Easily Ease Kids’ Back-to-School Stress

September means back to school. For many kids it’s a mixture of excitement, smiles, fatigue and stress. In addition to seeing old friends, it means early morning wake-ups and navigating the world of rules and social interaction. Often parents feel ill-equipped to support their children during this time; they don’t want to coddle them, but they want to support an easy readjustment. In addition to hugs and cool new school supplies, try these suggestions for keeping the calm.

A foot rub. The calming power of a back rub is undeniable, but a foot rub can be just as soothing, if not more so. For kids, a foot rub can also be more welcome than a back rub, especially if a child is very upset. Rubbing each foot gently can hit many pressure points that are directly connected to the entire body. Try giving your child a foot rub before bed or when he or she is upset. A lotion with a calming essential-oil blend can enhance the experience.

Sip Natural Calm. While a cup of warm milk might be a traditional drink served to anxious kids, a cup of magnesium can work wonders to quell stress. Calcium and magnesium are like opposite sides of a coin: calcium excites nerves, while magnesium calms them down; calcium makes muscles contract, while magnesium is necessary for muscles to relax. Offer your child a cup of Natural Vitality’s Natural Calm any time of day to promote relaxation. Try it warm in the evening or add some to a water bottle for sipping.

Aromatherapy. The benefits of scent are not just proven but are one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to relieve stress. Keep a bottle of lavender essential oil close by and add it to baths, or place a few drops on a light bulb to diffuse the scent into a room. You can also make a  room spray. For young children, you can call it the Magical Calming Spray.

Healthy Food. When kids are stressed, it can be tempting to elevate their moods with sugary treats. Everyone deserves a treat, but during this transitional time try to give food prep some extra thought. Healthy unprocessed food will give your child resources to handle new situations. A kid who has a protein-rich breakfast on board will make it until lunch with more energy and a more even mood than a child given a processed sugary cereal, for example.