3 Ways to Balance Your Mood in Under One Minute

I am a parent to two young children, a military wife, and a recovering shout-a-holic. Having struggled with an anxiety disorder my entire adolescence and adult life thus far, yelling, crying, and panicking used to be commonplace behaviors for me, even in my parenting. But as I grow as a mother, I am able to work on being more self-aware and more compassionate in my communication with others, and also to be more compassionate with myself.

There are lovely meditations, imagery, prayers, and physical activities that can help with anxiety and stress, but many parents wonder what can be done in the moment – when the dishes are clanging on the kitchen floor because the toddler thinks it’s fun, you haven’t yet had time to even look in the mirror, one child is screaming, the other is crying, somehow, there’s something sticky in your hair, and you feel like the whole world is laughing at you. . .

Quick, simple mood-balancing techniques are vital for me – and I hope that these three can be helpful to you as well.

1. Take a Deep Breath. Breathe in through your nose and fill your lungs, allowing your ribs to expand. As you breathe in, count to ten. Hold this breath for a split second before slowly exhaling while counting down from ten, and allowing your face, neck, shoulders, and wherever else you hold tension release. Repeat, if necessary.

When done fully, taking one deep breath is usually all I need to help balance my mood and undercut an anxious spiral.

2. Get some exercise. Even if it is ten jumping jacks, a series of crunches, dancing to music, or sprinting around the house, getting your heart rate up and energizing your body releases endorphins that help you calm down.

Exercise can also help to calm those little ones in your care. A screaming match can quickly be diffused to a foot race or a song and dance, and all of you will feel better as a result!

3. Change your environment. This can be as simple as stepping outside or going to another room. Changing scenery gives you a moment to be distracted from the stress at hand, so that you can take a parental time-out if needed, or simply do number 1. or 2. to balance your mood before continuing on with your day.

Remember that it’s not only OK – but imperative – to take a break to balance your mood and take care of yourself as a parent. I wish that I had known that scream-free parenting was easily in reach when I took care of myself and found ways to balance my mood and care for my needs. With these three easy tips, you can start to care for your own parenting heart in under a minute!

About The Author: Amy W.

Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work Amy_willa My NPN Posts

Military spouse, breastfeeding advocate, natural parent, and seamstress, Amy ran into natural parenting by accident, and now blogs at Amy Willa: Me Mothering, and Making it All Work and Natural Parents Network, in order to share her experience and inspire others to live an authentic life and seek peace in parenting. Amy enjoys sewing, selling Silly Bear Handmade cloth diapers and eco friendly home goods at her Etsy shop, and is a passionate and compassionate breastfeeding advocate. She is active in La Leche League International, and pursuing a Public Health Degree and certification as an IBCLC.

10 Responses to 3 Ways to Balance Your Mood in Under One Minute

  1. Amanda

    I’m glad i came across this, and will definitely take this into consideration 🙂 I also have anxiety and have had difficulty coping with it at times… My son is still very young(3mo) but i still panic at times when he fusses and i can’t figure out why immediately…

    • Amy W.  


      Mood balancing exercises are vital – no matter what the season of life! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment! It’s also important to remember that crying is our babies’ way of speaking to us. So, sometimes, crying is not a bad thing. Responding with love and sensitivity with lots of nurture and cuddles will get both of you through those fits of crying and out the other side – There are lots of great articles on crying and coping with sensitive babies on NPN – and my daughter was very high needs as an infant. I empathize with you and wish you the best on your parenting journey!

  2. Ally M

    Thanks for this, sometimes when your feeling down it’s easy to forget that there are 3 easy things you can do to help pick you up 🙂

  3. Faye

    Thankyou for this post. I’m new to NPN and this has been great for me. I’m trying so hard to stop my shouting and yelling and I’m getting somewhere with it. But it’s those odd ‘in the moment’ times that get me and I think these will really help me. Thankyou so much for this.

    • Amy W.  

      You’re very welcome, Faye! I think it’s important to remember in trying moments that you are not alone – all other parents go through stress on a daily basis too! It’s all in how you handle it, and treating yourself well and being aware of your emotions is a fantastic place to be!

  4. emily

    Thank you for this! I often tell my clients to deeply breathe and it’s a good reminder for me too.

  5. Tracey  

    Great advice! Now I just need to remember it when all I fell like doing is screaming!!! 😉

  6. Ronda Combs

    This is a great article . My 5 year old boy is a challenge to my mood.

    • Amy W.  

      I feel you, mama! My four year old sweetheart can really push my buttons. I have used my own suggestions from this article probably three times per day for the last week! 🙂