Avoid Back to School Stress with these 5 Tips

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“Bells are ringing, students singing, teachers teaching everyday…” Summer is officially over, and you are more then ready for the yellow school bus to make it’s appearance. The first day comes suddenly and almost without warning. With lists of all the “stuff” you need to prepare for the big day, it can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips to make the first day exactly what it should be…FUN!

 

1.  Meet the Teacher Morning is a Must.

Put it in your calendar ahead of time to meet the teacher and see the classroom. For little ones this will help ease any anxiety about what the first day will look like. Typically on this day, they will see their assigned seat and meet friends in the same class. Usually this is a short and sweet morning for the parents and invaluable for the kiddos.

 2. Buy School Supplies in Advance………..FAR IN ADVANCE!

Any parent who has experienced the back to school supply buying frenzy knows how stressful it can be. Many schools give a list of very specific supplies that may not be purchased at one store. I remember thinking what a great opportunity for the kids with me and pick out what they needed. The following year, I went myself. The next year I was thrilled when the class teacher told us we had the option of giving cash. Best. Idea. Ever. I think you hear me. Beat the rush. Go alone. Always give money if that’s an option.

 3. Outfit Your Child for the First Day.

Same rules apply for the clothes, kind of. My daughter attends a school where uniforms are required. Who knew all those smoothies over the summer would make her grow out of her old clothes. Thinking I was ahead of the game, I was shocked to find out her skirts were on backorder in July. If your school does not require uniforms I suggest using a special first day outfit shopping day. This will ease the guilt you feel about not taking them for supplies and help your child feel part of the first day experience. Not to mention, it will be one less day of fighting over clothes in the morning.

 4. Load up on lunch food.

Parents everywhere complain about making lunch. There is nothing more awful then making lunches at 9pm to notice you are out of deli meat. Use the weekends to buy lunch food for the week so you do have to utilize the 24-hour Wal-Mart down the street. This will also help to make sure kids have a healthy lunch instead of the processed foods in your pantry.

 

The one word which sums ups this article is, Preparation. It is vital to a parent and child’s success with school. Whether it’s pertaining to supplies, clothes or food; keeping things organized and ready allows for happy, stress-free school days.

 

What tips will you use to help with this school season?

 

 Written By: Karyn Hendricksen, MS M.A.T

Karyn Hendricksen is a health and wellness enthusiast. She is passionate about gathering as much knowledge as possible pertaining to staying healthy, naturally.

Karyn’s education includes a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Specialist Certification in Muscle Activation Techniques. She loves to educate others on how fun and easy it can be to lead a healthy lifestyle through both blogging and public presentation. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her awesome husband Russ, and daughters’ Alexa and Stella. She can be found Restorative Wellness Center.

What Carrying Extra “Weight” Does to Your Body

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Before jumping to conclusions about what I’m going to say……slow down. I won’t ever judge or comment on a mother’s extra pounds. What I’m referring to, is extra weight from another living being in the form of a baby,toddler or maybe even a grown kid. My 3 year old says “uppy”. Some throw their hands up in the air as a form of sign language for the “pick me up”. Fortunately for me, my daughter is a petite 28 pounds. Even with her size, after time my body feels the effects of the frequent “uppy.” Just how does this new “weight” influence our mechanics and what can we do to alleviate some of it?

1. Change it up.

Just as you wouldn’t go to the gym and focus on strengthening one side, you shouldn’t carry your little one with the same arm all the time. Your baby is a weight, and constantly holding your baby on the same side will eventually lead to imbalance of the muscular system. Often, mom’s complain of back pain along with sciatic issues, (pain running from the hip all the way down the leg to the foot). When one side is taxed, other muscles will take over to compensate. Quite frequently, assister muscles of the back and hips end up strained. Switching sides each time you carry your baby will help balance out your alignment and help avoid pain patterns.

2. Exercise.

I know, we’ve all heard it and who has the time, right? With a new baby around we are normally getting more activity then we can handle and just want to sit down for a moment! Just ten minutes per day with some simple movements will strengthen and maintain balance in the body. Some of my favorites include; hip raises, modified push-ups and wall squats for an easy and quick overall workout.

Hip Raises: Lie down on the ground with your feet planted on the ground and your knees up. Squeeze your gluteal muscles and your abs in tightly and slowly lift hips off the floor. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds lower keeping everything tight the entire time. Repeat 6-10 times.

Modified Push-Ups: A push-up modified by keeping your knees on the ground. Remember to keep your back straight and shoulders down. Keep control when lowering with your elbows in. Repeat 6-10 times.

Wall Squats: Stand with your back against the wall and feet shoulder width apart. Lower down slowly to a seated position or wherever you feel comfortable and push back to standing keeping the weight on your heels. Use caution to keep your knees from going past a 90 degree angle.

