Stress Management for calm parenting

Activities for Stress Management When You Feel Overwhelmed

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Parenting is one of the most rewarding experiences imaginable. We witness first smiles, belly giggles, and sweet baby snuggles. However, parenting can be extremely trying and exhausting as well.

If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, you’re not alone! Apply these techniques for stress management to stay positive and present.

Life can be Stressful

In an ideal world, we would have endless hours in the day to pursue our hobbies, play with our children, organize and clean the house, exercise, and cook healthy meals.

Also, in this ideal world, our children would always be well-behaved, we would all work our dream jobs, and money would never be an issue.

Unfortunately, this is not a reality for most of us. Life as a working parent can be incredibly hectic juggling multiple schedules, cooking for your family, keeping the house clean and organized, and raising children.

All too often, your personal well-being gets pushed to the bottom of the to-do list.

However, as parents, we have a huge responsibility to be positive role models for our children. Our children look to us to learn how to interact with others, how to care for themselves, and how to manage stressors.

If we’re not taking care of ourselves, how can we be expected to take care of others? With all of the stressors of daily life and parenting, it is common to feel overwhelmed or anxious.

Activities for Stress Management

These 7 techniques help you manage stress and remain calm when you feel overwhelmed or exhausted.

  1. Exercise
  2. Deep Breathing
  3. Calm App
  4. Laugh
  5. Go Outdoors
  6. Journal or Draw
  7. Essential Oils

Exercise

Exercise has been proven time and time again to be essential for mental and physical health. When we exercise, endorphins are released into our bloodstream. Endorphins are the “feel good” hormones which make you feel happy and energetic.

Now, if you are reading this, you likely do not have 2 hours a day to commit to going to a fitness class or going to the gym. Exercise does not have to be a huge time commitment. Simply going for a walk, dancing around the kitchen, doing some burpees and jumping jacks while your kids play.

Anything that elevates your heart rate releases the endorphins. Remember, every little bit helps and provides benefits.

Deep Breathing

If you have ever attended a yoga class, you understand exactly how powerful deep diaphragmatic breathing can be. This is such an easy practice to apply in any situation that you feel stressed or anxious.

Breathe in deeply until air expands your belly. Hold your breath, count to five slowly and then release all of the air. You can do this as many times as you need to until you are feeling calm and relaxed.

This exercise has been shown to be beneficial by giving a boost of energy and clarity. Deep breathing increases oxygen flow to the brain and helps you feel relaxed almost instantly. Also, you can practice deep breathing at any time and any place.

Calm App

The Calm App is a powerful tool to unwind at the end of the day or any time you feel stressed or anxious. Also, the Calm App is helpful if you have problems sleeping. This app is so relaxing from the moment you open it when it tells you to “take a deep breath”.

Calm has several different features including meditation activities, sleep stories, and relaxing music. This app is extremely user-friendly and effective.

Go Outdoors

Sometimes 5 to 10 minutes outside in the fresh air does wonders for your mood. Even in the dead of winter when it is cold out, bundle up and get some fresh air.

Studies have found that walking outdoors reduces activity in the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is overactive when you are worried and overthinking. Essentially, going outside helps calm your mind and reduce worry.

Additionally, sun exposure increases the vitamin D level in your blood. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to depression. This makes sense because many times during the long grey winters, we tend to have less energy and feel down. Supplement your vitamin D for a boost in mood and energy.

Laugh

The simple activity of laughter has been proven to instantly improve your mood. Laughing releases endorphins and reduces stress hormones (cortisol and epinephrine).

Although, when you are stressed or worried you may not be in a fun or lighthearted mood. You can try to watch a funny clip on YouTube or read some jokes. Watch a clip from your favorite sitcom or comedian. Anything to make you laugh and reduce tension is effective.

Journal or Draw

Erin Condren Brave Journal
Erin Condren’s Journal

If you are feeling very overwhelmed and have a lot on your mind, journaling or drawing are excellent activities to help. By putting your thoughts on paper, you are no longer burdened with them in your mind constantly.

Writing to-do lists or journaling when you feel very busy and stressed is very helpful. This allows you to stop focusing on the fear of forgetting something important. It is now concrete and you can stop worrying about it.

Journaling is also a great way to express yourself and write down your frustrations, stressors, or worries. This is a very good outlet that you don’t need to share with anybody. You can write freely without fear of upsetting anybody or any judgment.

Essential Oils

Lavender Essential Oil
Young Living’s Lavender

There are many essential oils that help with stress management. Lavender is one commonly used oil that is versatile and calming.

When purchasing essential oils, make sure to investigate the reputation of the company prior to buying. Not all oils are made alike since they are not regulated by the FDA.

I personally use Young Living Essential Oils because their quality has been backed by ongoing research and quality control measures.

Young Living makes a Stress Away Blend that is a compilation of various relaxing oil to create a peaceful and calming aroma.

Make Time for yourself

Remember, if you do not take care of your own well-being, how are you going to be able to care for others. It is essential to carve out 15 minutes or more a day to take care of yourself so you can be the best role model for your children. Parenting is hard and everybody deserves a break and time to relax every day.

There are so many other ways to manage stress as well. Sign up below to access a free printable with 30 tips to manage stress! Print this and hang it on your refrigerator or keep on your bedside table for easy visibility when you need it the most.

If you’re having difficulty sleeping, this post on natural sleep management has loads of helpful tips. For more tips on parenting and living a healthy lifestyle, be sure to subscribe to the mailing list.

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stress management for parents
Stress Management Techniques to be calm and present

29 thoughts on “Activities for Stress Management When You Feel Overwhelmed”

    1. Mindful Mama Health

      Those are both such great techniques! I need to start practicing more yoga myself! The oils have been so useful in soo many different situations for me!

    2. Great tips! Essential oils have really helped me too!
      So glad to see that medical practitioners are beginning to incorporate them into their lives as well as their patients’.

  1. These tips are great not just for parents but for everyone. I personally use going outdoors a lot. I love to take my dog for a walk and breath in the fresh air. Also essential oils really help me to relax in order to go to sleep each night! Thanks for a great post!

  2. Thanks so much for this list. So many great tips here! I definitely need to learn to manage stress better – yoga has helped me a lot this past year.

    1. Mindful Mama Health

      Stress balls are a great tool especially when you’re at work and can’t step outside for a minute!

  3. I try and do all these tips but I for sure need to get better at this. I actually love meditation. I always thought I would hate it or be bad at it because I can’t sit still but it’s the one time where my body seems to understand I need to!

    1. Mindful Mama Health

      I felt the same way about meditation at first! I have a hard time slowing down, but it makes a huge difference!

  4. I can’t even tell you how much I needed these stress management tips. I never thought about going outdoors as a stress relief but it really is. I am also delving into the essential oil world as we speak.
    Thanks for the tips!

    1. Mindful Mama Health

      You’re so welcome! Essential oils have been so relaxing and calming! Part of my daily routine now!

    1. Mindful Mama Health

      That’s great! Such a nice way to unwind and relax! And it doesn’t matter if you’re drawing stick figures or masterpieces, it’s just something for you.

    1. Mindful Mama Health

      I highly recommend that app for relaxation and to help with sleep! It has so many helpful tools and the free version is great!

  5. Great tips! I love doing yoga and going for walks to help with stress. I haven’t tried Calm yet but my husband has mentioned it so we will have to try it!

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