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.
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
- Omega-3 foods such as fish
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
- 1. Express yourself
- 2. Talking
- 3. Lifestyle
- 4. Problem solving
- 5. Time out to worry or be anxious
- 6. Relaxation & Mindfulness
- 7. Affirmations
- 8. Accept or fight?
- 9. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- 10. What are you thinking?
- 11. Thinking record
- 12. Check yourself
- 13. Who to see and what type of therapy to have
- 14. Helpful contacts