It’s August, which means it is back to school time. With school brings an increase in activities, homework, sporting events, and stress. As parents, we can be stressed trying to manage our schedules while also getting our children where they need to be on time. Also, our children can be just as stressed trying to meet the demands of homework, friends, activities, and family life.
Make note of these four tips for reducing stress hormones and anxiety in our kids, and in ourselves.
Make Sleep a Priority
The average child has a busy day consisting of school, friends, sports, homework, and pets. By the end of the day, the body needs a break. Many of us, including our children, are frequently sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation makes a stressor much harder to deal with. When the body does not get enough rest, it makes it harder to think clearly, concentrate, follow directions and regulate emotions. Children ages 5-12 need on average of 10-11 hours of sleep nightly. Adequate sleep helps to foster growth and a healthy immune system.
Spend Time in Nature
Exercise in any form, for any age, is a stress reliever. An activity your child loves and has fun doing will release endorphins, a feel-good hormone, that can help reduce anxiety, depression, and help with sleep. Spending time outside will also boost Vitamin D levels. Studies have shown Vitamin D both boosts our mood and immune system. Check out the Springfield Park Boards
Don’t Over Schedule
If you are stressed out about fitting your kids’ schedule into yours, you may be over scheduling. It is helpful to build in downtime into your kids’ schedules. This will give them time to relax and de-stress.
Fill Up on Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential mineral for the body. It relaxes both the mind and body. Foods high in magnesium include almonds, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, spinach, bananas, avocados, and pumpkin seeds. Kids that struggle with anxiety may benefit from a little magnesium in the morning. Those having troubles sleeping may need a little magnesium in the evening. Magnesium glycinate has the most relaxing effects.