Birth and parenting can be full of a lot of sunshine and roses, but as any parent knows well, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Having solid tools to help us ride the rocky waves, helps us surpass the trickier times with grace and ease (and hopefully helps us learn something in the process!).
Affirmations are one powerful tool, to add to your toolkit, that can influence our ability to move through challenges, and allow us to both parent and live better. As evidence shows, affirmations have an evident effect on our bodies and minds - gratitude and positivity lead to healthier hearts, they’re a source of motivation, and help us surround ourselves with the attitudes we want in our lives. As Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup fame states, “Daily affirmations are to the mind what exercise is to the body.”
Here are 5 tips to help you create your own unique affirmations that can carry you through all parenting stages, from pregnancy, birth and into those later years.
How to create your perfect affirmation
-Browse around. Use Pinterest, Etsy, and articles you come across on social media, to start making a list of affirmations that resonate with you. You’ll want to whittle it down, but starting big is a great way to get the ball rolling.
-Keep them current, powerful, actionable and positive. We want what we repeat to be strong and long lasting. Using words that end in “ing” helps us rewire our brain, and put our affirmations to their best use, by setting our intentions in the present.
-Make them your own. The only way we’ll actually use something repeatedly is if it is truly resonates with us. This might mean adjusting affirmations, that we’ve found, to add in our own sense of humour (like these birth affirmations here) or adding verbiage that sounds more like our own way of speaking. Or it might be an actionable phrase that addresses our own specific needs.
-Add creativity and ritual. Creative expression, such as art, song or hand work (knitting, sewing etc.), is good for everyone – regardless of whether or not we think we’re artistic, the truth is that we all are artsy in our own ways. And the impact of creating on our minds, is astounding.
There are simple or more complex ways to express your affirmations. Some ideas include simple water colour painted pages and ink sayings written over top, sewing or creating pillow art, computer generated images and text, voice recordings, or using other mediums like chalk, pastel, or pencil crayons. The possibilities are endless.
-Display them. The benefit behind regularly seeing your affirmations regularly is evident – when we are constantly reminded of our affirmations, we’re more likely to repeat them in our brains and create the mental patterns, and associated actions, that we are aiming for. Some great display areas might be, pin boards above a desk, on the fridge, across a wall on bunting, on pillows, beside your bed, across from the toilet, or any place that you frequent.
Any soon to be, or seasoned parent, can benefit from affirmations. Our mind is a powerful tool in helping us ride the waves, of the naturally volatile world that is parenting.
Trust us – surrender to this time, this too shall pass, and while you’re sink may be full of dishes, your children are crying over dinner, and you may have not showered today, you’ve 100% got this! Now’s the time - go write something down and repeat it often.