You’ve probably heard the phrase, “age is just a number.” While that may be true, there is value in learning to appreciate your age. Each year of life represents another 365 days of learning, growth, new experiences, relationships and ideas. Your beauty is so much more than the body you have, but is instead, the sum of everything you have become. For those that are focused on aging beautifully, here are five tips to help you maximize your next phase in life:
1. Love (and take care of) the skin you’re in.
While a bronze glow might be perfect for the summer seasons, your sun-sourced tan might be doing more damage than good. Using proper protection on your skin, including regular SPF use or wearing protective clothing, can help preserve your skin’s strength and resiliency. Further, it can prevent or decrease risk of skin cancer in older adults. Dennis Gross, MD, shares that, “it can take 10 years to see the effects [of excess sun exposure], so people don’t make the connection between a golden tan now and…damage later.”
2. Give your body the rest it needs.
Sleep is your body and mind’s time to recover: use it wisely! No matter your age, stress has a significant impact on the body. In order to enjoy life to its fullest extent, you’ll want to maximize the energy you have to take on each day—and that means taking breaks. Take the time to develop a regular sleep schedule you can follow. If you’re not able to sleep for 6 – 8 hours at a time, consider nap intervals throughout the day to rejuvenate your body.
3. Don’t shy away from trying something new.
There is no perfect age to try something new. As you age, never limit yourself to different experiences or lessons because you feel like the right time might have passed. Shared entrepreneur Richard Branson, “don’t be afraid. Fear stops people from doing so many things. Don’t be afraid to talk to people you don’t know, or try a new skill…Anything feels a little odd the first few times you do it – but the more strangers you meet and talk to, the more comfortable you will start to feel (or like me, you’ll find ways to laugh it off!).”
4. Be mindful of your internal dialogues.
More often than not, your biggest critic will be yourself. Pay attention to how you speak to yourself, whether outloud or in your head. Do you encourage yourself throughout the day, or do you put yourself down? Do you live in a way that makes you happy, or do you spend most of your time worrying about what other people think?
If you’re struggling to turn-off your inner critic, consider testing out these tips to quiet the negative self-talk:
- View your inner voice objectively: While it might seem silly, frame the thoughts you have about yourself as if someone else was saying them. When it doesn’t feel like the monologue is coming from inside, you might discover those thoughts are completely wrong or founded in a baseless fear.
- Reframe your thinking: Once you feel a negative thought coming on, immediately put that thought on trial. What are you frustrated about? Why are you feeling this way? Then slowly reframe your thinking into the truth. For example, instead of saying, “I’m really bad at painting,” try saying, “painting is new to me, and I’m feeling the frustrations of trying something new.”
5. Listen to your body.
Above anything else, remember that no one knows your body and your mind better than you! If you’re beginning to feel sore or stiff, consider taking a yoga class or beginning the day with stretches. If your stomach starts to hurt after certain meals, talk to a nutritionist to find out what foods will work best for you. Stay in tune with what your body’s telling you, and remember to show it the love and self care it deserves!