Higher self work — I love helping mums tap into their “higher self”. This is the version of us that makes decisions from a calm place and is not so affected by day to day stressors. When you’re feeling highly stressed, ask yourself “What does my higher self want to do?” Usually our higher self won’t be as wrapped up in the mess on the high chair or the person at work who is frustrating us. They know in the grand scheme of things it’s not too big a deal and this can ease the stress very quickly.

With all that’s going on in our country, our economy, the world, and on social media, it feels like so many of us are under a great deal of stress. Parenting, in particular, can be stress-inducing. We know chronic stress can be as unhealthy as smoking a quarter of a pack a day. It is also challenging to be a present parent when your relationship is under stress. What are stress management strategies that parents use to become “Stress-Proof? What are some great tweaks, hacks, and tips that help reduce or even eliminate stress? In this interview series, we are talking to authors, parenting experts, business and civic leaders, and mental health experts who can share their strategies for reducing or eliminating stress. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Georgie Bryant.

Georgie Bryant is a twice certified life coach and time management expert for parents. She specifically helps toddler mums reduce their overwhelm permanently, and shows them how to enjoy their lives fully again. Georgie is the creator of the 6 step Productive Mum Method that she takes mums through 1:1 and in groups.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to know how you got from “there to here.” Inspire us with your backstory!

I’m a twice certified life coach and have a 10 year background in project management. So once I became a mum, I thought I’d be fine to stay organised and productive. Boy was I wrong!

Instead, once I had my daughter and returned to work, I found myself racing from meeting to meeting, out the office door to daycare right on 5pm, watching the clock so I could get her to bed by 7, then back on the laptop as soon as she was asleep.

I felt extremely overwhelmed and like I could be doing a better job in literally everything I was doing.

I used all my coaching and project management skills to maximise the naptime hour (or 30 mins or 2 hours, depending on the day!), then worked on planning my days out, then my weeks, and finally I created The Productive Mum Method for myself and my clients.

I’ve coached so many mums now to manage their stress and create a balanced schedule that they’re truly happy with.

What lessons would you share with yourself if you had the opportunity to meet your younger self?

My coaching is based around cognitive change — so helping mums change their thoughts and therefore their outlook on life.

I’d tell my younger self not to believe all her thoughts (especially the inner critic so many mums have!). This quote from Dr Russ Harris’ The Happiness Trap really changed my life:

“Thoughts are merely sounds, words, stories or bits of language. Thoughts may or may not be true; we don’t automatically believe them. Thoughts may or may not be important; we pay attention only if they’re helpful. Thoughts are definitely not orders; we certainly don’t have to obey them. Thoughts may or may not be wise; we don’t automatically follow their advice.”

None of us are able to experience success without support along the way. Is there a particular person for whom you are grateful because of the support they gave you to grow you from “there to here?” Can you share that story and why you are grateful for them?

I would have to say my 5 year old daughter! She is the reason I coach toddler mums and want them to experience what we had together — definitely not perfection, but lots of managing our emotions, enjoying our time and “re-parenting” me to be the kind of parent I want to be.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think it might help people?

I’m running a group session of my six step coaching program The Productive Mum Method from April 2023. The power of group coaching is huge — you can almost always see yourself in someone else’s situation, but you don’t always have to be the vulnerable one talking. It helps mums feel way less alone on this journey with toddlers.

Ok, thank you for sharing your inspired life. Let’s now talk about stress. How would you define stress?

Stress is a reaction in your body to something you’re thinking. Often it shows up physically as a racing heart, sweaty palms, you can feel it now as you read that, can’t you?! But the key thing I teach mums is — our kids don’t directly cause our stress, our to do lists don’t directly cause our stress.

What we’re thinking about our kids and to do lists are the things that cause that stress reaction in us, and we can easily change our thinking (but not necessarily our kids or our to do lists!).

In the Western world, humans typically have their shelter, food, and survival needs met. So what has led to this chronic stress? Why are so many of us always stressed out?

Our brains are wired for survival and as you say our basic needs are generally met. Because our brain is wired to look for danger, it has to start looking for it in other areas of our life — the danger of being behind at work, the danger of not getting our toddler to eat enough vegetables and therefore being a bad mum, feeling guilty for not spending enough time with our kids.

All of these thoughts create a huge stress response, and because our brain also likes to be efficient, it creates a habit and we think these things again and again. That’s where coaching comes in to help change our thinking.

What are some of the physical manifestations of being under a lot of stress? How does the human body react to stress?

Gosh, I see a lot of mums coming to me saying they feel panicked all day long.

I see that they are unable to focus on one thing at a time (thus the saying of having 1000 tabs open in our brains at once). They often aren’t sleeping well, find themselves yelling at their spouse or kids, and are just living in a very heightened emotional state.

Is stress necessarily a bad thing? Can stress ever be good for us?

