Childhood Anxiety – 5 gentle things to help calm the nerves of your little one #WellbeingWednesday
Childhood anxieties are on the rise. Kids are under increasing stresses with; school, extra-curricular and social pressures. Today’s Wellbeing Wednesday tip is a few gentle things that can be used to help calm the nerves of your little one.
Boost up Magnesium Rich Foods: Magnesium is an essential mineral that calms the nervous system and promotes a restful sleep. One sign of a magnesium deficiency is anxiety and poor quality 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.
Get kids moving and active outside everyday! Kids spend a great portion of the day sitting in classrooms. Research shows that after five minutes of outdoor time, people’s moods improve and self-esteem goes up. The recommended guideline is for our children to have 1 hour of outdoor activity daily and sadly only 7% of children are reaching this. Make being outside a priority daily.
Practice Mindfulness. There is a movement to teaching mindfulness to young children in schools. Research shows that teaching children from a young age how to be in the moment decreases anxiety, worries, distress and poor behaviours and increases focus, self-esteem, and awareness. Talk to your school’s administration or look for a program in your community.
I hope some of these suggestions help calm your anxious child. If your child’s anxiety is increasing speak to a medical professional.
Rachel Schwartzman is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, Doula and Acupuncturist. She practices in Toronto and can be reached at 416-371-3422. To learn more about Dr. Rachel take a peek at rachelschwartzman.com