Spring and End of School Stress Busters

By Dr. Tony Ebel, DC, CPPFC, CCWP
Spring and End of School Stress Busters | PX Docs

Welcome to the season we find ourselves in… Spring. For 15 years, I have been both a pediatric chiropractor and a father. Now that all four of my children have reached school age, we have come to truly understand why Spring, particularly the month of May, holds the title for the most frenzied time of the year.

That’s why I want to delve into the primary sources of stress for families during this period: the demands of school, sports activities, and spring allergies. We will break down these factors, but more importantly, I will share with you five action steps that our family has employed year after year to navigate this chaotic time and reach the more relaxed days of summer. The truth is, it’s an intense and stressful period, not just for us but also for our children, their teachers, and fellow parents. And stress loves to spread.

Among all the culprits that affect our well-being, stress takes the top spot. It proves more detrimental to our health than toxins and gluten. And there is no time more susceptible to stress than the arrival of spring and the approach of the end of the school year. We often think of the holiday season and the end of the first semester as an overwhelming time, and rightly so. However, spring comes close to rivaling that period in its demands and pressures.

The 3 Stresses of Spring

1. School Busy-ness 🏫

At the moment, there’s a flurry of projects, presentations, and final exams on the horizon. It’s not just the academic pressure that’s mounting; there are also musicals, award ceremonies, concerts, and other nighttime activities connected to school, despite the fact that the kids still need to prepare for their projects.

2. Sports ⚽️ ⚾️

Spring is thriving with sports like baseball and soccer being in full swing. Nowadays, it’s common to engage in more than one sport or to participate in both school teams and additional travel or club teams. Consequently, this demanding schedule often hinders our ability to maintain a healthy diet. We find ourselves consuming unhealthy snacks and relying on beverages like Gatorade while constantly being on the road and stressing about getting from one palace to the next. 

3. Seasonal allergies 🤧

One of the primary reasons behind the heightened levels of emotions, behavior changes, and seizures, among other things, and your child’s apparent regression, can be attributed to seasonal allergies. Although I believe that the term “allergies” is often overused, it is a natural consequence of how our bodies are designed. As we venture outside again amidst the pollen and grass, our immune and respiratory systems need to adapt. 

Thankfully, God gave us the inherent ability to do so. While it may take a day or two to work out congestion or itchiness that may arise, we should be able to handle that.  But if our nervous systems are already stressed and activated in a fight-or-flight response, it exacerbates allergies and immune-related issues. This leaves the body in a chronically stressed and pro-inflammatory state. 

The prevalence of environmental and food allergies in today’s world is not due to the novelty of trees, springtime, gluten, or dairy. It stems from the fact that we have embraced an incessantly stressful way of life. We find ourselves trapped in a perpetual cycle of the fight-or-flight response, and each spring, it reaches a climax.

So, when you experience increased stress and heightened sensory challenges, along with frequent meltdowns and tantrums, what can you do? Or when your child manages to hold themselves together at school but unleashes their emotions at home, resulting in arguments and conflicts, here are some strategies that will help.

Remember, this list doesn’t expect you to handle every situation flawlessly or perfectly. It serves as a guide to work towards and strive for rather than pretending to have all the answers. All we can do is continue to try our best!

The 5 Stress Busters 💥

1. Add Boost chiropractic Adjustments (up care plan) or Start Neuro-focused 🧠 Chiropractic

If your family is on a chiropractic “wellness” plan, this is the time of year we encourage our patients to embark on what we call the sensory, stress, and supportive boost plan. If having one adjustment per week during less stressful and chaotic times helps you reset, recalibrate, and relax your nervous system, then during busier seasons, you may need a second adjustment. Therefore, if you’re part of our wellness family, it’s recommended to increase the frequency or dosage of chiropractic care you receive.

If you haven’t started chiropractic care yet, now is an excellent time. Right in the midst of the storm is a great time to have your child’s nervous system assessed. Our INSiGHT scans can measure the level of stress, imbalance, and dysregulation in your child’s nervous system. 

