Helping Children Reduce Anxiety and Stress at Home and School


After watching the webinar I posted about last week around anxiety in kids, I wanted to encourage you again to listen to it.   This is something anyone who has interaction with children should listen to (hey…it might even work on your significant other haha).  But in all seriousness, the world we live in is very different from when most of us grew up.  Here are a few bullet points that were big take always for me:

*1/3 of teens suffer from an anxiety disorder.

*There is a reason behind every behavior. When we understand the reason, we can change it long term.  Instead of reacting to the behavior, step back and understand what drives it.

*We are currently living in an era of distraction with the constant use of technology.  Having this technology at our finger tips has made kids underdeveloped with their sense of time.  Life has become more immediate (for example, you used to have to wait a week for a TV show. Now you can binge it).

* Kids with anxiety usually have underdeveloped skills in the areas pictured above. As caregivers, parents, teachers, we need to think about areas our kids are lacking in and set goals with 1-3 strategies attached to that goal. This made me think about my own son. He struggles with organization and when I tell him to “be more organized,” he doesn’t know what that means even though he acts like he does. I need to show him specifically what that looks like by helping him use a planner, setting reminders, and showing him my organization system.  I need to set a goal and attach specific strategies to it so he and I are on the same page.

* Don’t assume kids understand what you mean when you ask them to perform tasks. Provide them with specifics (have a picture of what the room should look like when you ask them to clean their room).

This was just a snapshot but very much worth finding an hour in your day to listen to!

Managing Stress


Friday I attended a seminar at Palm Health about “developing a stress skill set.”  They explained the importance of understanding our own character traits and unconscious mental backdrop (this is what unconsciously shapes our experiences, thoughts, and emotions) in order to make changes in our life.  Similar to functional medicine, we need to understand how our bodies work and how what we put in them and do to them, affects our well being. It comes down to knowing yourself and developing a skill set for mental and physical well being.

Before sharing some bullet points from the seminar, here are a couple interesting/disturbing points I read from the book “The Body Keeps The Score” by Vessel Van Der Kolk.

The number of people treated for depression has tripled over the past two decades and one in ten Americans now take antidepressants.”

”If these drugs were as effective as we have been led to believe, depression should now have become a minor issue in our society.”

”Mainstream medicine is firmly committed to a better life through chemistry (drugs) versus looking at the fact that we can actually change our own physiology through other skill sets.”

I mention these points because the certification I’m starting in August is all about learning how to develop a skill set to change my physiology then learning how to help others (Katie is currently going through this certification so I’m excited about the resources we’ll have to share at our gym!)

Here are some points/take always from the seminar:

*Stress is defined as uncomfortable emotional experiences (biochemical, physiological, and behavioral changes). Stress is a normal part of life, however, how we respond is where we have choice. We need some stress, such as working hard at something meaningful.  This is good stress. But sometimes stress is a signal of something toxic in our lives, such as a toxic environment, relationship, or lifestyle that causes us harm. This stress can signal that we need to make a change.

*Sometimes we cause our own stress by over glorifying being busy.

Developing a Stress Skillset:

*Constant searching for more techniques can actually add to our stress.  It’s not what we do but how we do it.

*Our skillset needs to go beyond “getting away from our stress.” We need tools to get calm beyond vacation and substances. For example, learning to perceive a situation more accurately and expanding our thoughts and feelings around that situation through talking or working with a coach.

*Once we understand our character traits, we can think about how that relates to our own stress. For example, if you are a “novelty seeking” type person, you might feel stress if you don’t think you’re getting the credit, the job, the attention, etc. you deserve. Journaling is a helpful tool to help make us more aware of our thoughts.

*Increasing our resilience also plays a role in strengthening our mental capacity, emotional stability and our health in general. We can’t believe every thought we have and need to be critical consumers of our thoughts.

Categories to grow in:

Love – working in service of others.

Hope – practice of letting go of struggle and worry. There is meaning and purpose in what you’re going through. Set goals with what you value.

Faith – practice growing in awareness. Knowing what is good and true in your life while accepting reality and adapting.

