It’s exam season! The stress and anxiety levels are high, for both the children and the parents. And by children I also mean University age of course. We parents have to walk a tight-rope of nagging enough without going too far, keeping them rested and well-fed, making sure they get enough sleep but making sure they do enough work. We also have to manage our own stress levels so we don’t contribute to their anxiety. It’s not easy!
There are a few pretty easy things we can do that can really help and have definitely helped my children. Some are a bit obvious, but worth being reminded of.
1. Help them focus
Of course I’m going to recommend omega-3 at this point! I make sure my children take it religiously during exams. Our brains are made of omega-3 and need it to function properly. If they’re younger and can’t swallow bigger capsules, Life & Soul Mini Capsules are perfect.
Lion’s Mane has been appearing a lot on my radar and I recently bought some from The Natural Dispensary for my son. He says he feels instantly sharper after taking them. It’s worth a shot and there’s lots of good data coming out on it.
Chat them through some breathing exercises, there are loads on the internet and YouTube. You can also find ones to help them calm their nerves and they really help.
2. Help them sleep
This is super obvious but they need to sleep. Limit their caffeine and make sure they’re not drinking those hideous caffeinated soft drinks. Supplement wise, give them Magnesium Bisglycinate (I like the Viridian one). Give them a full adult dose (unless they’re very young) with the omega-3 at dinner time. Taking them together has really helped my sleep and I always take them together now.
3. Help them hydrate
Teens are notoriously bad at drinking enough water. Dehydrated brains don’t work well. Add a pinch of Maldon rock salt to a large jug to help with electrolytes and if they hate water, make a big jug of filtered water with slices of cucumber, or berries, or grapefruit slices or lemon and lime slices.
4. Help them avoid sugar wobbles
Teens suffer from this a lot. They’ll eat some white toast with jam, or similar, and then crash about an hour later and need more sugar. Try to get them to eat eggs and bacon or smoked salmon for breakfast instead of sugary cereal. Make sure they’re getting lots of protein, even if it’s only at dinner. They generally just eat carbs and sugar at school (or mine do!), and they need protein to fill them up so they’re not going to bed hungry, and also for all the great amino acids they need.
5. Help them avoid illness
The last thing they need right now is a cold or a lurgy. There’s been no sun in this country yet and they’re stuck indoors all day studying, so up their vitamin D3 and consider a vitamin C supplement. A buffered vitamin C powder you can mix into a drink for them is a good option.
I always give my children Echinacea tincture from Herbs Hands Healing (the best herb specialists in the UK) if they start showing signs of a cold or any lurgy.
You can cover their omega-3 and vitamin D3 with Rise & Shine.
6. Help them (force them) to go outside
A short walk or even just a ten minute tea break in the garden will help them reset a bit. It’s also good for their eyesight to look into the distance after hours of looking at a screen or books. Get them to take some deep breaths and walk around barefoot on the grass. It’s amazing how calming it is.
Good luck to you all! It will be over soon and, remember, there’s only so much you can do. As long as you help them physically and emotionally, you’ve done everything you can. It’s up to them now.