Tag: worry

TALKING TO YOUR TEEN ABOUT ALCOHOL, SMOKING AND DRUGS

TALKING TO YOUR TEEN ABOUT ALCOHOL, SMOKING AND DRUGS

A common concern for parents is whether their teenagers are drinking alcohol, smoking, vaping or taking drugs, since teenagers often feel pressured to experiment with these substances.

Even small amounts of alcohol can impair judgement or provoke antisocial behaviour. Smoking can turn into a lifelong addiction and lead to a multitude of health problems including cancer. There are many different types of drugs that can damage the brain and other parts of the body.

You can help your teen by talking to them about peer pressure, supporting them, encouraging healthy friendships, knowing their activities, establishing rules and consequences, discussing reasons not to join in, debunk myths about the topic and be prepared to answer questions truthfully. It’s also important to set a good example; if you drink, do so in moderation and explain to them why it’s okay for adults to drink responsibly.

PAINS DURING PREGNANCY AND WHAT THEY COULD BE

PAINS DURING PREGNANCY AND WHAT THEY COULD BE

Pregnancy can be uncomfortable. Sore feet, tender breasts and an achy back – all worth it, of course, but it’s not the most comfortable time of your life. However, if you’re experiencing abdominal cramps or pain, that discomfort can quickly turn into worry. But is there really a need to worry?

The good news is that pains or cramps are very common, and usually nothing to worry about. After all, your body is doing its best to accommodate your growing baby by moving your organs and stretching your ligaments, which can certainly cause some discomfort. Trapped wind or constipation can also cause the cramps – glamorous.

These pains can be sharp or crampy, and usually go away by adjusting your position, taking a rest or having a warm shower or bath, or they clear up on their own shortly after onset. As with other pains, you can help keep it under control by eating a balanced diet, exercising often and in a way
that is safe and avoid standing for long periods of time. Be careful when lifting heavy loads – especially children! Bend at the knees, keep your back as straight as you can and raise yourself back up slowly.

However, if the pain is accompanied with vomiting, fever, chills, bleeding or spotting or the pain is continuous, it’s important to contact your doctor or midwife just to be safe. Trust your intuition; if something doesn’t seem right, it doesn’t hurt to get it checked out.

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Helpful tip

With your organs shifting and your belly growing, unsurprisingly, comes some back pain. Your growing baby changes your whole centre of
gravity, leading to pain in the middle lower back area and may even wrap around to your hips and pubic bone, too.

Exercises such as squats, lunges or bridges can help support your posture, and swimming is another pregnancy-friendly way to get moving and
take the stress off your joints. Overly tight pelvic muscles can also contribute to back pain, so it’s a good idea to see a pelvic floor physiotherapist. You can also practise deep breathing, mindfulness, or treat yourself to a pregnancy massage.

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ANXIOUS CHILDREN – WHEN TO WORRY ABOUT THEIR WORRY

Anxiety is something that most people have experienced during their life at some point. Children are also faced with fears and anxiety as they grow and develop and sometimes they can be quite overwhelming.

These might be about specific places, things or events or the anxiety may be quite general in nature.
Some common signs associated with anxiety include:
– Diarrhoea or constipation
– Stomach pain and upset
– Loss of appetite
– Breathing difficulty
– Crying and clinging
– Anti-social behaviour and shyness
– Difficulty sleeping or aversion to sleep
– Night waking and night terrors
– Tantrums
– Muscular Tension and pain

It is worth remembering that children are very open and sensitive and often pick up emotional tension and stress from other people around them. They are far more susceptible to this than adults.

If children are not yet able to communicate clearly and describe their emotions their anxiety may manifest as what you perceive as irrational or bad behaviour. As parents, its important to be conscious of the emotion that could be lying behind and causing their behaviour.

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Treating children for anxiety also involves managing the stress levels of the parents. When the parents are stressed or find it challenging to express themselves, it makes it more difficult for children to have the opportunity to express their upset and to be understood. Caring for your own stress and anxiety is the first step towards helping your child deal with their anxiety and it will enable you to be more responsive to their emotions rather than getting more stressed yourself.
From a physical perspective, there are several nutritional influences which may change the nervous system and contribute to anxiety. These include excessive sugar in the diet, food allergies or sensitivity, chemical exposure, vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Ideally sugars and refined carbohydrates such as white flour should be eliminated from the diet. Possible food triggers, heavy metal or chemical settlement in the body can be determined through non-invasive hair testing. Calming and warming foods such as organic whole oat porridge are great for the nervous system and are encouraged in the diet.

Tools to help with anxiety
– Communication – talking openly and honestly with your children about changes and assuring them of your love and understanding is a powerful and effective tool.
– Breathing – teaching your child to deep breathe and relax gives them a valuable coping skill in situations which cause them anxiety. Doing this together with your child will help you both calm down.
– Aromatherapy – this is a gentle, yet effective method of calming the nervous system and creating a safe and relaxing environment. Try adding 4-6 drops of pure chamomile oil to a warm bath or add to an oil burner.

There are several herbal medicines available under the supervision of a naturopath which focus on supporting the nervous system and calming the child such as chamomile, passionflower and oat seed. Magnesium and calcium powders may help to relax tense muscles and also to moderate a firing response of the nervous system which is associated with anxiety. Massage and Energy Healing can help a child to feel comforted and let go of tension.

Kylie Cloney is a Naturopath, Herbalist and Nutritional Therapist.