confessions of an anxious mama: living in the moment

Living in the moment: radmomcoolkid.com

Sadie’s lashes are soooo long.  I wish my lashes were that long.  I wonder if I should try Latisse.  No I remember Valeri telling me I should try something else. Will it change my eye pigment, thought? Maybe I’ll go read reviews *googling*.  Hmmmm.  Ulta…. I should try that new foundation.  I wonder what my makeup looks like now.  I really want to learn to contour better. *checking out that makeup blog I love*.  Oooh, look how good she does hers! I should do mine like that!  What lip color is that?  I need it….. “Mama.” “Hmmmm?…Oh, hi baby! Mama sees you!”

Does this happen to anyone else?  I will sit down to color, or go to the park with baby girl and get completely side tracked.  I mean, I intend on spending quality time with Sadie, but my thoughts start trailing and take me away from that moment I should be spending with her.

I am still not perfect at this.  My phone is my worst enemy.  I don’t know why, I mean… Sometimes I seem to be more interested in everyone else’s lives rather than my own.  Please tell me I’m not the only one?  This is a safe place right?  I mean I spend all of this time being on my phone or getting caught up in anxious thoughts and then magically start wondering why time goes by so fast.  10 years from now, I don’t want to remember what my favorite cousin’s new girlfriend’s status update was.  I want to remember how Sadie looked at me as she slid down the slide for the first time by herself.  I don’t want Sadie’s childhood to be remembered by points when I felt anxious or how many posts a week I was doing on my blog.  I want Sadie’s childhood to be remembered by the relationship we built together.  I want her to know that I am really there for her.  Not just physically, but mentally. But in order to do that, I actually have to be there.

Living in the moment: radmomcoolkid.com

The same goes with Lane.  I don’t want him to have a wife that sits next to him but is mentally checked into a different place.  He is worth more than that.  We are worth more than that.  My life is worth more than that.

It is something that I struggle at, but one simple exercise has really helped me.  Once I did this, it has been so much easier for me to live in the moment and focus on where I am and what I am doing.

You ready?

I want you to grab a chocolate.  Preferably one that is individually wrapped.  I did this with one of the small Dove chocolates.

Now, I want you to take 5 minutes and eat that one piece of chocolate.  Yep, 5 minutes.  You need to take the whole time.

Before you go poppin that sucker in your mouth, take time to really notice it.  What kind of wrapper is it in?  What does it smell like?  How does the wrapper feel?

Once you do eat it, take tiny bites and savor that taste.  Think about it.  Now, about 30 seconds into this, your mind is going to start thinking about the laundry, or the party you are planning.  STOP thinking about those things and bring it back to the chocolate.  Don’t get mad at yourself for letting your thoughts wander, instead congratulate yourself for bringing your thoughts back into the moment.

After the 5 minutes is over, I want you to think about how good that chocolate was.  You just had 5 minutes of chocolatey heaven.  Normally I can scarf down like 5 chocolates in a minute… but by doing that, I never really enjoy it.  It’s more like me just eating to eat. But wasn’t that chocolate like the best chocolate ever?  And there wasn’t anything extraordinarily special about it.  I mean, it wasn’t a magic chocolate.  What changed was how much time you took to savor it.

Apply this into our lives.  What if instead of thinking about the dishes or what to make for dinner, we stopped and focused on the child we were pushing in the swing?

Instead of focusing on our anxious thoughts, what if we focused on our husband sitting next to us?

What if we had a tickle fight and actually allowed us to enjoy our kids laughter, instead of worrying about the bills that we needed to pay?

What if instead of thinking about all the things to get done the next day, we sat down at a family dinner and actually listened and focused on the good food and company?

Living in the moment: radmomcoolkid.com

Think about how much better that chocolate was.  Do you think that our lives would be a little bit more meaningful?

It might not make the hard times go away, but it will certainly help.

By living in the moment, we put away all distractions and simply just be.