3. Use caution when lifting.

Recently, a client came into my office doubled over in pain after picking her 16 month old out of the crib. Every time you pick up your baby, whether it be from the floor, crib or car seat, you are placing stress on your body. Next time, squeeze your belly muscles in (yes they are there!), stabilize your scapula by pushing your shoulders down, and carefully lift with intention. I realize at 3 am this is not the first thing that enters a mom’s mind, however, most injuries tend to occur with fatigue so this is an even more crucial time to concentrate. Muscles have memory as does the nervous system from our everyday movement. This means, repetition of proper movement leads to habit over time.

 

4. Invest in a baby carrier.

One of the best ways your can bond with your baby is holding them close with a baby carrier. My advice is to take your baby along to pick one out. With a plethora of styles, everyone has their own preference of what feels best. Just like shoes, try them on and carry your child around the store to make sure it’s comfortable. Most have adjustable straps that can be catered to your body. Make sure these straps are tightened, so your baby does not cause your shoulders to lean forward. You want the fit to be secure so that while walking around you can stand up straight and not feel top heavy.

5. Learn to say “no”!

Oh boy, this is one of the most difficult things to do as a mother. Trust me, the sooner you learn to let your child develop their independence the happier you all will be. As my daughter approaches 4, my feelings are torn. She’s my baby and my last child. As much as I don’t want her to “grow up”, I keep thinking 4 is the age I will start to feel “normal” again, emotionally and physically. My left side is chronically stiff as is my shoulder from years of holding her. The other day when she said “uppy” I told her to walk, and surprisingly she did without a fuss. Deep down I wasn’t so sure if this made me happy or sad. I know this is the end of her toddlerhood and beginning of a new era. As time goes on, my body will thank me for putting this “weight” down. As we both let go of her dependence for being carried, we will just have to increase our cuddle time on the couch!

 

Written by: Karyn Hendricksen

Karyn Hendricksen is a health and wellness enthusiast. She is passionate about gathering as much knowledge as possible pertaining to staying healthy, naturally.

Karyn’s education includes a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Specialist Certification in Muscle Activation Techniques. She loves to educate others on how fun and easy it can be to lead a healthy lifestyle through both blogging and public presentation. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her awesome husband Russ, and daughters’ Alexa and Stella. She can be found at: www.restorativewellnesscenteraz.com

Something to Chew On: 3 Ways to Ease the Teething Trauma

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You are finally getting it. The nap schedule is
consistent. The crankiness from the fourth trimester has subsided. You are
fitting into your jeans and beginning to feel “normal” again. And then…………”BAM”,
right out of the blue your little one turns from somewhat predictable, to not
at all. Her usual sweet face is now fussy and full of drool. She is always
shoving something including her fist, inside that tiny mouth. Your baby is
teething, and your schedule and calmness just got turned upside down. According
to the website babycenter.com, teething can start as young as 4 months and
continues until 2 years old. During this time, babies can experience symptoms
similar to being ill including: diarrhea, rash, low-grade fever, fussiness, and
low appetite.

 All babies are not created equal. Some moms will notice the pearly whites without a sign from the baby that they are coming in. While others, will experience what I did, and feel helpless and sad for their uncomfortable little one. Rest assured, there are ways to make this time much less traumatizing for you both. Here are three tips to keep everyone happy.

 1. Use Natural Products to Ease the Pain

I remember when my daughter was teething; the products on the market were controversial. Today we are lucky to have an amazing product from Wellements Baby, called “Teeth Relief”. This product is made from 100% natural ingredients so moms don’t need to worry about adverse reactions. These ingredients include: Olive Oil, White Willow Bark Oil, Clove Oil, and Natural Vitamin E. The composition of this product will help soothe your baby’s gums and may help with inflammation. Because it is safe, you can reapply as often as needed.

2. Go with the Flow

It is great for everyone to have baby on a schedule. However, don’t let small changes stress you out. In the first two years of a baby’s life there are so many physiological occurrences that it is nearly impossible to maintain 100% consistency. During teething time, your little one may want to be held more or may take shorter naps. Know that this time will quickly pass and getting back to a normal routine is the important part.

3. Give her Something to Chew on

Everything will find their way into baby’s mouth during this time because it just feels better to have something rubbing against their sore gums. It’s good to have a few eco-friendly “chewables” on hand so your baby won’t take your keys. Some awesome products include, Sophie the Giraffe and Green Sprouts Cornstarch Teether. Another simple solution is a cold, wet washcloth. Store it in the refrigerator for an hour and it will feel great on baby’s gums.

We are always looking for more tools for teething. Do you have a natural remedy to share?