Back to school time is an amazing time of year. It is full of growth and change. While I have to admit that the shift in weather and energy is really invigorating, it is also a really emotionally loaded time. It is full of desires, expectations, and anxieties for children and adults alike. We want their school days to be rewarding and exhilarating. We recall our own childhood school days and how magical they were or what we will try to do differently in order to do the best for our kids. And our kids are so excited! They are looking their best and ready to take on the world. They are giddy with anticipation.
With all of this excitement also comes stress. We want to give them every experience that we can even if it means pushing our needs to the sides and our budgets beyond our comfort zones. Our pocketbooks may be empty but our hearts are full of hopes and dreams. We want them to succeed and be happy and all of that creates a lot of pressure for them and for us.
So what can we do to survive and thrive through all of this? Stopping to take time to acknowledge all of these emotions is the first step I think. Take a moment to write down your goals and desires and expectations for yourself and your children and how you feel about these expectations.
Consider jotting down what you will do to help realize these goals. Not only will this help keep you on track but it will also help you see if your expectations might be unreasonable. Take a good look at your schedule and if it is realistic given your time and resources. What might you need to let go BEFORE it overwhelms you this year. Believe me when I say I am guilty of over-committing by time but I am getting better at seeing where there might be issues and trying to discern commitments before they drown me.
Next up is self-care. If we are going to run ourselves hard, then like any good engine we need maintenance. Budget time and money into your schedule for your maintenance. This can be weekly check-ups with an hour at the coffee shop or an hour devoted to putting your feet up. It could be monthly walks in the woods or girls' nights that are scheduled on the calendar. Remember that your children also need some down times scheduled in. One of the best gifts you can give your child is modeling a healthy, balanced life.
Even with the best of intentions many people need additional support to remain at top physical and emotional performance. While you can't find good health in a bottle, there are two groups of herbs that I recommend for everyone. Nervines are herbs that build and strengthen the nervous system to counteract the regular depletion and stress that our nervous system endures. Adaptogens are herbs that help to regulate how our body responds to stress and make our bodies more resilient to stress by strengthening the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal axis. When our nervous system and HPA axis are supported we can be more on top of our game.
Some adults and children may need herbs to help address more specific concerns as well such as ADHD or anxiety as they head back to school. There are many, many health concerns that can be supported through the use of herbs, diet and lifestyle changes. By working with a professional herbalist you will find an ally in addressing these concerns in a more natural way. Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance.