We did it! We survived all of 2018. Although there may have been some moments where making it through didn’t seem possible, it happened, and we’re here. As I embark on another chapter into my midlife journey, this year has shown me some areas in my life where changes are needed.
I don’t know about you, but year after year I make plans to live a better life than ever before. Coming into 2018, I just knew that things were going to turn around after the way 2017 ended. However, for most of the year, it seemed as though things continued to get progressively worse.
What I was most proud of is that this time, I didn’t pretend that everything was okay. Thankfully, I have a small tribe of sister-friends that I can confide in. Trust me, at this point in life; you need them. If you don’t have a close bond with at least one or two women, I strongly suggest you start working on it.
At times, we learn lessons from not unpleasant experiences. Looking back, I now realize that much of what happened this year was prepping me for new things to come. I guess you could call it a plot twist! So, I’m thankful and more focused than ever before.
I only have a few years into midlife, but from what I can already tell, this is the part where everything is all about change and discovery. Most women in this age group feel the urge to reinvent themselves in some way. It’s funny how a number can make you want more out of life.
For me personally, when I turned 40, that was the year I knew I was evolving into someone different. It’s a powerful feeling–more than any other significant age.
This year, I’ve been more in tune with who I am and who I eventually want to become. Things have recently happened that made me realize how strong I really am. I also know now more than ever what I’m willing to put up with and those things that I absolutely have no time to entertain.
If you’re reading this, I’ll assume you are 40 and over (if not, that’s okay too) and you’ve experienced or are experiencing a plethora of physical and mental changes. I know I am! It’s not entirely all fun and games either. However, I’m up for the challenge–it’s better than the alternative.
If you aspire to make some positive moves in the upcoming year, consider a few of these.
10 Midlife Changes to Make in 2019
Set Quarterly Goals
About every other post on my social media pages these past few weeks involve making 2019 the best year ever. I’m sure you’ve seen them. People are planning to do this or make changes to that. If you think about it, January 1st is just the day after December 30th. Do you need to wait until the first day of the year to start your goals? No, but I get it. It’s a mental thing. There’s the anticipation of coming into a new era or starting over with a clean slate.
No matter how you decide to work on your goals, the important thing is that you have some. Sometimes the things we dream about accomplishing can be overwhelming. To help yourself stay on track, think about the one significant milestone you want to achieve for the year and then break it down into quarters. Assess and write down the steps you need to take each quarter in order reach the big goal. As always, give room for adjustments.
This process gives you something manageable to work with, thus making the desired result more attainable. I’ve found that many people use this technique with sales and have great success. I will be using this strategy for the upcoming year.
Help Your Skin With Its Overnight Regeneration Process
I’m sure you know by now that skin cells “turn over” while you’re sleeping. Nighttime is ideal for applying heavy creams, serums, and other nightly skin treatments.
Studies show that getting the proper amount of sleep alone helps to moisturize your skin and also provides a radiant complexion. Give your skin a boost by applying heavy hitters before bed.
Serums that are particularly beneficial contain Vitamin C and Retinol.
I’ve been using the Midnight Oil Collection which contains Marula Oil as the main ingredient. Marula Oil contains high levels antioxidants that aid in collagen production and improves skin’s radiance.
Stop Letting Other People Make You Feel Bad About Decisions You Make Regarding Your Life
Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.
~ Dr. Mae Jemison
Are you still letting other people’s opinions run your life? If so, it’s time to stop. By the age 40, you’ve earned the right to live life as you please. Do you want to go back to school? Go. Don’t want to finish that degree? Don’t. Want to sell all your furniture and travel the world? Do it.
There may be a time or two when it will be necessary to tell someone to stay in their lane and out of your business. Time is too short to live according to other people’s expectations. People pleasing can cause anger, resentment, and depression. Be free and do what’s best for you.
Stop Putting off Exercise
Earlier this year and for the first time ever, I was told that my cholesterol levels weren’t looking too good. There were a few things that could have contributed to this discovery, and I knew that a lack of exercise was a big part of it.
I confessed to my doctor that I had been slacking terribly on my workouts. In fact, at the time, I hadn’t seen the inside of a gym for about two years! I literally had no excuse because the gym was free for me and was less than five miles away from my home.
For women, the probability of being diagnosed with heart disease increases in midlife. An excerpt from the National Institute of Nursing Research states that “During mid-life, a woman’s risk for heart disease starts to rise dramatically. In part, this is because a woman’s body stops producing estrogen.” However, research also shows that proper physical activity paired with a healthy diet reduces bad cholesterol levels.
