A woman’s post about drawing a heart on her son’s wrist resonated with many. But why did she do it?
Liz Petrone posted a photo on her son’s wrist on Facebook, explaining that her son has anxiety.
“Maybe it’s the way the seasons shift, a little at a time, so slowly until it’s not slow at all anymore and it’s become cold so fast that you swear you inhaled the warm air of early fall and you exhaled in a foggy smoke of breath into the holidays,” she wrote, adding that she doesn’t know why her boy’s anxiety suddenly got worse this month.
She added: “Or maybe it’s just that he’s been asking me every single morning since he started school in September: ‘Mommy, is today Christmas?’ and forever I’d just laugh and say, oh no, baby, we have a ways to go, except now that’s not so true anymore and the anticipation is so much I think he might spontaneously combust.”
One day, she said, her son cried as the school bus pulled away from the bus stop.
Then, she came up with a plan.
“The next morning we sat at the bus stop together and I pulled a pen from my coat pocket. I grabbed his wrist, kissed the blue of his veins where the blood we share flows through his veins, and drew this heart,” she wrote on Facebook.
“‘I know it’s hard sometimes out there,’ I told him as the bus pulled up to take him away. ‘I want you to look at this heart every time it feels like too much. I want you to look, and I want you to remember that no matter what happens out there someone is here waiting for you to come home. Someone loves you.’ He crossed the road, climbed the bus steps, and I watched this time as his face appeared in the window,” she said.
Then, she noted a different outcome.
“I waited for him to see me, to smile or wave or even to cry, but he never even looked at me. Instead, he looked at his wrist,” Petrone wrote. “I know it’s hard out there a lot of the time for a lot of us. I know the holidays can amplify that and so can the cold and so can the dark. I do. But maybe what we all need to remember is just that simple. Maybe it’s not a fix, not by a long shot, but it’s a comfort just the same, and comfort can go a long way when you know someone loves you.”
In the comments section of her post, many remarked that it was a good idea. Some said they would do the same with their kids.
“This just melts my heart,” wrote one person.
10 Foods to Deal With Anxiety
According to Care2.com, here are 10 common foods that can help alleviate anxiety.
It may be the complete opposite of what you’re craving, but spinach and other leafy greens are rich in magnesium–a mineral that’s essential in more than 300 chemical reactions in the body. Magnesium is used to help prevent anxiety and also treat ADHD. All you need is one cup of spinach to start reaping the benefits of this mineral’s natural stress-fighting power.
2. Whole Grains
All carbohydrates trigger the brain to produce serotonin–one of those feel-good hormones that helps balance out your mood, sexual desires, appetite, sleep, memory and more. To naturally boost your serotonin levels, choose healthy whole grain breads, brown rice and oatmeal for a little more stress relief.
Potassium naturally helps to lower blood pressure, and just half of an avocado contains more of it than one medium banana. You’ll also be nourishing your body with healthy B-vitamins, monosaturated fat and fiber when you incorporate avocados into your diet.
Oranges are full of vitamin C, which lowers cortisol and blood pressure while also giving the immune system a bit of a boost. According to the University of Maryland, large doses of vitamin C has been proven to reduce both physical and mental responses to stress.
Wild salmon is such an important food source for its powerful omega-3 fatty acids. It helps prevent stress hormones from rising and fights inflammation, keeping both your brain and body healthy so your anxiety level can stay on the lower end.
Nuts like pistachios and walnuts are rich in healthy fats and lots of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B21 and vitamin E, which help give the immune system a boost. These nutrients may help strengthen you and lift you up when you’re more likely to feel stressed, anxious or even depressed.
According to WebMD, a diet that incorporates probiotic foods (like certain types of yogurt) has been show to change the body’s response to stress and anxiety. Gastrointestinal problems often come hand in hand with anxiety, and probiotics can help reduce inflammation in the gut to bring some relief.
8. Chia Seeds or Sunflower Seeds
Chia seeds and sunflower seeds contain tryptophan–an animo acid that triggers the release of serotonin in the brain and promotes feelings of calmness and sometimes even sleepiness. Some research has shown that it can help reduce anxiety.
Low levels of folate may be partly to blame for feeling more anxious and even a little depressed. Asparagus is very rich in folate, and all you need is one cup of it to give you two-thirds of your recommended daily value.
10. Dark Chocolate
Is it really any secret that chocolate is known to release those feel-good chemicals in our brains? Besides the fact that it pretty much falls into the traditional comfort food category and tastes really good, research has shown that it can actually help calm you down too.