Whether your child is new to the school system or a returning student, going back to school is often paired with anxiety especially this year as we have the added stress of a global pandemic to add to the challenge. Today's wellness Wednesday will focus on a few gentle things we can incorporate to help calm the nerves of our little ones and ourselves.
Boost up Magnesium Rich Foods: Magnesium is a mineral that calms the nervous system and promotes a restful sleep. Try adding magnesium rich food to your child’s diet such as; dark green veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts/seeds, bananas, watermelon, figs, potatoes and green beans. If you focus on a whole foods diet, you will ensure your child is getting an adequate dose of magnesium.
Up your Healthy Fats: Omega 3 essential fatty acids are crucial for mood regulation and mental focus. As a population we are deficit in this oil, so it is important to make a conscious effort to include more of it in your child’s diet. Food sources rich in omega 3’s are; fish (remember SMASH-sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon, herring), walnuts, flax/hemp seed oil, or hemp hearts. If your child is not keen on this list, sometimes a good old spoonful of the liquid down the hatch is the way to go.
Rescue Remedy: This is a great remedy that immediately calms the nervous system. Place a few drops directly into the child’s mouth or dilute it in a little water. Rescue remedy is composed of 5 flower essences, is safe to use at any age, and with any medication. This product has been researched to reduce anxiety and stress in acute situations, perfect for any incident in which a child is emotional.
Chamomile Tea: This herbal tea is amazing for calming nervous minds and nervous tummies. We make a pot with the flowers and let it steep for 5-10 minutes. Add a little honey, and my kids devour this tasty beverage.
Practice Mindfulness. Research shows that teaching children from a young age how to be in the moment decreases anxiety, worries, distress and poor behaviours. It also increases focus, self-esteem, and awareness. When children (and adults) put emphasis on future events, it creates anxiety. Staying focused on the present can help to decrease these tensions. Especially true during these uncertain times.
I hope some of these suggestions help calm your anxious child (and maybe you too!). If your child’s anxiety is increasing speak to a medical professional.
Written by: Dr. Rachel Schwartzman ND