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By Crystal Baldwin
Going back to school can be overwhelming for both the kids and the parents! For the grown-ups there are many things to now have to worry about. Besides worrying about getting your children mentally ready for school, parents have a whole bunch of things that now get added to their plate.
It takes a while to get use to all of the new schedules and getting the kids use to their new schedules as well. Just thinking about everything that needs to happen can cause anxiety and some sleepless nights.
There are some great ways to help mitigate the stress and anxiety and get your mind and body into a good rhythm. Pay a little more attention to your needs as you can't help the rest of the family if you are off balance.
Pay close attention to what you are fueling your body with. What you put in is what it has to work with. Avoiding foods that increase stress and decrease sleep is a good place to start. Sadly, when we are stressed those "comfort" foods are the first thing we reach for and they just make the stress, anxiety and sleep issues worse.
Try to avoid sugars & simple carbs as these can stress your adrenal glands causing them to produce excessive cortisol (stress hormone) increasing anxiety and decreasing proper sleep (pastry, bread, anything with flour and sugar). Instead try to increase protein and complex carbs (brown rice, sweet potatoes, lentils).
These foods can also cause dysfunction of the thyroid- this can affect everything from thinning hair, weight gain, loss of sleep and unhealthy skin! Both your adrenal glands and your thyroid will thank you
Also avoid drinking too much caffeine. Although you think you need more coffee to keep going, it actually slows you down and makes you more sluggish. Caffeine makes you more jittery, anxious, sleepless and feeling overwhelmed.
If the thought of changing all of this right now seems like too much, take baby steps - reduce some of your sugar and increase healthy fats and proteins- avocado, coconut milk & oil, olive oil and nuts. This can help balance out your brain and steady your nerves. Maybe start with half-caf and decrease just 1 cup of coffee a day. Slowly switch to skipping coffee every other day.
Many herbs help relax the nervous system but some of the best herbs such as adaptogens work with the whole body and balance all of the organ systems - think Ashwagandha! There are some other great herbs as well to help calm and soothe the nervous system.
Making a nice tea in the evening (or morning) is a great way to soothe your nerves. You can also incorporate these herbs into cooking. Add them to soups, sauces and stir frys.
Taking a quick dose of herbs in a strong herbal tincture is also a great way to use your herbs throughout the day and take them on the go with you. You can simply use the pump bottle and pump 6-10 times right into your mouth or into water or juice for immediate results. Once your stress has subsided you can take them 1-3 times a day to keep that stress and anxiety at bay.
Our tincture line - Wish Garden, has recently come out with some singles of herbal tinctures such as "Ashwagandha" which is a great supplement to take for stress. Of course their formula "Deep Stress" contains 8 soothing herbs including ashwagandha, ready for your use. Try any of these formulas for calming anxiety:
Using your essential oils will also help with stress and anxiety. They are easy to use- either place in a diffuser and breath them in or use a nasal inhaler (watch our video here) and of course aromatherapy jewelry is a fun way to take your essential oils on the go with you. Here are a few of our favorites:
Try one or a combination of the above and you'll be amazed at how quickly you will come back to balance. Remember to be sure to use them everyday and throughout the day to send the body those calming messages.
Back to school doesn't have to be as difficult as it has been in the past- you have the power to change that and make this school year the best ever for you and your kiddos!
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This very creamy southwest dressing can be made vegan or not - just change out the cashews for mayo if you don't have any dairy or egg concerns and this recipe will whip up fast!
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