Reducing Back to School Anxiety

Reducing Back to School Anxiety

Back to school brings lots of emotions. Often at once. This past week we have swung from sheer terror (learning at home) to excitement to fear. That was just me. I haven’t been in the classroom in years and this would not be a time I would go running. Respect doesn’t even cover it for educators. Neither does the frustration. Either way we had to get our back to school anxiety down and bring our emotions into balance. Emotions are not bad but we cannot allow stress to stay in a constant state to create allostatic load. This is for parents, children, and educators alike.

Reduce Your Back to School Anxiety

Stay at home while working, schooling, and living is rough. For everyone.
  1. Simplify. Write down what absolutely has to be done and then nothing else matters.
  2. Build in creative and quiet time. This is on the absolutely has to be done list. 30 minutes a day at least. Unplugged.
  3. Prep for the next day. Food, clothes, supplies. This few minute investment will help your flow the next day. This works for at home learning and physically in school learning.
  4. Invest in your senses. Bouncy balls are a staple for adults and kids in this house- before, during, and afterschool. Seek warm fuzzies to feed your nerves and brain.
  5. Keep your immune system healthy. As you boost your immune system with food or either wise, you help your entire well-being.
  6. Supplement. Consider child friendly products to reduce anxiety like lemon balm or CBD. If you question whether or not it’s for children, read this article from 502 Hemp. Our littlest red had THC free CBD lollipops as part of his stress reduction. I also use them for my child with sensory processing disorder before a potential triggering situation.
  7. Breathing or EFT tapping. Another one of my favs that works at any age. Breathing apps like Calm make it easy. The Tapping Solution is my go to when anxiety triggers.
  8. Get perspective. Sugar coating is not my thing; however, what you say impacts your mental and physical health. Your body literally hears you. Be honest with your emotions and situations, but don’t let them continue to impact you. Mantra statements like “I am safe” and “I am enough” seam simple. Don’t underestimate them, words are powerful.

No company paid me to try a product or share in this post. This is genuinely in our anxiety tool box. Reducing back to school anxiety won’t be perfect. You can create it and mold it to what works and what you need it to be.

JRiley

What is Holistic Mental Health? Part One.

What is Holistic Mental Health? Part One.

Whether you’re dealing with a moment of frustration, a challenging phase of life, or in the battle of daily mental illness- holistic mental health benefits you.

What is Holistic Mental Health?

Holistic mental health looks at every aspect that can affect your mental state.

  • It’s what you do physically. Or don’t do.
  • It’s what you eat.
  • It’s what you think about yourself and your world.

It’s What You Physically Do

  • Find an enjoyable activity.
  • Cardio 3 times a week is a must. At least. Walking will do.
  • Use community to help by getting in a class or inviting a friend.

Why?

Physical activity gets oxygen flowing plus boosts the hormones and chemicals needed for brain health. Community adds to the benefit. Being around the right people triggers more of those good chemicals in your body. Beyond the biological, being connected and actively taking care of yourself gives your brain a positive message to feed on.

What You Eat

  • Less sugar and junk
  • More protein and not always meat or whey protein
  • More water
  • More Omegas (fish, nuts, etc)
  • More Nuts and seeds
  • More berries
  • More omegas

Why?

Sugar and processed or junk foods when eaten consistently impair your nervous system and brain. To eat for a better mind set start with water. Your brain need a variety of foods; however, making sure protein, omegas, and berries are on your mind’s daily check list. These foods feed your brain and nervous system specifically.

What You Think

How you view yourself and your world sets the tracks of thoughts that will dictate your mind set and behavior. These tracks of doubt, fear, and lack of worth can be changed. THEY ARE NOT PERMANENT. You do have to ability to create thoughts that support you and your world. It doesn’t mean these new thoughts eliminate those fears or challenges. It DOES mean the intentional creation of lifting thoughts get you through and invite more positive opportunities and connections.

Why

What you think about yourself and your world directly impacts your environment and mental health. It continues a detrimental cycle and only serves to hurt than help you. This isn’t a denial of wrong doing or excuse other’s behavior. Changing your thought tracks improves your current and future environment.

What you think causes a chemical chain reaction in your body. Negative thoughts constantly depress the parasympathetic nervous system. You need this system activated to heal, reduce inflammation, and keep optimal flow in your mental health.

