40 is a number many women fear, but also which many look forward to because turning 40 changes a lot of things for a woman.
Be it about health, relationships, work, attitude, opinions..everything undergoes a major change. And, it is this change that leaves some women worried, and some others longing to celebrate!
Around 6 years ago, when I turned 40, I did begin to notice minute changes in myself, especially regarding my body and mind.
Slowly and steadily, I began to lose certain inhibitions (as regards expressing feelings) and gain a better understanding of human nature. And now, at 46, I feel blessed for the maturity and the wisdom I gain each day!
Going through the highs and lows of life, learning from every pain, every wound through the years transforms us. It adds to our personality. And, this is what we start realizing only in our 40s.
A dear friend stated that she “Enjoys adding years!” Well, you know what? You, too, will enjoy adding the years once you step into your 40s! Just wait and watch.
So, I thought of doing this post on ‘Things to do when in your 40s‘ to help other women get over their anxiety about turning older.
I am jotting down some stuff that has started making sense to me; stuff that made me aware about Life and Her weird ways; stuff I need to learn about and inculcate in myself in order to stay sane through it all. And, no apologies for overusing the word, ‘stuff’! And, I hope you find this “stuff” helpful. 🙂
THINGS TO DO AFTER TURNING 40:
1. BE UNAPOLOGETIC: You will realize that living the past so many years wondering if you were hurting sentiments, or living as per others’ expectations has actually gotten you nowhere!
In fact, it’s taken a toll on your mental health and left you with a very low sense of confidence and self-respect. So, just speak what comes to your mind, irrespective of what others think. Not that you intend to hurt others’ feelings, but then, keeping things bottled up will only hurt you!
2. ACCEPT THAT SHIT HAPPENS: When you least expect it. And, the shitty phase can last for quite a while.
But, it all ends someday, for nothing is permanent. So, all you can–and should–do, is go with the flow, and never, ever, ask “WHY ME?” We never ask, “Why am I so happy?”, do we? Cliche, I know, but true!
3. TREASURE YOUR TRIBE: The ones who rally around in your time of crisis, the ones who know something’s wrong just by looking into your eyes or from the tone of your voice and pull you out of the abyss you find yourself in–treasure them. They are your guardian angels. And, they are who make your life beautiful.
Most often, it’s the women in your life that make up your tribe–your best friends, your sister, cousins, mother, aunts–the women who speak your language, understand your every emotion are the women that will be with you. Hold them close!
4. STOP TAKING YOURSELF FOR GRANTED: Know that YOU MATTER. Have faith in yourself. And, always remember that you can do it. Yes, you can! Also, be confident of yourself. You didn’t reach this far doing nothing, did you?
5. BE COMFORTABLE IN YOUR OWN SKIN: Everyone’s aging, honey. That’s Life! The fine lines that increase by the day, the silver in the hair, the aches in the joints, the mood swings. All of it. This is the stuff that makes you human!
6 CELEBRATE YOUR BEAUTY: You are beautiful inside out. Period. It’s what’s within that matters more and reflects on your face.
Be proud of the fact that the face that peeps at you from the mirror is 100% genuine, not one that’s been “worked upon”, you get me? And, smile. It adds to your face value. Smile and carry yourself confidently, coz you own it, girl!
7 FORM A NEW HABIT EVERY MONTH: It takes around 21 days to form a habit. Kick a bad one and find a new one to develop that will enrich your life in some way.
Like, start reading if you haven’t been doing it, or found the time to do it. Learn a new hobby or a new language.
Learning something new keeps the brain young. It gives our brain a good workout, and apart from the physical workout, we do need a good mental workout, too, right?
8. GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND WALK: DO NOT sit for long. Take a short ‘walking’ break every 45 minutes, especially if you work from home. Make fitness your everyday priority.
Take good care of your body, your mind, your skin, your hair – take good care of YOU. Stay well-groomed, well-dressed and well-read! It makes loads of difference to your morale.
9. PUT AWAY YOUR PHONE AND TURN OFF THE TV: Spend lesser time on social media and reduce your TV viewing. Spend more time in the real world to find true peace of mind.
Both these gadgets take away a lot of our precious time and energy–physical as well as mental. Instead, as I stated above, find a new hobby, or an activity or even an NGO to work at. It gives the heart a lot of peace and happiness, which reflects on your face!
10. LEARN TO ENJOY YOUR OWN COMPANY: As we grow older, so do our children and our relationships.
People drift away, friends become busy, kids and partners also get busy with their own lives. But, that doesn’t mean you live a miserable life, alone. As stifling as that may seem, at times, spending some alone time is better than depending upon others for your happiness.
Go watch a movie alone, or go for lunch/dinner alone, or even a solo trip. It’s liberating and invigorating knowing how much you can enjoy this way!
Age is just a number. You are only as old as you think and feel. So, why not feel young at heart and celebrate the maturity that comes with age?
Take baby steps, initially, and slowly but surely, you will realize how blessed it is to be on the other side of 40. Life, indeed, begins after 40!
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