As the years pass and your life changes, you might notice some new additions to (or subtractions from) your daily routine. From the start of menopause to dealing with an empty nest, many transitional moments are coming your way. Every woman has had to go through what you’re going through or will have to go through it, and there is plenty of support and advice out there to guide you on your journey. Read on here to rediscover yourself with gray hair and gather some tips to help you feel good inside and out!

Menopause

For most women, menopause begins in their late 40s or early 50s. You’ll realize that this is something you’re going to be experiencing for a few years and you should prepare yourself for everything from mood swings and night sweats to general irritability and tiredness. There are even women who find they’re at a higher risk for dangerous diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis. 

Making sure you stay healthy during this transitionary period of your life is key. Whether you’re dealing with hot flashes, vaginal dryness, migraines, or any other symptoms associated with menopause, there are several simple steps you can take and lifestyle changes you can make to pre-empt symptoms or deal with them quickly.

Natural Eating to Reduce Symptoms

Because menopause lowers the amount of estrogen and other hormones in your body, your bones need a little extra attention to ensure you don’t develop osteoporosis. Eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D can help, as well as achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. You might also want to experiment with adding phytoestrogens to your diet to reduce cholesterol and mitigate hot flashes.

Avoid Trigger Foods

Another important tip to dealing with the symptoms of menopause is avoiding trigger foods. At first, you might not know what those are, but keeping a diary will help you determine which treats set off hot flashes. Some women report that caffeine, alcohol, and even stressful situations can cause a hot flash.

You should also keep the same sort of diary to ensure you’re tracking the most common causes of migraines. Many times, hunger, lack of sleep, and loud noises are a few of the things you might want to watch out for.

Aging

In today’s world, there is a lot of shame associated with aging. People look to keep their hair colorful with product and their skin tight and youthful with botox and surgery. However, getting older is simply a part of life, and it should be celebrated as the next stage on your voyage. While there’s no reason to constantly dye your hair or get expensive and invasive medical procedures, you do want to maintain optimal health during your autumnal years.

Because your body is different now, it’s important to listen to what it’s telling you and change your habits accordingly. The self-care steps and skincare regimen you had when you were younger might not be the best for you now. Pay attention to the changes you’re seeing and modify your routine accordingly. Here are some tips to get you started.

Self-Care Checklist

  • Cancer screenings are key at this age. You should be scheduling colon screenings and annual mammograms depending on your doctor’s recommendations.
  • Bone density scans are also good to explore, as a loss in estrogen can lower their strength and lead to osteoporosis.
  • Getting lots of sleep is important to self-care. You can get away with four hours a night when you’re younger, but now is not the time to skimp on those ZZZs.
  • Time for yourself is also critical. Focus on renewing yourself through meditation, visualization, prayer, or inspirational reading.
  • Optimizing your mindset and allowing yourself to find new purpose and meaning is crucial. Re-examine what you want out of your life and follow your heart.
  • Don’t forget those annual checkups. Checking in with your blood pressure, thyroid, glucose levels, and cholesterol are all part of your new checklist.
  • Aerobic exercise should now be your focus instead of weight lifting and cardio. Brisk walks and bike rides can help reduce heart disease.
  • Learning to have fun in new and exciting ways is the perfect path to helping you feel youthful. Try rock climbing, go on a backpacking expedition, or take up dancing!
  • Eating the right foods means lots of colorful veggies, fatty fish, whole grains, and lean protein. You can have an occasional sweet treat, but don’t go overboard.
  • Drinking may have been a major feature of your life when you were 20, but you might notice your tolerance dwindling. Limit yourself to one glass a night for optimal health.
  • Keeping good company is one of the best ways to spend your valuable energy. Shift your focus to positive people and avoid negative people who can drag you down.

Beauty Regime

Even the small aspects of your life may be taking an alternate path. You might have noticed a few zits popping up, or your moisturizer just isn’t as effective anymore. These things are all normal as your hormones change and body chemistry evolves. 

Shift to more gentle beauty products and look for descriptions like:

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-acnegenic
  • Oil-free

Your hair may also be facing some dramatic changes during this part of your life. Besides turning gray, you might notice that it’s shedding faster or that you have odd strays appearing on your chin and cheeks. Opt for your natural color — avoid harsh hair dyes with intense chemicals. You should also stay out of the sun to keep your hair from drying out and becoming even more delicate. You can also talk to your doctor about the best ways to zap, pluck, or wax those unwanted strays around your face.

Empty Nest Syndrome

In your 40s and 50s, your children may have moved out, but it’s not quite time for a house filled with grandbabies. There are many mixed emotions associated with your children growing up and leaving — pride in their growth and accomplishments and sadness as they refocus their lives on work and partners.

Don’t let yourself wallow in these feelings. Instead, find new areas to put your attention and energy. Keeping in frequent contact with your children will help, but this is also a time for your own personal growth and development. Just because you’re middle-aged doesn’t mean you stop learning and changing! Learn to deal with empty nest syndrome and rediscover yourself along the way.

Finding New Pastimes

A creative outlet offers two things to empty nesters — a new pastime and the perfect way to take your mind off an empty home. Whether it’s gardening, painting, pottery, adopting a pet, or even starting your own business, spending your time doing something you love stimulates your brain, introduces you to new people, and challenges you to explore your own loves, interests, and passions.

Making Your Home an Oasis

Without the clutter of your child’s needs taking up space in your home, you have a unique opportunity to transform the space into your own personal oasis. Does your new hobby require extra space? Convert a room into a studio! Are there any books, music, or artwork you’ve been dying to collect? Now you have the time to search for them and a place to put them! Redecorate your home with a focus on yourself to create a place you love spending time in.

Time for a Makeover!

You’ve given your home a makeover, but now it’s time to focus on yourself! When was the last time you put serious effort and consideration into the clothes you’re buying or the way you’re styling your hair. Now is the time. Here are our top six makeover tips to celebrate your new gray self:

  1. Let your hair go gray! Your natural hair color can give you a refined, sophisticated look. Celebrate yourself and your journey with your hair as it is — not how it was.
  2. Find the right clothes. Avoid stretch denim or other fabrics that create unflattering folds and make you look heavy. Try on different cuts and sizes to ensure the perfect fit for your curves.
  3. Skip the heavy makeup. Covering your little imperfections can create an odd and unnatural look. Choose a lighter foundation for a fresher appearance.
  4. Add bright colors to your wardrobe. Accentuate your look with colorful accessories to change things up without buying a whole new set of clothes.
  5. Don’t hide behind your glasses! Bulky frames can make your face look wide and large. Opt for slimmer frames with decorative accents to bring out your eyes.
  6. Forget the heels at home. While heels are still the right choice for formal events, they’re not an everyday necessity anymore. Choosing comfort can still be fashionable in flats.

Accepting Your New Self

As life goes on you might feel like you don’t recognize yourself anymore because there have been so many dramatic changes. It’s alright to slow down and take some time to reclaim your mind, body, and soul. Whether it’s getting accustomed to a new physicality or learning to work through menopause, accept these changes as they come and maintain a positive outlook to ensure you’re still enjoying life and the people who share it with you.

Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness.

 

 

 

 

Images:

  1. https://unsplash.com/photos/VMGAbeeJTKo
  2. https://pixabay.com/photos/pair-seniors-pensioners-age-2914879/
  3. https://www.uihere.com/free-photos/woman-wearing-black-dungarees-standing-between-grass-during-daytime-397867
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