Middle age is a unique time in our lives. We’re raising our children, well into our careers, experiencing biological changes, and witnessing a host of social, cultural, and political transformations.
With all that’s happening, putting your needs on the back burner during this time is common too. If you’ve neglected self-care long enough, you may be navigating physical health challenges, like cardiovascular issues and chronic illnesses. You might also be mentally and emotionally drained. Which is probably why you’re here.
You’re looking for ways to take better care of yourself in middle age so that you can maintain your holistic health and look forward to your golden years — and we have them. Here’s how you can prioritize self-care during your middle years.
Change Your Mind
Many adults make the mistake of approaching middle age with a negative mindset. They aren’t excited to get older. They’re worried about wrinkles and physical signs of aging. They don’t have a lot of confidence in their relationships and what life will be like.
This mindset is exactly what’s holding them back from not just enjoying middle age, but making a conscious effort to be the best version of themselves during it.
Self-care starts in the mind. If you’re inherently negative about getting older, change this. Start thinking about why you deserve to take good care of yourself during this stage and how you can do it. Engage in mindfulness meditation to gain more self-control and acceptance.
Work on your self-esteem and self-worth because that’s directly connected to if and how you care for yourself. Finally, consider seeing a therapist to get even more support changing your mindset, and working through this life transition.
Eat More Nutritious Foods
One of the simplest forms of self-care is paying attention to what you eat. You’re past the years when you could eat whatever you wanted whenever you wanted because your metabolism was so high and having a young body prevailed.
If you’re sluggish and never feel like you have quite enough energy to put 100% into each day, your diet is probably part of the blame. It’s essential to eat nutritious foods more often than not at this stage in your life to stave off cognitive decline, maintain a healthy weight, and ensure your insides are functioning well.
Every meal should include a sizable portion of vegetables and/or fruits. Opt for nutrient-dense food choices, like whole grains, lean meats, and eggs. Stay away from foods that are high in sugar, salt, or fat. Drink lots of water as well.
Create a Skincare Routine
As briefly mentioned above, a lot of people are worried about showing physical signs of aging when they get to their midlife, particularly with their skin. Wrinkles, age spots, discoloured patches, roughness, and sagging are common skin changes as we age.
Seeing them can affect your confidence and fuel a negative perception of middle age. Creating and adhering to a skincare routine can help you with many of the skin changes above, leaving your skin supple and boosting your confidence.
But skincare care can do so much more for you than improve your skin health. Engaging in a skincare routine is an act of self-care. It’s like a mini spa session every time, giving you a mental boost. You build a deeper connection with yourself as you massage your face, cleansing, toning, and moisturizing.
It’s best to keep your skincare routine simple, especially if you’re just starting. A cleanser, toner, and moisturizer are the basics. Then, as you learn more about your skin type, you can adjust your products to maintain its health.
Commit to Working Out Regularly
It’s easy to put off working out when you’re raising young children, working a demanding career, and handling everything else life is throwing at you. It may not have been necessary during your earlier years, but your body and mind are paying the price for the neglect.
Now that you’re in your midlife, no more excuses. It’s time to commit to working out regularly. Your physical health is depending on it. And so is your mental health and emotional well-being. It’s amazing how much better you feel after you give your body the physical activity it craves.
If going to the gym isn’t your thing and you want to go beyond neighbourhood walks, consider turning your garage into a gym. Exercise becomes a lot more accessible and convenient this way.
Determine your budget for the project first. Then, look at the floor plan you have to work with. Upgrade your flooring, add installation, and install cooling and heating solutions if that’s in the budget.
If not, skip to buying affordable gym equipment for the fitness activities you want to do. Make sure you have good lighting. Then, jazz your gym up with motivational posters, mirrors, a TV, and anything else that makes it “you.”
Revisit Your Career Choice
Many people work jobs that they don’t necessarily like because it keeps them financially stable. If this is you, middle age is a good time to revisit your career choice. Your kids are older and your responsibilities are changing in a way that may allow you to pursue a career change.
A huge part of taking better care of yourself is recognizing what’s no longer serving you, like a career that doesn’t allow you to have a work-life balance.
What do you really want to do? What job would allow you to pursue personal passions, get out there and socialize, and continue to grow your financial security? Whether it’s a business or an industry change, be honest about where you want to be.
Once you do that, you can create a practical plan for shifting to more meaningful work.
If you weren’t taking great care of yourself in your early years, it isn’t too late to make a change. Use your midlife as the launching pad for a healthier, happier you.
Guest Author Bio
Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but business, technology, and digital marketing topics are his favorite. When he isn’t writing you can find him travelling, hiking, or getting into the latest tech.