Whoohoo! The summer holidays are here! Are you feeling excited? Have you done the summer holiday dance yet? Or are you feeling a little bit apprehensive?
Summer is a wonderful time to create magic moments of joy with our little ones. However the holiday season can also feel a little fraught. Plans don’t always turn out how you expected. Kids can feel unsettled and out of routine. Sleep might be disrupted due to the weather or new surroundings. You might well be spending more time with them than usual due to school or nursery holidays. It can all feel quite intense at times and our nervous system can end up more than a little frazzled.
I often find I need to prioritise and front-load nourishing and restorative wellbeing practices even more than usual during the summer season. That can sound easier said than done when our alone time is even more limited and often our own routines are out of kilter. But that’s why having access to a broad toolkit of bite-sized practices that I can reach for in different moments is so essential, making it easy to dot moments of calm throughout my day.
The Nourish app is a rich resource of over 120 micro- wellbeing practices to help mums find more connection and calm in the daily chaos of mum life. You can create your own personal toolkit of nourishing favourites. But to make things super simple for you this summer, I have compiled 21 easy access, nourishing practices that I will be turning to this summer to help me navigate the daily rollercoaster.
I hope they bring you many moments of peace and ease this summer.
Great practices to start your day well....
1. Mindful Check-in: A simple, mindful self-care tool to check in on how you’re feeling and what your needs are in this moment.
What will it give me? Self-care gives you access to your best self. Before we tackle the day or activity ahead, we need to be clear on our emotional state and needs. We can then choose the most nourishing actions to support us. Take some time to check in with what you need and nourish you. Everyone benefits. Use this standing check in ritual to identify your needs – head, heart and body so you can access your best self.
2. Mountain Breathing: A standing breathing exercise using your breath and posture available to you any time, any place
What will it give me? This classic yoga pose will energise and uplift you by improving your posture and helping you breathe better. Self-care doesn’t need to take much time! Think of this pose as your alternative to another cup of coffee. Stop and take 6 mountain breaths and feel the energy it brings. We’re standing tall with you!
3. Warrior Pose: A strong, standing yoga pose to fire your arrow of intent.
What will it give me? This pose will connect you with your intentions, strengthen your resolve and help you feel fired up! Draw on the strength of your body to really set into motion your goals and aspirations. As you move through this pose, feel the strength of your legs, your core, your spine and the support of the earth beneath you. You’ve got this!
Mini practices to refill your cup and get you through the day....
4. Breath & Oils for Calm & Uplift : a demonstration of a quick way we can utilising our breath together with essential oils to shift our emotions, feel more grounded, lift our mood or find more space and calm.
What will it give me? As mums we are often racing around with no time to look after ourselves and our wellbeing. However self-care doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Sometimes a few moments is all we need to create some space and re-centre ourselves.
5. The 3-Step Breathing Space: A short, traditional, 3-step mindfulness meditation using our breath & body, allowing us to pause and reset.
What will it give me? There are so many moments in motherhood where we need to take a pause – a time out. Whether we’re facing our own big emotions or those of our kids or we just feel floored by overwhelm or anxiety, this 3-Step Breathing Space meditation can help us pause, re-centre and reset. This practice can give us a sense of perspective around any difficulty and a way of feeling calmer in the face of conflict and strife, whilst also being a way of reconnecting with ourselves and our inner wisdom.
6. Meditate on nature: When we are feeling squeezed by life, we need ways of replenishing that take NO time, energy or expense – Mother Nature is your tonic! This will show you how.
What will it give me? Nature’s Beauty has a profound healing effect. Heading out into Nature can clear away the cobwebs, the mental chatter, the overstimulation from screen time and kids, reconnecting us with what matters most in life. If you can’t get outside you can still use the power of your mind to take a mental walk somewhere special to you.
7. Quick time out: A guided meditation to help you reconnect with the feeling of simply being.
What will it give me? As busy parents, we are constantly giving, doing, thinking, planning. It’s so easy among all of the pulls on our attention, to lose sight of what it feels like to simply be with ourselves. This short practice gives you a quick taste of “coming home” to yourself, so that you can dip into the felt-sense of being, whenever you need a time-out.
8. 54321 senses: A guided exercise to tune into your five primary senses to notice what’s happening right now.
What will it give me? This is a simple mindfulness exercise using each of your 5 senses to help ground you in the present moment. You can do it anytime, anywhere. It’s a great way to calm anxiety, get perspective on big feelings, or settle your busy mind. By noticing what you can see, hear, feel, smell and taste in the present moment, you’ll feel more grounded, calm and present, and more able to relax.
Tips to help mitigate those rising feelings of overwhelm.....
9. Screen Hygiene: Tips on how to set realistic and practical screen rules for the whole family.
What will it give me? Screen hygiene is hard - we all need to juggle our screens around family life, and there’s no magic solution. All we know is that taking breaks from screens benefits your health, productivity at work and relationships at home. The suggestions on the app provide ideas for setting healthy screen boundaries, to keep them from taking over our lives.
10. The Circle of control: This is a visual tool that will help reframe your thinking and help you cope in the moment.
What will it give me? In the course of our day as mothers there will be many pinch points and we all experience worry and swirling thoughts. In the midst of these challenging times, the circle of control will help you focus your mind more constructively, reminding you where you have influence and where it’s more helpful to let go. It will give you greater perspective and help you manage your energy and take mindful action.
For those moments of particular stress and challenge....
