Signs That Your Child Might Be Stressed (& What to Do about It)

Even as an adult, it can be difficult recognizing when you feel anxious, sad, overwhelmed, or stressed. This is even more true of your child that has a difficult time naming their feelings, let alone knowing what to do with them.

Since your children can in fact experience stress, use this article as a resource to learn how stress affects your child, and learn how to spot the signs of stress when they appear.

Effects of stress on your child

Childhood stress is a serious issue. As you read these effects, think about how you can make your child’s life easier.

Not enough play

Sports, school, and other commitments can keep your children from playing as often as they need it. Children need play to grow their imaginations, learn to socialize, and advance their motor skills. Encourage your child to play outside as well.

Poor family dynamics

About 40 to 50 percent of American couples divorce. Between changing routines, emotional stress, and feeling stigmatized socially, children are at least as impacted by divorce as are their parents. Children are also hyper-present in adult situations. With social media and more open parenting styles, children are more aware than ever of financial struggle, extended family feuds, and other hardships within their families.

Too much screen time

Kids who spend two or more hours looking at a screen score lower on thinking and language tests compared to those with less screen interaction. While sometimes a tablet, video game, or smartphone can be the path of least resistance in getting your child to stay quiet or behave, screen time is not the answer. Screen time does not allow children to handle delayed gratification. It demobilizes your child and prevents them from getting the exercise they need to stay active and healthy. Screen time can also overload your child’s sensory system, and disrupt their sleep patterns.

Signs of stress in your child

Here are a few of the signs to spot when they appear. If you spot them, then you can take action right away.

Withdrawing from or complaining about activities

If your child starts to seem disinterested in a sport or activity, then it may be time to review your calendar and remove a few commitments. Consistent complaining, unusual attachment to you, and lethargy toward something they used to love could be signs your child needs a break.

Talk with your child about their calendar, and offer to remove things that do not excite them. Making room for quality family time, relaxation, and unstructured play with their friends or siblings will go a long way in making your child feel more relaxed, more loved, and much less stressed out.

Becoming clingy with one parent or another

Acting out in school or withdrawing socially are common responses in children of divorce. Try to keep adult conversations between adults. Keep your child’s routine as consistent as possible. Routine allows children to feel secure and know they can depend on you.

Screen time

Trouble falling asleep, waking up, and undue crankiness can be signs your child is spending too much time with their electronic devices. If you notice your child’s attention span getting shorter, or they are responding with angry outbursts when they do not get what they want right away, then it is time to consider hard limits on screen time.

Limiting screen time can be difficult for both of you at first, but you will see your child’s behaviors change for the better very quickly. Set a daily time limit for your child where they can play their favorite game, or have them earn a certain amount of screen time through doing chores and being helpful. Do not allow your child to take their device to bed with them, and stay consistent with your rules. The less time your child spends with their electronic device gives them more opportunity to spend energy exercising, playing with their friends, and growing their own imaginations.

It is not easy to accept that your child’s life may be affected by situations you have created or by the world outside that you can’t protect them from. World and local news, social media, and peer pressures add to the struggle of being a child in today’s society.

For more information

Childhood stress is a serious issue that you can change for the better. For more information, contact ARcare today at (877) 876-8032 to speak with a healthcare professional.

7 Healthy Habits to Develop in 2019

As the new year begins, many people will begin working towards their new year resolutions. Whatever your goals may be, this is the perfect time to develop a plan to improve your quality of life. One of the best ways to do this is to focus on your health. While there are many fad diets and exercise plans that pop up on the internet, the best way to improve your overall health is to apply simple, tried, and true methods, and do so consistently. ARCare wants to help you achieve and maintain that consistency by providing these healthy habits to develop in 2019.

  1. Exercise

Regular exercise, even as little as 30 minutes a day, can dramatically improve your health.  Consistent physical activity can improve your mood and emotional health, lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes, and improve your self-esteem as you lose excess weight. If you have children, this can also be a great way to set an example, and incentivize them to live an active and healthy lifestyle. This can be a great family activity. Set aside short periods of time to exercise daily, and make being more active a priority in 2019.

  1. Diet

Healthy eating is one of the most effective ways to improve your health. Eating quality foods with high nutritional value has numerous health benefits. Improving your diet may require you to develop some new eating habits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests using a method called Reflect, Replace, Reinforce. The process involves reflecting on your eating habits, both the good and the bad, and then replacing the bad habits with better choices. Once this is established, you can reinforce your new habits until they become a regular part of your lifestyle.

When changing your diet, it is important to start with small, gradual changes. You could start by changing one meal a day, adding more vegetables to your diet, or avoiding processed foods in favor of more nutrient-dense options.

  1. Drink More Water

As you seek to improve your eating habits, it is equally important that you evaluate what kinds of liquids you consume. Limit your consumption of artificially flavored drinks, sodas, dairy, or sports drinks. You should also avoid drinking alcohol as this has negative side-effects and can negatively impact your health as well.

You should start the processing of replacing these unhealthy choices with water. Water is going to be your best option and has several benefits. Water regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, prevents infections, and helps the body eliminate waste, to name a few of the benefits. Water is a critical element to your overall health. You can find more information about the importance of drinking water in this ARcare article, One of The Easiest Things You Can Do to Be Healthier.

