In Mind, Body, Menopause and Midlife
I best be upfront! I’ve never been described as calm, cool and collected. As a teenager I was hyperactive and wore my heart on my sleeve. I used my horse as a comfort blanket, sitting for hours in his stable, often in tears! The good news is that I learnt to channel and nurture all that nervous energy to boost my creativity and feel more relaxed.
Life feels cooler and calmer in every way now I am over 50 and it’s all thanks to the benefits of experience and integrating healthier habits.
Don’t get me wrong, those tears and anxiety attacks still happen, but I have developed strategies to help me stay cool and calm. They work for me and have helped get my emotions under control. So, what are these calming techniques keeping me happier and more productive than ever?
Striving for that perfect body and that perfect life you see on social media is enough to stress you out and stop you from enjoying life. It can fill you with self-doubt and you can find yourself being too critical of yourself and others.
The more we pick at our shortcomings and we fixate on the negatives of the people around us, the more stress you feel. These strong feelings come from idealizing the perfect person and life and it’s a menacing filter we can’t seem to lift from reality.
So, kick this habit and embrace the imperfectly, perfect you. Like yourself, even your “flaws” and “imperfections”. It’s been a revelation to me – I have learnt to love my squishy tummy.
Get Rid Of The Negative
Possessions, people, jobs, habits, beliefs, if it’s not cool and adding value to your life get rid of it. If someone or something is holding you back or making you anxious then do something about it. From walking away from friends that are giving you negative vibes or draining your time, to clearing out the clutter, a good clear up is very calming and positive.
If you’re angry with someone, pause before you say anything and take a deep breath before you react. It helps to let thoughts and your natural reactions to settle for a few moments first, so you replace the red-hot reaction with cool calm. In most circumstances by the time you count to ten you have figured out a better way of communicating the issue. This can reduce, instead of escalating, the problem. If you’re still upset after counting to ten, take a time out if possible and revisit the issue after you calm down.
Take Time To Think
When you’re angry, don’t talk it over with your friends right away. Let it stew a little in your mind so you can settle down a little. Sometimes well-meaning friends will sympathize too much which may only add fuel to your fire and get you even more upset.
Take time out for yourself. Learning how to breath and take control of your mind will help you stay calm. Use this time to reframe the thoughts in your mind. Do not say ‘I cannot’ but replace this with ‘I can’ and ‘I will’. Take a deep breath through your nose, fill your whole lungs and your belly, then gently breath out. Do this 3-10 times to regain your sense of calm
People are better able to fight stress when their bodies are healthy. Poor health and fitness in itself is a major source of stress. Adding physical exercises into your daily schedule will help you to improve muscle control, make you feel healthy and increase self-esteem. Try to improve your daily diet and avoid stimulants as much as you possibly can.
If you feel overwhelmed, go for a walk and clear your head. Being in the fresh air allows your mind to be open to new ideas.
Surround yourself in the cool colours of nature – green and blue have a calming effect. Walk. Take deep breaths. Empty your mind. Come back cool and refreshed.
Keep yourself cool
Whether you’re enjoying a heatwave or having a menopausal hot flush, the clothes and fabrics can help you keep cool with style. Choose light weight breathable materials, you will be surprised what a difference they make. Cotton and linen are the most popular and go for loose trousers, dresses, top and shorts to keep extra cool.
Relax and Take A Digital Detox
In today’s always ‘on’ world, it’s easy to become addicted to your screen and get overloaded. By adding in some daily relaxation and a digital detox, you will come back calmer, assured, and filled with fresh ideas. Try having a few hours a day device free or even a complete holiday and make time for you.
Value your sleep
Sleep is really a key ingredient to good health. It helps keep you calm and cool under all circumstances. Try and get 7 hours a night by having a relaxing pre-bedtime routine.
For me, life is cooler than ever which is extra useful when you reach the menopause. What’s is cool for one person is uncool for another – but as I drift into midlife these habits are for me the essence of having a calm, happy life – without lots of drama.