Like most parents, you probably worry about your children consistently. You may be concerned about their friends, grades and futures. If your child has learning disabilities or other challenges, such as ADHD, this can add to your stress. For example, you may need to research over the counter ADHD medication for child. If your child experiences anxiety in the fall, especially at the start of school, these are a few things you can do to help.
Signs Your Child is Experiencing Anxiety
Your first step should be determining whether your child is experiencing anxiety. You may think that because your child doesn’t want to go to school or is worried about a test that they are experiencing anxiety, but these are temporary challenges for your child.
Anxiety has much more dramatic, deeper symptoms. First, find out if your child has difficulty concentrating or sleeping. Do they have bad dreams? Observe their eating habits. Are they eating enough of the right foods? Pay attention to outbursts, especially if they are over small things.
Your child’s thoughts and feelings may also signify anxiety. Do your children’ focus on or consistently speak negatively or respond emotionally to minor things? Look for clinginess and crying, complaining about upset stomachs and fidgeting. Then, consider these activities.
Spend Time Outside
Multiple studies have found that natural alternatives for anxiety should include getting out in nature. The sunlight can increase your children’s vitamin D, which is a common deficiency. This is especially important in the fall when the sun isn’t out as long.
Fresh air also clears the mind and body. Therefore, consider teaching your children how to do deep breathing, and practice this outside.
Nature Walks & Bike Rides
Exercise is a great way to reduce anxiety, but it should be fun. Therefore, consider walking in nature or riding bikes as a family. Both your body and brain respond well to exercise. In your brain, these activities produce endorphins, which increase mood.
Taking a walk or biking in nature also puts the world into perspective. Your family can enjoy the change of the season, observing the fall colors. You can even make a game out of it. For example, try to see if you can find leaves in every color.
Keep your kids occupied by sharing information about the environment you are walking in. Your walk doesn’t have to be long, just relaxing.
Harvest Fruits and Vegetables
Many individuals have begun starting home gardens, but if you aren’t one of them, search for local orchards or fields that allow you to pick your own produce. For example, you may have a local berry farm or corn field that encourages individuals to come out and harvest their own food.
Working in a garden and harvesting food can be a learning experience, but it should be fun. When you bring the food home, share how to preserve it. If you go to an apple orchard, teach your children how to make applesauce when you get home.
These are just a few ideas for spending time outdoors. Look for activities that your children will enjoy that won’t exacerbate their personal challenges, such as OCD irritability, and you may just find yourself having fun and reducing your own stress.