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How to Celebrate Mother's Day in Lockdown 2021
It was a year ago this week the UK went into its first COVID-19 lockdown.
And while we couldn't have imagined still being in lockdown a year later, that is where most of us will be celebrating Mother's Day this Sunday, March 14, 2021.
Although much of this year has felt unimaginable, here we are more than just surviving. We've learned how to do hard things. And come on, Mama – let's admit it, we've learned how to do hard things well!
This Mother's Day, Juice Plus+ is celebrating YOU, and the amazing way mothers throughout the UK have kept the light shining on the home front. A place which for much of this year has included the work and school fronts too.
What are the origins of Mother's Day?
Mothering Sunday began with a religious purpose. Mothering Sunday began in the Middle Ages to allow those who had moved away from home for work to return home on the fourth Sunday of the Christian festival of Lent. To visit their "mother" church – the one they were baptised in and their own mother.
During that time, children as young as 10 years old left home to become domestic servants and apprentices so they could bring money home to their families. (Gosh, kind of puts "hard things" into perspective, huh?) And Mothering Sunday allowed them to come home to see their mother, give thanks, and reunite with their family in celebration.
Celebrating YOU with Mindfulness Tips this Mother's Day
Many of us might not have the opportunity to celebrate by getting together with our own mum this Mother's Day, the way we have in previous years. So instead, let's bring the focus back to YOU. In celebration of mums and what you've achieved during the COVID-19 lockdowns, I want to share some tips on mindfulness.
Mindfulness helps us nourish our gratitude for what is by seeing the beauty in whatever life brings us. It's what allows us to connect with the present moment without distraction or judgment. And at the end of the day, we only ever have this present moment.
You know the airplane saying, "Put on your oxygen mask first so that you can be most helpful to others"? Well, mindfulness helps serve as that oxygen mask.
Being a mum during the COVID-19 lockdowns has meant juggling more roles than we usually would – working from home, home-schooling, and keeping the household together. When we can do all that from a place of mindfulness, we create an awareness of what's going on around us while remaining neutral and keeping our cool when it matters most.
Here are 5 ways to infuse more mindfulness into your day:
1. As you wake
Take time to breathe deeply and slowly, in and out, for a few moments before opening your eyes. Notice how your body feels. Notice how your pillow and the sheets feel. Do this before getting out of bed to begin your day by being present in your first waking moments.
2. Taking a shower
Turn showering into a meditative experience. Start by noticing the sound of the water as you turn on the taps. The feel of the water as it hits your skin. The smell of your shower gel or soap. Linger in the fragrance and taking time to detect the scents coming through.
When you get out, notice how the bathmat feels under your feet. And the towel around your body. What's its texture? Can you smell the laundry liquid you've used?
3. PREPARING MEALS
Even though I have 2 teens in the house who are more than capable of helping, most nights I love prepping our dinner by myself. For me, it's a type of meditation after my workday, before connecting with my kids again while we eat. I love looking at, smelling, and feeling the different textures of the food I'm putting together for that night's meal.
I take the time to look at and feel the texture of different veggies as I wash them. The colour of the purple onion as I chop it. The bubbles in the olive oil as it heats. And I listen out for the sizzle of the onions hitting the pan.
Being in the process of each part of a meal coming together keeps me present. And happy and grateful for the simple tasks I'm doing.
4. Washing the dishes or packing the dishwasher
Not having a dishwasher for a couple of years made me so thankful for having one again. As you pack yours tonight or wash your dishes by hand. Take the time to feel the weight of the plates - the warm water over your hands, the clink of the glasses, and cutlery as you stack it.
Turn driving into a mindful activity by taking a moment when you get into your car to feel into your seat and the steering wheel's curve under your hands. How do they feel?
Notice the sound of the engine as you turn it on and pull in traffic. Identify the make and colour of the cars around you. And the people walking by as you're on your way.
Mindfulness practices allow us to: wake up, pay attention and become present so we can get the most out of our lives – whether that be in lockdown or not.
They teach us how to respond to situations more calmly and recognize unhealthy habits. They also help us become more tolerant, less judgmental, and kinder to others and ourselves.
Stillness is where creativity
and solutions to problems
~ Eckart Tolle
Mother's Day also wouldn't be Mother's Day without a little sweet treat. And what better way to celebrate than with a healthy version of everyone's favourite.
You could also turn these brownies into a mindful activity with your kids by asking them to:
- Feel the baking dish's texture in their hands – is it smooth, heavy, cold to touch?
- Look at the colours and textures of each of the ingredients.
- Listen to the sounds that are made during each step of the process.
- Taste a little of each of the ingredients before adding them to the mixing bowl. And then again at the end, before the brownies go into the oven. And then how they taste after they've come out of the oven and have cooled down.
Mindfulness is one of the biggest gifts we can give ourselves and instil in our children. And a great way of teaching it to children is to get them thinking about their food. How it looks on the plate. How it feels in their fingers or in their mouth. The textures. The food's scent. And how it tastes.
Why not try a little mindfulness with having them help you prep these delicious Chewy Healthy Brownies?
- 1 cup gluten-free, organic oat flour
- 3/4 cup white cannellini beans
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup + 2 extra tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla powder
- 3/4 cup cacao powder
- Optional: 1-2 drops of Essential oils such as peppermint, spearmint, wild orange, or tangerine
Add everything to a food processor and blend until smooth.
Pour into a brownie dish and bake in the oven at 175 degrees Celsius for approximately 25 minutes. Test it at 22 minutes as every oven is different.
How will you incorporate a little mindfulness into your day this Mother's Day?