The Power of Presence: Managing Toddler Tantrums and Preventing Workplace Burnout

Tara H

Hatched by Tara H

Oct 13, 2023

3 min read


The Power of Presence: Managing Toddler Tantrums and Preventing Workplace Burnout


Parenting a toddler can be challenging, especially when faced with epic tantrums. Similarly, workplace burnout is a common issue that many individuals struggle with. Surprisingly, there are common points between these two seemingly unrelated topics. By understanding the importance of presence and taking intentional microbreaks, we can navigate through both toddler tantrums and workplace burnout more effectively. In this article, we will explore the connection between these two areas and provide actionable advice for managing them.

The Power of Presence:

When faced with a toddler's epic tantrum, it's crucial to take a moment before reacting. This pause allows us to preserve our agency and respond thoughtfully. By imagining and channeling our best selves, even in moments of stress, we can choose our words and actions intentionally. While it may be challenging to remain supernaturally calm, being aware of our emotional state can help us stay grounded.

To achieve this presence, focusing on our feet can be helpful. Feeling the soles of our feet pressing into the ground and noticing how the earth supports us brings us back to the present moment. Wiggle your toes inside your shoes and pay attention to any sensations in the muscles and tendons. By refocusing our attention, we can better connect with our child and be present with their distress, rather than rushing in to fix things or distract them.

Microbreaks and Workplace Burnout:

In the realm of workplace burnout, microbreaks play a crucial role in preventing exhaustion and maintaining overall well-being. Recent studies conducted by scientists at Romania's West University of Timișoara (WUT) have discovered the impact of different microbreak activities on mood and fatigue levels. The findings revealed that physical breaks, such as stretching and exercise, were associated with increased positive emotions and decreased fatigue.

Interestingly, microbreaks involving work-related activities, such as helping a colleague, led to negative emotions, decreased well-being, and worse sleep quality. This highlights the importance of disconnecting from work tasks during breaks. Engaging in activities that are not directly related to work can contribute significantly to replenishing our energy and preventing burnout.

Connecting the Dots:

Although toddler tantrums and workplace burnout may seem unrelated, there are common threads between them. Both situations require us to be present and intentional in our responses. By applying the concept of presence to both areas, we can enhance our ability to navigate through challenging moments.

When faced with a toddler's epic tantrum, taking a moment of pause and being present with their distress can be more effective than rushing to fix things. Similarly, in the workplace, disconnecting from work-related activities during microbreaks can help prevent burnout and improve overall well-being.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Take a breath: Before reacting to a toddler tantrum or a stressful workplace situation, take a deep breath. This simple act can help you regain composure and respond more thoughtfully.
  • 2. Practice mindfulness: Incorporate mindfulness techniques into your daily routine to cultivate presence. Mindfulness exercises, such as focusing on your breath or engaging in body scans, can improve your ability to be present in challenging situations.
  • 3. Prioritize self-care: Both parenting and work responsibilities can be demanding. Prioritize self-care by scheduling regular microbreaks for yourself. Engaging in activities that bring you joy and help you disconnect from work will contribute to your overall well-being and prevent burnout.


By recognizing the power of presence and incorporating intentional microbreaks into our lives, we can effectively manage toddler tantrums and prevent workplace burnout. The ability to respond thoughtfully and be present in challenging situations is a skill that can be honed through practice. Remember to take a breath, practice mindfulness, and prioritize self-care as you navigate through the complexities of parenting and work.

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