Mom-ME Circle

A Mother's Empowered Community

Quick Relaxation Stretches

It’s my birthday, and my birthday wish to you is to relax.

Whether you’re at your desk, kitchen table, or out and about, it’s good to have some tips to help you relax. Here are some of my favorite tips to ease tension in your body and get into a state of relaxation.

When you have time, I really encourage you to go through these methods with me in the video. You can pause and replay the video as you need. I invite you to participate with me through the video to receive some self-care.

 

To begin, start off by being in the moment. Find alignment in your body, whether you’re sitting or standing. Think of a line going straight up from the floor. Place both feet flat on the floor, align your shoulders above your hips, and tuck your chin slightly. You might notice that your shoulders will relax a bit when you’re ready. Your breathing may slow down.

Here are some simple stretches you can do.

The No Stretch

This stretch can remind us that it’s ok to say no and hold boundaries.

Move your entire head as you look over your shoulder from one side to another. Do this at whatever speed feels good to you. Notice any kinks in your neck. You can linger.

The Yes Stretch

Consider what you want to say yes to while doing this stretch.

Inhale and lift your chin toward the sky, keeping your spine straight. Exhale as you bring your chin toward your chest. This can be done at whatever speed is comfortable for you and can be repeated as long as you’d like.

The Maybe Stretch

As you do this stretch, consider the maybes in your life. What are you not super passionate about, but it’s not a “no”?

Take one ear and begin lowering it towards your shoulder, then return it to the center. Repeat this going the opposite way. Keep your jaw nice and relaxed. Take note if one side is tighter than the other. You can do this in a fluid motion without stopping in the center.

Shoulder Circles

Move your shoulders to make circles. Rotate them forward towards your chest, up toward your ears, down behind your back, and return to your resting position. Circle them as slowly or quickly as you’d like.

If you’d like, feel free to grab your favorite relaxing essential oil and rub it between your palms before you start. You can add a drop to some water to drink or drop a bit directly in your mouth to relax. I love the smell of lavender, and a recent favorite of mine is Cherry Plum by BA.

 

Yoga Mudras

Hands are more than just functional in caring for our loved ones; they are an energy map of our consciousness and health. Each area of the hand corresponds to a certain area of the body and to different emotions and behaviors. By curling, crossing, stretching, and touching the fingers and palms, we can effectively talk to the body and mind.

The position the hand takes is called a "mudra" and is a technique for giving clear messages to the mind-body energy system. The mudra used will stimulate that desired energy, and there are over 100 mudras to choose from. Mudras can take anywhere from one minute to a few hours and be done sitting or standing.

This mudra is very comforting and holds you in your heart center while reminder ourselves of our connection with the earth. It allows us to feel physically grounded and provide a peaceful moment in the now. You can find yourself in the center of the storm of life.

Just as letters are combined in a multitude of ways to form different words, so can the fingers build an array of mudras. Below you will find two of my favorite mudras. Let me know if you have any questions at Mom-MECircle.com/contact.

be the storm.png

Pose #1 (Gyana Mudra):

Place your thumb and fore finger together and place the back of your hand in your knee. This can be done with one hand or both while sitting on the ground or in a chair. Close your eyes if you like. Take some deep breathes.

This mudra helps us feel centered, especially near our belly.

 

Pose #2:

Place you right hand over your heart and your left hand on the ground next to you. Take deep breathes. Feel the rise and fall of your chest with each breath.

 

 

5 Mistakes even amazing mamas make (that shouldn't keep you up at night!)

5 Mistakes even amazing mamas make (that shouldn't keep you up at night!).png

Raise your hand if you are guilty of any of these.

 

1) We forget that how we say something matters just as much, if not more, that what we say. We aim to be kind and respectful in all of our encounters, but sometimes we miss the mark.

 

2) We communicate to our kids that their big emotions aren't acceptable. Even though we value having emotionally intelligent children, sometimes we shut down their emotions because their negative emotions trigger our own negative emotions.

