Toolkit

Practical things

You hear daily messages that the type of food you eat, how much you eat and what you drink affects your health. This is true for both your physical and emotional health. There is more to living well as you grow older and lots of things you can do to maintain your emotional health and keep anxiety levels down. 

Healthy diet

Studies have shown that both Australian and Mediterranean style diets help to protect against anxiety. The focus in these diets is on foods that are fresh and prepared simply. It helps to include lots of plant-based foods such as beans, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, fruits, olive oil, and also some yoghurt, cheese, fish, chicken, eggs and a little wine.

Be active

Being active helps to get the feel-good hormones circulating in your body and is a great stress reliever. Activity will help to distract you from your thoughts and it tires you so you may sleep better as good sleep helps to reduce worrying. 

Watch your alcohol intake

Reaching for alcohol because you are anxious can make the anxiety worse because you are numbing the pain, not dealing with the cause. Try to keep your alcoholic drinks to only one glass a day and aim to have some alcohol-free days each week.  

Know the side effects of your medication

As some medications including those for asthma, high blood pressure and steroid medications like cortisone can cause you to feel nervous and anxious, it is worthwhile checking if any medications you take list symptoms of anxiety as a side effect. 

Fall prevention

If you think you might be at greater risk of falling because you know your balance and bone strength are not as good as they were, then prevention is better than cure. Simple, discreet things can protect you like getting rid of rugs or mats that move around which you could trip over; making sure the lighting is good where you have steps. If you live alone and are anxious no one is around to help you if you fall, consider an in-home alarm service.  

Quality sleep

Sleep needs are individual but quality sleep will reduce anxious thoughts and feelings. Admittedly this is sometimes not easy to achieve. 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 our webpages 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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