Dr. Linda. Are there natural ways to help my child deal with her anxiety naturally?
If you have recognized symptoms of anxiety in your child, finding and dealing with subtle sources of stress gives you the ability to deal with anxiety naturally. Here are a few easy to use suggestions to ease your child’s stress and lower their anxiety:
Change Up Their Diet
Add essential fatty acids to your child’s diet. Offer an age appropriate portion of fatty fish twice a week. These are fats children need to eat because their bodies don’t make them. EFAs build healthy brain cells and help their brains make feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.
The portion size is the size of the child’s palm about 1/2 an inch (1cm) thick.
The smaller the fish, the less the mercury it contains. Sardines are a very good source of EFAs. Other fish are wild caught Salmon, tuna and Mackerel.
Make Sure Their Sleep Counts
Good quality sleep is essential to feeling calm. Kids who don’t get enough hours of sleep, or, who have poor quality sleep have anxiety symptoms as well as problems focusing and doing well in school. Helping your child get good quality sleep is an important step in treating anxiety naturally.
Make sure your child’s bedroom is dark, quiet and cool.
Remove all sources of blue light (electronics) from your child’s bedroom.
Set a bedtime and start a bedtime routine, like reading a book or listening to soft music, etc.
Limit screen time
Too much time sitting down and at screens has many harmful effects on children one of which is anxiety symptoms.
An important way to improve anxiety naturally is to limit screen time to a maximum of 1-2 hours per day depending on your child’s age.
Since all screens emit blue light, it is very important not to allow screen time 1-2 hours before bedtime because blue light lowers Melatonin levels. Your child needs a high level of Melatonin at bedtime so he/she can both fall asleep easily and have good quality sleep during the night.
Take Time in nature
Exercise is an excellent way to deal with anxiety naturally. It increases endorphins that make kids feel calm, relaxed and happy. exercise releases brain-derived neurotrophic factor BDNF which lowers anxiety and depression symptoms.
You don’t have to go to an expensive gym or buy fancy equipment, just take your kids outside. Being out in natural settings helps treat anxiety naturally. Take your kids out to a natural setting at least once a week and play with them there. Try walking, hiking or biking, or just play a game of tag or hide-and-go-seek. You’ll all feel better after an outing. It’s important that you remember that the better you feel, the better your kids will feel.
Start with one change at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed and soon you will find that both you and your child feel better. In my manual “How to deal with your kids’ anxiety naturally” I offer many more in-depth suggestions about how to deal with anxiety naturally. (Manual will be available soon).
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