Have you seen this doodle going around the internet? It has over 3 million views.
Today.com posted it with the title….
Mom’s genius bedtime doodle shows the wired thoughts of a multi-tasker
The Mom, Kate, was always telling her husband that she has trouble falling asleep because of all the thoughts racing through her mind. Finally, he asked her to draw him a picture of what is on her mind.
I know many moms can relate. We have a million and one things to take care of and think about. Multi-tasking is something we often even pride ourselves in.
As a young mom with a 2 1/2 year old and a newborn, who worked from home, I used “being a great multi-tasker” as my strength in an interview.
I got the job and ironically it was a position that I really didn’t multi-task. It was calm and peaceful, especially compared to my many roles as a work-at-home mom.
It wasn’t until years later when I learned about mindfulness that I realized multi-tasking actually was not a strength for me. In fact, it was having quite the opposite effect. It was making me a bit crazy!!
My mind was jumbled with thoughts similar to this mom. I was trying to work from home, often while my kids were at home and wanted/needed my attention. I had constant “monkey mind” with a million thoughts jumping from one place to another.
Actually the picture above describes quite well the multitude of thoughts that can go through your head. The many thoughts themselves are not the problem. However, thoughts that consume you and take you away from the present moment (especially when you are trying to sleep!!) turn into quite the nuisance.
But, it is possible to training your brain to live a mindful life.
I like Jon Kabat Zinn’s definition of mindfulness –
“The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.”
Mindfulness helps you to….
- Choose the thoughts and emotions you want to focus on.
- Acknowledge all your feelings, but not dwell on the negative .
- Feel calm and focused amidst the chaos.
- Limit distraction and give attention to one thing. (Hint: this includes putting down your phone!)
- Lower your stress and decrease anxiety.
- Improve empathy, compassion and your relationships.
- Sleep better
- and much more!!
I still have times when I get consumed over things, forget to be mindful and multi-task. But, my life is 100% more efficient, peaceful and fulfilling when I remember to stay in the moment.
If you are new to mindfulness or just need a reminder on why you should make being present and meditation part of your routine…read this article. It gives a great summary of mindfulness, details and sources on the benefits and simple exercises to start right now!
I also love the book Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life: Train Your Brain to Get More Done in Less Time for practical tips on retraining your brain and embracing uni-tasking (not multi-tasking!)
So, moms can you relate to this drawing? Or have you learned to live a more mindful life and calm the chatter in your head?