really need to start taking care of yourself.

Mindfulness is more than formal practice which many parents simply cannot access or afford, which is completely understandable (although there are fantastic sessions on, which I personally use when it suits). But, I really want to emphasise the art of bringing mindfulness into your lifestyle.

So, remember we said being mindful is about bringing our awareness to our senses and checking in with ourselves? Your version of this might be taking thirty minutes out of your day to have a latte outside a café and looking around, feeling the sun on your face, noticing tension in your body and hearing the birds flying overhead. All you need to do is simply STOP and notice the world moving around you, it unravels your mind and body from the rush – you deserve a rest.

Having time away from your family is a completely natural and healthy habit in order for you to miss them!

Family – this circle of crazy people that depend on you for everything and drive you to distraction some days, but think, what would it be like if they were gone? Clients whose families have fled the nest often relay how they never took the time to pause and reflect on how happy they were when the kids were younger.

There are only 940 Saturdays between birth and eighteen, and they’re gone in a minute!

Just stop and look…

Notice your child’s nose, the way her hair falls or the way he laughs. Think back to when they were first born, how you felt when they took their first step and how you feel now when they hug you for no apparent reason other than the fact that they simply idolise you.

Be kind to yourself this evening and give your children ice-cream: life is for living, every day.

As a psychologist at Sugru Child Development and Contextual Play Therapy Services, I engage with families from all over Ireland dealing with issues from prenatal woes to teenagers needing extra coping strategies. We employ the most up-to-date research in positive parenting research to forge a new way for parents to learn how to promote holistic well-being in their home.

Lorraine Lynch is this week’s Guest Blogger on Follow Lorraine and her business partner, Arlene Naughten (and finalists of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland 2015) at Sugru on Facebook or Twitter @sugrutherapies or @lorrlyncher.