Throughout the United States and Canada, school starts this week. For many places, school started last month. Either way, preparing for back to school and trying to get back into a set schedule after a relaxing summer can be a source of anxiety and stress for some people.
Luckily there are several things you can do that may help reduce your (or your child’s) anxiety and introduce calm into your life during this hectic time.
Eating whole foods (especially fresh fruits and vegetables) can affect our mental health. Check out our list of 10 foods that may improve anxiety symptoms.
Avoid fast food
Earlier this year, American researchers published a study in Journal Military Behavioral Health showing that participants whose eating habits were less healthy (such as eating more fast foods and more sweets) also had higher stress and anxiety levels.
In 1987, American researchers studied two groups in two interpersonal performance tests. Between each test, participants were exposed to either cue-controlled relaxation, a demand-control regimen, or no treatment at all. What they discovered was that those who went through the cue-controlled relaxation between tests had lowered heart rates and lower skin conductance during the second test compared to their first test.
So, if you find yourself dealing with too much anxiety and stress, check your schedule to see if you can find a bit of time to do something relaxing. Maybe you can go for a walk in the woods, meditate, do some yoga, read a book, visit with close friends, or listen to some music. Or maybe there’s something else that you like to do.
Australian researchers studied participants who had been treated for depression, anxiety, or both and had been referred to a lifestyle intervention program. They found that 80% of the participants were overweight or obese, and, despite more participants meeting the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity compared to the general population, generally, participants had lower average fitness levels and participated in low levels of vigorous physical activity.
As a result, the researchers concluded that levels of physical activity (but not fitness) were inversely correlated with DASS scores. In other words, as physical activity goes up, depression and anxiety symptoms go down.
American researchers analyzed 47 clinical trials involving over 3,500 participants to determine whether meditation had any positive effect in improving stress-related outcomes (such as anxiety, depression, and stress).
One conclusion they made was that mindfulness meditation programs seemed to improve anxiety and depression scores.
Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep has been connected to some central nervous system disorders, including anxiety. Make sure you get enough sleep every night.
EMPowerplus has been clinically proven to be connected to improved anxiety levels in people who take it. It’s an all-natural formula of 36 vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants designed to support physical and mental wellness.
How do you cope with back to school stress? Let us know in the comments.