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Autumn is a season of change and transition. It marks the start of a new school year, and often this means changes in routines and schedules. There is a palpable frenzy in the air. Even for those who look forward to it, the change, uncertainty, and lack of stability can add a certain amount of stress. Periods of change are linked to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, and therefore higher stress levels.

Stress can manifest in many ways, and there are different signs and symptoms of stress to look out for. These can include having trouble sleeping, digestive issues, moodiness and frustration, and feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of making it through the week and can be signs that you may need help managing your stress.

You might also be wondering if children experience this type of stress and if so, what might be causing it. Children experience stress even if they are not able to express it in words. They can also feel your stress! This can result in behavioural or dietary issues, nail-biting, nightmares, and bedwetting.

Here are some ideas to help you out this fall:

Omega-3: Omega-3 fatty acids are an excellent ally in the fall. They are effective and safe for both adults and children. EPA and DHA are 2 Omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows that taking omega-3 supplements with at least 60% EPA relative to DHA helps reduce stress and improve mood.

B-Complex: B-complex vitamins can be highly effective in lowering stress and anxiety levels, because B vitamins are involved in several neural, cognitive and sensory metabolic pathways that increase the production of stress-reducing hormones and neurotransmitters.

Green tea (Camellia Sinensis): Rich in theanine, green tea has long been used for its soothing and calming properties. Studies have shown that it can increase serotonin and dopamine levels. These neurotransmitters help regulate stress and therefore affect our levels of happiness.

Rhodiola Rosea: Rhodiola is an adaptogenic plant that helps the body deal with physical and emotional stress. Traditionally used in Siberia to increase endurance and work performance, and reduce fatigue and altitude sickness, it has become increasingly popular as a natural remedy for stress relief. It also helps with brain function, energy, and mood. Studies have shown that this plant can impact the neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation, like serotonin and dopamine, resulting in a more positive state of mind.

Stress is a serious problem, and can be linked to many things, such as school, work, moving, changes to the family dynamic, and health issues. How we manage stress can have an enormous impact on our physical and mental well-being. Prioritizing prevention is key! As a family, make a schedule and create a routine that works for everyone. Avoid overloading your schedule and plan quality family time and solo activities where you can recharge your batteries.

Sleep: Create healthy sleep habits by avoiding blue light from screens at least 60 minutes before going to sleep. Restorative sleep is not only defined by how many hours of sleep you get, but by the quality and consistency of your sleep, which is linked to your bedtime routine. According to several studies, going to bed and getting up at the same time every day can improve both the quality of your sleep and your overall health.

Physical activity: Physical activity can significantly reduce stress and improve mood and well-being. This doesn’t mean you have to play a sport: activities like walking, gardening, cycling, and housework are just a few examples of physical activity that have significant health benefits. In the fall, take advantage fall colours and fresh air by enjoying outdoor activities like walking in nature. Keep this Scandinavian quote in mind: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes!”

Jade Marcoux, B.A., ÉESNQ graduate and Naturopath

École d’enseignement supérieur de naturopathie du Québec

The health and medical information published or presented in this article is the opinion of the author only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Readers should use their judgment. It is their responsibility to independently verify the information provided in the article. The contents of this article are for discussion and informative purposes only and should never be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. A medical professional is the only person who can evaluate your health and give you advice following a medical examination. Rachelle-Béry will not be liable for any of the information presented in this article or in any associated links, nor the use or misuse of the information.

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