After blood tests, my doctor advised me to watch what I eat and exercise at least three times a week. I’m not a big fan of going to the gym, so most of the time, I will work out at home. The important thing is to get it in.
Find a Cause to Invest In
If you want to feel good about yourself, help someone else. Getting involved in the welfare of others who may not be as fortunate as you are not only benefits them, it’s good for you too.
In the coming year, if it’s on your heart to make a difference in someone else’s life, search for places like a homeless shelter or orphanage to dedicate your time and talents to. Witnessing the difference you can make in the lives of those who need it most never gets old.
Schedule and Keep Medical Appointments
I don’t think I have to emphasize how vital it is to see your doctor for routine check-ups, but I will anyway. Regular doctor’s visits are pertinent to your well-being. You can’t fix what’s wrong if you don’t know what’s wrong.
I’ll admit, I strongly dislike going to the doctor especially when I’m feeling okay, or even when I’m not. However, I have pretty decent health insurance, and I need to use it! This year I had a physical, an OB-Gyn appointment and a mammogram. I found out some critical information at those appointments and was able to put a plan into place to get/keep my health on track.
If you’ve been putting some doctor’s visits off, make it a priority to get them taken care of this year.
Find The Right Bra
Did you know that wearing the wrong bra size could adversely affect your health? I don’t particularly like wearing them, but I do. There used to be a time when I couldn’t wait to take mine off at the end of the day due to discomfort. Turns out my bras weren’t the right size–or type.
A bra that is too small can cause a variety of issues. If yours is a little too snug, you may experience, back pain, shoulder and neck pain, breast pain, blockage of the lymph nodes and even headaches. Also, don’t be surprised if you notice blisters and skin discoloration on the chest area because of squeezing and friction from a tightly fitted bra. On the contrary, a bra that is too loose and doesn’t provide adequate support can contribute to breasts sagging.
I used to shop for push-up bras that would give me the most amazing lift. Now, because of issues with my back, the priorities are proper fit and durability. And of course, they still have to be pretty!
If you are having any of the symptoms above and suspect it’s your bra, it just may be time to go shopping. If you need help choosing the correct size, visit a store that specializes in bra fitting. You can also check for resources online. Lane Bryant has a helpful video just for this.
Deep Condition Your Hair Regularly
When styling your hair, does it seem to be drier, thinner and lackluster? Most likely, this isn’t your imagination–or the water. Just like we age, so does our hair. Due to lower levels of estrogen and progesterone, women in the perimenopause stage and beyond could experience issues with hair loss and thinning.
Getting into the habit of deep conditioning your hair at least once a week is beneficial in many ways. Regular use of deep treatments can be a game changer for hair that has lost its youthfulness. It won’t stop the aging process, but you can expect to see an overall improvement in the health of your hair and scalp.
There are many anti-aging, moisturizing deep conditioners available on the market. I have great results with clay-based conditioners.
Some treatments can be quite pricey, so if you can’t decide which one is right for you, try consulting your beautician for suggestions.
Please note that significant hair loss is a sure sign something is wrong and should be followed up with a visit to your physician.
Start Weekly Meal Prepping
If you haven’t ventured into the world of meal prepping, you are missing out. This process will involve you spending your Sunday evening in the kitchen instead of getting that last lounging session in before the start of the work week, but it’s so worth it.
Planning out your meals for the week not only saves time in the long run, but it also saves money and calories–if you do it right that is. The options are endless, and you might even grow to like it!
If you’re interested in this time and money saving technique but not sure where to start, check out Pinterest for some clever ideas and recipes.
Stop Leaving Money On the Table
Let’s face it, everyone shops. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could earn money as you shop for goods and services? Well, you can and you totally should.
Moving back to the US came with picking up many expenses we didn’t have while living in Japan. So any opportunity I have to earn a few extra dollars is welcomed.
The way Ebates works is, they collect commisions from stores for sending consumers to their websites. In turn, Ebates share the money with their users when they make a purchase.
With Swag Bucks, users earn gift cards and cash for taking surveys, watching videos, shopping online and more.
As I stated earlier, I just started using Ibotta, and I really like it. This app lets you earn cash back on items you already buy either in stores or online.
New cash-back apps are popping up almost every day, and I’m sure there’s a few you’ll benefit from using.
Starting January (or before) with intent and purpose is a great way to set the tone for the rest of the year. I hope you find a few of these tips helpful.
Happy New Year!
All the best, always.