1. Think about what you absolutely love about being an older (and much wiser) woman
One of the best ways to enjoy gratitude for getting older is to really think hard about how much life improves as we age. We all idealize our teens and twenties, but were you nearly as happy with yourself then as you are now? About 99% of older women say they feel relieved they no longer worry about what everybody thinks about them.
Now, write down a bunch of things you love about being older on little strips of colored paper as you think of them. Put them folded or scrunched decoratively into a big, decorative jar or fishbowl. On bad days, when you are body or age-shaming yourself, reach in and pick out something that will help you keep your eyes on becoming a better future self instead of dwelling on the past.
Some things to be proud of as you get older may include:
In short, don’t waste one more second of your beautiful life on self-doubt. You cannot just “wait around” for confidence and self-belief to happen. These feelings aren’t handed to you. Like every valuable thing, they must be worked hard for.
2. Choose your Cheerleaders
Surround yourself with people who genuinely like you and cheer you on every day. The last thing you want around is a person who does not wish you well in life. You know this type. They’re grouchy and eager to put the subject back on themselves. Even if you say one thing about yourself, and no matter what good things you do, they’ll give you reasons why there’s nothing so special about that or anything you do. Get away from these people as fast as you can—as if they have something contagious that makes you age 80 years overnight—because sister, THEY kind of do—it’s a disease called narcissism (or heartlessness).
A circle of good female friends are heaven for the soul. If you have old friends who have known you since you were a girl, you’re in luck. These kinds of friends may live far away and you may not see or talk to them for years but they’ll still know you at your little girl soul-core, the thing in us that never changes and only grows more layers. One thing you can do to armor yourself against loneliness, worries about aging, or depression is to surround yourself with healthy female friendships. If you’ve been busy with career and/or family and have not been cultivating your friendship garden for some time, try getting involved in some crafts classes, quilting groups, painting classes, swimming classes, Yoga or Pilates classes, or a reading club. Often, there’s other women there who’d love a new friend to talk with and to do things with– in fact, they might be there just to meet someone like you!
3. Don’t Neglect Exercise
Exercise not only lifts mood and helps fight depression but forms of exercise such as strength training can also help you build more fat-burning muscle (in a feminine way), kick menopausal weight gain to the curb and lean your body out, which will make you feel like you want to go anywhere, even to the grocery store, to show it off. Middle-aged hottie in aisle seven! Check out that confident, sexy momma who knows what she wants! Through regular exercise, you will increase your willpower and dedication, and with all those happy brain chemicals being released every time you work out, you’ll feel more positive, think more clearly, and realize that life is only just getting started.
4. Make Sleep A Major Priority
There’s no treatment, cream, or injection better than sleep for the skin, models will tell you. Getting high-quality sleep and lots of it helps to balance hormones, boosts mood by allowing ample time for neurotransmitter production and regulation (happy brain chemicals), and it also increases the amount of time we spend in slow wave sleep, a stage of sleep right after REM sleep when we burn fat, heal wounds, perform collagen synthesis, and all kinds of essentials for a menopausal woman’s overall health and happiness quotient. We need as many slow wave sleep cycles we can get in order to experience the kind of cellular chemical reactions that result in better health and beautiful skin. In fact, we need four to five cycles of slow wave sleep a night. This can only be achieved by going to bed early and getting 7 to 9 (yes, nine) hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation results in a build-up of free radicals and superoxides in the brain, which means brain cells become damaged, hormones become imbalanced, your body becomes inflamed, your metabolism is affected, and you’re more likely to gain weight.
5. Self-Pamper Your Way to Self-Love
Self-Pampering is a way to tell yourself you love yourself with actions, not words. It is also a great way to stay happy and healthy. For women going through menopause, it is highly essential to take time for yourself as your body is undergoing a lot of changes. Taking time out for you, no matter who needs what from you, is what it will take if you’re struggling with menopause.
When menopause hits, many women are not used to giving themselves proper self-care but this is when it becomes essential. With the more severe symptoms like insomnia and depression, women just simply can’t continue as they did. Something has got to give! At this stage, good self-care is non-negotiable.
Self-care is not selfish. We need to look after ourselves first and then, and only then, give to others. It is like when you are in an airplane during the safety demonstration and the flight attendant tells you to put on your own oxygen mask first and only then, can you help others with theirs. It is common sense.