3 Tips to Tackle Overwhelming Moments

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3 Tips to Tackle Overwhelming Moments

Let’s paint the scene. It’s that hour before supper when you’re trying to figure out what in the world to feed everyone and wondering if they are actually going to eat it or if your effort is once again going to be underappreciated. The kids are fighting, whining, singing too loudly, or talking your ear off. The youngest is attached to your body at all times. Someone dumps an entire box of toys at your feet and the mess enhances your feeling of overwhelm. Everyone needs your attention at once, you know they are getting hungry, and the meltdown is coming very soon if you don’t act fast. The dog starts barking because a doorbell rings on the too-loud tv. You try to push everyone outside but it’s too cold. Your brain is buzzing, you start to feel your heart beat a little quicker and you want to scream. Or run away. Or both. But you love these kids with all of your beings so you take a deep breath and muster up every ounce of patience you have. 

How do you return to a place of calm in these overwhelming parenting moments? What do you do when you can’t hear yourself think? What do you do when “take a deep breath” isn’t enough? 

Encourage Club parent coach Tricia Calik suggests you practice 3-5 ways to help your body and brain find peace. Reset your own nervous system. Practice in the moments that aren’t too bad so that in the moments when you are really triggered, it just becomes second nature and you don’t have to think about it. It’s okay to be stressed out or overwhelmed in front of your kids, but you’re also teaching them an important life skill when you model how to return to a regulated state when you’re flooded with emotion. What works for one parent might not work for another so having a plan in place and trying a few different options can be helpful. 

Here are 3 simple ways to return to calm when parenting feels overwhelming.


Emotion is processed through motion so adding in rigorous or calming movements can help regulate your body. This can be in the form of a family dance party, a few jumping jacks, or slowly swaying as you hold the fussy toddler. 


Have a positive mindset shift or phrase that you practice repeating to help you focus on the good in the present moment. Shifting thoughts from the negative, anxiety spiral to the positive truth right in front of you can be a powerful way to return to a place of peace.

My body

As parents, we can be so consumed with meeting everyone else’s needs that we forget our own basic needs. In moments of overwhelm, check in with your own body. Do you need a drink of water? Have you fueled your body with real food today? When was the last time you went to the bathroom? Are you too hot or too cold? Returning your attention to your own body can also help bring you back to the present moment. It’s okay to focus on your own physical needs so that you can show up emotionally to meet your child’s needs. 

So next time things feel out of control, your children are too loud, and you want to yell or book a vacation, try getting a drink of water, putting your hand on your chest as you sway and breathe, and remind yourself how capable and resilient you are! See if it changes that feeling of overwhelming to slightly more peace and presence. 

What “return to calm” strategie(s) work for you? Have you ever really been intentional about knowing when your child(ren) triggers you and how to respond respectfully? If this is a struggle for you or an area you want to be more intentional about, Encourage Club can help with simple, free parenting tips or individualized daily support through parent coaching services. 

Tricia Calik

Tricia Calik

Tricia Calik is the founder of Encourage Club where she offers parent coaching services to parents who want help decoding their child’s challenging behaviors and research-based strategies for how to respond. She has two active boys and resides with her family in West Des Moines. She has a background in special education and taught in the public school system for 10 years. She loves advocating for the kids who are misunderstood and encouraging others in their parenting journey. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/encourage.club/ Website: https://www.encourageclub.org

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