In this crazy COVID-19 world, where school and sports are all up in the air, it’s challenging to keep everyone in your family stress free. Let’s acknowledge that it is just tough right now…for everyone! The uncertainty and constantly changing messages can create anxiety in the calmest people…so image what it’s doing to our kids. Nothing is normal for them, or us, but they may struggle more than adults to process all that is going on. Talk to them about it – how you are feeling, how they are feeling – and help them learn to cope and adapt. It is so important that with a world that seems crazy out there, we create a safe calm environment at home for our kids as much as possible. As we try to get them ready to go to school, or ready to do school from home, let’s look at some ways we can help keep are kids (and us parents) calm and collected.
1. Take a deep breath. Deep breathing can help calm the mind and body instantly, so remember to stop, and take a couple of slow deep breaths, throughout the day, especially if you feel tension building. Teach your kids to do the same. Reducing stress is beneficial, not only for the brain and heart, but also for the immune system! For added benefit, add some yoga to help enhance release of tension.
2. Remember routines. Kids need routine, so establish, or re-establish firm routines. Whether or not your kids physically go to school, make it a habit to go to bed at a consistent time each night, establishing good calming rituals such as bath time, light reading and hot tea or a calming beverage before bed. Then get up early each morning as if they are going to school, even if school is at home. Ensure your kids are getting adequate sleep at night, and consistent movement or exercise during the day, two critical things to help combat the effects of stress. Help your children by enforcing good lifestyle habits every day.
3. Make Healthy Choices. Diet can make a big difference in the health and well-being of your children. This is especially true when stress is present. Stress can cause overeating and impulse eating, and food choices tend to be poor when stress eating. There is a tendency to reach for comfort foods, fatty and sweet treats. Unfortunately, excess sugar from sweets can weaken the immune system, increasing chances of colds and other infections. And eating comfort foods often can contribute to weight gain. Keep sugar and unhealthy fats in check, and keep healthy choices on hand at home and in school lunchboxes.
4. Keep Rescue Remedy on Hand. Rescue Remedy is a blend of 5 flower essences that work to help you stay calm and more in control. The 5 flower essences work to help restore composure, comfort, focus, patience and fearlessness. It is formulated for trauma – extreme stress – and works quickly. It is a gentle but effective approach to help calm anxiety quickly, and it’s non-habit forming.
5. Use This Mineral at Bedtime. Magnesium plays an important role in sleep, supporting relaxation. A magnesium deficiency can result in insomnia, while magnesium supplementation has been reported to enhance sleep and reduce nighttime awakenings. Many Americans do not get the recommended intake of magnesium, which is found naturally in green leafy veggies, nuts and seeds. If you know these foods are not consistently consumed at your house, then try a magnesium drink in the evening as part of the evening ritual – for both kids and adults. If that doesn’t sound appealing, try magnesium oil – combine a few drops of magnesium oil with a drop or two of lavender essential oil, and rub it on the bottoms of your children’s feet.
6. Don’t Forget Fun. When outside activities may be hit and miss, create some fun at home. Have a family movie night complete with popcorn and snacks, or maybe family game night with board games. If the weather is nice, get out for a picnic in the park, or a stroll through the neighborhood in the evening. When the world seems a bit chaotic, giggles and fun can really go a long way to help everyone feel more at ease.
We’ve heard it a million times…we will get through this. These tips just help everyone to get through this with a little help from nature and nurture.