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Back-to-school often brings anxiety and stress both for kids and parents. Many kids may feel anxious about going back to school and/or starting school for the first time. Whatever the case may be, parents can help ease this transition by being able to recognize the symptoms of stress and anxiety and implementing some creative fun strategies including a healthy diet plan on a daily basis.

Reasons kids may feel stressed or anxious

  • Fear of the unknown
  • New school
  • Making new friends
  • Workload
  • Self-confidence
  • Bullying
  • Wearing the right clothes
  • Wearing glasses
  • Special needs
  • Puberty / acne
  • Covid-related concerns (wearing masks / vaccinated or not-vaccinated)

There are countless reasons why kids may experience anxiety and stress as the 1st day approaches.  Their reasons are basically as unique as each of them are. 

Covid-19 and kids' stress levels

Kids needs to figure out how to readjust to life back in the classroom, not only have they been limited in terms of who they can see and spend time with, but they also have had to deal with grief over many of their favorite activities being cancelled.  Most kids also are trying to process the information they overhear or see on social media about the risks associated with getting sick from Covid-19. The information they get could cause them to worry about getting COVID-19 and passing it on to their loved ones. 

HOW TO IDENTIFY ANXIETY

Sometimes, it’s difficult for kids to put their feelings into words, hence why it is crucial to empower your kids with the right tools to help them navigate the transition.

Some signs of anxiety:

  • Appear more clingy
  • Complain of stomach aches
  • Have bouts of unexplained crying
  • Change in eating and sleeping habits
  • Express negative thoughts or worries
  • Get upset more quickly
  • Struggle to concentrate

Powerful tools to better deal with stress and anxiety

Promote healthy living

SpirulinaOne of the best ways to combat anxiety and stress is to address eating, sleeping, and exercise habits. Make sure kids get enough sleep and eat a balanced diet. Did you know that Spirulina is an excellent source of complex B vitamins, vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene), iron, and a wide variety of essential minerals, as well. Studies have shown taking Spirulina to have beneficial effects on the immune and cardiovascular systems.

Spirulina is considered one the best superfoods and for good reason.  It is loaded with iron, B vitamins, magnesium, and healthy Omega 3 fats.  It also has about 929mg of tryptophan per 100 gram serving.  Tryptophan is an amino acid needed for normal growth in infants and for the production and maintenance of the body's proteins, muscles, enzymes, and neurotransmitters. It is an essential amino acid. This means your body cannot produce it, so you must get it from your diet.

And it is absolutely safe for kids to eat. As food, Spirulina represents a complete vegan protein source.

Children are smaller than adults, therefore the right dose of Spirulina to give your children will differ depending on their age and weight.  Consider consulting your primary caregiver prior to giving your children any supplement, including Spirulina. That said, Spirulina is a food and as such, it is safe for children.

Furthermore, research has shown that Spirulina helps to combat Covid-19, one more reason to add it to their diet and yours

Spirulina health benefits for children:

  • Helps to eliminate fatigue / provides physical energy
  • Helps to eliminate cravings
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Provides a mental wake-up call
  • Helps to improve athletic performance / helps build muscle
  • A healthy snack rich in protein
  • A good replacement for animal protein or vegetables
  • Helps strengthen skin, hair, nails and bones

Eating healthy food, especially a balanced breakfast is key for brain function, mood, and the ability to focus and pay attention in school.  Why not incorporate Gandalf Spirulina into your kids’ smoothie-to-go and help them establish the best morning routine to get them ready for their day: Spirulina, Fruits and Vegetables Smoothie

Communication

An efficient way to address stress and anxiety is often simply to encourage your child to talk to you about what is troubling them while they are busy doing something else.  Therefore, they won’t feel the pressure and it will come naturally to them.  Listen without judgment and validate their feelings. Sometimes, expressing their feelings is all they need.

Daily activities / meditation / breath work

Doing something that promotes fun & laughter depending on their needs or discovering something new will help ease the anxiety and stress such as:

  • Playing outdoors (throwing a baseball / frisbee, jumping rope)
  • Playing with the house pet
  • Gardening / Painting / Coloring / boardgames
  • Yoga: breathing exercises and relaxation techniques greatly helps with stress management, emotional regulation and self-esteem. Yoga asanas enhances concentration and memory as well as body awareness and mindfulness.  The simple practice will help increase strength and flexibility and teaches discipline while reducing impulsivity.  Give it a try and see the wonderful state of well-being it will create within you and your child

Reassure them

Remind your kids that other students may be just as anxious as they are about going back to school.  And that the teacher is aware of the situation and will most probably help students feel more comfortable to ease the transition.

And remember, you need to relax as well. Back-to-school time can be just as hectic and stressful for parents if not more. Take care of yourself by eating right and getting enough sleep and exercise during this transitional phase.

Remind yourself that any anxiety or stress you or your child may be feeling is usually temporary and everything will be back to normal in no time, just breathe, inhale inner peace and exhale anxiety away


References:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33412367/
http://www.spirulinegandalf.com/en/faq.html
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002332.htm