The Beauty Disruptor is shy of its second birthday, and I thought it was time to pen this much needed blog post. For the past two years, I have had intense interactions with women in the 40 plus category. Surprisingly I’ve also had the opportunity to interact with women in their thirties and on the verge of turning forty. The discourse is pretty much the same across the board. But the number one question that I keep getting asked is, “what do you do that keeps you so young?”
There are a number variables that go into maintaining a youthful appearance, especially when you factor in the physical aspects. Everyone ages it different rates, so maintaining a youthful appearance is relative. You can eat clean, workout, and have healthy lifestyle habits. But if you’re genetically wired to age quickly, then there’s nothing you can do to stop that. It’s science. I’ve heard many women complain that they’re still aging even on Botox and feel old. While one woman expressed that Botox has stopped working for her.
With more and more people becoming obsessed with the idea of immortality, scientists are actively trying to find ways to slow down the aging process and increase longevity. One thing is certain, you can’t stop Father Time. Everyone is bound to experience aging once the cycle of life and death has been set in motion.
It’s sad to see that the vast majority of people are really missing the point. There isn’t some magical fountain of youth. Youth cannot be found in a cream, or at your aesthetic surgeon’s office. Youth is a feeling, an energy, and a mindset. Without an understanding of this, one is bound to grow old no matter how many cosmetic procedures they’ve had.
As much as I try to explain this to people, it seems like they just don’t grasp what I’m saying. So I decided to share a few ways that can help you tap into the energy of youth and maintain a youthful mindset with this little guide.
GUIDE ON HOW TO STAY YOUNG
Stay abreast of the times: This doesn’t mean that you have to follow every trend, but it’s good to know what’s out there. Being abreast of the times means not only are you in the know, but you’re open to new thoughts and ideas. Being aware in an ever-changing world opens the mind up for growth, and helps maintain a youthful attitude.
The process of evolution and self renewal greatly affects our thought process, giving room for rebirth and to become a new improved version of self.
Learn something new: Discover new things that fascinate you and give you a renewed purpose in life. Always remain curious, as learning helps enhance cognitive function. As we age, our cognitive health starts to decline. Keeping the mind sharp by learning something new or even just reading will not only keep you young, but keep you sharp-witted.
A study performed by Dr. Sarah Schäfer and Prof. Susanne Wurm at Greifswald University Medicine concluded that our views on aging can lead to a thirteen year difference in life expectancy. Another research study by B.R Levy found that people with positive views on aging live 7.5 years longer than those with less positive self perceptions on aging.
Adopt a carefree attitude/ stress free lifestyle: One thing about children, is that they have not a care in the world. If you want to remain youthful, then you need to adopt a carefree attitude. Life can be complicated and even stressful at times. Adulting isn’t for the faint hearted. Finding ways to minimise stress, worrying less, and having a positive mindset can greatly affect the way you age both mentally and physically.
Love yourself exactly as you are: Women put an enormous amount of pressure on themselves to look good and maintain a youthful appearance. This mainly comes from societal pressures and negative views on aging perpetrated by the media. Modern women in today's world are now starting to realise that aging is a beautiful thing, and that there is life after forty.
Cultivating a loving attitude towards oneself isn’t hard to do, but takes much practice to become ingrained. Look in the mirror and start to speak loving words to yourself everyday until you believe them. Examine every part of your body (even your perceived flaws), embrace them and see the beauty within you as you. Most importantly, stop criticising yourself.
Stop taking life so seriously: It’s true that life isn’t all fun and games. But embracing a playful attitude towards life can make the journey fun plus a lot less stressful. Be playful and learn how to laugh. Research studies show that laughter boosts the immune system, improves cardiovascular health, regulates blood sugar levels, improves sleep and possibly memory retention.
Don’t get caught up in the numbers: Recognise the beauty of maturity and what you’ve learned over the years, both good and bad. Confidence comes with age. All the youth in the world can never replace decades of experience.
You can either be an old relic or someone who is fearless and dynamic. When you live without fear, you usher in an energy of newness and the unknown. If you watch babies closely, you’ll observe that they are fearless and fascinated by new things.
Getting out of your own way allows you to see the world from a different perspective, and can help change your mindset. With a fresh perspective, you’ll also start to feel better about yourself.
Navigating your way through life is a process of trial and error. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail miserably. There are also times that require us to be humble enough to learn the lessons that the universe is trying to teach us. All my years of experience couldn't have prepared me for what I’ve encountered (so far) in my 40’s. Secretly I wished for some sort of manual to magically guide me through this thing called midlife.
One thing is for certain, I wanted to live a happier, more fulfilling and stress free life. A life that I'd always envisioned that allowed me to focus on myself and the new woman that I was becoming. I come from a generation where if you weren’t actively striving or visibly demonstrating that you had it all under control then you were failing. You had to not only look and be the best, but you had to play the part and play it well. My generation gave us no time to just be; only do, do, do.
Thank heavens the world is a little different now. People are free to express themselves and not live up to some imaginary expectation. But most importantly people are learning how to care for themselves. Mental health and self care have taken front and centre stage.
I consider myself fortunate to be in my forties in this space and time. This generation has given me the freedom to express myself, love myself, and has shown me that I really do matter. It has shown me that putting myself first is not selfish, and giving myself the time to heal is not a sign of weakness. Truth be told, I don’t think I would have experienced this much growth if I had lived in another era.
Here are some of the lessons I've learned and key takeaways for 2023:
5 THINGS I'VE LEARNED IN 2023
1. You don’t have to be superwoman: I’ve learned that at times things just have to wait. Giving up the persona of the overachiever and perfectionist, gave me space to focus on myself and my needs.
2. Stop aggravating yourself with the things you cannot change: This year I finally learned to give my brain a much needed rest. Sometimes you can’t change people or situations. And that's ok. I’ve come to realize that people are who they are, and it’s as simple as that. There’s no need to reflect on anything that creates mental anguish or doesn’t serve my highest good.
3. Give yourself some grace: I realized that everything is ok. It really is. Putting myself under undue pressure (which was often imaginary and unnecessary) wasn’t good for my overall wellbeing. It’s ok to give yourself the required love and care it takes to function properly on a daily basis. And some days may look different than others. My job is to give myself room to grow, and the opportunity to rest without being hard on myself. Finally I learned how to be gentle with myself.
4. Love on yourself hard: No one will give you the love and care you require unless you start loving yourself first. It’s just that simple. The only person that can care for you is you. You can’t show people how to love you unless you love yourself first.
5. Showing up for yourself: I finally grasped the importance of showing up for yourself. There are a myriad of ways in which you can show up for yourself. Showing up for yourself sets the wheels in motion for change to occur, and for positive situations to enter your life. Things can't happen until you’re ready to show up for you. At the end of day I am my biggest cheerleader, I am responsible for my growth, and it is I who empowers myself to do and achieve anything. No matter what the circumstance, I have the power to author my life.
NEXT: YOU'RE ONLY AS YOUNG AS YOU FEEL