Whether you’re a parent who has a whole lot to do to prepare for September, or a student who would rather it just stay summer forever, back to school can take a toll on our minds and bodies. Here are 6 tools that you can use to combat the anxiety and stress you may be dealing with this time of year:
A Breathing Practice.
Our breath has the power to change they way we think and feel. A division of our Central Nervous System known as the Sympathetic Nervous System, that is largely responsible for our body’s stress and anxiety response, can be controlled by our breath!
There are many different breathing techniques that can help tame the “fight or flight” instincts that kick in when we get become stressed or overwhelmed. One of the easiest and most effective is known as “Box Breathing” or “Square Breathing”. It can be done at any time of day – in the morning upon waking to clear the mind for the day ahead, during moments of immense stress, on a work break to relax and reset, or before bed to help the body get prepped for sleep!
During exercise the body releases endorphins, which are the neurotransmitters in your brain that make you feel good! Additionally, studies have shown that exercise actually promotes the growth of neurons in the area of the brain that regulates anxiety! Check out this video that explains more about how this process works! 🙂
Virtually any type of exercise can increase the production of the chemicals that make us happy, and relieve stress. Sometimes when we feel like we have so much to do, it can be hard to fit in exercise, but even something as simple as a quick 5 minute yoga session at home, or a walk around the block can be enough to help boost those endorphins so you can feel great and increase your productivity!
Get into nature!
Being outside just feels awesome, doesn’t it? Living things are meant to be in nature, and when we are, our body and mind benefit tremendously. Countless studies have shown a decrease in stress & anxiety, and an increase in mood, creativity, brain function & productivity when we are exposed to nature. Something as simple as a plant in your living space can often have a very profound effect on stress reduction… although we advocate getting outside and fully enjoying nature as much as you can manage! 😉
Daily B-Vitamin Intake!
All of the B Vitamins are important for many bodily functions! Ensuring that you’re getting enough of these amazing Vitamins in your diet, or otherwise supplementing, is important all of the time, but especially during times of stress! The entire family of B-Vitamins play important roles within the body including red blood cell formation, and production of serotonin. Without a sufficient B supply, we lack energy and can have a tendency toward depressive states, neither of which are helpful ever, but especially not when your to-do list is stacked!
There are many delicious foods that contain these amazing vitamins, and ensuring you’re eating lots of them will help with energy and mood! Grassfed Meats (including organ meats), seafood, pastured eggs, grassfed dairy, leafy green vegetables, and avocados all contain B-Vitamins so be sure to up your dose of these superfoods! If you’re really feeling a lot of stress or are unable to take in enough of these foods, a B-Complex supplement may be something to consider. A really great B-Complex supplement is AOR’s Advanced B Complex, with all of the active forms of Vitamin B in proper ratios for optimal absorption in the body!
Find an anxiety Formula that Works for you!
Another fantastic way to combat pre-school anxiety is to use a natural stress or anxiety formula. There are many herbs and medicinal mushroom formulas available that can help calm your nerves. Some of the best are:
– Veeva Anxiety: A Blend of herbs that help support your body in dealing with anxiety throughout the day. This blend includes many herbs that support your adrenals and keep your mind at ease!
– Reishi: a medicinal mushroom that helps quiet a racing mind and relax your nerves. It also has amazing benefits for the immune system, which can be beneficial this time of year as well. One of our favourite Reishi supplements is the “Host Defense Cordychi Liquid Extract“. This is a blend containing 2 mushrooms – Cordyceps and Reishi, that work together to bring you balanced energy and stress relief. It is sourced from Organic mushrooms grown by a Mycologist named, Paul Stamets in the U.S, and it is absorbed very quickly in the body for fast acting anxiety reduction and increased energy!
– Holy Basil: A herb that helps relieve stress in the body and calm the mind! In addition this amazing herb has amazing health benefits that range from decreasing inflammation, to improving digestions. One of our favourite Holy Basil supplements is Botanica Holy Basil Phytocaps, as they are extremely potent – 2500mg dry herb equivalant!! – they’re absorbed very quickly, and they can help reduce feelings of anxiety or stress almost instantly! Also, because they’re liquid phytocaps you can also bite into them for a burst of delicious flowery flavour and an even quicker absorption in your mouth!
– Bach Rescue Remedy Pastilles: A blend of 5 different homeopathic flower remedies that help combat anxiety and stress! They come in tiny candy pastilles that you suck on (like a lozenge) during times of immense stress for quick relief. This amazing formula is also available in drop or spray forms.
– L-Theanine: This amazing amino acid naturally occurs in green tea. It is great for balancing our brain’s neurotransmitters as well as encouraging the production of alpa-waves, which are produced when our brain is in a calm, focused state! L-theanine helps decrease stress & anxiety in the mind, and the focused and alert state that this amazing amino acid encourages is great for productivity L-Theanine can be obtained through drinking green tea, or can be taken on its own! One of our favourite L-Theanine supplements is Natural Factors Mental Calmness. They are chewable tabs which increases the speed of their absorption and makes them easy to take whenever – they also taste amazing! 🙂
Do Something You Enjoy!
Whether it’s reading a book, taking a long walk, talking to a good friend or getting out to play your favourite sport – taking time to do something you genuinely enjoy is a fantastic way to support your mind and body in dealing with anxiety or stress. Although the onset of September can often stack our “To-Do-Lists”, taking time to enjoy our day can improve your mood and increase the amount you’re able to get done!
Is there anything you do this time of year to help decrease your anxiety or stress levels? Let us know! 🙂