31 Quick (2 Minute) Stress Relievers for Busy Parents

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iStock_000016271480SmallThe holiday season and even parenthood in general can be stressful at times. There are so many demands made on parents. The job is never done and we often feel like we are always behind, but the truth is, that because it is never done, we can’t really ever be behind.

As a counselor I have found one of the most important elements of therapeutic success and success in general is being able to manage your stress. Even more, it’s being able to turn stress from distress (negative stress) to eustress (positive stress). When we perceive and experience what we are doing as meaningful and within reasonable limits we excel and succeed. Positive stress actually motivates us and helps us to get “in the zone.” To keep our selves in the eustress zone, sometimes we just need to relax and shift gears. The following is a list of 2 minute stress relievers to help you move from distress to eustress.

1. Breathe Deep (In through the nose, out through the mouth).

2. Smile (seriously do it for 2 minutes and pay attention to how you feel).

3. Wash your hands with cold, or hot water.

4. Play.

5. Write down your to dos (organize your thoughts/tasks on paper and take them one at a time).

6. 2 minute exercise (pushups, sit-ups, burpees, run in place, etc.).

7. Tell a joke.

8. Meditate.

9. Give a gift.

10. Say thank you to someone you love.

11. Listen to feel good music/nature sounds.

12. Draw a stick figure picture of you doing something that makes you happy.

13. Blow bubbles.

14. Write down your stress and then leave it on the page.

15. Watch or listen to water.

16. Turn off TV and extra noise.

17. Cuddle.

18. Cry- it’s ok, sometimes it really helps.

19. Hold ice and watch it melt.

20. Let a piece of chocolate melt in your mouth.

21. Sing a musical version of what you are doing.

22. Kiss someone.

23. Hug someone.

24. Read a validating quote.

25. Stop and smell the roses(literally) or something else nice.

26. Write down all the reasons you can think of why YOU ROCK!

27. Write down all the reasons you can think of why YOUR KIDS ROCK!

28. Say No to something that is not desirable, important or urgent.

29. Be utterly silly.

30. Relax all the muscles in your body.

31. Slow everything down.

Different things work for different people. Try some of these or share with us what work for you. The trick is to actually stop and switch things up. Being more aware and deliberate with our thoughts and actions decreases distress in our lives and allows us to live and act with greater purpose. It always feels like we’ve got too much going on, but if we take the time (2 minutes) and make the effort to stop and do one of these things, it will give us the opportunity to re-center and reengage in the things we need to do with more resolve and less overwhelm. Two minutes is doable for everyone. These simple things can make everything we do more enjoyable. Remember, you’re not behind. You’re right on time as a parent. So go ahead and take a little 2 minute break.

Question: What 2 minute stress relievers work best for you? (from the list or add your own)

Enhance your ability to relieve stress with the “Quick Calm Toolkit!” In the Quick Calm Toolkit you’ll get incredible resources to track and magnify your efforts and ability to manage your emotions and stress more effectively. You’ll also receive a short audio recording of a quick technique that will help you decrease your stress, anxiety and frustration in literally 2 minutes! To get TRU parenting updates and the amazing Quick Calm Toolkit, enter your email below! 

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