TLDR: Recently I have been experiencing lots of anxiety and want to share with you ways to calm anxiety that have worked for me based on my real life experience.
Until recently I would never have described myself as an anxious person. I just didn’t worry too much and I certainly could not have told you what it feels like to be anxious.
Fast forward to 2023 after multiple surgeries, devastating news around fertility and early surgical menopause and I can definitely tell you exactly what anxiety feels like and I wanted to find ways to calm anxiety.
My Symptoms Of Anxiety
I think my first symptoms of anxiety were withdrawal, from everyone and everything.
I could go days without speaking to any of my friends and family and everything felt quite overwhelming. This was the time I found out I would need a full hysterectomy, so I was really sad at this time too. It was a tough time, you can read more about my hysterectomy recovery and experience here.
Apparently because you give your anxiety and overthinking so much emotion, you just don’t have the energy for anything else and in my case it was speaking to people.
More recently my symptoms have been a little more obvious and physical. I moved house last year from a beautiful home I loved to a huge renovation project. It caused me a lot of anxiety which came to me in a much more obvious way.
I couldn’t take a deep breath, I literally couldn’t catch my breath.
I mentioned it to a few people and they each said it was anxiety, which made sense given the huge life change I was going through.
The worst experience I have had around anxiety was a panic attack. I haven’t had one since, thank goodness. For anyone reading this that experiences them regularly, I really feel for you. This was a wake up call for me to change a few things and try to find ways to calm anxiety.
So why am I telling you this?
Because I have found coping mechanisms that seem to work to calm anxiety and I feel like I am coming out the other side of it now, ish. With early menopause I think there will always be a little bit of anxiety, along with the fact that as you get older you become less carefree and naturally worry more, as you have seen more things go wrong in the world.
So here are 5 ways to calm anxiety that I have discovered
- I schedule self care
For me this comes in many forms so here are a few of my favourite forms of self care that are ways to calm anxiety
- A long warm bath
- Reading a book that isn’t a ‘learning’ book
- Yoga or pilates
- Painting or doing something around the house (very apt for me right now given the renovation!)
- Painting my nails with gel and a professional lamp, it’s so satisfying!
Very simple forms of self care, I think but all work for me. I do one thing every day, and when I say this is non negotiable to help calm anxiety I really do mean it. You have to put yourself first. Self care isn’t selfish!
- Take supplements at the same time each day
This is quite a big one for me, remembering to take my supplements at the same time each day is really important to how I am feeling. I take my ashwagandha and probiotics in the morning and magnesium and CBD (I take Pretty Peaceful!) just before bed
By taking them at the same time each day you are making sure the levels in your body are consistent and this is a great way to calm anxiety.
- I listen to music or podcasts on long walks
I love music, like I am obsessed. I actually really don’t like silence. Maybe I need therapy for that, who knows, but lots of people say silence is what might calm anxiety but for me it’s podcasts and musics that I love.
My spotify playlist is always topped up with the latest songs and putting them on (so loudly that my iphone tells me to turn the volume down) is something that helps me calm my anxiety.
- I exercise regularly to calm anxiety
Sorry to drop this one if you don’t like exercise but I have to because it is totally true what everyone who loves exercise says – it releases endorphins which make you feel happy. Like, ecstatically happy!
I’ve learnt to love the leg press and feel quite brave/proud that I go to the gym alone now and hop on the machines.
This has taken me a while and lots of failed attempts at various forms of exercise. I still am not any kind of ‘gym bunny’ , possibly a gym mouse, at best.
- I quit drinking (so much)
Now I am not going to get all high and mighty here and say that I have quit drinking but I have cut back, alot. I used to drink wine most nights at home, usually just one glass but that does add up.
I noticed my anxiety was worse if I had drunk alcohol, especially if it was out at the weekend (when it would be more than one glass!) I decided to stop drinking at home, and found that habit fairly easy to drop.
I started seeing friends in situations that didn’t always need to involve drinking such as with our children or doing some kind of exercise (two birds, one stone when you think about point 4!)
So I haven’t completely quit but I have massively reduced how much I drink and it really has helped. My advice is to start small, cut out weekday drinking at home and then cut out weekend drinking at home and limit yourself to drinking just when you’re out. If you find it helps calm anxiety you could look to stop all together.
Conclusion | Ways to calm anxiety
So there we go, 5 ways I calm my anxiety from my experience, that seems to be working for me.
I keep thinking I will do a reel or TikTok on this but that is somewhere else my anxiety has been creeping in too, telling me for some reason that I can’t do it. So head over to our insta and keep an eye out for the time I ease that anxiety too and finally make one!