What to look forward to

I feel compelled to release some mantras and mental health tool kits. Be ready for the next blog with these techniques to implement immediately for your mental health. Additionally, part two of Holistic Mental Health will dive deeper into more holistic approaches you can easily add. Some may surprise you.

Be safe.

Realize the power your mind has and the power you have with your mind.

J.Riley

Holistic Practitioner

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Seeking Warm Fuzzies Part Two

Certain senses will have more of an impact on your body and mind than others when in sensory seeking endeavors. For me it’s all about smell and food.  Naturally.

Smell it

My sense of smell is insane. When something is pleasant, it’s amazing. If it smell bad, it’s everything I have not to vomit.  Smell is powerful.  I’m ever grateful my children are potty trained.

Make use of the oil popularity.  A couple of days ago I was walking in a store and noticed a section dedicated to essential oils.  It’s not for parties anymore.  What you buy is important and needs to be a pure form.  However, the more readily available essential oils make scent seeking easier.  Rarely is an essential oil on it’s own safe.  For safety sake, mix oils and blends (more than one oil) in a carrier oil.  Grapeseed oil is my favorite choice but fractioned coconut, almond, jojoba oils all work too.  Putting these oils in a diffuser or a few drops in running water for a bath are excellent ways to disperse the scent quickly.  In a bath it will absorb in your skin for more potent results.  A few oils I blend with oil in a dark glass roller bottle.  A 10 mL bottle 80-85 % filled with carrier oil and few drops of each essential oil will do.  When needed, I roll the blend on the palms of my hands then rub hands together.  Then I cup my hands over my mouth and nose then breathe.  From hand to brain, it does the job.  Take this quick guide to a few essential oil options and make the most of your smell sense.

essential oils and benefits

Before we leave the sense of smell there are a few incredibly simple ways to find the warm fuzzies.  It’s as simple as a memory.  Find your comforting scents from the fall arena to floral,  woodsy, coffee, or clean.  Whatever it is that promotes a positive moment past or now, have it on hand.

From Mouth to Brain

Food! Yay!   There is so much my mouth can do other than a sarcastic or off color comment.  From taste bud to texture to temperature, our oral senses can be an amazing way to find those fuzzies.

Like your sense of smell, your taste buds have memories too.  Feeling down or any similar emotion, comfort foods are not called comfort foods for nothing.  It’s okay to indulge in indulging every once and awhile.  Bring those memories to the plate, bowl, or cup to trigger happy moments.  I would encourage you to create new moments and invited friends and family in those culinary endeavors.  Your taste buds will associate with that gathering time for a powerful multi-sensory punch you can draw upon later.  Don’t let those comfort foods sabotage you.  If your comfort food involves high fats, over processed, too much sodium, and not enough nutrition- eating it more than a day within a week or two  it will back fire.  They impact your brain and emotions along with nervous system in dreadful ways.  Then your comfort food becomes your enemy.

When feeling heavy emotionally go for lighter meals.  Less or barely cooked.  Reduce your fats.  Your fats should primarily focus on monosaturated fat, polysaturated fat, and omega 3 fatty acids on a daily basis.  In food forms this is coconut oil, avocados, eggs, fish, nuts, nut butters to name a few.  These fats help you but take in just what you need.  Cool foods and drinks help wake up the brain.  So does caffeine, but too much can over work the nerves.  Careful, please.  Bitter and spicy tastes aid in uplifting and stimulating your nervous system and brain as well as crunchy foods.  An nut has great brain fats, crunchy plus with a spicy seasoning, it will be an alarm system to your senses.  A warm fuzzy of the jolting variety.

When finding it difficult to calm, anxiety, or an unsettling condition go the opposite direction.  Padded in a couple extra servings of the good fats.  Avocado, egg, and a high protein cheese is my breakfast.  I have difficulty waking up but quickly switch to jitter mode.  I need my nourishment to help out.  Warm foods and drinks soothe and give literal warm fuzzies.  Sweet in its appropriate forms lend a hand too.

Days and moments are vary so should finding those warm fuzzies when using your senses.  Mix it up.

Namaste in your sensory seeking endeavors.