How To Age Gracefully
Don’t label me a hypocrite just because I’m not in the silver set – aging is something that we all think about, and worry about – no matter what your age. Even in your twenties, beauty companies start marketing to you about skin firming and wrinkle reducing creams. Why do we need to hide our age? What is so shaming about having some gray in our hair and laugh lines?
Nothing! And that’s probably the first thing that needs to change about your outlook on life. Aging is not a bad thing; it is not a process to be avoided or shunned or ignored. Embrace your age and everything that comes along with it! When you’re happy with yourself at any age, that reflects on the way people treat you. If you act like a crotchety old woman, people will treat you like one. If you act fragile, they’re treat you like you could break. You get the picture.
Take Care Of Yourself When You’re Young
No, I’m not contradicting myself and I don’t mean that you should start using anti-wrinkle cream at age 16. What I’m talking about is basic skin (and health maintenance) that is more of a lifestyle than a beauty regime.
Wear sunscreen. The skin is amazingly damaging to your skin, and the effects of the sun’s rays aren’t really seen when you’re young – but you’ll notice it as you age.
Don’t smoke. Not only is smoking awful for your lungs, overall health, and wallet, cigarettes – and the smoke they produce – can cause great damage to your skin, yellowing and papering your body’s first defense against germs and bacteria.
Don’t drink (too much) alcohol. So everyone is going to drink a glass of wine or a beer now and then, but alcohol can really ravage your system, and make your life that much less pleasant as you age. Just don’t do it.
Don’t Become A Slouch As You Age
Don’t get lazy with taking care of yourself as you age either! Many aging women in the United States hold up Frenchwomen as the creame de la creame when it comes to aging well. And if you’ll notice – the Frenchwomen that are admired for aging well – they all still dress well, wear (minimal) makeup and have maintained their confidence from their younger years.
Take the time to take care of yourself – as long as you’re waking up in the morning.
While I could have put this under the first category – exercise is not something you should give up as you age. In fact, you probably should be exercising more as you age, with more of a focus on strength and balance.
Whether you go to the gym three times a week or walk everywhere – get your heart rate up on a regular basis. Don’t live a sedentary lifestyle. (It kills you faster, really. Look it up.)
Accept Change and Ground Yourself
While the first three pieces of advice that I give are physical, you can’t forget about your mental health, either. A positive attitude may be key, but that isn’t always going to be the answer that you’re looking for.
Acceptance is one of the most important values that you can have moving forward into your silver years. Accept that you aren’t going to be able to do everything that you used to twenty years ago. Take the time to meditate and really understand yourself; don’t be afraid of your own inner workings – be at peace with where you are in life, your weaknesses and strengths.
This will help you ground yourself and keep everything in perspective. Keep a daily reminder of this wisdom and perspective that you’ve earned through the years, whether it’s a piece of jewelry, a daily mantra or meditation – take the time to remind yourself who you are and how you’ve gotten to the place that you’re at currently.
Maya Richards may not be graceful or aging, but she likes to keep a small reminder of everything that she has experienced with a piece of inspirational om jewelry that will hopefully lead her forward to age gracefully in the coming years.