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In our twenties, life is about instinct instead of logic. Then the thirties come, where wisdom is added—sometimes painfully. Our forties, unlike our thirties, teach us that we can’t just eat whatever we want without paying for it later. The things we dreaded before, like exercise, become more crucial. Our bodies, minds, and relationships all evolve as we age.
Here are some common mistakes every middle-aged woman may be tempted to make, and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Middle Aged Hair Misconceptions
There are two phases of mom hair. Phase one: messy bun on top of your head in your twenties and thirties. Phase two: cutting it all off into a bob in your forties and fifties.
There seem to be unspoken hair rules for middle-aged women. Break them, and go gray if you want‚ or dye your hair! Understand your face shape and cut accordingly, of course, but make your own rules!
2. Your Makeup Doesn’t Have To Be Natural
There is yet another unspoken beauty rule for middle-aged women, secretly known as the “natural makeup” rule. Of course aging skin needs top-notch concealer, and choosing the right foundation is crucial—it will either age you or rewind you to your youth.
But when it comes to eyeshadow and lipstick, if you want color, do color and do it bright!
We have one more unspoken beauty rule to break…
3. Settling For Sweaters, Cardigans And Scarves
Sweaters, cardigans, and scarves are great when leaves are falling, but when the sun is out and shining, don’t be afraid to let your skin show.
Rock those sleeveless dresses and don’t worry about covering up! Sure, if you’d like to cover up a low-cut blouse with a scarf, go for it. Just wear what makes you feel confident—don’t worry about societal norms.
4. Believing There’s No Time For Self Care
Even after your kids have left for college, finding you-time can be difficult, but if you don’t manage to squeeze some relaxation in, your body and mind will break down.
Women 45-54 have higher stress levels than younger women and are more likely to suffer from depression. If you’ve made your life about your family and now you’re empty nesting, it can put you in a “funk.”
Shake it off. Book a massage, go wine tasting with a friend, take a long bath. Find that thing that works for you, and center yourself.
Here’s a good place to start…
5. Thinking You Don’t Really Need 8 Hours Of Sleep
We all need sleep. Once you hit 50, doctors recommend 9 1/2 hours of it each night. Unlike when you were in your twenties, staying up won’t be kind to you in the morning. Your complexion won’t be glowing.
Too little sleep is linked to health problems such as diabetes and poor heart health. Plus, if you have grandbabies running around, you’ll need all the rest you can get!
6. Expecting That You’ll Never Have To Get Dentures
It’s really easy to neglect dental care. Who really goes to see the dentist once a year, anyway? As you get older, though, you might want to pick back up on those visits. Yellowing teeth is common as you age, but it can also be a sign of gum disease.
Your teeth aren’t the only thing you might neglect…
7. Assuming Your Heart Is Healthy
We usually don’t stop to think about how healthy our heart is unless something is off. Science tells us, though, that the lifetime risk of suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure reaches 90% for adults over 50.
Protect yourself from heart problems by eliminating solid fats, added sugars, and sodium. Even if you’re feeling fabulous, make sure you’re keeping tabs on your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels!
8. Skipping The B-12 Supplements
B-12 is usually overlooked, but don’t miss it. As you get older, it’s important to make sure you’re eating enough foods rich in B-12, like shellfish, liver, fish, crab, soy products, fortified cereals, red meat, low-fat dairy, cheese, and eggs. B-12 helps with fatigue and depression and improves brain and central nervous system function.
Since we’re talking diet, here’s one more thing you don’t want to overlook…
9. You Need Potassium
Blood pressure rises as you age, but potassium can stabilize it, as well as lower your risk of experiencing a stroke or other heart-related problems. Bananas aren’t the only food that’ll do the job. Sweet potatoes, beans, and yogurt count, too—and who doesn’t love sweet potatoes?
10. Your Bra Matters
Gravity takes its toll on your breasts as you age. We all know this. You might not be as perky as you used to be, but did you know you can reverse that naturally?
