By Rachel Lankester, Mutton Club Editor
I’ve been finding all the stress in the world a bit much, I have to confess. I have a tendency to withdraw as my coping mechanism and the pandemic, war, the cost of living crisis have led me to do that on overdrive! Anxiety about the world – yup, it’s tough. Not because I’m scared of these things themselves, but because I’m feeling overwhelmed by the impact it’s having on others and our day to day life. And our futures.
But then I feel pathetic for being so pathetic. I’m safe at home, I have enough, life is good, I’m very lucky! My inner critic is having a field day. I wish she’d just shut up!
And then I try to rationalize and realize that judging myself doesn’t get me very far either. We all have our own ways of dealing with worldly stresses. And there’s a lot to deal with right now.
It sure is a worrying time. I’ve been seriously drawing on my midlife toolkit to support me. Here are the resources I use and my tips for managing day to day anxiety about the world:
- Mindfulness meditation is something I’m increasingly a fan of. Jack Kornfield’s anxiety meditations: Compassion and Steady Heart (also available on Soundcloud) have been very comforting.
- The Tapping Solution App This is an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) app. I don’t know how this works but it really does – even my hub has given it a go, under sufferance! It’s great for insomnia too.
- If you fancy deepening an existing meditation practice or exploring Buddhist meditation, Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village Mediation App is also free to download. There’s a beautiful meditation called Be Still And Heal.
- Square/box breathing is simple but so effective. Breathe in for 4, hold for 4, breath out for 4, hold for 4. Repeat.
- Try Morning Pages each morning – write out your worries on paper and get them out of your head. You might also find some real creative inspiration there.
- Try and reduce your exposure to news and social media. It’s natural to want to stay informed but at the moment, that can sometimes sure be just too much! Just switch it off and listen to some soothing music instead. Dreamland (piano music) by Alexis French on Spotify is totally working for me the moment.
- Try not to catastrophize. It won’t do you any good. And will just make you more anxious. So worry about what you can control and try to ditch worrying about the rest.
- Exercise is great for anxiety and stress. If you can’t face an outside class, try an online Zumba class at home, jump around to your favorite fast music or follow along to a yoga class on YouTube. Yoga by Adrienne is always highly recommended in my community.
In the past I’ve consulted members of my private Facebook group The Flock for their favorite natural remedies for hormone-related anxiety and these are some of the ideas they gave me. All are worth a try and Amazon may still deliver the supplements if you can’t get them easily near you.
“Mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises and running. Valerian drops. Passiflora.”
“Magnesium supplements. Any of the following essential oils in bath water or a diffuser: marjoram, cedarwood, sandalwood, or comforting chamomile. Naturally caffeine free rooibos tea.” ( I’d add lavender and geranium oils to that list.)
“Anxiety can eat you away from the inside. Finding what works for you means really reaching inside yourself and it’s hard work. For me personally, finding mindfulness meditation was a game changer.”
“Look at your diet. Reduce sugar, eat super healthy, cut out alcohol, get lots of fresh air (maybe later!) and take Vitamin D.”
Check out this Mindfulness – Why It’s Amazing article.
Click here to read The Wonders of Magnesium and Why We Need It
I hope these tips are useful. Remember this too shall pass! Don’t forget to breathe! Deeply.
In the meantime, stay safe, stay sane and if you’re feeling a bit nesh like me, go easy on yourself and just do what you can. One day at a time I reckon.
Would you benefit from help with your mental health? Don’t struggle alone. I’ve (we’ve/the Mutton Club team has – depending on who wrote the article) checked out Leafyard and found it very helpful. It’s all about making regular small incremental changes that can make a big difference day to day. You can get 20% off Leafyard with the code MAGNIFICENT20. Take some time to invest in your wellbeing.
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Rachel Lankester is the founder of Magnificent Midlife, author, host of the Magnificent Midlife Podcast, a midlife mentor and editor of the Mutton Club online magazine. After an initially devastating early menopause at 41, she dedicated herself to helping women vibrantly transition through the sometimes messy middle of life, helping them cope better with menopause and ageing in general, and create magnificent next chapters. She’s been featured in/on BBC Woman’s Hour, The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, Thrive Global, Authority Magazine, The Age Buster, Woman’s Weekly, Prima Magazine, eShe, Tatler HK and Woman’s Own amongst others. She believes we just get better with age. Get her book Magnificent Midlife: Transform Your Middle Years, Menopause and Beyond which was recommended in the New York Times.
Last Updated on August 14, 2023 by Editorial Staff