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Inside: Includes 5 – 60 Second Relaxation Techniques for Moms, plus three bonus exercises.
Stress is like poison.
It seeps through your entire body and causes anxiety, decreased energy, unhappiness, lack of focus, and worry.
And do you want to know the worst part?
It hurts ALL your relationships.
And who wants that?
But here’s the thing:
When you have the antidote for stress, you can become your best self…
…and you will be unstoppable.
And today I’m going to give 5 quick and easy 60-second relaxation techniques.
60 Second Relaxation Techniques for Moms
1. Calm Breathing
When we feel worried or anxious our breathing becomes quick and shallow. This causes our muscles to get tight and our breathing becomes shallow. When your breathing is shallow you are not getting the amount of oxygen that your body needs.
Try this 60-second breathing exercise to deepen your breath and squash your stress.
- Sitting upright, take a slow breath in through your nose. Close your eyes.
- Send the breath first to your stomach, and then fill your chest. Breathe right into your lower belly.
- When your chest is full, hold your breath for 1 to 2 seconds.
- Exhale slowly through the mouth (3 to 4 seconds).
- Pause briefly, and take another breath.
- Repeat this cycle for one minute (or longer if you can).
Try this breathing technique whenever you feel anxious or worried, or when stress creeps in.
While breathing try listening to your body.
What is your body telling you?
Do you feel strong, healthy, relaxed, worried, uncomfortable or tense?
Are there parts of your body you could send your breath, to relax the tension?
Health Benefits of Deep Breathing
There are too many benefits of deep breathing to list here, but a few include:
Detoxifying, releasing tension, relaxing the body and the mind, relieving emotional problems, (including aiding in depression and anxiety relief) soothing tense joints, improving immunity, aiding in sleep, improving digestion, correcting posture, strengthening the lungs and heart….
…I could go on…
Seriously! Are you ready to give this a try?
Do you want to learn how to breathe better? Why not take our 7 days to Mindfulness challenge completely free? Sign up here.
2. Standing Forward Bend
In my humble opinion, there is no better pose to melt stress away than standing forward bend.
It’s my personal favorite. You can often find me at my desk, bent over, (like the picture below) letting my head hang heavy.
Let’s get to it:
- Feet touching or hip-width apart, whichever feels better for you.
- Standing tall, inhale, and as you exhale melt towards the floor. Sweep your arms down on either side of your body, forward fold from your hips.
- Tuck your chin towards your chest, relax your shoulders and extend the crown of your head toward the floor. Create a long spine.
- Ensure your bend comes from your pelvis, and not from your back. Imagine your pelvis as a bowl of water, rotate forward so tip the water from the front side.
- Shift your weight forward onto the balls of your feet. Keep your hips over your ankles.
- Straighten your legs as much as possible, but a slight bend in the knees is okay.
- Let your arms hang, or hold your elbows and rock back and forth. If you can bring your fingertips in line with your toes.
- Hold for 30 seconds. Sway your neck from side to side, release the tension.
Allow your head to hang heavy = no tension. Remember to send your breath to your shoulders and neck and allow the muscles to soften.
Health Benefits of Standing Forward Bend:
- Stretches and opens the leg muscles such as the hamstrings and calves
- Improves flexibility of the hips
- Strengthens the knees and the spine
- Alleviates back pain
- Relieves tension shoulders and neck
- Tones and activates the muscles of the abdomen
- Improves posture and alignment
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- May help treat depression
- Reduces fatigue
- Calms the mind and soothes the central nervous system
Why not makeover your mornings? Did you know how you start your day reflects your state of mind the ENTIRE DAY? I recommend Crystal Paine’s makeover your morning’s course.
3. Progressive muscle relaxation
Before we get to this quick exercise below, I want you to do this quickly: unclench your jaw, relax your shoulders, and relax the creases in your forehead.
There. That’s better.
Now take a breath.
Can you notice the difference already?
60 Second Muscle Relaxation Exercise:
- Pay attention to your body. Try to notice where your body feels tense.
- Sitting comfortably try to let go of each muscle. Start at your feet and work your way up to the top of your head. Relax each muscle as you go.
- Imagine your body going limp.
- Imagine your muscles are warm, heavy or tingly.
- Tense muscles are no longer holding you up. You feel weightless, free, relaxed.
- Remember to relax your face and eyes too.
- Try to maintain this sense of freedom for one minute.