Stress is good when we need it! I often say we do need some stress to remind us to not let our kids walk out onto the road, or to stop them grabbing a hot pot off the stove. So it definitely helps us from a survival standpoint, but we need to train our brain to realise not responding to a work email within 10 minutes isn’t an emergency!

Is there a difference between being in a short-term stressful situation versus an ongoing stress? Are there long-term ramifications to living in a constant state of stress?

As I mentioned, we defer our very practiced thoughts and feelings to our lower, more primitive brain, so often if we’re living in a stressful state short term, it becomes our default operating system ongoing.

Thoughts like “I don’t have enough time” or “I’ll never get everything done” can live on in mums’ brains for years.

That’s why I do the work I do — I feel the long term ramification of stress can be that you end up regretting the time you spent with your kids when they were small. The mums I work with do everything for their kids and are amazing, but when they come to me they aren’t really enjoying their time because they’re always in this stress response.

Let’s now focus more on the stress of parenting. This feels intuitive, but it is helpful to spell it out in order to address it. Can you help articulate why being a parent can be so stressful?

Firstly, there is the biological connection we have to our children. This means we usually want to protect them and make sure their basic needs are met — doing that for another human being 24/7 is mental load enough to feel stressed.

Secondly, there is not a lot of value placed upon being a parent. It is unpaid and usually the emotional and physical energy put in is not recognised. This often means we don’t validate our feelings of overwhelm, which is stressful in itself.

Thirdly, we are usually trying to hold down the career we had prior to kids, when we didn’t have that responsibility. We’re often pretending we don’t have kids when working, and pretending we don’t work when we’re with our kids. Again, highly stressful.

Can you help spell out some of the problems that come with being a stressed parent?

The problems I see with stressed mums are feelings of discontent and wishing away their time with their kids. They aren’t wishing the years away necessarily, but they’re watching the clock to get the day done, or hoping a phase their toddler is going through will pass quickly. This creates feelings of guilt and shame and that’s what we address in coaching too.

Here is the main question of our interview: Can you share with our readers your “5 stress management strategies that parents can use to remove some of the stress of parenting?” Please share a story or example for each.

  • Journaling — getting our thoughts out of our head is a huge step to raising awareness and reducing stress. Our thoughts are usually on autopilot so every morning you may have the same thought, such as “I have too much to do”. Writing out your thoughts is like cleaning out an old dusty room — we want to see what’s in there so we can start the clean up.
  • Feeling emotion — as a parent, we are often surrounded by a lot of noise or physical activity at home, and when we try to ignore that, that’s usually when we get angry or upset. I teach mums how to process their emotions so they don’t push them away but actually address them. You can start this process by tuning into your body and identifying where the feeling is. Acknowledging it will go a long way to stopping the avoidance.
  • Stepping away — a huge strategy as a parent! Many parents just push on, when if they simply took 5 minutes to have a glass of water or even go to the bathroom, they’d come back a new person. If you’re feeling the stress rising, set up an activity for your kids, or pop the TV on, and get your bearings with a short break.
  • Intentional alone time — mums I work with often flop on the couch with Netflix or Instagram at the end of the day (totally understandable after a busy day!) but they wish they could value their free time more. I’d suggest making a list of things you’d like to do depending on your energy level when you have some free time and draw on it from there.
  • Higher self work — I love helping mums tap into their “higher self”. This is the version of us that makes decisions from a calm place and is not so affected by day to day stressors. When you’re feeling highly stressed, ask yourself “What does my higher self want to do?” Usually our higher self won’t be as wrapped up in the mess on the high chair or the person at work who is frustrating us. They know in the grand scheme of things it’s not too big a deal and this can ease the stress very quickly.

Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that have inspired you to live with more joy in life?

I love Janet Lansbury — her podcast Respectful Parenting has brought much more joy to my parenting. She specialises in advice for parents of toddlers and her soothing voice and calm strategies are brilliant!

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I’m on the path to start a movement where mums feel OK spending time and resources on themselves. Mums usually don’t ask themselves what they want, but I truly believe if mums take care of their own needs, the domino effect on their children, partners, workplaces and lives will be immense.

What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?

I blog regularly about being a toddler mum and managing overwhelm over at www.wherethelightplays.com and am on Instagram @georgiebryantcoaching

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.


  • Savio Clemente

    Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Media Journalist, #1 Best-selling Author, Podcaster, and Stage 3 Cancer Survivor

    The Human Resolve LLC

    Savio P. Clemente is a Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), media journalist, #1 best-selling author, podcaster, stage 3 cancer survivor, and founder of The Human Resolve LLC.  He coaches cancer survivors to overcome obstacles, gain clarity, and attract media attention by sharing their superpower through inspiring stories that make a difference. He inspires them to get busy living in mind, body, and spirit and to cultivate resilience in their mindset. 

    Savio has interviewed notable celebrities and TV personalities and has been invited to cover numerous industry events throughout the U.S. and abroad.  His mission is to provide clients, listeners, and viewers alike with tangible takeaways on how to lead a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle.