Mum shares top five tips to quickly calm down when parenting gets a bit too much - and they all take less than 60 seconds

Taking just one minute out of your day for some down time can be vital for your mental health

Mother and daughter in a field
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A mother of four has revealed her top five tips to help overwhelmed parents quickly calm down when the daily duties of parenting start to take their toll, and they all take less than 60 seconds to have an effect.

Keeping on top of family life can feel like an impossible task. Whether you're navigating co-parenting boundaries, deciding on a parenting style, or just trying to keep up with all the daily duties that come with parenthood, it's easy to get overwhelmed. 

Within all this chaos, it can be easy to neglect caring for yourself as a parent and people often forget the importance of managing your own stresses. But while it's fair to say that weekly spa days or hour-long daily meditations are largely off the cards for those with attention-demanding kids, one mother of four has revealed the small, one-minute long, self care practices she uses to look after her wellbeing when things all get to be a bit too much - and they're so simple to do.

Mum getting stressed

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Writing for SheKnows, mum Rachel Garlinghouse shared, "I have found that instead of having an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to calming myself, I need to take advantage of small pockets of time, or occasional opportunities, to practice self-care. The goal is to do something that realistically fits into my schedule and meets my needs."

With this in mind, her first tip for stressed out parents is to simply step outside for 60 seconds when they feel the stress rising. "Being trapped indoors, especially in winter, rain, or extreme summer heat, can feel suffocating to parents. Sunlight can warm our skin, glimpsing at greenery is refreshing, green is a soothing and energising colour, and the temperature chance can shock the system — in a good way."

In a similar vein, Garlinghouse also praises the benefits of 60-second meditations. "There’s a misconception of how and where you have to meditate, as well as the length of time required, in order for meditation to be effective. 

"I use a meditation app and have favourited tons of 60-second, yes, you read that correctly, meditations. One minute is just enough time for me to reset when I’m waiting in the school pickup line." You could also try our relaxation techniques for stress for a similar effect.

Woman meditating

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Another simple trick is to have a glass of water and focus all your senses on the act of drinking it. "Water provides a cooling sensation," Garlinghouse explains, with the temperature change from hot and stressed to cool and calm working to bring you back into your mind and body. 

Exercise, she shares, is also another way to forget stress and bring your awareness back to the body. With Dr Rachel Goldman, a licensed psychologist, backing up her suggestion, saying that 'any sort of movement can help one de-stress, calm down, recharge themselves,' it's a good tip to try. "It’s easy to get ‘stuck’ in our own mind, but if we are physically moving it helps us get out of our heads a bit,” Dr Goldman said. 

The final tip Garlinghouse offers up is perhaps the most fun. "When I’m particularly overwhelmed by a parenting task or struggle, I’ve found that taking 60 seconds to 'rage-text' a trusted friend can help. 

"Holding in my frustration and confusion only fuels the fire in my mind. Sometimes I’m seeking support or advice, and other times, I’m doing some serious brain-dumping."

Whether you squat away your troubles, or rage-text them into oblivion, taking a minute for yourself even on the busiest of days is an important act of self-care to fit into your routine. If you want to incorporate more self-care into your days, why not try these beauty-editor-approved self-care products that will help you look and feel fresh even when you've been up all night, or these 16 mood-boosting products to beat the January blues

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.