Brave New Moms
New moms – what a time to be bringing babies into this world! You are some of the toughest, bravest, and strongest people I know. You might also be some of the most isolated and anxious, hardest hit by the pandemic. It probably feels hard to feel strong and brave when these other feelings loom larger.
I’m so excited to have a new book coming out soon called Brave New Mom: A Survival Guide for Mindfully Navigating Postpartum Motherhood. This book brings together research on postpartum mental health, mindfulness practices for when you’re in survival mode or overwhelmed, and compassionate recognition of your challenges and strength.
Here is a sample practice from the book. This one is for anyone who feels overwhelmed or in that “survival mode,” which might be many of us these days as we hit the walls of our accumulating stress about the past year.
PRACTICE: Taking a Moment Out of Survival Mode
If you notice that you’re in survival mode—meaning that you haven’t taken a deep breath, a real moment of rest, or a completely present and unstressed second in your day—then it’s time for you to pause.
Take a deep breath in, hold it, then exhale it completely. Hold for a few seconds with your air exhaled all the way out. You might count in for five counts, out for five or more counts, and then hold for two counts. Repeat this three times in a row, just focusing on your inhaling and exhaling, holding a pause in between.
Then, continuing to take deep, full breaths in and out, consider where in your body you feel strong. When you think about your strength, where is it? It may be near your heart or in your legs, shoulders, or back. What does strength feel like for you, in your body?
Take a few minutes to reflect on the sensation you identified as strength. See if, by paying attention to it, you can amplify it a little. Feel your strength grow just a bit. Give yourself some appreciation, love, and gratitude for the hard things you’ve been through that have made you the strong person you are today.
Locating and feeling the strength that you have can help you remember that strength is within you all along your journey. Exhale and go into your next steps with a little more strength and confidence in yourself.
Here is the link to find out more about the book and preorder or support if you choose!