By Mark Kirkpatrick
Youth, it seems, has all the advantages—wrinkle-free skin, hair free of grey streaks, and a body that offers up fewer physical limitations.
Time teaches a fear of age and a hesitation regarding impending monumental birthdays. Thirty is deemed an end to the carefree twenties, 40 brings forth additional responsibilities, 50 supposedly begins the year of the mid-life crisis, and our 60s signal the curving bend ahead that is retirement from the work force.
In the article the Five Things Women Fear Most About Aging, Caring.com author Paula Spencer Scott listed that the number one fear among women was “losing Attractiveness/becoming Invisible.” While men are deemed more attractive with age, women often feel less attractive as they grow older.
Articles all over the internet target aging women in various ways. There are fashion tips telling women what to avoid wearing at 30 and 40, at 50 and beyond. Make-up tips instruct on how to cover wrinkles and look youthful.
Age, however, remains just another number…one of many numbers that mark measurement for milestones. There are no rules for the decades, no hallmark lists of etiquette on how an individual must view the future, their bodies or themselves.
Each decade holds new promise, not more boundaries. Dress and milestones are up to each individual. Age is fluid. So, too, is personal expression.
Embrace each decade and age gracefully. Live life to its fullest and celebrate the wisdom that each year brings. Toss out the constricting do-not lists and follow this little guide to living and loving each decade.
Find individual style. The hardest part of youth can be the pull to follow the crowd. Groupthink and peer pressure pushes people to find a style that might be popular, but isn’t always unique. Age provides wisdom, and it also brings a greater knowledge of the individual. Find a style, and discover a unique self expression in clothing and accessories. Start with a color that elicits confidence, and shop around for clothes that speak to the identity…not the crowd. Visit thrift stores for fun inspiration and to find unique items…yes, even shoes! Go on a personal clothing treasure hunt. Remember…no rules!
Make-up isn’t a requirement. Wear make-up because it induces confidence, but never feel that make-up must be worn to hide wrinkles or somehow force a younger appearance. Make-up is fun, it can jazz up a look and hide imperfections. However, no one should use make-up as a means to hide themselves or feel forced to wear it as they age. Wear it, or don’t. Use natural colors, or go wild. Confidence is everything. A confident person at any age can pull off any look.
Get moving. Aging gracefully and embracing each new decade means taking care of the body. Be good to the body and to the skin. Hydrate with plenty of water to flush out toxins and keep skin from becoming dry. Get out and embrace physical activity. An hour a day of brisk walking, running or even a calming session of yoga can help the body stay in shape and toned.
Eat foods that nourish. Good nutrition is important at every age. Treat the body to nutrient-filled foods like fruits and vegetables and lean meats, and reach for fiber-laden grains. Getting enough calcium is an absolute must as the body ages…unfortunately, even more-so for women. Milk is a great source of calcium, so reach for the dairy. Individuals who are lactose intolerant or who follow a vegan lifestyle may find a healthy dose of calcium in dairy alternatives like soy milk, almond milk or cashew milk.
Take time to smell the flowers. With age comes additional responsibility which increases stress levels. Enjoy downtime each day to relax and disengage from the stresses of the world. Sit quietly alone and rest with the mind by engaging in a peaceful meditation. Learn yoga and understand how mindful breathing helps to rest the mind and center the soul. Or take a quiet walk on a nature trail.
Each decade of life brings new joys, adventure and promise, so look forward to the hope and inspiration of a new year of life. Throw out the rules that create boundaries and needless, senseless worry. Find personal style, a sense of self and purpose. Celebrate the uniqueness of you and enjoy every day that life offers up.
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