I am not a patient person by nature.
For me, patience has been a learned skill. And a slowly learned skill at that. But as all mothers know, once you have children its time to develop some serious self-care habits. Or go f*%king insane. Because if there is one thing that having twins has taught me, its that lack of patience has nothing to do with the people around you. But rather everything to do with your ability to respond to the people around you. Personally, if I’m not able to respond with patience it’s generally because I haven’t been taking good care of myself.
Below are a list of 5 self-care habits I try to do every day to increase my patience.
Increasing Your Patience:
Yoga: I practice at least 10 minutes of yoga every day. Yoga reduces muscle tension, relieves stress, increases body awareness and sharpens attention and concentration. The deep breathing practice that accompanies the various poses calms the nervous system and promotes deep breathing in other areas of your life. Read more about the psychology of yoga by checking out this great article from Psychology Today (2013).
Meditation: Much like patience, meditation does not come easily to me (lol does it come easily for anyone?). Before I learned how to use meditative “tools”, meditation was little more than a frustrating experience with my own brain feeling like an obstacle to overcome. But then I discovered the world of meditative colouring and guided meditations! I’ve been using the Calm app for a couple of years now and LOVE it. I’ve even used the guided stories a couple of times with my kids. Meditative colouring is a quick way to give yourself a 5 minute time-out. I personally love using watercolours, but crayons or coloured pencils are great for taking a quick mental break.
Quiet Hour: My children are 3.5 and are at the age where they might not always need to nap, but they definitely need a little rest time each day. And to be honest, so do I! So we enforce, a one hour (sometimes 45 minutes if they’re overly energetic that day) quiet time. The personal quiet time in their rooms encourages my twins to play independently each day or nap if they choose. It gives me an hour to mentally distance myself from the chaos of being a SAHM, unload any baggage from the morning, and move into the later afternoon with a clear head.
Fresh Air: This sounds obvious but the power of a few gulps of fresh air is incredible. This is a technique I use during high stress moments, or when my house is particularly loud. I allow myself 60 seconds to step away from the situation and stand on my balcony. I shut the heavy sliding glass door behind me, allowing the chaos to continue on the other side of the door, and take in a few deep breaths of fresh air. Then I reenter whatever situation I had temporarily left behind. This works 100% of the time.
Daily Moments of Happiness: << I didn’t know what else to call this so that’s what I’ve come up with. Daily moments of happiness are little things in life that give you joy and lift your soul. For me, one of these is the first cup of coffee in the morning. I enjoy it in the silence of the early morning, with the low light of my salt lamp while I quietly catch up on an episode of tv. For you, this may be the scent of a soap you use, a run or walk, reading a few pages of a good book. Whatever they are, discover what your moments of happiness are and make sure to include at least one each day.
My husband can attest to the fact that these 5 self-care habits have greatly increased my patience levels, and my overall happiness. These habits help me to feel my best, and I’ve found that when I feel my best, my kids and husband get the very best of me.
What are your favourite self-care habits? Tell me about them in the comments!