 

3) We over react! We overshoot the mark with our discipline and are more harsh or punitive than we intend to be. We react with an intensity that causes our kids to focus on how mean or unfair we are rather than on their own behavior.

 

4) We don't repair after a conflict. We behave immaturely and unkindly without apologizing.

 

5) We forget that our child sometimes needs our help making good choices. The temptation is to demand that they "stop that immediately!" event hough we know that they aren't capable fo stopping without our support.

 

And we are still AMAZING MAMAS!!! Our kids don't need us to be perfect to know that we love them :)

Favorite sleep apps

3 go-to relaxation apps for mamas who have trouble sleeping:
 

I think sleep tends to get a pretty bad rap these days. Attitudes like "I'll sleep when I'm dead" and "FOMO" reflect a cultural norm of seeing sleep deprivation as essential to motherhood. Let's be clear, sleep is a fundamental human need.

There is nothing lazy, self indulgent or selfish about getting enough sleep. When life gets full to the brim it is often the first thing that is sacrificed and if you are a mom to a young baby you know the misery of wanting to sleep, but not being able to due to needing to take care of another being.

We need sleep for cellular renewal, for the health of our nervous system, to regulate our body weight, for our mood, and for cognitive performance. Lack of sleep is connected with increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and stress. 

So, to help you get the sleep you deeply desire and so greatly deserve, I have included my top 3 favorite apps for sleeping assistance:

Sleep Cycle
 

iPhone rating: ★★★★★

Android rating: ★★★★★

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

Sleep Cycle features a patented technology that can track and evaluate your sleep patterns using sound or vibration analysis. The app then uses the data to generate graphs and reports to help you visualize your sleep cycles. It can also wake you at the optimal time so you feel less groggy during the day.

 

Sleep Well Hypnosis

iPhone rating: ★★★★★

Android rating: ★★★★✩

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

Insomnia and anxiety can interrupt a mamas sleep and lead to poor overall well-being. I love this app because it doesn't require me to take sleeping pills. Sleep Well Hypnosis uses soothing sounds along with the voice of a hypnotist to help users unwind and rest. According to the creators, using the app can lower anxious thoughts and improve sleep in just one to three weeks.

 

Noisli

iPhone rating: ★★★★★

Android rating: ★★★★★

Price: $1.99

Improve your focus and concentration — and get a better night’s sleep — with Noisli. This app is ideal for moms with insomnia who want to quiet their minds and let their bodies rest. Custom mix sounds that can drown out external noise so you can work and sleep better. The interface is simple to use and boasts a variety of ambient sounds that can provide a soothing background for your day or night.


With these 3 apps on your phone you are much more likely to get the sleep you want and need.

What's your favorite app these days? Head on over to our FB group, I'd love to hear about them.

Balanced Mama Planner

I deeply value balance in my life. The balance of relaxation, achievements, commitments to my home, spending time with my kids, and investing in my own self-care is very important to me. It’s so important that I created the Balanced Mama Planner to help plan our days with balance in mind using concepts from Yin and Yang.

The Yin and Yang symbolize balance. We should strive to find balance as much as possible, and that includes planning our day to be balanced.

Yin: Being, Relaxing, In the moment, Nurturing, Receiving, Connecting, Flowing, Trusting, Feminine

Yang: Doing, Accomplishing, In movement, Industrious, Acting, Assertive, Organizing, Structured, Masculine

Your body may resonate with Yin or Yang depending on the circumstance, or it may resonate with both. In our bodies, we can identify our harder attributes and softer attributes, then invite the opposite into those areas to help create balance within ourselves.

I love Dr. Christiane Northup’s take on this concept of balance. In her analogy, sperm are masculine, and the egg is feminine. Think about it!

Sperm are the masculine side of balance. They are competitive, driven by survival, moving quickly to get to the destination. For them, to win is to swim faster than the rest.

