Ten Rules For Living Midlife Well 2021

November 14, 2021

Ten Rules For Living Midlife Well 2021

I’ve seen a few list recently talking about how to live your best life, so I thought I’d create my list for midlife women which builds on the four pillars in my book, Time of Your Life.

This list isn’t menopause related, but about midlife in general and the things I see increasingly stacking up to help us be even more amazing! 

RULE 1

Decide who you are living your life for

Much of my thirties and forties was spent living to bring up my children.  Their needs came way above mine, as they absolutely should, but when they become adults (and maybe leave home, maybe not) it is essential that you re-evaluate who you are living your life for because that dictates your priorities.  I now live my life for me (and the PT/dog), kids and husband, but with me first because if I’m well and happy everything else can fall into place.   

 

RULE 2

Your Health

There is no question that there are some health issues you are stuck with, but there are many, many others that you can avoid or actively help through good nutrition and exercise.  I don’t really want to do strength training either (neither did Ryan Reynolds the other day on his Instagram) but we do it because it is exceptionally good for midlife women and helps us avoid Osteoporosis (obviously Ryan Reynolds is not a midlife woman).  If you haven’t listened to my podcast with Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council for Active Ageing do so HERE – his advice is incredible!

Same with nutrition.  Food is effectively a drug and it can be the most powerful tool for good so choose your food well and exercise!

 

RULE 3

Eat just two meals a day.

I read quite a lot around living well for longer.  I don’t necessarily want to live longer, but I want to be well for as long as I can.  Dr Valter Longo wrote The Longevity Diet and he recommends two meals and a light snack each day.  For me, this also ticks the fasting box as my meal is at 1pm and then I don’t eat again until breakfast (except the weekends, that’s different!). It’s made a huge difference to my energy levels.

 

RULE 4

Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. 

There is no personal growth in comfort. 

There’s a survey I have somewhere that says midlife women stick to the same skincare products that they used in their thirties as they loved them and they worked.  Now here’s the thing “they worked” past tense.  As we move through the years our skin 100% changes and our face shape changes.  Why would we think that we can use the same stuff as before, why would we apply our make up in the same way?  We can’t, but in order to find out new products and looks that do work for us now we have to try "new" which can be scary.  TOYL was set up to enable you to try new products at a very low price point so there’s much less risk.  When I suggest a product it is because I genuinely think it could work for you, I’m not paid to say it!   

 

RULE 5

Appoint a CEO in your head.

Those little voices in our head – they’re not so kind are they?  The voices we have talking to us seem mostly to say negative stuff when you look in the mirror, are thinking about eating something not great for you, or thinking about sacking off your daily 30 minutes of exercise.  I found that by appointing an overriding voice in my head, like the CEO at a board meeting, who considers all the voices and then decides which voice is best for me, Karen, worked a treat.  The CEO listens to why I should eat something bad and then says “no, that’s not in Karen’s best interests so we’re not going to choose that route”.  Listen, this takes active practise and the CEO doesn’t always win, but I found this very helpful to keep my choices strong for me and my wellness!

 

RULE 6

Get a Creative Hobby

Creativity fires up a completely different part of your brain to your job or living decisions day-to-day.  This is key for mental wellbeing and seeing off mental deterioration.  I used to shout at my kids for playing too much Playstation, but there’s a real thing called “flow” this is when the brain is in the zone and every outside stimulus has been blocked out, every other thought so you are focused on the one thing(my blog post on flow is HERE). I’m sure this is not dissimilar to meditation but I don’t seem to get on with that so Creative Flow it is!  Even playing with make up is a “creative activity” which is why the TOYL November Make up box can be such fun.  Five different make up products, worth over £100, just £35.00 – take a look HERE and it's award-winning!

 

RULE 7

Volunteer

I cannot even begin to tell you what volunteering has done for me. 

I’ve met people I would never have met in the day job, I’ve had to listen to views fundamentally opposed to my way of thinking and take them on board, try to really understand where someone else is coming from.  I’ve had to learn new skills, terminology and get involved in projects that I have no experience of at all, but it is brilliant.  Not only does it improve my mental health but it genuinely helps those I volunteer for. Midlife women have more to offer the voluntary sector than anyone I know and I would urge everyone in 2022 to get involved! 

 

RULE 8

Selfcare

This means many things to many people but in short, I’m asking you to take some time every week to be calm, be quiet (not in a “shut up” way, more “serene”, if you know what I mean) and take time to just sit with whatever you are feeling.  For me, one of the sheet masks we’ve had this year in the TOYL box are the perfect way to do so, but it could be as simple as just sitting in the garden, appreciating nature.  It’s important.  It’s a lesson that you are important and you believe that it is worth taking time just for you.

 

RULE 9

Pets

Now as you know, I love the PT (aka the dog, called the PT as he gets me exercising twice a day, every day) but there is new research that having a pet is immensely good for our health.  Not everyone loves a pet and, at the risk of showing my age, when I was young I had a pet rock (they were a thing, honest!) which I took pretty good care of.  In short, pets (well, dogs anyway) give boundless love, are non-judgmental, always pleased to see you and don’t ask for much in return.  I'll admit that my pet rock wasn't quite as responsive, but you've got to work with what you've got!

 

RULE 10

Be Happy

I’ve thought about happiness a lot.  When I was a parent of younger children other parents would say to me “I just want them to be happy”, but here’s the thing, you cannot control the happiness of others.  What you can do is choose to be happy, choose to see the glass half full, make choices that are tougher but will lead to peace and serenity in all aspects of your life, choose to be kind to others.  Control your happiness and the happiness of others will follow.

Well, if you’ve made it this far I am thrilled!  This newsletter was longer than I wanted but I hope it’s given you at least food for thought – just check with the CEO in your head which bits you want to take away from this and have a great Sunday!

Karen




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