by Lori Lite
Kids back at school can mean an increase in anxiety for parents and children. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America calls anxiety disorders the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults and one out of eight children. The effects of anxiety can be far-reaching and paralyzing for children. Academic performance can be compromised. Their sleep might be interrupted. Social situations can become unbearable and depression can develop. You find yourself making more visits to the doctor’s office because your child’s immune system is suppressed.
“The truth of the power of anxiety had never been driven home to me more completely than when I watched my daughter go through a full-blown panic attack brought on by test anxiety. I watched her sit in my bed, unable to move, gasping for breath, trying everything she could to calm herself down as tears fell down her face. I KNEW this was real because I know my very level-headed, emotionally-balanced daughter and this was genuine, sheer panic that she was enduring and there was nothing she could do to stop it.” Andrea Johanson – Mom, teacher, author
You and your children can take steps to combat the feelings of anxiety.
• Integrate stress-reducing techniques into your daily living. Focused breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, visualizations, and positive statements can go a long way in reducing anxiety. Panic attacks can be averted when you learn to apply these techniques as soon as you are aware that you are heading in that direction. (Techniques for you and your child.)
• Think of your mind and body as a barrel. A barrel (aka parent) can only hold so much water before it spills over. Little barrels (aka children) hold less water. Be aware not to overload you or your child with too many commitments and activities.
• Explore Essential Oils and aromatherapy. Have fun seeing which oils help you and your child relieve anxious feelings. Young Living has a wonderful blend called Tranquil. It is therapeutic grade and can be used for aromatherapy and topical application.
“Tranquil oil blend has become her “liquid gold,” calming and reducing the anxious feelings she experiences and uplifting her emotions. Tranquil is a blend of Lavender, Cedarwood and Roman Chamomile. Lavender calms and relaxes. Cedarwood, with its high levels of sesquiterpenes, works directly on the limbic system in the brain, also promoting relaxation and calmness, as well as helping one to feel “grounded.” Roman Chamomile has long been used to calm and soothe even small children and it combats restlessness, in addition to tension and insomnia. (Essential Oils Pocket Reference, 6th ed. P. 180) She carries it with her in her backpack EVERY DAY.” – Andrea Johanson – BASS/Ed., AA/ECE, K-12 Reading Specialist, Author
Stress Free Kids founder Lori Lite is a freelance blogger, social media strategist, parenting expert, and successful entrepreneur. Her line of books and CDs are designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. Ms. Lite’s books, CDs, and lesson plans are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, doctors, and yoga instructors. Lori’s award winning books received national attention on Shark Tank and her sort after accessible tips have been featured in hundreds of publications to include: CNN Living, Real Simple Magazine, USA Today, Family Circle, Working Mother Magazine, and Web MD. For more information visit Stress Free Kids and for daily advice follow Lori on Twitter and Facebook.