Sunday, November 24, 2013

nineteen | practicing simplicity

hydrangeas in abundance in my neighbours' gardens 

Living a less-distracted life : admit that you're tired and reclaim rest.

I know, I know; motherhood and rest rarely go together. We are a weary bunch, aren't we, running to and fro and round in circles. Despite our exhaustion we just keep going because we have to. 

Perhaps it's more pronounced at this time of year as we take a sharp inhalation and deal with the plethora of to-dos that accompany the festive season. My diary is quickly filling up with deadlines, the end of school term is fast approaching and I am completely disorganised in regards to Christmas. Yes, it's overwhelming and if I'm honest, there's just no time for early nights and afternoon kips right now. 

Che is tired, too. I kept him home from school on Friday for a rest day and he lulled about reading books, watching a movie and building lego. There was a part of me that wished I could do the same thing; ignore all the necessary chores and emails and just lie in bed; rejuvenating and being kind. I know I need it but I can't see it happening anytime soon. And so I started thinking about quick rests; little things I can do that will restore and revive. I mention them in my yoga classes all the time and yet applying them to my every day takes a little more discipline. But you know what, they work, and sometimes they're more beneficial that a deep day sleep (I usually wake up groggy and cranky and that is never good!). 

Next time you're feeling weary, try one of the following:
  • drink water. It's usually at around 4:30 that I experience a slump and unfortunately it coincides with dinner prep. So every evening I stand at the kitchen window and drink a big glass of water. Within ten minutes I have the energy to get through the dinner, bath, bed routine.
  • get outside. I've taken to lying on the trampoline and purposefully taking a few deep, nourishing breaths. I then let out loud sighs (much to the family's delight). Fresh air - always good.
  • lie on your bed with your feet together and your knees out wide. This position is called supta budda konasana or reclining butterfly pose. If you feel that it stretches your groin too much just place a pillow or rolled blanket under your upper thighs. In this position become aware of your breath and focus on your exhalation for a few moments - you'll notice you start to grow heavy and soft and relaxed. Then, count your breath backwards from 27. "I am breathing in 27, I am breathing out 27, I am breathing in 26..." When you get to 0 start to awaken your body by wriggling your fingers and toes. Get up slowly and carry on with your day. This is also a great practice to do with older children. First, choose an item to place on the belly - a feather, a small teddy, a paper boat - and then encourage them to watch and feel the feather/teddy/boat rise and fall with the rhythm of the breath. 
  • close your eyes whilst breastfeeding. I understand this isn't always possible if you've got more than one child but when breastfeeding my two I made a point of lying down to feed at least once a day. I'd put my phone away, get really comfortable and close my eyes. Sometimes I would sleep, sometimes five minutes of shut-eye was enough.
So: recognise your exhaustion and take five minutes rest. Consider it self-care. 

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