Health and Fitness
The Anxiety Wellness Queen
With Anxiety on the rise especially amongst women, I thought it would be good to talk with my friend Amanda who is an Anxiety coach, dedicating her life to helping others battle the crippling effects of anxiety. I was lucky enough to find out some hot tips to keep the A at bay
Tell me about yourself??
I live on the beautiful Gold Coast with my husband and cheeky son Luca. Luca will be 2 in September and I seriously have no idea where the time has gone!!???? John and I are originally from Adelaide, South Australia and frequently go back to visit family and friends. I love to travel and cook, I find it very therapeutic and just appreciate GOOD food!?What got you into Anxiety Coaching??My background is in Psychology/Criminology/Counselling. I found throughout my work in Private Practice I always felt working with anxiety was my true passion. The Stigma associated with Mental Health even though has become better over the years, I feel it still has a long way to go. I really wanted to introduce a new way of working with people and addressing anxiety and mental health issues from a new perspective. Personally, I don’t think I am your ‘typical’ mental health therapist, I guess I just wanted to portray a bit of myself in my work and how I relate to people, hopefully people can relate to that as well as making them feel more comfortable and open?
Do you feel anxiety is becoming less Taboo in our society? It seems so many people suffer from it in their day to day lives!
Yes Absolutely! It has come a long way, people are finally feeling more comfortable talking about their mental health and there is a lot of support out there. In saying all of that I would love to see it go further and see a few more changes implemented across the board as far as awareness, prevention and treatment go. Over 2 million Australians today suffer from anxiety. Unfortunately, it does not discriminate age, gender, culture or socio-economical status.?What are some signs people may suffer from it??Anxiety presents itself in so many ways and such a personal experience for each individual. Some of the common symptoms experienced by people are...- Feelings of Irritability - Panic Attacks (which include a racing heart, sweaty palms, shortness of breath, feelings of nausea etc...- Hot or cold flushes - Dizziness - Tightening of the chest - Fast breathing - Feelings of restlessness - Excessive worry - Excessive Fear - Obsessive thinking - Catastrophising - Avoidance of situations, people or places that make you feel anxious - Obsessive Compulsive tendencies - Dry Mouth - Tingling in hands and feet - Problems sleeping - Muscle tension (Thought process and mindset play a HUGE role when it comes to anxiety!)
How do you keep calm and healthy??
For me it’s all about Balance. It is usually Go Go Go all day for me so in the evenings when Luca goes to bed I try and have some ‘Me Time’ just to unwind and recharge. Self-Care is so important! Just doing the little things that count to make your day, week, life more pleasurable. I absolutely LOVE to cook, I find it therapeutic and I’m in my absolute element in the kitchen. There are so many flavors and colours that I never get bored of - I LOVE experimenting with food. Having a good diet plays a huge role in our mental and emotional health, it is something that is very important to me and my family. Our diet is generally very healthy although at the same time I enjoy my indulgent foods every now and then… and that’s ok! It goes back to having a balance that works for your body as well as your family and lifestyle... So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that if I feel like Sticky Date Pudding... and I see it I'M GOING TO EAT IT!! Also (when I do have the time) I enjoy a good TV series (Yay for Netflix) or book, it helps me switch off and unwind?
What are the 3 daily things people can do to help keep anxiety at bay??
Hmm... this is a tricky one because there are so many things to share!! Ok let’s starts with... 1. Breathe – Learning how to Breathe properly is SO underrated! Breathing allows you to slow down the fight or flight response that amps up when feeling anxious and helps you to focus and slow down the heart rate. Knowing you have the ability to refocus and bring your attention back to the NOW is very comforting and a great skill to master 2. Become the Boss – Stop allowing those anxious thoughts to boss you around. Do NOT believe everything they say, write them down. Rather than pushing the scary or annoying thoughts away, practice acknowledging their presence and standing up to them instead 3. Diet – Diet plays a huge role in mental and emotional health. Be sure to minimize alcohol and caffeine consumption if you find you are affected by it, Increase H2O levels. Listen to your body and do what works for you, Fresh and Clean is always best!
I’ve heard you many times talk about diet. How Big a part can that play??
So… yes, diet plays a huge role. Apart from the points I have already mentioned above I would also include taking care of your Gut Health. The connection the Gut has on mental health is Insane!! Be sure to include a good probiotic supplement and a diet rich in things like natural yogurts and fermented foods. This ensures all the good bacteria in your gut is happy and delivering positive messages to your brain! They actually call the Gut the ‘Second Brain’ Because of the influence and connection it has on the body. AMAZING stuff!!?
What are the 3 things you are Grateful for?
1. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to work and do what I love whilst being able to be there for my son at the same time. Family is very important to me as well as being around as much as possible for Luca. I feel so Thankful to do what I do and have the flexibility at the same time. 2. I am Grateful for this nonexistent winter we are having this year on the Gold Coast!! The weather has been absolutely perfect, I thrive in this type of Climate 3. Lastly, I am Grateful for the community I have built and come across Online. It was daunting at first moving my business online and I questioned whether it would be the right decision or not, now looking back I wish I had done it sooner!! The support has been amazing, I have built some amazing connections with like-minded people, it drives me to keep doing what I do, knowing I have the possibility to impact people’s lives in a positive way (I hope)
Hot Tips for Mental Self Care Over Winter??
Winter can naturally put a downer on our mood so be sure you are getting enough Vitamin D! I guess what I’m trying to say is that even though it is chilly during this time of the year don’t lock your self-indoors for these few months, it will not only put a damper on your mood but also plays a role in your physical health! Physical exercise is very important! That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be at the gym, but it is super important to keep your body moving! That could mean walking, Yoga, Pilates, running around with your kids or going for a jog. Whatever works for you. Exercise releases endorphins (those happy hormones WE LOVE) which triggers a positive feeling in your body- as a result encouraging general well-being! Nourish your body both Physically and Mentally! Diet, Meditation, Self-care and taking care of your Immune System in order for it to help you when you need it the most! And most of all STAY WARM!!
Amanda Cavallaro | The Anxiety Wellness Queen