Start noticing those moments you are in.  Are you at a park? Be at the park.  Look at the trees.  Focus on your babies.  Are they smiling? Remember that smile.  Everything else can wait.  The anxiety, sweeping, weeding, laundry; it can all wait.  Nothing is more important than where you are in that moment.  Nothing is more important than the memories you want to remember. Watching a movie with your husband?  Focus on him.  Enjoy that time.  Everything else can wait. Out with the girls?  Be there.  Listen.  Don’t pick up that phone.  Just don’t.

By doing this, things will slow down and the enjoyment of life will kick in.  We, so often, are the ones keeping ourselves from enjoying the very moments that make us feel alive.  Change it.  Be there.  I promise by doing this, you will feel more enthusiastic.  You will be able to cherish those moments that pass us by so quickly.  You will be creating those memories with your family and friends that matter.

While this is an amazing skill to acquire for anyone, let’s switch it to an anxiety stand point for just a second.  No matter what kind of mental disorder you might suffer from, chances are you feel like it takes you away from life at some points.  When I feel my anxiety or my OCD starting to kick in, this is my go-to exercise.

If you have ever felt anxious or depressed, you might have felt that heaviness in your chest or stomach.  You might have had racing thoughts.  Your breath might quicken or your limbs might tingle. You might feel like nothing holds the same meaning that it used to. Try this.  It will help.  Slow down and start focusing on things around you.  Notice the texture of the carpet, or count ceiling tiles.  Check out the wrinkles on your hand or the cityscape as you’re driving.  Start noticing things around you.  As you do this, you will notice your thoughts steer away from your anxiety or down feelings and you will begin to gain more control of your thoughts.  As you feel yourself calming down a bit, start thinking about things you like that are around you.  Even if it’s something as simple as a green tree, or a blue car.  Finding joy in the smallest of things will help you focus on the moment you are in.  That doesn’t mean the anxiety and depression will permanently subside, but it will help you find joy while still going through something hard.  Mental disorders are such hard things to deal with.  They require professional help and sometimes medication (I am in no way trying to replace that with this post.  I am just sharing something that can help! I definitely encourage everyone out there to seek whatever  help necessary.  Recovery is the best!)  However, this does not mean that you can’t enjoy life while healing.  That’s what this exercise will help with.  Whether struggling with mental issues or just getting easily distracted and caught up in busy lives, living in the moment can truly help us find the joy in our lives that we are all seeking.

Like I said, I still struggle to live in the moment.  I really do.  My friends can attest to how often I pick up my phone.  But, I am working on it.  And like I mentioned in the chocolate exercise, every time I catch myself doing it; I don’t scold myself, but instead I pat myself on the back for realizing I wasn’t living in the moment but bringing it back.  Don’t be too hard on yourselves, guys, this is all a journey of learning.  We might as well enjoy it as we go.

Living in the moment: radmomcoolkid.com

Liked this? Check out the first part of the series here.

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Comments

  1. Oh my goodness, I LOVE this! I have the hardest time staying in the moment. I love what you talked about “when you are at the park, be at the park” because it’s true, I sit at the park on my phone, thinking about everything I should be doing at home, etc. My one word that I chose to live by this year is ‘Seize’. I feel that seize is a great word for living in the moment.

    I have been trying harder this year to live in the moment and I’ve done pretty good. Thanks for posting this!

    • Seize is an AWESOME word for living in the moment! I love that! It’s something I seriously struggle with as well. Stupid smart phones! Thank you so much Kami!

  2. Thanks for your sweet post! I’m sure most moms have to remind themselves to Live in the Moment!!! I totally agree that my phone is my worst enemy and worst distraction! I always try and leave it charging in my room when my little one is awake so I’m not distracted!

  3. I LOVE this ! And I both love and hate the smartphone! I miss the days when the phone hung on the wall (what???) and we would check messages and call people back when we got home!

Rad Mom Cool Kid

Rad Mom Cool Kid