What To Eat, Drink And Do To Ease Your Anxiety

What To Eat, Drink And Do To Ease Your Anxiety

Breathe before mealtimes. “Take the time before each meal to stop and breathe, just enough time for three deep diaphragmatic breaths. In through your nose, deep into your gut, observing the rise and fall of your belly and ribs. Oxygenating your digestive system, expanding and releasing the tightness that you may feel through the chest […]

by | Aug 27, 2020

Breathe before mealtimes.

“Take the time before each meal to stop and breathe, just enough time for three deep diaphragmatic breaths. In through your nose, deep into your gut, observing the rise and fall of your belly and ribs. Oxygenating your digestive system, expanding and releasing the tightness that you may feel through the chest throughout the day or leading up to your meal and most important to help the body switch off the sympathetic ‘flight or fight’ nervous system and allow the parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ nervous system to take the front seat. 

When we are stressed or anxious, we don’t firstly enjoy the meal, and our bodies being in sympathetic mode means we don’t digest it well. Taking these three big breaths before eating eases our body into a more restful state to enjoy and digest our meal.”

RELATED: The One Food Scientifically Proven To Help With Anxiety

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Eat the rainbow.

Eat a balanced diet and incorporate foods high in tryptophan, magnesium, omega-3 and vitamin-E & D. Say what? Here’s how. 

“Tryptophan is needed to make serotonin, which regulates your mood and cannot be produced in the human body alone. Incorporate tryptophan-containing foods into your diet may ease anxiety, foods such as oats, cottage cheese, turkey, eggs, bananas and tofu are high in tryptophan. Magnesium is a mineral that assists muscles and nerves in relaxing. Foods rich in magnesium are leafy greens such as spinach, swiss chard. Also legumes, avocado and brown rice are high too. Omega-3 is another great one to boost, make Salmon, mackerel, sardines and eggs your go-to to up your omega-3 intake. Lastly, load up on nuts such as pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts and almonds, a handful a day is a great start.”

Drink the good stuff. 

“Keep hydrated with water by drinking at least 2-3 litres throughout the day. Enjoy a fermented beverage at mealtime, such as Remedy Kombucha Ginger Lemon or Remedy Coconut Water Kefir – a study found enjoying fermented foods and drinks may help calm social anxiety. At night time, opt for a calming tea such as chamomile to help put your nervous system into rest mode.”

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Don’t mix food with emotions.

“Eating when emotional then creates an emotionally complicated relationship with your food – don’t use it as your crutch. Emotional eating creates issues far more significant than what you were dealing with, perhaps when you opened the fridge door or block of chocolate. 

Try working with breath before leaning on food. Or try going for a walk, putting your feet up against the wall, having a cold shower or jumping in the ocean, cuddling your partner, brother, sister, best friend, dog or jumping into bed and have a big ugly cry, but please, don’t make food your counsel. Whether eating it or starving yourself from it, trying to resolve temporary issues or emotions with food only creates a damaged connection with it and your health long term.”

Self-isolate from refined sugar.

The most recent stats from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show shockingly, Aussies on average consume 14 teaspoons of white sugar a day. Yup, we’re all hooked, and it’s causing havoc on your mental health. Be mindful of your emotions when as going cold turkey can be tricky but well worth it.

“People often see the results far sooner than they think – clearer skin, increased energy levels, weight loss and mental clarity are a few benefits worth mentioning to help you muster up the motivation to reduce your sugar intake.” 

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Trust your gut.

“Tune in to your body and trust your gut. Gut instinct will guide you well on your journey to good health. Commonly anxiety can make your gut churn when you are emotional; this is your body telling you to calm yourself before you consider sitting down to eat. Don’t ignore the signals your gut and your body offer you, tune in, be trusting in what your body says, create awareness, peace and mindfulness around every nourishing moment with your food.”

Non-negotiables.  

“If you’re feeling anxious, do your best to reduce or remove caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar foods from your diet. Speak with your doctor or nutritionist if you are heavily reliant on any of these foods to ensure you have a personalised plan to help transition you off these without raising your anxiety with withdrawals.”

RELATED: How To Manage Anxiety Around Coronavirus

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8 Of The Best Exercise Shorts That Will Power You Through A Summer Of Movement

It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here. 

But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 

Nagnata

Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

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New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 

Nike

Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband. 

Tracksmith

Session short Tights, $72

When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body. 

Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too. 

Lululemon

Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?