Toolkit

Lifestyle

When you are worried or anxious you might reach for a drink or quick sugar hit to make you feel better or you might think it is easier to numb the pain and drink or eat until you can’t remember what you are anxious about.

When you have anxiety or an anxiety disorder, often the last thing you think about is what you eat or drink or how much activity you do. Going back to basics is vital.

Your food

You probably pay attention to the rules for others, but it is true for you too that a balanced diet gives you better health, and this includes protection from anxiety. The right daily diet can help keep your mood even and feel-good chemicals circulating. This means your diet should include:

  • Protein such as chicken, eggs, fish, cheese, yoghurt, beans, tofu in every meal
  • Grains
  • Omega-3 foods such as fish
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit

Walking counts

It may be hard to find the time and energy from a busy day, but regular walking can decrease anxiety. Being active helps to get the feel-good hormones circulating in your body and is a great stress reliever. It will also distract you and help you to sleep, which helps to reduce anxiety also.

How many drinks?

Alcohol intake often creeps up, so you have a glass if you are cooking and a glass with dinner and then in front of the TV, computer or with friends. Alcohol intake does affect anxiety. Try and have less than 2 drinks per day and aim to have some alcohol free days during the week. Reaching for alcohol because you have anxiety can sometimes make the anxiety worse because you are numbing the pain, not dealing with the cause. For more helpful informatin on women & alcohol, visit www.jeanhailes.org.au.

A good night’s sleep

At midlife it often feels like you haven’t slept properly in years. Sleep needs are individual, but getting quality, uninterrupted sleep can reduce anxiety. Admittedly this is sometimes not easy to achieve, particularly with night sweats at menopause. Often what happens is you can’t get to sleep or get back to sleep after waking and you then start to get anxious about not sleeping. For more information on good sleep habits, visit www.jeanhailes.org.au

Created on 28/08/2013 | Updated on 10/12/2015
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About Jean Hailes

Jean Hailes is Australia’s leading and most trusted women’s health organisation. We believe in physical and emotional health and wellbeing in all its dimensions for all women in Australia throughout their lives.

We offer a range of free resources and easy to understand information on women’s health and wellbeing. Appointments at our specialist women’s health clinics can be made in person (East Melbourne and Clayton, VIC) or across Australia via our Telehealth consultation service. www.jeanhailes.org.au

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