A Denver psychologist and mom is working to help her fellow mothers take more time for themselves, even if it’s just a few minutes a day. Terra LaRock, founder of Mindful Mamas, created a wellness app with mindfulness and meditation exercises for busy moms.
“If moms only have 60 seconds, we have practices for 60 seconds. If moms want to go into a deeper experience, we have practices that go up to 10 and 20 minutes,” LaRock said.
The Mindful Mamas app has exercises that address specific issues like anxiety or insomnia, and sections tailored to specific stages of motherhood, from trying to conceive to empty-nesting.
LaRock, who worked as a family and child psychologist in Denver Public Schools, said mindfulness isn’t a replacement for mental health therapy or treatment, but can help reduce anxiety and depression when regularly practiced.
“What mindfulness does is it helps us to ground into our body and really sift through our thoughts. It's when you're able to be less reactive to what's happening in your world” she said.
The idea for the app came from LaRock’s own struggles with postpartum depression.
“When I became a mom with my first child, I was blindsided by my own struggles, and it was through that experience that I realized where the gaps were,” LaRock said.
She noted that many moms continue to suffer from anxiety and depression well past the six-week postpartum physical checkup. She said the app is not a replacement for professional mental health treatment, but she hopes it can serve as a daily source of encouragement for users.
“It's when you stack those little sips (of mindfulness) throughout your day, that you'll start to feel less depleted,” LaRock said.