11. Mantras to cope: A collection of mantras to help us cope in the midst of struggle.
What will it give me? When we become mothers we are called to step up like never before. There will be many times in our day when overwhelm strikes. We can use mantra as an anchor to help us navigate these moments. These mantras help us tap into our calm abiding centre and cultivate a feeling of peace and perspective.
12. Take 5 Breathing: A visual/touch-led breathing exercise using your hands.
What will it give me? Using our breath and our senses are simple and powerful ways to get us out of our thoughts and into our body. This is a lovely exercise to help settle any overwhelm or anxiety you might be feeling. You can get the kids to join in too, it's a lovely one to do together.
13. Lion's breath: A breathing exercise using Lion breath, a powerful breathing method that includes a forceful exhalation.
What will it give me? We all feel full up from time to time. Motherhood is one tough gig! Make space for all your emotions – it’s what you do with it that matters. Use this breathing technique as your tonic for anger. Roar it out and let it go. This breath will help you move through and vent those normal feelings of anger, resentment and frustration in a safe way. We hope the roaring lion serves you well too!
Practices to remind you that you are more than enough....
14. Positive Affirmations: affirmations to boost your confidence and self-belief in mothering.
What will it give me? These affirmations will help you boost your calm, confidence and self compassion, ditch the comparison and perfection, and remember that you are enough. They will help you to feel more confident about the amazing job you’re doing, and to take the pressure off a bit. Positive phrases like this work by getting your brain to practise how you’d like to be feeling. So even if these don’t feel real for you right now, say them as if they are already true, and you’ll take one step closer to a more confident reality.
15. Celebrate Success: a simple activity to help you recognise the accomplishments in our day.
What will it give me? you Just about everyone has a 'to-do' list; how about a 'what went well' list or just a 'what got done' list? Too often we fritter way the energy available to us in acknowledging our achievements when we leap straight into the next thing that needs doing, or worse we get stuck ruminating on those less than successful moments. Use this tool to lift your mood and deepen your appreciation of YOU!
16. Calm Comparisons: 10 minutes of zen to help you find more kindness towards yourself and others when you’re doubting your abilities as a mum.
What will it give me? We live in a world where opportunities for comparison are endless. So it’s no surprise that as mums we can feel like we’re not doing a good enough job and that other mums seem to be doing it so much better! In this meditation we nurture kind vibes – both for ourselves and others. This meditation will help you to build a stronger sense of your own worth and soften your feelings of comparison to others.
Quick practices to soothe and reboot your frazzled nervous system.... great practices for while they're in the bath or once they're finally in bed ..... or in fact any time of the day!
17. Legs Up The Wall: a restorative yoga pose to soothe, calm & re-boot your nervous system.
What will it give me? Motherhood taxes our energy bank like never before. Every mum needs quick and simple ways to fill herself back up. This yoga pose is one powerful tonic. If you’ve ever done any first aid training you’ll know that when someone is in shock you elevate the legs. This is because it is deeply restorative, redistributing the blood flow to essential organs. Help your nervous system out and come into this shape to restore and renew. 5 mins is all it takes!
18. Child’s Pose: Your antidote to stress, anxiety and Scary Mummy; A restorative yoga pose to soothe and calm.
What will it give me? While there isn’t lots of time to fill our cup, there is always time to drop and take a child’s pose, even if that means there is a passenger on your back. Let this shape calm and soothe your mind and body.
19. Top Yourself Up: 10 minutes of zen, to help you to nourish yourself and put your own needs back into the equation.
What will it give me? It can be so hard as mums to truly believe that we deserve a break – in whatever form that might be – even when we know that it’s what we really need. All the best made plans for self-care can fall by the wayside because we place other people’s priorities above our own. This meditation will help you to use your breath to nourish yourself during times when it feels like your own needs are falling last in line.
Practices to help you rest, restore or sleep....
20. Nourishing Rest Nidra: A nourishing Yoga Nidra practice to invite deeply nourishing rest into the body.
What will it give me? Whether we are sleep deprived, juggling work and parenting or just keeping up with our little ones, parenting is exhausting. It’s so easy for us to find ourselves running on empty, with nothing left in the tank to give out to others, let alone to ourselves. This restorative meditation will give you a moments pause away from the busyness of life and parenting. A chance to fully land in our body, so that we can feel safe and grounded, as well as replenished and revitalised.
21. Restful Sleep Nidra: A Yoga Nidra guided meditation that tails off at the end, letting you drop off naturally into a deep and restful sleep.
What will it give me? As parents, we get used to being on call 24/7. There is so much to think about, so much to do, that it can be hard to allow ourselves to fully let go in a way that facilitates deep restful sleep. This giving meditation offers an effective way to fall asleep, to rest and restore and have renewed energy to face the challenges of the day ahead!
You can access all 21 practices by clicking here or alternatively opening the Explore section of the app. Don’t forget to save your favorites by clicking the heart on content you love, so you can easily return to them anytime anywhere.
Good luck mamma. You’ve got this!
We’re walking this path together with you.
About the author:
Sara Campin is mum of 2, life coach and founder of the Nourish app. Sara founded Nourish after the impact self-care had on her and her family’s wellbeing. Sara struggled with her mental wellbeing both as a new mum and in juggling the pressures of work and mothering and felt incredibly alone and unsupported in her struggles. Through the app she brings together a team of compassionate, empathetic, parental wellbeing experts to offer an accessible, multidisciplinary and relevant mental well-being toolkit and support team to parents in the UK and beyond.