The one minimally helpful thing she did was recommend a book about using mindfulness to help with anxiety. I never did read the book, but it got me started thinking about mindfulness. (She, of course, recommended it after I told her that one of the ways I was dealing with my anxiety was by being mindful --big help.) Anyway, as I said, I had already been using mindfulness as a way of helping combat some of the anxious thoughts I'd been having. However, I find that it's also been helping when I've been feeling overwhelmed lately.
I always seem to have a mental to-do list that's a mile long. Nap times are gold in terms of getting things crossed off that list. Often the tasks are tedious ones like "clean up the breakfast dishes", but things like "make tea and check Facebook" are also on there. I was finding myself getting increasingly frustrated when Sprout was having fitful naps where I would have to go in and rock her multiple times or sit and hold her for to sleep. I felt like it was cutting into my time to get things done.
Then I decided that rather than be frustrated, which really isn't a fair thing to be feeling toward a little baby who needs comfort, that I should accept it for what it is and enjoy this time where I get to hold her close. Goodness knows it will be over soon enough.
Now when she fusses I try to go in, pick her up and soothe her (which I did before) but also study her face. How her bow lips pout when she's falling asleep. How she leaves her eyes open just a crack, then squeezes them shut before finally letting them close. I watch her hands. Kneeding the skin on my chest. Reaching up to touch my face. Finally falling down relaxed. I listen to her breathe and watch her chest move in and out. I notice how I now need both arms to support her body, where just a few months ago I could hold her with one.
This mindful focus on what I am doing has carried over into other daily tasks. I'm not a fan of doing dishes, but now when I do I think about what we were eating, the conversations we had. I prepare food and focus on how it will nourish my family, hoping that they will enjoy eating it. I clean the floors feeling and feel grateful that my little ones won't tread over a sharp piece of cat litter. I dust enjoying the shine of the wood and the almond scent of the cleaner. Okay, so I haven't dusted for weeks, but you get the point. ;)
There are still plenty of times when I feel bogged down in the tediousness of chores. When I really want to finish my blog post when I hear Sprout starting to fuss. But trying to focus on what I am doing and the positive aspects of it helps.
And on that note I think I heard something from the other room...