The Importance of Self-Care for Parents

img_3349

More and more I am amazed (and overwhelmed!) by the responsibility of being a parent. I am constantly asking myself “Am I doing the right thing?”, “Is she getting enough veggies, enough exercise, enough fresh air?”

I’ve come to realize it all boils down to this: the better I am at taking care of myself and managing my stress, the better care I am able to give as a parent.

Stress doesn’t just influence one person but trickles into the family – and because children are like sponges – intensely aware of our emotions, actions, and words – they also feel our stress. This can manifest in various ways including temper and anger issues, attention deficits, hyperactivity, sleep disturbances, head and tummy aches.

There are several powerful ways in which we can manage stress and reduce the negative impact it has on our lives and those around us.

Nutrition plays an essential role in stress management. Unfortunately, when under high levels of stress, it can be more challenging to make healthy food choices. This can be the result of a feeling that there isn’t enough time, which leads to quick, often unhealthy food choices or even skipping meals. Stress triggers a hormonal response in the body, releasing high levels of cortisol that cause us to crave foods high in fat, sugar, and salt. Stress can also lead to mindless eating, a major risk for overeating and poor food choices.

Being aware of these tendencies and finding ways to incorporate healthy foods as part of your lifestyle, even during times of stress, will benefit everyone in the household.

Having the proper nutrients gives our bodies resilience and resistance to the negative impacts of stress. A few foods and herbs that are particularly helpful include:

Foods rich in B vitamins
– B vitamins support the nervous and immune systems and have a positive, supportive influence on the adrenals (stress glands). They can be found in foods such as grass-fed/free range meats, oats, brazil nuts, avocados, beans, and kefir.

Foods rich in omega 3
– Stress causes inflammation and omega 3s have potent anti-inflammatory action; they are also important for brain health and immune function and have a positive impact on mood. Foods high in omega 3 include:  sardines, wild salmon, flax oil, flaxseeds, and walnuts.

Calming, sleep supportive herbs
– Stress can influence sleep, and less sleep makes it harder to cope with stress – a vicious cycle. Supporting sleep and reducing tension with herbs is a safe and effective way to reduce the effects of stress. When you need a healthy nightcap, consider brewing a strong cup of any of the following combinations:

Chamomile and Lemon Balm – help to calm anger and irritability. Great for tantrums in kids and parents.

Scullcap and Oats – wonderful for nervous exhaustion and muscle tension.

Valerian and Catnip – a combo with sedative action that is great for people with insomnia who also express stress in their digestive systems, such as cramps or diarrhea.

Linden and Passionflower – also sedative and work well in combination for stress related insomnia in people that also experience headaches or high blood pressure.

Aside from nutrition, finding ways to actively release stress can make a huge impact on what you are bringing into the home. Acupuncture, meditation, and Reiki are all very effective ways of reducing stress. Finding the therapy that works for you, and using it often (during periods of high and low stress), will help induce a sense of calm that will carry through into your interactions with your family.

I understand that guilt sometimes plays a role when it comes to parents finding time for self-care. When something is so important to the health of your family, there should be no guilt but only a sense of urgency – time alone to exercise, read, get a massage, or whatever it is that fills up your cup – is not only essential, but sacred.

Introducing children to the importance of self-care done thru your modelling, is extremely beneficial to their health in the short and long term. Children are often open, receptive, and responsive to holistic therapies and giving a child tools to manage their stress is one of the greatest gifts you can offer.

For more information on how naturopathic medicine can help increase your resilience to stress, call The Pear Tree at 506-857-1300 to book an appointment.

Elderberry Syrup for Cold & Flu

Sambucus canadensis, or Elderberry, is one of our favourite herbs this time of year.

  • It acts deeply on the respiratory tract, decreasing congestion (quickly at that!)
  • promotes detoxification through our pores and digestive tract – helping us prevent and recover from the flu!

It’s powerful but gentle and safe – and a definite go-to if you have children in the house. When we start see runny noses and coughs with mucus 1 tbsp of Elderberry syrup 2-3x a day is a must.

sambuca.jpg

Recipe: 

In a small pot add…

  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup of Elderberries (We have ordered them in at The Pear Tree just for you!)*
  • 1 tsp of ginger

Let it simmer for 30 minutes. Strain out the elderberries and store in airtight container (if you’re anything like us, mason jars are all over the house and these work perfectly!).

Store in fridge. Use 1 tbsp/day preventatively or 2-3tbsp/day at first signs of cold and flu.

Happy Healing!

Your Sensational Health Experts.

*You can pick up elderberries from The Pear Tree, call ahead to make sure we’re open! 857-1300

Back To School: Well Child Check-Up

Check-Up

In light of Back to School, The Pear Tree will be offering
Well Child Check-Ups for the next two weeks!!

Many children who experience restlessness and an inability to focus during class time are in need of certain nutrients and vitamins. These check-ups assess general health and development to ensure your child starts school on the right foot.

Appointments will run 15 minutes and cost $30.

Don’t miss out, August 29th – Sept 12th, Book Now with Dr. Tatlock and Dr. Blake
@ 857-1300.

Oh no…pink eye!

There seems to be a crazy number of people sick lately. This time of year it is common to hear about flus and colds but my family wanted to be a little different so we tried pink eye on for size.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I’ve even heard someone mention pink eye but over the past week we’ve suddenly become very familiar.

The term “pink eye” is used to describe the red appearance of the white parts of the eyes that happens as a result of an infection that can be bacterial or viral. Both types often spread from one eye to the other and cause itchy, burning, and swelling of the eye and surrounding tissue.

The viral version is often associated with a cold and usually clears on its own without treatment after about a week. It’s very contagious, just like a cold, and does not require direct contact to spread.

Bacterial pink eye is usually accompanied by a yellow discharge that may cause the eyelids to stick together. It is spread through direct contact which, if you have ever been around sick kids, you know happens A LOT. Antibiotics is the standard treatment and it make take a week or longer to clear.

Unless, of course, you implement an integrative plan! We reduced our healing time to 3-4 days with very little discomfort.

Here are some suggestions to use as part of your pink eye plan:

  1. Frequent hand and washcloth washing.
  2. Bath the eyes, try not to rub as this causes more irritation. Use a hot washcloth and place over the eyes then gently clean the area. Once clean, especially at bedtime, I found a nice cool cloth over the eyes for a few minutes was very soothing.
  3. Use a dropper and apply colloidal silver often
  4. Take probiotics, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin D at doses recommended by your ND
  5. Use essential oils – on the soles of feet, rubbed into the lymph node channel that runs from behind the ears and down the neck, on the tummy to stimulate immune cells, and in diffusers. Some good options are Thieves, lavender, frankincense, and myrrh
  6. Visualize – the mind is a powerful thing and visualizing healing is a wonderful tool to use with adults and children! We like to image happy monsters going around the body eating up little bugs that are making us sick. We also imagine all of our remedies causing a boost in the number of the helpful guys every time we take a dose. Come up with an image that works for you!