How to overcome the effects of aging

Looking in the mirror gives me a bit of a shock – just about every time nowadays. I feel young inside but literally every time I look at that woman in the mirror she is not at all what I am expecting to see and always seems to catch me out. Somehow I expect to see someone who doesn’t look, well, so old. The reality is of course that I am in my 50’s and simply am not going to look like someone younger. What is particularly annoying is that when I was in my 20’s and 30’s I had no appreciation of how young and ‘good’  I looked, and probably. In fact subliminally I think was trying to sabotage myself through permed hair, shoulder pads, smoking and a bad custard donut habit.

As we hit 50, as we know, our bodies go through a few changes we would rather they didn’t: greying hair, wrinkles, bingo wings, thickening waist, age spots, droopy boobs (hopefully not all of them). There are loads of ways to combat these, but really shouldn’t we just face up to them, and accept them? After all, this is part of life’s big plan for us. We can either freak out or embrace them. I am now just about, almost, maybe in the second camp.

What we have to keep in our minds is that a 50+ year old woman is utterly gorgeous, not as a 20 year old, or a 30 year old, but as a 50 year old.

What we have to keep in our minds is that a 50+ woman is utterly gorgeous, not as a 20 year old or 30 year old, but as a 50 year old. She has experience in her armoury and that is worth an awful lot. Just remember Mrs Robinson (and cougar women are actually on the rise). With children leaving home, she probably has a bit more money which means she can buy nicer clothes and make up, do more of the things that bring her happiness, and if she has gone through the menopause, can have sex without the fear of pregnancy.

Trends to improved diet and increased exercise of course have a positive impact on our appearance. It’s the wonderful virtuous circle of healthier eating/diet and improved self esteem that can help us to embrace our new selves. But I think that is not to say that we all should focus on looking great, but rather feeling great.

I really believe you are as old as you feel. Forget that stupid mirror! If you feel confident, you behave confident and that it is a very attractive quality. So, what gives us confidence? Naturally this will vary by person and circumstance, and I imagine most of us by 50 have endured some pretty difficult times which can undermine our confidence. But withstanding those, I have pulled together a few areas which I hope we can influence to help build our self esteem:

  • A loving relationship – A romantic partner can help massively, but if this is missing, a close bond with a parent, relation, child or sibling can bring that same support. Everyone wants to be loved, don’t they? It can bring what I like to call a ‘warm blanket’ around us.
  • A close friendship circle – We don’t need a lot of friends, we just need good ones. People who really care about us, even when we mess things up, people who look out for us and have our best interests at heart. Seriously, I think I have about three, tops.
  • Financial stability – Money is the single biggest problem people face. Too little of it mostly (after all, it is said that it is the root of all evil). Don’t let its absence eat at your soul and deflate your confidence. Maybe change jobs, cut down on spending, live your life differently (think laterally!) so that you don’t need it as much. A picnic can bring as much, maybe even more enjoyment than a night out at a restaurant for a fraction of the price.
What beats a picnic in the sun?

I know there are loads more. But I believe we are social creatures and the support of friends, family and a spouse/partner can do wonders to uplift us and give us confidence, inner beauty and by default external beauty.

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