  1. Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important contributors to your overall health. Many people have such busy lifestyles that they neglect the importance of getting enough sleep. There is plenty of research that shows how getting enough sleep is dynamically connected to being healthy. Your body needs adequate amounts of sleep to function properly.

There are multiple things you can do to improve not only the quantity of sleep that you get, but also the quality. First, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, whenever possible. This will allow your body to get into a rhythm and will allow you to have a much better sleep. Second, develop a bedtime routine that you can follow every night. A routine can help you to wind down as it is closer to your bedtime. Third, turn down lights and limit your time in front of screens before bed. This can increase the amount of melatonin that your body produces, which will assist in sleep.

  1. Develop Your Relationships

Relationships are a major part of our emotional health. Surrounding yourself with good people and close friends can have a positive influence on your health. Volunteering with other people can be an incredible rewarding experience as well, which can increase your well-being. Seek to be intentional in 2019 about developing the relationships you have. Look for ways to improve your relationships with your spouse, friends, or other family members. Maybe you could write down names of friends you haven’t seen in awhile and set a date to go see them. All these things can be beneficial to your health as you improve the relationships in your life.

  1. Prioritize Self Care

Taking care of yourself is important if you want to live a healthy lifestyle. It has already been shown how diet, exercise, and drinking water can improve your health. These are all part of self-care, but it is equally important that you take time to do things you enjoy to relieve stress. Make time to reward yourself occasionally by doing things you enjoy. Find ways to have more fun by looking for new hobbies or activities that you enjoy. Schedule time to engage in these activities either alone or with friends. Work is important, but it is also important to set aside time for play.

  1. Get Regular and Annual Check-Ups

Getting regular check-ups at a family health center in Arkansas is an important step to take if you want to live a healthy lifestyle. This will allow a trained professional to review your medical history, evaluate your current lifestyle habits, and identify any potential risks or concerns that may be present. This can also give you an opportunity to get answers to any questions you may have regarding your health.

If you are looking for a family health center in Arkansas in order to get healthier or for a wellness center near me in Arkansas, contact us at ARcare by calling (877) 876-8032 to schedule an appointment. We provide affordable and convenient healthcare services for families in Arkansas. We can help guide you in your health journey by provided more new year health tips.

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8 Healthy Habits to Help Combat Depression

Being in a bad mood, feeling sad, or simply just having a bad day is a normal part of life. However, if you feel that a lingering bad mood or fatigue is keeping you from completing your day-to-day tasks, then you may be experiencing depression.

f you have been experiencing this, then you should seek treatment and begin making lifestyle changes that can improve your overall health and mood. Moreover, there are simple steps for you to achieve this.

Here are 8 healthy habits to combat depression.

1. Exercise

Regular exercise can be extremely effective in combating depression. Research suggests that exercise can increase the body’s production of natural antidepressants and can be as effective as medication in combating medication.

While exercise may seem like such a difficult task when fighting depression, start small. Set small, easy goals. Go for a walk. Ride a bike. Any kind of physical activity helps fight the negative feelings you experience.

2. Diet

What you eat and drink can be dynamically connected to how you feel. If you continuously give your body an unhealthy fuel source, then it is never going to function properly.

Eating food rich in vitamins and minerals that the body needs can greatly increase your mood and overall health. Additionally, losing weight can increase your self-esteem, which can also assist in combating depression. Avoid alcohol, drugs, or other substances that can have negative side-effects later. Eating healthy will boost your energy and make you feel better about yourself.

3. Sleep

Sleep is a critical component to your overall health. Lack of sleep can cause more stress as well as cause greater levels of fatigue, so prioritize sleep to make sure you get an appropriate amount of it.

A  bedtime routine can help you wind down after a long day. Turning off lights before bed can increase the body’s natural production of melatonin to aid in sleep. You should also avoid screens from televisions, smart phones, and other devices before bed as this can cause difficulty sleeping.

4. Laughter

A happy heart is like good medicine, and laughter is truly the best way to administer it. Laughing can greatly reduce symptoms of depression. According to Everyday Health, “Smiling will send serotonin levels soaring, making you feel better physically and putting you in a happy mood.”

Find a good comedy to watch with friends or maybe a good book. Be creative in finding ways to laugh more. Although it seems so simple (perhaps even silly), laughing more can dramatically help with combatting depression.

5. Meditate

Meditation or prayer can decrease stress and anxiety levels that can lead to depression. Sitting alone in silence can really help slow the never-ending fast pace of life. This can allow you time to gain a new perspective, gather your thoughts, and focus on the positive things in your life.

You may simply sit in silence for a few minutes, or maybe you repeat a meaningful phrase or quote. Another thing that can help is to sit and express gratefulness for the good things or people in your life. Healthline notes that meditation, prayer, or similar exercises can “help you improve your sense of well-being and feel more connected to what’s happening around you.” This can be a quick, simple, and easy way to combat depression.

