Back to school time represents a season of change. We change grades, atmosphere, sleep habits, routines… How would you describe this season? Exciting? How about busy? Overwhelming and stressful? In our home, it is a little bit of all of that. My husband is a high-school band director, so he jumps back into busy-mode with the public school schedule, while we are beginning our homeschool journey with our super excited kindergartener. Keep in mind that we also have a three-year-old and a two-year-old in the mix, so keeping everyone healthy, happy & focused is a top priority. Let’s look at some common challenges with this time of year and our family’s holistic approach to them.
Its no surprise that our immune systems are put to the test this time of year because we’re typically around more people and increase the opportunity to share germs. Protecting and supporting our immunity is so important, as the immune system is our defense against unwanted bacteria and affects every other system in our body. Here are my top recommendations for family immune support:
- Evaluate your intake of Vitamin A, C, D & Zinc. You want whole-food sources of these, so increasing food naturally rich in them or taking a supplement will be beneficial. We use dōTERRA’s A2Z Chewables for our children and Lifelong Vitality Supplements for ourselves. (These are compatible for some MTHFR specifications, as they contain naturally occurring folate. The A2Z uses Methylcobalamin as B12.) They are all Non-GMO, Gluten & Dairy-Free.
- Reduce sugar intake. Try incorporating a little honey or fresh fruit to kick the habit. Replacing sugary drinks with water is a huge first step! Try adding a drop of Lemon oil to your glass water bottle for a cleansing effect and great flavor.
- Add OnGuard protective blend essential oil into your routine. There are lots of way to do it, but I highly recommend diffusing it in your home or school environment. This blend is an immune-boosting machine and is scientifically proven to be incredibly effective at eliminating germs and environmental threats. dōTERRA created an entire line of OnGuard products to make it convenient for you to use it throughout your day. I’m in love with all of it.
- Protect your gut. Your gut wall houses about 70 percent of the cells that make up your immune system, so getting your gut bacteria healthy is one of the best things you can do for immune health. Our favorite probiotic ever is PB Assist Jr. Use it for your kids (or yourself) and they’ll think it’s candy… but it has 0 sugar! It is seriously delicious and seriously impressive. Rather take the pill? Check out the PB Assist. Both probiotics are double encapsulated (the powder is micro-encapsulated) to ensure that the good bacteria makes it past the stomach acid and into the gut, where it needs to be. Your drug store probiotic won’t do that.
Stress Management & Sleep
We’ve all experienced those first-day jitters. Starting something new can be stressful and bring on feelings of anxiousness and worry, no matter if you’re the student or the parent. Don’t lose sleep over it (that will compromise your immune system as well). Finding emotional balance without medication is life-changing. I’m not anti-medicine, but if there is a natural way to address an issue…give me that, please! Take a look at the essential oils we use for stress & sleep and why:
- Balance – anxious feelings
- Serenity – restful sleep
- Serenity Softgels – (anxiousness during day, deeper sleep at night)
- Lavender – calming
- dōTERRA Peace – reassuring the overwhelmed
- Patchouli – relax
So what is the best way to use these? Apply them topically to palms, feet and/or pulse points OR simply diffuse. Any combination of the above oils smell wonderful together, so you can be the blend-master and choose what you prefer. My girls love Patchouli & Lavender together, while I am a huge fan of Balance and anything.
Encourage patience & focus.
Breathe, Mama (or teacher). You can do it. When we’re calm, they’re more likely to be calm, so take a deep breath and consider using some aromatherapy to guide their attention. These oils are used regularly in our house to promote focus:
- InTune focus blend – this comes in a roller bottle for easy application. We roll across wrists and the back of the neck before time to sit and learn.
- Peppermint & Rosemary – encourages alertness and centering attention. Dilute and apply to temples or back of the neck before school OR diffuse together during homework time.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Ask if you can diffuse in the classroom or send roller bottles with students. If not, don’t sweat it! You can diffuse when they get home and at bedtime and apply oils before and after school.
Make sure you have the tools you need. If you don’t already have a connection with dōTERRA, I’d love to help you get started.
Watch this brief webinar video from Dr. Jessica Herzog on keeping the immune system strong.
Here’s to a happy, healthy school year!