Through these scans, we can pinpoint the exact causes of their sensitivity, heightened activity, anxiety, and easily agitated state. We can identify the root causes of these challenges. If you’re experiencing worsened behavioral issues, anxiety, or seizures in this busy season, let it be the turning point that leads you to a PX Doc chiropractic office that focuses on neurological care. We address the underlying causes, which often involve a stressed-out nervous system, more than anything else, contributing to gut, immune, and behavioral issues.

Spring is always a bustling time in our practice as we work to help families navigate through challenges and overcome obstacles. It’s also an ideal time to start chiropractic care because summer is just around the corner. During summer, children can get more sleep, experience less school pressure, and have more time to rest. Summer is the prime season for neurological healing. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to incorporate chiropractic care into your routine right now.

2. Add calming 🧘🏻 Supplements, oils, etc.

Many supplements and oils can help to support and strengthen the nervous system. It is well-known that these secondary supplements effectively contribute to the calming of the nervous system. During periods of stress, our family relies on these supplements to a greater extent. We give our kids magnesium at night, utilize diffusers to disperse lavender and other essential oils and incorporate Epsom salt into their baths.

3. Shut Down the Technology 📱💻

When you experience high levels of stress, your nervous system becomes tense, leading you to seek solace in unhealthy habits such as consuming junk food, sugary treats, excessive Netflix watching, and mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. However, the beauty of spring lies in the opportunity to venture outdoors, enjoy the sunlight and engage in physical activities that make you sweat as an alternative. If your children are overwhelmed and stressed, providing them with a phone or iPad won’t help them finish the school year on a strong note. 

4. Move Your Body 🏃 and Eat Right 🥑

As mentioned, engaging in physical activity and maintaining a balanced diet are essential components of a healthy lifestyle. It’s crucial to embrace the outdoors, soak up the sunshine, and allow your body to absorb vitamin D while enjoying the fresh air. Not only does this invigorate your senses, but it also provides healing benefits for your nervous system. 

In addition to regular exercise, fueling your body with nutritious foods is equally important. Opting for high-quality proteins and healthy fats can contribute to your overall well-being and supports your nervous system. Consider incorporating grass-fed beef, avocados, more vegetables, etc. By adding these wholesome options to your diet, you can nourish your body and support its optimal functioning.

5. Perspective Shift 💭 – this season will pass! 💛

Stay calm and take a deep breath. Remember that spring is just a season. And the next one to come is the best one… summer.  Summer offers opportunities for vacations, relaxation, more sleep, and less pressure on our children during this time. If we allow ourselves to be constantly stressed during this Spring season, it only adds more stress on top of existing stress, leading to a cycle that can hinder our ability to experience joy and fun even during busy periods.

The first four steps mentioned earlier are crucial in restoring balance to our nervous system. By achieving a state of calmness and reducing stress, it becomes easier to maintain a healthy, positive, and forward-looking perspective. This preparation will be beneficial not only during Spring but also for other hectic times, such as the back-to-school season and the holidays. These five foundations serve as a guide to effectively manage stress throughout the year, especially during busy periods.

When we operate at a higher pace, it is essential to maintain a higher level of equilibrium. Our nervous system needs to meet the demands placed upon it. The PX Docs chiropractic approach is highly effective in achieving this balance. These five steps can be implemented year-round but prove particularly valuable during busy times.  Let’s make this Spring season the best one yet!

Dr. Tony Ebel is the lead writer and educational guide for PX Docs. He is a Certified Pediatric + Wellness Chiropractor with 15 years of clinical experience. In addition, Dr. Tony has been teaching and training other Pediatric + Family Chiropractors for the past 10+ years, primarily teaching the clinical protocols he created for pediatric neurodevelopmental challenges such as Autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Epilepsy, Anxiety, and more. This clinical program is now taught in collaboration with the Life University Postgraduate Department and has over 500 graduates. Dr. Tony’s passion is educating, empowering, and informing parents about the nervous system's role in natural, drug-free healing for all pediatric conditions and cases.

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