5 ways to ease parental stress


A parent’s stress is like an emotional smoothie which has the potential to blow the lid off the jug and make a huge mess!

Parental stress can be a blend of thoughts and emotions; from frustration to a child not doing what we want, to guilt because we blame ourselves for whatever is going on. There’s the bombardment of mental research as we try to scan all the resources we’ve read about parenting, and we wonder how to apply it, and the twinge of triggers from our own childhoods mixed in for good measure.

When a parent wants to stop themselves from blowing, they often resort to simply keeping lid on it more firmly. They feel the stress and triggers shooting off in all directions, but rather than  a few simple steps to relief, they walk away, or repress the frustration, hoping it goes away by itself. But the stress and trigger cycle runs deeper than that, and with some conscious attention and mindful practice, rather than suppressing the stress, you can alter the course and find relief.

Mindfulness can help on both ends of the scale. When we put conscious living into practice, we create a preventative barrier to that stress overload in the first place.

Practicing inner work builds up an awareness to our emotions and how situations feel before they go “too far”. When a parent can begin to feel that stress before it overloads, they can then shift the situation and their focus so it defuses within themselves.

Living with this awareness of ourselves also gives the parent the tools to see situations through a different lens. When we can take part in a positive perspective, when we can chose to become an observer of a situation, and act from that place rather than react from our own stress build up, then we can lighten things up, through play, laughter, or spontaneity, as a natural antidote to how we feel.

Practicing awareness and mindfulness and bringing it into our parenting doesn’t have to be a long process each day such as a 20 minute meditation which most parents don’t have time for.

With these five simple steps, any parent can find that deeper connection to their inner lives so they can become more present in the moment, emotionally aware and mindfully empowered.

5 ways to ease parental stress

1) Really wake up each morning.- How often does the morning routine include stumbling out of bed, kicking slippers into place, stumbling downstairs and waking up somewhere after a third cup of coffee? When we create a habit of waking up and connecting to a larger sense of life and a deeper sense of ourselves, we can be more aware from the get-go. Some ways of practicing this is literally saying “Good morning World/ Spirit/Self/Source/ Universe” as soon as you open your eyes, or as soon as you look out the window. Give it a go and see if this helps wake up your inner senses or sense of purpose. 

Another practice, is to take five deep breaths as soon as you get out of bed. On each exhale, sigh your name or your intention for the day, such as “presence”.

2) Find 3-5 items that symbolise your ideal self and centredness. It can be a piece of jewellery that you can fiddle with, or a picture on your wall. It can even be post-its scribbled with words such as “Consciousness” “Stillness” or “Breathe” posted in places you visit often. Whenever you see the focus items, take a deep breath and go within. These items can also be grounding tools when a parent starts to feel stress rising up. Training ourselves to look at an image or start playing with a bracelet or necklace, breathing deep and shifting perspective to a happier state, slows down our processing of an overloaded mind.

3) Another preventative practice is to write 5-10 positive aspects from your day in a notebook each night. The last half hour of being awake is a vitally important time, as it creates the feeling and focus that we sleep with. That’s also the space we wake up with, so a cycle is created.

When we focus on what’s gone well within a day, even if we have to strain to find them, we shift our perspective to seeing what’s going well. We also start to notice more wellbeing in the day, as we want to keep note of them for our night-time lists. Noticing what’s going well opens our minds to seeing wellbeing and expanding our view point to a positive perspective.

And it’s much harder to get stressed out, when you have the conscious perspective that things are in fact, going well.

4) Shake it off. When a parent starts to feel the tension rise up within themselves, a wonderful antidote is to build up an opposite feeling. Putting on positive, uplifting music, dancing, yoga, jogging or going on a swing or slide with a child, is a way to remind yourself that the tension and stress can be relieved. Even when we find a few moments of relief, the tension and stress can’t be matched to the same intensity as prior to having a little bit of fun.

5) Practice the 4 “L”s of connection in chaos;

Log Off… meaning take a step away from the situation.

Let Go… Release, with a big breath, the need to control how things are going. Open up to understanding.

Listen… Listen to your child’s heart as well as their words. Support them where they are and offer solutions and help.

Love. Find those things to appreciate. Love the smallest detail to feel better in an instant.

This small, simple focuses, can help a parent find their footing in the barrage of thoughts and emotion that lead to a stressed out and triggered outbreak.


When a parent becomes more mindful in their lives and in the interactions with their children, an amazing thing happens. Stress can become a friend. That swelling up within them becomes an indicator that they need to take a different perspective, focus or action. It becomes a warning light to not proceed with how things are progressing, and to release that need for control of the outcome. It can be a sign to stop and really connect and listen to their children, rather than hurry past them.

It’s also a reminder that we are all human and learning.

We get stressed and our children can too. So when we take some simple steps to find relief within that, we not only change our own processing, we empower our children to do the same, through our example.

Christina Fletcher is a Spiritually Aware Parenting Coach and Author who specializes in supporting a parent’s spiritual self. Through her coaching, courses, and books, Christina offers simple processes for conscious living so parents can show up as themselves,  as well as offer their children tools to have self-knowledge and emotional awareness. Christina is also a parent of 3 children, whom she homeschools with her husband in Nova Scotia, Canada.
For more information, please visit her website or her Facebook page.

1 Comment

  • Jo-Ann Jensen August 8, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    A beautiful summary of how to approach each of the daily challenges of parenting. Slowing down is the biggest message I got from the article and to really be present was the other. It reflects that beautiful person that makes you very well!


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