This feature is part of Mindstream’s participation in the Wellness Moonshot, an awareness campaign for a world free of preventable disease that’s led by The Global Wellness Institute. Each month features a theme, and November 2020 is NURTURE.
By Lottie Reeves
In the initial blur that accompanies new motherhood, I initially spent the long, dark nights scrolling social media. It’s so easy to get caught up in wishing time away when you’re in the throes of sleep deprivation and learning how to be a mum. I quickly realised this wasn’t helping my already anxious brain as it served only to fuel the over-thinking and fear that everyone else was doing new motherhood better.
I decided to use the time I was awake through the night to breastfeed more intentionally. I went on to complete a training course in mindfulness and now I run mindfulness sessions. Now I try to take moments throughout the day to be present rather than caught up in my head.
For example, when I find myself spiraling into the depths of my thoughts, I change what I am doing: Go out for a walk, have a shower, make a cup of tea — anything to break up the spiral of thoughts and bring me back to the present!
I also write a daily Love Note that’s dedicated to something I have seen, noticed, experienced or felt that day. I have a tendency to worry about what hasn’t been accomplished and what might go wrong in the future so these Love Notes have really helped me acknowledge that the here-and-now can be pretty great, even in the mess that is 2020 and the rollercoaster of being a new mum!
I no longer try to fix the feelings as they come up, instead I trust that they will pass. I think this is really important in a society that encourages us to try to always be happy, which breeds a belief that when anything other than happiness presents itself, we need to take action.
Making an effort to take moments to be mindful is helping me nurture myself through the transition and embrace the present. I am excited to have such a positive association with an emotional and challenging time in my journey to motherhood.
Lottie Reeves is Mindfulness Mentor & Wellness Advocate based on a narrowboat that happens to be currently floating in Hertfordshire.