Hitting "middle age" certainly has its challenges, from feeling like we no longer have the youthful glow of our younger years to examining what the next half of our lives will look like. For women, this chapter — between 40 and 60 years old — can be debilitating if we allow ourselves to slow down and focus solely on "aging."
So how do we stay inspired, exuberant and powerful without falling prey to the pitfalls that come with getting older?
After examining my own vulnerabilities as a woman, I made the choice to actively fight each week to build up my mind and spirit. I hope these nine tips I practice help you during this extraordinary time in your life!
1. Be truthful about your age.
Stop comparing yourself to the younger generation. When you wake up, give yourself a kind affirmation: “I rock! I love the ME I see in the mirror. Let’s make today great! This is the only day I can be in and I want to make it extraordinary.”
Take your arms and hug your shoulders and smile. This little action allows you to connect with your heart and to feel self-love. With self-love comes truth and honesty. So I urge you to be honest about your age. You don’t have to wave a big banner, but don’t shave off a few years if asked. You've arrived at this number, and to live is a gift.
2. Surround yourself with supportive, positive people.
If you have friends who prey on your vulnerabilities by freaking out about aging, don’t allow their insecurities to become your own. It’s always important to surround yourself with friends who promote their wishes and dreams alongside yours.
3. Switch up your workout routine.
I recently switched from running to yoga and group fitness classes, and wow! What a difference. I hadn't even realized the time I was wasting doing the same workout for years until I hit a plateau and my body felt stuck. Now I'm having fun and learning something new every day.
Remember to keep your body active, but also to get creative and have some fun. Keep moving, but try something new that inspires you to feel better about your body and build your confidence.
4. Stick with what works for your skin.
Don't fall for gimmicky ads or products that promise the fountain of youth. If you have a beauty routine that works for your skin, don't change it. I find when I keep it simple, my skin looks and feels its best.
5. Embrace your wrinkles.
They're part of life, and it's a blessing to have earned them. You can diminish the look of future wrinkles with proper sun protection and decreased alcohol intake, but wrinkles are a sign you're alive and living your life.
6. Get quality sleep.
This one seems like a no-brainer — after all, have you seen the toll a sleepless night can take on your body? — but it's sometimes easier said than done as you age. Since melatonin production naturally decreases with age, I take a small dose every night to sleep better for a smoother day.
7. Make time for you.
As a woman during midlife, there's a strong chance you're juggling work, kids, career and taking care of your family. But before you let everything else take over, schedule some "me time" into your every day.
So many women tend toward superhuman multitasking to take care of everyone around them, and in the process forget to add their wants and needs to the list as well. I'm definitely guilty of this, so I make it a point to schedule time every week just for myself, away from family.
Whether it's coffee with friends or a few yoga classes, I feel more relaxed and joyful. So don't exclude yourself from the to-do list; make yourself a priority!
8. Turn your bathroom into a mini-spa.
This releases stress and helps your mind let go of worries. It's important to give our brains (and facial muscles!) a break from thinking. Relax and refresh weekly with a DIY spa night in the comfort of your own home.
9. Make an effort to feel beautiful on your terms.
A little effort in front of the mirror appreciating ourselves can add that extra pep to a day that we might miss if we don't take time to feel a little glamorous. Sure, I have to force myself out of yoga pants, too, but when I do, what a difference! My posture is better and I feel more confident because I took that extra time for myself.
Seize the day! Make your view more beautiful by taking better care of yourself. Life is a gift, aging included.