Back to School and a Mini Meditation

Back to School and a Mini Meditation

Here we go back to school!!

A challenging time for parents and for kids.  For some it is the start of a new school, or a new town and for others it is a new school and a new town.

There is a lot of excitement and energy around a New thing which can be also be a little stressful. The not knowing what to expect and unsure of how things flow can also make us feel a little anxious. More than ever I am seeing a need to control things even when they are not in are control.

Then on top of that, let’s add in getting back to a routine with Food, Sleep, Sports, Classes etc..

Key Elements for a healthy Back to School/Life

Focusing on a few key elements can help parents and kids… well all of us really maintain health and thrive:
  • Stress Response – Need we say more? When levels of the stress hormone cortisol are too high or too low for extended periods of time, it can take a toll on brain function and can cause inflammation. See below for mini mediation tips.
  • Digestion – We’ve all had those days when you barely have time to chew your food, let alone make a healthy meal. Proper digestion is vital to delivering the nutrients you consume to the rest of your body. Digestive enzymes can be helpful.
  • Immune System – When you’re stuck in a room with so many people, you get exposed to all kinds of bugs. Being proactive with your immune support can be super helpful. I like Immuplex as my multi immune support or Congaplex Chewables for the smaller kids
  • Sleep – Are you or your kids nodding off in class/ work/ etc and setting 5 alarms every night before bed? If you aren’t getting enough quality sleep each night, it doesn’t matter how great the rest of your wellness routine is you are not operating a full capacity.
  • Cognitive Function – Your brain is a nutrient and energy hog, especially when engaged in mentally demanding tasks like studying. If you do not take care of your body then your brain will not work well… Same for if you do not take care of your brain then your body will not work well. You can override your mind using your body and you can sit in stillness with a mini mediation to give your brain and body a rest, so it can recoup.

Back to School and a Mini Meditation

I think it is never too soon to teach our children how to be calm and be in stillness.   It provides them with a valuable tool for life.  They need this practice to offset the constant stimulation of all the things/ screens etc..  It will help them manage life with good input and balanced output which will help them be mindful and present in all areas in your life.  I personally think it should be a family practice that all do together.

As many of you know I have a committed Yoga and meditation practice which supports me most of the time.  In times when I have a lot going on I have been experimenting with the idea of a mini meditation.

What is a Mini Meditation?

There are two ways to practice a mini meditation. One way is to sit in stillness with eyes closed for a5-10 minutes the is other is when you have to switch hats, roles, or functions. The idea is to  take  some moments/ breaths before you make the switch.  For example: Switching up projects at work, or going from being a worker to being a parent, or from a partner to a parent, or from school to home or from hungry to stuffing in a quick bite of food…you get the idea.

My Mini Mediation Ritual

I try to allow myself a minute or two to take a few breaths and let go of what I was doing and let it go and the fully embrace the new task. An example would be: when I enter my office, I put on my Doctor’s Coat.  Not because I want to wear one, it is not very fashionable, but because it symbolizes that I have made the transition from Pia to Dr Pia so I can set the intention to be  fully present for all my patients.

A patient of mine suggested that it is like having a little ritual with yourself.  For those of you who like to use essential oils like lavender or stress away,  you already know how powerful it can be to take a minute and use the power of aroma therapy to calm the nervous system.

These transition moments can be a powerful way to reset our energy and allow us to be more present with our kids, our friends, our spouses, etc etc  Bottom Line:  This practice can reduce your stress levels and I know we can all use that as we transistion to Back to School!

The Science behind the Benefits of a Mini Meditation

Meditation can be a particularly powerful tool for improving your overall  health.  Studies have shown that it has the ability to boost levels of key hormones and neurotransmitters, including serotonin and the calming neurotransmitter GABA.  Studies also show that we improve digestion and absorption when we are in a parasympathetic state. (Rest and Digest)

Research has also shown that meditation can help your adrenal glands. We know that stress is a trigger for adrenal fatigue, which can worsen, and, in some cases, trigger other inflammatory conditions such as Blood Sugar swings and Digestive Disorders. The practice of meditation can decrease our stress levels  and improve overall health by significantly lowering elevated cortisol levels.

Other researched benefits of meditation include improved immunity, which is super important especially for back to school.

Again I think this is a great practice to share with your kids of all ages as  it has the potential to make all your relationships and your health better.

Give the idea of a Mini Mediation or Mindset Ritual a try and let me know what you think?

My best and have a healthy week

Dr Pia