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Mom Minute Monday: How to stay in the moment during stressful times

In our brand new series, 'Mom Minute Monday,' we take topics that matter to you to the experts. Today we explore 'staying in the moment.'

CLEVELAND — It can be hard to manage stress, especially in times like these. We’re dealing with a global pandemic, back-to-school time and the other day-to-day stresses life can bring.

This week, 3News’ Danielle Wiggins talked with Cleveland Clinic psychologist Dr. Amy Sullivan about how to live in the moment.

“A lot of moms are stressed out with all the unknowns because of COVID-19,” Danielle said. “But the advice that we get is to live in the moment. How can we do that?”

Dr. Sullivan, a mother of two, gave us some sound advice.  

“I experience it myself. I think, as a mom, we probably all go through waves of emotion and I think the first thing is just to recognize that those waves are normal.”

Dr. Sullivan says even though it can be hard, we should try to enjoy the happy moments we experience. To do that, we need to be mindful.

“The best way you can do that is by using your five senses. So, what do you see? What do you hear? What can you feel? What can you smell and what can you taste? You can do that really easily, even by sipping a cup of coffee,” she says. “One of the things that I would highly suggest is connecting with others. I think when we recognize that others are in similar situations. It might normalize the experience for us."

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She also suggests doing things to hold on to that joy.

“Really going back to those moments is going to be important. Writing them down, journaling them and coming up with what makes you joyful and holding on to that I think is really important,” says Dr. Sullivan.

During their conversation, the doctor also led Danielle through an exercise, that is a mindfulness stress management rooting technique.

The exercise, which you can watch below, is designed to help people explore, observe and explain.

The doctor instructs you to observe the room. Look at five things you can see and listen for four things you can hear. What are three things you can feel? Hold something fragrant like a cup of coffee or a lemon and inhale. Also, notice the other smells in the room. Finally, taste something like a sip of tea or a mint.

“Focusing on your senses allows you to really experience the moment,” says Dr. Sullivan.

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