All of us experience periods of stress or low mood from time to time, but watching your child go through it is a whole new world of worry. Research shows that one in eight children are affected by anxiety, and we felt that the run up to the new school year would be a great time to talk about it, to help put their and your minds at rest.
The last 18 months have put strain on all of us, including many kids struggling to cope with isolation, and now adapting to a post-Covid world. So, what can you give your kids to help support an anxious mind, without resorting to pharmaceuticals? Bearing in mind that we are all unique, we tend to recommend a combination of the below products and practices to suit each person, so please do pop in for a chat.
Relaxation and play
At Elixir we’re all about a holistic road to well-being, and along that road we’ve come to love our various hacks for calming our bodies and minds. For Nikki it’s immersion in nature, I (Ellie!) seek peace in the sea, Melissa has her four-legged therapist and Debbie and Neil wouldn’t be without their meditation and music-making!
Gentle non-competitive exercise also produces wonderful contentment and helps release ‘happy hormones’. As for bedtime, there are so many wonderful Apps out there now to aid relaxation, but I particularly like Calm’s Bedtime Stories. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the end of one, so they definitely help you find sleep!
Van de Vries Child Essence
“This combination of the flower remedies has been put together to help the child to relax, be more stable, increase confidence and adjust to the situation they are in.” (1)
Flower Essences work specifically on the emotional condition of the person concerned, in a way that doesn’t numb or mask emotions, but rather helps to transform them. Many caregivers find Child Essence useful for children trying to cope with changing situations such as moving house, arrival of a new sibling, and issues at school. Shop Van de Vries Child Essence here.
Viridian L-theanine and Lemon Balm
This is an herbal product many of us at Elixir can personally recommend. For slightly older children (14+) these herbal extracts work together to produce a calming effect and contribute to a feeling of well-being. (3) The duo work gently but quickly on the nervous system to calm panicky or spiralling thoughts, and therefore can be taken ‘as and when’, or preventatively according your child’s personal needs. Shop Viridian L-theanine and Lemon Balm here.
We’re all aware of the proven ties between optimal nutrition and our mental and physical well-being, so let’s have a little look at food. “Ensuring a good nutritious lunch to include a rainbow of raw and natural foods is the foundation of good health,” says Aimee Benbow, nutritionist and technical manager at Viridian Nutrition.
(2) Try and avoid lunch box fillers with Utra Processed Foods (UPFs – linked to sluggishness, energy dips and weight gain), and opt instead for higher proportions of protein, good fat sources like fish, nuts and seeds, and fruit and veg. Avoiding sugary drinks will also help keep your kids’ energy and attention span on an even keel. Experiment with calming lavender, lemon balm or chamomile herbal teas that can be chilled and taken to school in the form of iced tea!
ViridiKids Multivitamin & Multimineral
That’s the macros taken care of, and Viridian have produced this carefully balanced multivitamin, to ensure you don’t have to worry about micro-nutrients either. The Department of Health recommends that all children aged six months to five years are given daily vitamin supplements containing vitamins A, C and D, and Viridian have gone far beyond ticking these boxes.
Try combining this with their ViridiKid 100% Organic Omega-3 Oil 200ml, a rich source of Omega 3 and 6 gently flavoured with organic vanilla and orange oils. Multiple studies have shown that a deficiency in Omega 3’s have been linked to depression, anxiety and ADHD, as well as skin issues like psoriasis and eczema, so supplementing these essential fats is a great idea. Shop ViridiKids Multivitamin & Multimineral here.
Optibac Kids’ Gummies
Another area of supplementation to consider is good gut bacteria. Studies are now showing that brain activity and behaviour are directly linked to your internal flora via the gut-brain-axis. Optibac have recently released this delicious, vegan friendly bacteria supplement that may well enhance your child’s mood, concentration, and immunity. Each gummy holds 2 billion scientifically proven friendly bacteria, as well as fibre, Vitamin D & Calcium. Shop Optibac Kids’ Gummies here.
Have a play with any techniques you and your family can find to release tension and promote tranquillity and let us know what you come up with! We really look forward to speaking with you about everything discussed here and more. Best of luck for Back-to -School 2021!
Design by The Flemish Institute for Healthy Living
From ‘Herbal medicine for depression, anxiety and insomnia: a review of psychopharmacology and clinical evidence’ Sarris, J, et al. 12, s.l.