- Magnesium is known as Mother Nature’s relaxant because of its calming properties for both body and mind. But many women in midlife tend to be magnesium depleted because their busy lives mean they often aren’t eating properly.This is an easy one to fix by eating more leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, seafood, dark chocolate and whole grains. There are also magnesium supplements available, including a spray for the skin. It can also be used topically if you have a muscle strain as it helps the body heal. I personally use both magnesium capsules at night and magnesium spray to help me wind down after a busy day.
Another good way to reduce anxiety is with an Epsom salts bath or foot spa. This has a doubly calming effect — while you’re absorbing magnesium in the salts through the skin, you’re also reaping the soothing benefits of a warm bath – wonderful to unwind and relax before bedtime.
- Many of us love caffeinated drinks as they give a great boost, especially if we feel stressed or tired, but they’re also likely to exacerbate feelings of anxiety. Caffeine can have a negative impact on good quality sleep and has been known to trigger hot flashes and cause palpitations. I personally find that if I have a strong coffee I get palpitations that last for some time and make me feel quite ill.My advice is to cut out caffeine altogether or vastly reduce your intake. To help with a good night sleep, stop drinking any caffeine at lunchtime and swap to flavoured or plain water, herbal tea or green tea. Believe it or not a cup of coffee can stay in your system up to 6 hours! I’ve suggested green tea although it does contain a small amount of caffeine however, it also contains a compound called l-theanine which has calming properties.
- Breathing — most of us breathe from high up in the chest, which isn’t optimal for staying calm and in control. I see this in Clinic and work with my patients so they learn how to maximise their breath and help relax and calm themselves. Breathing properly can reduce feelings of anxiety almost instantly.Here’s a tip for you to try. If you find you are feeling anxious or unable to cope, try ‘mindful breathing’. Breathe in through the nose for a count of four, hold for a count of four, breath out through the mouth for a count of four and then hold for a count of four. Repeat until you feel calmer.
- I love this one as there is so much research being published about the links, being made between gut health and the brain. Some studies have even drawn a link between gut health and anxiety.During peri-menopause many women find their gut works less well due to fluctuations in oestrogen levels that can affect the way food moves through our gut. We may find we start suffering from IBS symptoms such as bloating or constipation, which can make us feel incredibly uncomfortable and sometimes really miserable. At the same time, stress and anxiety can also impact on digestion. It’s a circular problem. Pay attention to diet, ensuring it’s rich in a variety of nutritious foods. These should include plenty of fibre such as fruit and vegetables, protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. And it’s worth taking a probiotic supplement too either in food or supplement form.
- Again one of my favourites! I just love exercise and I exercise every day, however now I’m going through peri-menopause, I’ve changed my exercise habits so I don’t over stress my body but still maintain my cardio and muscle fitness. It’s well documented that exercise and movement stimulates the ‘feel good’ endorphins and elevates serotonin, which is a great way to combat anxiety and envelope you in a feeling of wellbeing.Exercising to the point of getting sweaty and can feel the “burn” is ideal, but even a walk at lunchtime will bring benefits. Exercise can also help with feelings of negative body image — just knowing you are taking action can help you feel better and more positive.
Hope you found this information of help and interest.