Eggs are the feminine side. The egg is calm and relaxed as it sits and waits to receive.

These are not related to gender at all. The masculine principles do not only apply to men, and the feminine principles do not only apply to women. Everyone can encompass these masculine and feminine qualities.

When we intentionally invite both of these concepts into our lives as mothers, we can choose intentionally how we want to be with our kids. Our mothering requires us to embrace the masculine and the feminine.

Click here to receive your free Balanced Mama Planner. 

 

3 easy ways to get the rest you want even if you aren't getting the sleep you need

Today I am sharing the single the most crucial element for effortlessly creating a life you love.

Now, if you're thinking take a vacation 4 times a year, eat healthy or write in a gratitude journal everyday those are pretty important too but...

...there's one more thing that's more essential. In fact everything else I teach is literally and figuratively based on it.  

Unfortunately for me, it was elusive for the first 2 years of my daughter's life.

However, when I eventually made it a priority things that we really hard instantly became easier:
• Cravings for sugar - sliced in half
• Excuses for not taking care of myself in other ways -vanished
• Happiness level - through the roof

Eager to know what it is?

It's REST.

Look back over the week. Did you notice the days you felt happier, ate better even worked out more? I'm willing to guess you had a great night sleep. Now I know it's hard to get a full 8 hours when you're trying to juggle health, family, friends, work and a side business. (If you're crazy like me).

Here are 3 basic tension and relaxation techniques to help you get the rest you want even if you aren't getting the sleep you need:

1. Eye relaxation (palming)

For this technique place your palms directly over your closed eyes. Block out all light without putting too much pressure on your eyelids. Try to see the color black. You may see other colors or images, but focus on the color black. Use a mental image to remember to color black (your cool black leather jacket would work well.)

Continue this way for 2-3 minutes, thinking and focusing on the color black. Lower your hands and slowly open your eyes, gradually getting accustomed to the light. Experience the sense of relaxation in the muscles that control the opening and closing of your eyes.

This is also a fun exercise you can do with your kids starting at the age of about 7 years old.

2. Metaphorical Images

For this exercise, lie down and close your eyes. Visualize an image that represents tension. The best images are those you make up yourself, but here are some that work for me:

  • The color red

  • The screech my children make when they are fighting (a personal favorite)

  • The tension of a cable

  • The scream of a siren at night

  • The pounding of a jackhammer

Then replace it with an image that represents relaxation. Again, choose your own, but here are some that work for me:

  • The color red can fade to pale blue

  • The screech of my children fades to giggles of play

  • The cable can slacken

  • The siren might soften to a whisper of a flute

  • The Jackhammer might become the hands of your partner giving you a massage.

As you scan your body, apply your tension image to a tense muscle. Allow it to develop into your relaxation image. For example, if my neck were tense, I might visualize a tightened vise. Then, I'd imagine the vise opening as I say the affirmation "Relaaaax."

End by reciting your affirmation. Speak to the specific tenseness as you apply the relaxation image. Observe what happens to your tension.

3. Listening to music

Listening to music is one of the most common forms of relaxation. However, we all give our own meaning to music. It's important that when you want to listen to music for the purpose of relaxation that you choose music you find peaceful and soothing. In other words, your kid's music together CD is not the best choice here. 

I personally like this piano music.

To get the most out of this tip, find a half hour of uninterrupted time to be alone (probably after kids are asleep.) Put on your music, settle back into a comfortable position, and close your eyes. Mentally scan your body, noting areas of tension, pain, and relaxation. Be aware of your mood as you focus your attention on the music

Each time an unrelated thought enters your head note it and then discard it, remembering your goal of focusing on the music and relaxing. You can say an affirmation like "music relaxes me."

When the music ends, allow your mind to scan your body again and become aware of how it feels. Does your body feel different than before you started the exercise?

Head on over to our Facebook group and let us know which exercise you chose and how it made you feel.