6. Volunteer

Volunteering can be a great way to combat depression. Depression can cause you to become very internal and can become overwhelming when you are only looking at yourself. Serving other people can help you gain a new perspective and take your attention away from yourself.

Volunteering can also help you see others who may be less fortunate than you are, and this can allow you to put your situations and circumstances in perspective. Serving other people is also an incredibly fulfilling activity in which people often find great joy.

Additionally, you may also develop some new relationships with other volunteers.

7. Get in a routine

Depression can cause you to feel out of control as if you are not responsible for your own life. A routine can help regain control over your life which can help you feel more secure. Anxiety often accompanies depression, and maintaining a routine can help deal with this issue.

You can start by scheduling your time better. Maybe you can start a morning and bedtime routine that you do every day. Although you may not be able to control your schedule 100%, it will be incredibly beneficial to control the things within reach.


Reward yourself

Rewarding yourself with things you enjoy is a great way to make you feel better. While it can be unhealthy to overindulge, it is important that you reward yourself in fun and healthy ways.

Start by making regular plans to do things you enjoy. Find a hobby, learn an instrument, listen to music, or go for a hike. Invest in yourself, and do the things you love.

For more information

If you still have questions about depression, then find a behavioral health clinic in Arkansas that works with ARcare to treat depression. Our family health center in Arkansas provides behavioral health services that can help you combat depression.

Visit ARcare or call at (877) 876-8032 to schedule an appointment.

Everything You Need to Know If You Are Diagnosed with Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver. This virus can manifest itself initially as an acute infection, but if left unnoticed and untreated, acute hepatitis B can become a chronic infection. A chronic Hepatitis B infection can cause serious liver damage and require medical attention.

Many acute hepatitis B infections do not require medical attention and pass with limited time. The signs of acute Hepatitis B infection include abdominal pain, fever, appetite loss, fatigue, dark-colored urine, joint pain, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice.

How is it diagnosed?

Traditionally, doctors diagnosed it with a needle biopsy of the liver. Here the doctor inserted a thin needle through the skin and into the liver. The doctor then removed a small sample of a patient’s liver that could be evaluated under the microscope to determine if a patient were infected.

The latest technology, however, is a non-invasive scanning technology that can evaluate one-hundred times the amount of liver that the previous procedure could evaluate.

This technology called FibroScan emits small pulses of energy. Using this energy, the stiffness of the liver can be determined, thus determining the amount of damage that has been physically done to the liver by the disease process. Not only does this technology examine a greater amount of the liver, but it also does so non-invasively.

What people are most at-risk for it?

There are groups of people that are more prone to a hepatitis B infection. Considering this disease is transmitted by contact with bodily fluids, people that have an increased risk of contact with bodily fluids of multiple people are more at risk for infection.

This list includes those who live with someone that has hepatitis B, have had many sexual partners, have had partners of the same sex, have a history of sexually transmitted diseases, are HIV or hepatitis C positive, are on kidney dialysis, are on immunosuppressive therapy, and who take illegal injectable drugs.

How is it treated and managed?

There are three treatment and management situations for hepatitis B.

The first of these is the prevention of hepatitis B after exposure. This is a time-sensitive situation. If you know that you have been exposed to hepatitis B and are not sure if you have been vaccinated against the disease, then you need to contact your doctor immediately. Within the first 12 hours, you need to be given an injection of immunoglobulin, or antibody. This is just a short-term fix, however. You should also be immunized for the Hepatitis B virus at the same time.

In the second situation, this is the treatment for acute hepatitis B. Your doctor needs to determine whether or not you have an acute or chronic infection. Many cases of acute hepatitis B infection may not require any treatment other than rest, proper nutrition, and plenty of fluids to aid in your healing and recovery. In more severe cases of acute hepatitis B infection, antiviral medications and a stay in the hospital may be required to aid in recovery.

The third situation is the most concerning. This is a chronic hepatitis B infection, and most patients will need treatment for the rest of their lives. Available treatments include oral medications, injectable medications, and liver transplant.

Oral medications are antiviral medications that help to slow the virus and prevent damage to the liver. Injectable medications are typically a drug called interferon. This drug is typically used in younger patients that want to avoid long-term treatment. The last option for a chronic hepatitis B patient is a liver transplant. Normally, this is taken from a deceased patient. However, a portion of an existing, healthy liver from a live patient will also suffice. This is done to remove and replace the existing, damaged liver in a chronic hepatitis B patient.

Can it be prevented?

There are many ways to prevent it. The best way to prevent it is with a vaccine. This is an inexpensive and effective way to prevent the disease.

There are, however, other ways to prevent it that do not involve a vaccine. These methods lie mainly in educational methods. You must ask sexual partners of their sexual history, including vaccinations, recent testing, and past infections. You must always use protective measures when coming into contact with bodily fluids. This may include the use of latex gloves, masks, condoms, and dental dams, depending on the circumstance.

Avoiding drug use will also decrease your susceptibility to hepatitis B. Finally, if you are traveling internationally, you should check to see if the area where you are traveling has a high incidence of hepatitis B.

For more information

If you do not have a primary care physician and believe you are at risk for hepatitis B, then contact ARcare today! We are ready to help you!