Get resized every few years to make sure you’re buying the right bras. Try opting for a sports bra more often, too—underwire bras actually contribute to sagging breasts, so when you come home for the evening, off with it.
Now that we’re on the subject of clothing…
11. Sex Doesn’t Have To Be Boring
First of all, good sex has little to do with how many interesting positions you attempt or how spontaneous you are. Sometimes it’s planned and it’s simple, but still amazing.
Despite what our culture might say, aging women are just as sexy with the same right to explore their sexual needs. Most women claim sex in their fifties to be the best they’ve ever had. They’re usually very comfortable with their partner, who in turn really knows their body!
12. Don’t Skip Cardio
Sex is a great way to burn calories, but it doesn’t count as your daily workout. You might prefer walking to running because of the aches and pains that creep up on you as you age, so settle for a jog.
You’ll be surprised to know that the more consistent you are, the more you’ll actually be relieved of pain, and you’ll fight off weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and dementia all at the same time.
Let’s talk about those face creams you like…
13. More Isn’t Better When It Comes To Anti-Aging Products
Anti-aging products can be great, but switching back and forth between products only causes more damage to the skin.
Vegetables, fruits, and fish are great sources for fighting the natural effects of aging. Taking collagen as a supplement is great too! Whatever you choose to try, be consistent. You may have to give a product months of use before deciding whether or not it actually works.
14. Believing That You’ll Never Battle Depression
As you age, you’ll spend more and more time alone. Your kids will go off to college and get their own houses. You and your partner will be working towards retirement, and it might seem void at times.
Develop new hobbies. Find people to hang out with. Dementia and Alzheimer’s studies have proven that those who spend more time alone are more likely to develop these diseases.
Let’s talk about one thing that might cause depression late in your life…
15. Don’t Obsess Over Your Younger Self
Regret isn’t healthy. There might have been things you could’ve done in your life that you didn’t do, but accept that your life has unfolded the way that is best for you and move on.
Pulling out old photo books and walking down memory lane is fine, but your goal in life isn’t to go back to what you were before, it’s to live in a continuation of reinvention.
Look good, be healthy, and be you!
16. Believing You Have To Accept What You Don’t
By the time you reach mid-life, most things are set in stone. You have your family, you have your career, you have what you need to survive. But what if you wake up one day to a marriage on the rocks, or a boss that no longer needs you?
You don’t have to accept things because of your age. You don’t have to settle for less than you deserve because you feel it won’t come around again. Make choices based upon your worth. It’s never too late to start over.
Do you need a drink?
17. Wine Isn’t A Food Group
Red wine has health benefits, it’s true, but as you age you need to drink more water. Drinking half a glass of water before every meal will ensure that you don’t overeat. Plus, most health problems can be improved if we just drink enough water each day.
As for wine, a glass each evening will protect you from developing dementia, so keep up the drinking!
18. Believing That Healthy Snacks Are Actually Healthy
Most would think these cherry covered pretzels are a healthy snack…don’t fall into that trap. Rice crackers and pretzels won’t fill you up, so you’ll end up eating a whole bag of them—an entire bag of something that isn’t even healthy for you.
Swap it out for Greek yogurt next time. Your tummy will thank you.
Let’s get sentimental for a second…
19. Thinking That You Have All The Time In The World
It’s easy to believe you have all the time in the world to do the things you want with the people you love, but the reality for us all is that we never know how long we have. Not matter how great you feel or how healthy you are, do those things you’ve been wanting to do with your family and friends. Love while you can!
20. Believing You Won’t Have A Mid-Life Crisis
By all means, do those things you’ve always wanted to do, but know when the doing turns into what is known as a mid-life crisis. The mid-life crisis has everything to do with being unsatisfied with oneself and making impulsive decisions to fix that feeling.
Recognize if you’re approaching one, and instead, continue to transform into the best version of you possible.
Cheers to a happy life!