During these uncertain times, we may be feeling overwhelmed and increased stress and anxiety. Children especially have had to adapt quickly to a whole new school year after spending months at home and away from their classmates and teachers.
It is essential to understand some common and not-so-common signs that may indicate your child feels anxious or stressed. Finding ways to help kids manage their feelings early on is key in preventing this issue from worsening.
Signs of Stress & Anxiety in Children
- Irritability, anger and aggression; being out of control during an outburst (i.e. temper tantrums)
- Not eating enough or overeating particular foods they find comforting
- Inability to fall asleep, not being able to sleep through the night
- Difficulty in school, concentration issues, acting out, etc.
- Physically feeling unwell, upset stomach, or unexplainable sick feeling.
- Sadness and continuous crying/unconsolable
- Extreme clinginess
- Fidgeting and difficulties sitting still
- Constant negative thoughts or expressing worries
- Biting or picking their fingernails
- Hallucinations; hearing or seeing things
- Difficulty breathing
- Dizzy, shaky or increased heart rate
These are just some of the possible anxiety and stress signs you may see in your child. Your child may experience one of these signs consistently or on a situational basis. It depends on what is causing the stress.
How to Manage Your Child’s Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are on a spectrum of intensity. It ranges from mild to severe and should be addressed accordingly so that proper care and attention can be given where it needs to be to best help your child.
Have an Open Conversation
Try to discuss your child regarding their behaviour and actions. Sometimes, only talking about their feelings can help manage them. If the feelings are too complicated for you to console or understand, consider bringing the issue up with your pediatrician. They can then refer you to a counsellor or other professional for further assessment and treatment.
Encourage Physical Activity
Physical activity can have a very uplifting effect on our moods. Doing it outdoors is even better for your health. Being active produces endorphins, which ultimately make you feel good. Getting your child up and functioning can be a great way to help manage negative emotions of stress and anxiety.
What you eat is important because nutrients from foods are the building blocks in forming a healthy functioning body, both physically and mentally. Healthy eating habits help support your immune health and help the body build a foundation for good emotional and mental health. Holistic nutrition views the body as one entity, with all body systems connected with one another. When one of these systems is out of balance, you can bet others will follow. Ensure you are providing foods that are rich in:
- Pumpkin seeds, almonds, spinach, cashews, and black beans.
- Seafood (oysters, crab, lobster) beef, chicken, beans, pumpkin seeds, cashews.
- B Vitamins
- Cheese, eggs, meat, fish, dark green vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Salmon, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, soybeans.
- Fruits & vegetables, dark chocolate, nuts, beans.
- Yogurt, kefir, kombucha, fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh.
Support with Supplements
When you feel that your children are not getting enough from their diet, supplementation or remedies may be the next step to help manage stress and anxiety. Below are a list of a few favourites we have available in-store:
A first of its kind – Veeva Teen was developed for teens ages 13 and up. Veeva Teen is formulated to support teens’ mental well-being and relieve nervousness and agitation. It uses a combination of herbs (linden, passionflower and lemon balm), vitamins (vitamin B12, B6 & D), as well as minerals (magnesium & zinc) to support overall mental and general health.
Rescue Remedy for Kids
Rescue Remedy is a homeopathic combination of five Bach Flowers (impatiens, cherry plum, rock rose, star of Bethlehem and clematis). They were discovered over 80 years ago. It is considered a safe and natural method of healing by restoring balance between the body and mind.
Custom Blends of Rescue Remedy
Bach Flower Remedies are liquid tinctures that are used to address issues of well-being when taken internally. Taking a custom-blended mixture can help ease stress, anxiety and worries. For more information (and how to get your own custom blend), call (905) 898-1844 and speak to one of our experts in Supplements at our Newmarket location.
Orange Naturals Magnesium Chewables or Magnesium Calm Kids
Magnesium is responsible for more than 800 biological reactions in the human body. Kids need to get enough magnesium to help calm the body’s stress response and replenish lost magnesium.
Alterra Neuromega Kids Fish Oil
Kidstar BioFe+ Iron
Iron is an essential mineral needed for mental, physical and emotional development in children. In both adults and children, iron is a crucial component of hemoglobin, which transfers oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues. Iron also provides us with much-needed energy, as it’s utilized by the brain to make several neurotransmitters. They include serotonin (our happy hormone) and melatonin, our sleep hormone. Iron is necessary for a healthy immune system.
While seeing stress and anxiety in your children is never easy, the steps above start to help get it under control. If things are beyond what you think you can handle, seeking help is the best way to manage it moving forward. Don’t be afraid to advocate for your children to ensure they get the help they need.
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