We start ageing the minute we’re born.
But most of us don’t take much notice until we hit menopause, experience a chronic disease or have an OMG moment when we look at a photo of ourselves that we don’t particularly like.
But getting older shouldn’t mean a decline in health or looks, you can be any age and feel awful or any age and feel fantastic – it’s about focusing on what you have, not on what you don’t have or what you used to have.
“Owning” the ageing process instead of fighting it makes it easier to value our older selves and reclaim – both individually and together – a sense of the lifecycle.
Without, I hope, falling back on glib mantras or slogans from the manual of positive thinking, I believe there has never been a better time to age, to challenge the narrative of decline and age-denial and to celebrate longevity. – Anne Karpf, Author ,How to Age
With the average life span for Australian women now around 85, it’s important that we manage, adapt and adjust to the life cycle changes that naturally occur. Active, ageless beauty and glowing health are brought about by the choices we make each day. And while we can’t turn back the clock we can take simple, everyday steps to age gracefully and naturally.
The most important step towards ageless beauty is what we eat and how we feel about food. Ageless, graceful beauty comes from the inside, you really are what you eat! By following an eating plan that includes lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish and avoiding processed foods, your natural radiant glow will shine through. Supplements may also be beneficial, but consult with a naturopath about your specific needs.
Our bodies also need regular movement to stay supple and active, the key is to find something that you look forward to, not something that you dread. Ever wanted to try ballet or martial arts? Maybe yoga or tai chi? It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re moving. If it’s fun and you love it, you’ll make it habit you don’t want to miss, it only takes a tiny spark of motivation to get started.
Stress contributes to inflammation, a major cause of premature ageing, chronic disease and increased everyday “wear and tear” on our bodies. Set aside some time each day to make a conscious effort to slow down and de-stress. It’s not always an easy thing to do, but with regular daily practice you’ll soon start to feel the benefit. Some of us find this easier with movement, while others prefer stillness – it’s your choice. Try meditation, yoga, massage, reading, walking or simply crossing all the unnecessary things off your to-do list. It really doesn’t matter what you do or how long you do it – the important thing is to make it a regular practise, even just a few minutes will make a big difference.
Our self image plays a huge role in how we look and feel – when we look good, we also feel good and that shows. Is it time for a new hair colour or style? Do you have a simple skin care and make-up routine that’s quick and easy to follow each day? When was the last time you had an ‘update’? If you can’t remember or you’re doing the same thing that you’ve done forever, it could be time for change. Consult with a professional to get a ‘look’ that suits you or do a bit of research and try something different to see how it feels. Take inspiration from ageless beauties like Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton and Susan Sarandon who favour a soft, natural style.
Our mindset is also a key factor in ageing gracefully – we moan about the fact that we’re ageing but we forget that it’s a privilege that’s not there for everyone.
How we age is a personal experience and different for each of us, but the choices we make around our health determine whether or not we age gracefully and fully live our lives.