Written by Erika Bloom | Photographed by Caitlin Mitchell
As mamas we are always striving to be the best versions of us AND the best parents we can be. That’s a tall order, especially when our children are having a moment or having a moment with a friend, colleague or significant other. So we enlisted Founder of Erika Bloom Pilates and Wellness Coach, Erika Bloom, in her own words, to guide us through the most challenging times and offer us the tools we can utilize in stressful situations that will help us face the day-to-day with courage, mindfulness and peace. The way we breathe, react, the rituals we cherish - whether a crystal or a workout - can help us in our weakest moments. Not to mention, our little ones will learn their own coping techniques early on in their emotional growth based on how we react to life’s curveballs. And that’s reason enough.
Take it away, Erika!
"Rituals are a tool for impacting change. Unwanted habits can be replaced with healthy practices when we cement our intention in mindful ceremony. Fall is when we create new patterns for the coming year. As you settle into your routines, try implementing rituals to change the flow of your day and the shape your life so that you can be the best mama possible. Here, I outline the most common unwanted habits and with a solution to begin focusing on the positive."
If you find yourself wanting to mindlessly eat, whether late at night or when you don’t need nourishment for nutrition, instead stimulate your senses with an aromatherapy practice.
Begin by choosing the scents that speak to you. I’m currently connecting with rosemary, clary sage, and geranium. Sit in a peaceful place and put a few drops of essential oil on your palms. Rub them together and then place your palms over your mouth and nose. Slowly and mindfully breathe the fragrance in. Continue through the various scents or create combinations of them until you feel centered and satisfied.
Loss Of Emotional Control
Yelling at your kids, saying less than loving things to your partner, sending petty emails at work- these are all actions we want to be rid of. They come from reacting hastily to frustration inside of ourselves. Creating a ritual that allows you to go inside and find the source of your frustration is the way to move forward, acting with peace, compassion, and love. Lashing out at others often comes from bad feelings towards ourselves. A compassionate self-care practice is the answer.
Choose something lovely to do for yourself. Dry brushing, face masks, self massage with healing oils, or giving yourself a foot rub are all beautiful choices. Before you begin your practice, take a moment to express self-love. I value the mantra from Fritz Smith of saying ‘I hold myself in the highest regard. I hold those around me in the highest regard.’ Then mindfully practice your self-care with this intention in your mind. Make it a daily practice. This will place you in a mindset to react with love.
Coffee And Sugar Addiction
Stimulants give us false energy. Overuse exhausts our adrenals and disrupts sleep, creating a cycle of need and leaving us never feeling truly rested or balanced. Begin phasing off of your fix by allowing yourself to embrace feeling tired. Then create a dual ritual of creating energy through movement and rest through relaxation.
As you go through your day and come upon moments of mental fatigue, get your blood and hormones flowing with energizing, balancing exercises. I recommend breath of fire, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, pilates or swimming. Then, at night, create a routine that moves you towards sleep. Pick a time to begin and a time for the ritual to realize that allows you to achieve sleep at a healthy hour. Take the time to complete the steps of your ritual with intention, being mindful to not become anxious about the goal of sleep. Your steps should include the turning off of all screens and electronics, a bath or shower and a calming scent. Incorporate a relaxing movement or breath practice such as mindful breathing or sustained restorative stretching. I have also found that the habit of drinking a calming tea or herbal tonic, such as Tulsi, chamomile, SunPotion, or MoonJuice works wonders. Magnesium in the form of a supplement or Sakara Detox Water can also be especially helpful and should be consciously placed in the nighttime routine as part of your ritual.
Our past or current life events can create emotions in us that, while valid, block us from moving forward on the path of our life. Processing these events and feelings is part of a healthy process but we also need not allow them to overwhelm us or stand in our way as we try to grow in life. Turn these emotions in to growth with a crystal ritual.
We can find ritual in so many moments of our lives by adding awareness and intention to daily practices. We give love to our bodies with mindful cooking and eating. We send love with our children to school by making them a healthy lunch. We cement the connection of our families with snuggle rituals. We heal ourselves and other with herbal teas . As you go through your day, find ways to use joy, awareness, and intention to turn the daily practices of your life in to transformative ritual.