Anxiety is a painful experience. The heightened feeling of stress, worry, nervousness and fear can be relentless and overwhelming. Although each child or adult has a unique experience of anxiety, there are some commonalities. For young people, school is often a source of anxiety. The beginning of a new school year or a transition, such as from home to elementary school, from elementary school to junior high school, from junior high school to senior high school or from senior high school to post-secondary school, typically are points of increased stress.
Nowadays, it’s trendy to hang out in coffee shops sipping not only coffee, but also a variety of coffee-related drinks from lattés to spiced tea drinks to frappy-iced-things of some kind or another. The names of these items can suggest something delicious and foreign, tempting every cell in our bodies to indulge. But amidst the complications of elaborate titles and ingredients lists that don’t exactly tell all, do people actually know what they’re getting, and more importantly, do they know what they’re feeding their children? Rory Hornstein, a Registered Dietitian in Calgary, says no, and points to caffeine as the first and most obvious demon on the list.
The words ‘back to school’ often bring up a range of emotions for children: excitement to reunite with friends and share stories about the summer months, worry about the upcoming academic challenges and sadness that the summer is over. When a child or teen has experienced the death of a loved one, the thought of going back to school may take on an entirely new meaning.
When thinking of summer, most of us picture sundrenched panoramas and enjoying time outside as a family swimming at the lake, paddling in the back yard pool or running through the front yard sprinkler. We smile as we remember our childhood summers filled with sunshine. Then suddenly our smiles fade away as we remember the dangers of sun and fear that someone in our family might develop skin cancer in their lifetime. So we slather on the sunscreen, avoid as much direct sunshine as we can manage and keep our skin as pale as possible all year round to keep our families safe. Except that now they’re telling us we’re low in Vitamin D (aka the sunshine vitamin) and that low levels of Vitamin D are linked with higher rates of cancer. Furthermore, some of the chemicals in conventional sunscreens are being linked with causing cancer. So what should we do?
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2018 Calgary’s Child