Back To School - How to Survive

This week, I took my four kids to our local store to do our back-to-school shopping. Although we don't know what going back to school will look like this year (I'm writing this in the midst of a pandemic), we still did the back to school shopping ritual as bypassing picking up three-ring binders, scissors, pencils and tab divider inserts, just seemed strange.

Essential Oils

No doubt this September will be more stressful than usual, and that is why I'm having my anti-stress essential oils kit ready. Essential oils are known as powerful and safe remedies, just remember to dilute them in a carrier oil (olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil) or in diffusion/massage. Which oils are best for back to school stress? Bitter Orange, Sweet Marjoram, Roman Chamomile and, obviously, Lavender. If you are too afraid to use essential oils, use floral waters instead (Lemon balm or Lavender). To shop for quality essential oils, go here.

Supplements and Herbs for Stress

I'm an avid gardener and I always have Lemon balm at hand, either dried for infusion, or fresh leaves to use in salad. The same goes for Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia) - dried flowers can be used in sachets (put them under the pillow for restful sleep) or in tea.

When it comes to supplements magnesium is my longtime companion. Over 325 enzymes in the body are regulated by magnesium which also helps reduce inflammation, alleviates hardening of the arteries and improves muscle and nerve function. Unfortunately many experience diarrhea when taking too much magnesium. If this occurs, just back off on the dose, and avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, or oxide. They are the cheapest and most common forms found in supplements but are poorly absorbed. Switch to magnesium glycinate. If you tend to be constipated, use magnesium citrate. 100 to 200 mg of magnesium, twice a day, once with breakfast and once with dinner is a sufficient dose but if you are suffering from cramps (e.g.during menstruation) you might need more.

Another way to benefit from magnesium is using Epsom salts bath. An Epsom salt bath is a great way to soothe sore muscles, cramps, bruises and joint pain. Add 2 cups of salts to a warm bath. Mix the salt in so it dissolves in the water. Soak for 10-15 minutes. You can also add essential oils such as lavender, for calming effect, or lemon, for invigorating effect. An Epsom salt bath can be safely used also for children.

More on supplements

Some More Tips to Survive (and enjoy) Back to School

1. Disconnect. Watching the news 24/7 would make everyone anxious. Especially when you are a hypersensitive person like me. We ditched TV 15 years ago and don't miss it at all. If there would be some really important news, you would find out.

2. Millennia ago, we lived in nature. Nature fed us, provided shelter and ensured calmness of mind. Nowadays, we suffer from the so called paleo deficit disorder, which is, simply put, a nature deficit disorder - ''that while not pathological per se , taps into unrealized quality of life, empathy, perspective taking, low-grade anxiety, psychological distress, resiliency, and negative mental outlook''[source]

3. Movement. No one will argue that moving your body helps improve your mood. Just remember to move or exercise not in some overcrowded gym, but rather practice the so called green exercise - movement or play in nature, hiking, yoga etc.

4. Meditation. It seems that these days everyone meditates. Meditation apps are readily available, and classes and tips how to meditate are popping up everywhere. So just start. Best meditation apps of 2020

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