A similar muscle relaxation exercise is to tense particular muscle groups in your body, such as your neck and shoulders.
- Tense muscles for 10 seconds.
- Then, release the tension and notice how your muscles feel.
- Because you tensed your muscles so hard when you relax they instantly become tired and achieve that relaxation you are craving.
- Perhaps start with whatever muscles are giving you the most trouble and work your way around your body.
Does your body feel like jelly? Good, that’s the goal!
Health Benefits of Muscle Relaxation
This exercise will help lower your tension and stress levels. It can also help relieve stomach problems and headaches.
This type of relaxation tactic is also particularly great if you feel tense before sleeping.
4. Count Backwards Slowly
It’s simple but effective. (And your little one can join in too).
Count backward from five to one.
You can do this in your head, or you can do this out loud. I prefer out loud.
When you reach one, start over (for one minute).
For this exercise to be effective you need to adopt slow, controlled breathing (see point one above).
After one minute your mind will feel less focus on stressful thoughts.
Your mind needs to focus to count, so it will send calming signals to the rest of your body.
Health Benefits of Counting
The main health benefit of counting is that it diffuses anger. And anger is one of the worst states of mind we can have.
Anger is a mind that intends to harm. And this is not a great place for anyone to be, especially when surrounded by little ears.
So among the obvious benefits of stress reduction, distraction, and calming the body, anger management is a BIG benefit.
5. Start Positive Affirmations
Now that you’re finding a state of relaxation with the exercises above, it’s time to introduce the last stress-relieving exercise for today.
Don’t feel awkward.
If you’re new to using affirmations, it can definitely feel a little silly. But this silly habit has enormous benefits (see below).
The goal is to make sure you’re thinking about and listening to positive things. It distracts your mind from the negative and provides you with something happy that you can focus on.
Examples of these positive suggestions include:
- I feel calm and serene.
- I am loved.
- I am safe.
- I am a good mother.
- I will be kind of everyone.
- I love myself, and my life.
- I believe in myself and the people around me.
- I can stay calm.
Continue this process until you can’t focus on your negative thoughts anymore. Try to do it as long as possible, and any time stress or negative thoughts enter, repeat your affirmations!
Remember to breathe while you say them.
Why not consider a daily positive thinking reminder?
Health Benefits of Positive Affirmations
There are so many benefits of affirmations… (As Deepak Chopra says),
- By becoming aware of your daily thoughts and words, you reduce letting negativity seep in.
- You notice more synchronicities in your life, which serves to encourage and motivate you to keep up the practice.
- Daily affirmations not only help keep you surrounded by the things you want in your life but they help bring about more blessings and gifts.
- A daily practice helps to keep small things in perspective. In this high-speed world, you can easily lose sight of how large the small things really are. When healthy you may forget to think of how much you appreciate it. A simple morning affirmation sentence of “I am healthy” can go a long way.
- A recent study shows that optimistic people have healthier hearts, and affirmations help you to stay positive.
- As you continue this practice, others take note and you begin to help those around you without even trying. This, in turn, helps keep you focused.
- Daily affirmations keep you in a constant state of gratitude.
What Happens If You STILL Can’t Relax?
No relaxation technique will provide instant results that last forever.
I know, right. Disappointing.
But when you start to adopt habits, they seep into your life when you don’t expect it.
Stop thinking too hard about it, and just do it.
If it doesn’t happen on your first try, keep at it. Eventually, you will feel those muscles release and you’ll be sailing into the calm.
A few additional aids to help you relax:
Try visualizing yourself someone peaceful and relaxing. Perhaps a beach, or a mountain or park. Imagine this place with all your senses. What can you smell, hear, see, taste, touch? Can you visualize the scent of a flower or the feeling of the ocean spray? Stay with this visualization for 60 seconds.
If you’d like to download our free meditation starter kit, please feel free.
Stop Negative Thoughts
When negative thoughts take over, (and they will from time to time) practice wiping them away by saying this: “My mind is experiencing unpleasantness, and this feeling will pass.” This type of self-talk will take the permanence out of the feeling.
Have you ever considered a Worry Journal? This has been an amazing addition to my own life. You can learn more here.
Aromatherapy is often a solution for anxiety. It calms you and can be a powerful tool to use when you feel stressed.
Some valuable aromatherapy scents for anxiety include:
I hope you’ve enjoyed these 60-second stress solutions, and that they prove useful for those hairy mom moments.
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