In recent years, there has been a positive shift towards promoting health, mental well-being, and self-care, especially as it relates to women. Although health has always been an important subject matter for all, there comes a certain pressure associated with women feeling as though they must do it all, often put on a brave face, work a full-time job, be the most present mom, and look good doing it. If there were any sacrifices to make, your personal health is typically the first area that suffers as you continue to cross items off your to-do list.
These days, you probably know the critical impacts living a healthy lifestyle has on every part of your life—from success and motivation, to your mood and ability to prevent illness. As you age, it might feel challenging to manage a balanced life while making daily efforts to improve your health. With that said, there is always more learning to do and solutions that can help simplify your healthy routines so you can focus on being in the moment and enjoying the milestones as they come.
As you age, many variables of your life change and evolve with you in order to support the lifestyle you are living at that time. This is helpful and necessary as it’s not possible to maintain the same routine all our life, but what is important is learning to adapt to best suit your needs and schedule at the time. Learning to modify your way of living to support the season that you are currently in is actually a very underestimated and valuable skill. Many people struggle with change and do not want to accept it, meaning they end up stressing themselves out, turning to poor coping strategies, or failing and feeling miserable. One way to avoid this is to spend some time in self-reflection every so often, make a list of your priorities and non-negotiables, and ensure your schedule includes the most important and realistic tasks. From there, you can add in more activities or make some alterations to suit your needs and support your loved ones at that time.
Hopefully you realize this by now, but food is fuel and what you put in your body directly impacts the way that you feel each day. If you have been complaining about aches and pains or simply are not functioning at your highest energy level, your intake might be to blame. Rather than remove food and stress about everything you eat, start incorporating more servings of leafy greens, whole grains, fruits, and healthy fats. If you have the time, look up new recipes that include major nutritional food groups and micronutrients to support your maturing body. If you’re looking for a great way to save time, money, and ensure what you are putting into your body is supporting your nutritional needs, consider following an easy guide to meal prepping that can get you back on track. Our body actually craves consistency so getting the proper nutrients each day will support your efforts to feel good and improve your health in the process.
As you have heard before, a body in motion typically stays in motion. Meaning, the more active you are throughout the course of your life the easier it will be to remain active in your later years. You might be focused on getting through today and tomorrow, but don’t neglect your physical health in the process. A great way to keep busy, stay moving, and involve the entire family is to get outside in nature a few times per week, weather permitting. Take a family walk, ride bikes, or plan a weekend hiking adventure. You can easily tailor activities to the ages and abilities of your family members and it’s a simple way to release some endorphins in the process. Enjoy this moment in time with those closest to you and make some memories while exploring all the world has to offer.
One way to reduce stress and anxiety about what the future holds and generate your own peace of mind is preparing early on to ensure what matters most in your life is secure and protected. Financial management is a huge factor in your adult life as so many milestones rely on your ability to support yourself financially. Although it might seem far off, the day will come when you must retire and the last thing you want to be dealing with at that time is financial-related stress. In order to retire with confidence in your financial state, you must begin planning as soon as possible, preferably before you even get married or buy your first home. Another consideration that should be determined sooner rather than later is the type of life insurance that will support your family should anything unexpected occur. It’s important that you make a plan for who will receive your assets and allocate your money to various purposes—such as an outstanding mortgage or funeral costs to reduce the burden on your loved ones during a difficult time.
Sleep can be a touchy subject for some, depending on where you’re at in your life. New parents likely have different ideas about sleep compared to retired couples, young professionals, and so on. Sleep health has surfaced as a critical component of optimal health. It’s unlikely that you feel your best if you’re not getting enough hours of rest and recovery each night. There are studies that show napping can help—or even try varying your sleep habits for all you new parents struggling to get the recommended hours—otherwise, you should be prioritizing your sleep. There are natural ways to combat insomnia and overcome poor sleep habits, while positively impacting the time you’re awake during the day. Maintaining a consistent bedtime routine can be helpful in shutting your body down and signaling your brain that it’s time to turn down. Another piece to be mindful of is the timing of your exercise and meals, as neither should be too close to bedtime.
Now more than ever, self-care is being celebrated and it’s time for you to take advantage of this opportunity to better yourself! Putting yourself and your own needs first might seem like a foreign concept to you, but oftentimes all you need is a little bit of self-care to make huge impacts on your overall well-being. If you are a business owner, new mom, or approaching retirement, you have time to take care of yourself whether you want to believe it or not. This might mean doing a face mask before bed, a 20-minute yoga session in the morning, a walk at lunchtime, or a bath to unwind. If you feel as though you do not have the capacity to do something small for yourself each day, ask for help and see the response of the many willing and supportive individuals you have in your life. As you age, it’s important and warranted to ask for assistance when we need it and try to return the favor when you can.
As we mature and adapt our lives to the current reality, it’s important to remember what is most important at the end of the day. You can make peace with yourself knowing that you are putting yourself on your own priority list moving forward in order to show up for those you love most—and be the best version of yourself doing it.