10 things to do Now!
Check out these quick fixes and small tweaks you can make for a healthier, better you at mid-life:
- Stop those wrinkles in your sleep!
Buy a silk pillowcase (and replace your cotton one with it) – silk is gentle on the face and will prevent morning ‘wrinkle face’ and long term wrinkles caused by your bed posture. While you’re at it, buy a silk sleep eye mask too – the silk actually does great things for your skin with regards to easing lines and wrinkles…. and the mask ensures it is dark enough for a great sleep.
- Juice and blend for vitality!
Put your blender and/or juicer out on the kitchen bench where you will use it every day. Make green juices a couple of times a week, make whey protein smoothies to drink 30 minutes after you’ve worked out, and/or add in the superfoods that will energise and revitalise your body. Have a liquid only day occasionally to give your body a break from digestion and allow it to focus on other maintenance activities.
- Get seasonal and fresh!
Start going to a farmers market to purchase fresh, organic fruit and vegetables on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Make a morning of it; stroll the market and see what produce is in season, then come home and find a recipe. Check out the healthy breads, fresh fish, fresh herbs and homemade preserves. Sit for a while with a tea or coffee and watch the world go by….
- The eyes have it!
Buy new makeup brushes so you can apply like a professional – try out some new tricks for your eyes, as they are key to our mid-life makeup. Learn how to contour (book in for a session at the cosmetic counter at a department store or with a makeup artist). Don’t be afraid to try new things… it’s amazing what a difference an eyebrow shape and tint can make to your entire face. If your lashes have thinned, consider buying My Lash to help them grow back. Use a matt white eyeshadow in the corner of the eyes and outer edge of the brows to give eyes a wide awake, refreshed look.
- Pump it!
Do weight bearing exercise for strong bones and Osteoporosis prevention. Set yourself a goal – want to have toned arms for summer so you can get those sleeveless dresses out from the back of the wardrobe? Buy some hand weights and practise the arm and upper body exercises in my video sessions under Get Moving! Alternate to ensure you are working all the muscle groups, start slow and build. You don’t have to spend a fortune on equipment or gym sessions, it’s all in the form and the squeeze…. Add in a cardio session such as Metabolic Aftershock, or google xHit and choose a video for your pain and pleasure!
- After you’ve pumped it….. S t r e t c h it!
Take time out to stretch – maintaining flexibility prevents muscles from becoming tight and short from under use. Eliminate endurance running – or any extremes of aerobic exercise – as they can negatively affect bone density in women, not to mention the impact on joints. Think swimming, walking/hiking, yoga, dancing…
Put aside some time in the week, have a comfy outfit for stretching, put the chill out music on, light the candles and before you know it you will feel relaxed and supple. Check out the stretching moves in my video session under Get Moving!
- Say no thanks to sugary sweet!
Omit sugar – there are alternatives! And your body will thank you for it. Google for some new recipes or buy an inspirational new recipe book. Clean out your pantry, then head to the health food store to re-stock with coconut and cacao products. Check out your local supermarket too…. if it’s anything like mine, the health foods section will be getting quite diverse, from gluten free pasta and cracker biscuits to dairy free dips and sauces, to coconut oil and rice malt syrup. Ensure you have the good sweet treats you can reach for when the need arises; make up some cacao balls or superfood bars (check out all the ideas at The Me in Menopause Pinterest site at https://www.pinterest.com/themeinmenopaus/healthy-sweet-treats/), and have a sweet herbal tea to hand for mid-afternoon.
- Get a check-up!
How many times do you hear good news stories about someone who has side stepped a potentially fatal illness simply by having been for a check-up at the right time…. Book in for a complete check-up with your doctor at least once a year (if not twice), including the mid-life screening tests that can detect diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Get your blood pressure, cholesterol and bone density tested, and don’t forget the routine mammograms and pap smears.
Peace of mind is as much the key here as the medical ‘tick’
- Get sun smart!
It’s a tough one isn’t it, I mean nearing the end of winter it is hard not to dream of some warmth on your skin. There’s so much hype about being sun smart…. there’s a huge industry, which often indicates a ‘band wagon’ of sorts (meaning a niche for a fast buck). But it seems sensible to trust in the old adage of moderation is best where the sun is concerned. While it’s still lovely to have a little glow, being in mid-life means there’s no pressure (or real reason) anymore for acquiring that perfect summer tan that we have all taken for granted much of our lives living ‘down under’.A glow is great, while anything more is aging – it looks dry and wrinkled and leathery. It’s undoubtedly potentially dangerous too. Although it almost seems that it is the damage we have already done that can catch up with us now from mid-life onwards (my Dad has had untold lumps cut out of his face, neck, hands and legs in his 70s from exposure many years ago working for the electricity company, and generally being an outdoors guy in the garden etc.)So what can you do now? Rethink your summer and ensure you are organised….a) buy a couple of hats that will mix and match with multiple outfits (neutral tones, black, white, straw or denim are great).
b) trial some sunscreens for your face and find one that suits your skin (many are too oily for me and cause breakouts).
c) invest in a good primer that has a UV block (like Clinique’s Super City Block with SPF up to 30).
d) go for an oversized pair of sunglasses for maximum protection for the eyes, as well as the delicate skin around the eye that can pick up pigmentation really quickly.
e) purchase some clothing that will allow you to cover up while still being summery. Shirts, blouses, tunics and kaftans are great, your new best friends for summer attire in mid-life! Team these with cropped pants for a cool, comfortable look that’s sun smart (add quirky flats or cute heels for extra style). Even if you still like to wear sleeveless tops, carry a cover-up top with you to put on after you’ve been exposed to the sun for a while.
f) opt to sit in the shade during the hottest part of the day, or while eating out at a café. It’s the incidental sun that can get you sometimes and builds up on your skin without you realising it (I find this with walking the dog every day; even with sunscreen, hat and sunglasses I find that some areas still get too brown from constant exposure…. and I need to remember to cover up completely some days, or walk later at night). Think about that lovely mid-life image of lying in a hammock reading a book in the shade of the trees! We’ve earnt this, it’s good for us and feeling the warmth indirectly is a far better option for healthy skin.
g) get prepared pre-summer by trialling some fake tans to give you that glow (see my 10 Beauty Basics to Buy Now post for some examples).
h) get any marks or lumps on your skin that appear to be changing checked out by a doctor or specialist (getting a body map done is a great way to keep track year after year).
- Ditch the guilt trips!
Whatever it is that you beat yourself up about, ditch it! Have a different conversation with yourself; a light hearted one, an understanding one. Whatever has happened in the past is simply a bump in the road, when and if you choose to look back over your shoulder, and at the end of the day it was a bump you got over. It’s been a learning experience to this point and now the chance to shine as the best version of yourself is here. Gotta love mid-life!
Make a concerted effort towards daily positivity, find clarity in purpose, strength in being older and wiser, let yourself (and others) ‘be’, indulge in me time and do the things (and spend the money) that will allow you to feel great in this next chapter of your life.