*Our inner state affects others around us.  There are some very interesting studies about how one person’s heart rate can affect the nervous system of people around them. Check out the HeartMath Institute if interested in learning more about the heart and nervous system as they relate to well being.

And last but not least…we need to work to accept reality, adapt and move forward.

I look forward to learning more over the next several months about how to support people with developing this resilience because we all deal with the ups and downs of life.  But how we choose to look at them is a big part of our well being!


Functional Medicine Seminar

Friday I attended a functional medicine seminar at Palm Health.  Here were a few simple take always I had to share:

*Gut health is key to overall health.

*75% of food in the western diet is of limited or no benefit to the gut (supplements such as vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin C, prebiotics are very beneficial).

*There is more serotonin in the gut than the brain (again why gut health is so important).  Leaky gut can contribute to depression and anxiety along with diabetes, cancer, autoimmune and a heck of a lot more.

*A study showed that prebiotic enriched yogurt for 4 weeks can reduce the brain’s response to negative stimuli.

*Broccoli is apparently the key to health…haha, but really. It is packed with antioxidants as well as many other vitamins.

*Detoxing through diet, sweating, yoga, lymphatic massage is important.  We are exposed to a lot of toxins in our world.  Check out this website:  (It’s a little freaky).

*In conclusion, lifestyle choices around diet, stress management, exercise, and social connections can lead to optimal health.

Book recommendations:

*The Mind-Gut Connections by Emeran Mayer

*Eat to Beat Disease by William Li

*Disease Delusion by Jeff Bland

*The Longevity Diet by Valter Longo


Signing Up For Classes


We would greatly appreciate signing up for classes at least an hour beforehand.  With summer schedules being different and trainers having kids home, we’d like to make sure our trainers know who’s coming an hour prior to class…especially the morning classes.  For the summer, we will be cancelling class if no one is signed up an hour before.  Thanks for understanding and we appreciate your support.

New To CFKW Per Survey Results

Based off of your feedback, we are adding a weightlifting class Sunday at 1:00. This will allow more skill time on various lifts. It will be a structured class with a warm up, skill and accessory work and occasionally a short WOD incorporating that day’s lift. It starts this Sunday!

Next, we have a trainer who is certified in Brand X who will be offering classes for Pre K and high school kids. You can check out her link. She is separate from CrossFit Kirkwood so you’d be paying her directly. This will not be in Mind and Body. Here is her link:

Community Classes For June and July


Starting Thursday, June 6th, the Tuesday/Thursday 9:15 classes will be community classes open to all levels.  Members, YES, you can attend and they are free.

If you’re not a member and interested, you need to create an account through MindBody to sign up for these free classes. Due to a 15 person limit, it’s important you sign up.

Based on survey results, these two class times will be light in attendance this summer for current members. Therefore, we’re welcoming folks to come try out CFKW.

The structure will be regular CrossFit style classes. However, they will focus more on the fundamentals. The classes will have longer skill time and shorter WODs. This is only for the months of June and July. Reach out with any questions.


Murph This Saturday!


Don’t forget to sign up for Murph.  Start time is 10:00 this Saturday.  There are all kinds of variations/scale options, so don’t let the workout scare you.  Also, we’re grilling at the Engelmohr’s afterwards.  Sign up on the board at the gym so Maren and John have a head count. Burgers will be provided so bring a dish and/or something else you’d like to grill, and a beverage. Hope to see you there!

Scheduling Changes


Due to Mandy’s schedule, yoga will not be offered through the summer.  We’re hoping to start it back up in the fall.  However, we will most likely replace it with a lifting class this summer.  A short survey will be sent out later this week asking about class times as well as a few other things.

Also, please check the schedule for Memorial Day/weekend.  Due to the holiday, our schedule will be a little different.  Don’t forget to sign up for Murph on Mind and Body.  If you can come to the Engelmohrs’ after, sign up at the gym.  We’ll provide burgers.  All you need is a beverage and a side or meat to grill.  Hope to see you there!