Recently I was having a conversation with one of my best friends and we were talking about being in our 40s and how young we feel.
When I think back to being in my 20s, 40 felt so old and so far away.
And when I think about how I was treating my body then…
Girl, it makes me cringe.
In fact, I was doing most of the things I’m going to tell you not to do in this post.
But you know, the more you live the more you learn, and this is a big takeaway I want you to walk away with today: you can always turn back the clock by making small shifts to your habits.
It’s not too late to start supporting your hormones and body in a healthy way.
It’s not too late to change up some of your routines to be more life-giving.
So what are some things you can do to safeguard your youthfulness for as long as possible? Here are 10 habits (in no particular order) that you should watch out for:
If you find yourself always needing every birthday and holiday to be a perfectly planned and executed event…
Or if you’re stalled out on your most recent project…
Or if you’re constantly saying something is “as good as it gets” yet not feeling satisfied with any of it…
It’s time to take a step back.
Perfectionism is a toxic and exhausting side effect of our culture, causing undue stress on ourselves as we struggle to keep up.
Breaking up with perfection and accepting yourself for your strengths and weaknesses can be hard, but here are some places to start:
- Start a gratitude journaling practice. Every day, think of things you’re grateful for. This perspective shift can really change your perspective in a healthy way! This is a foundational piece of my Daily Self-Care Journal, so if you need help getting started or want a ready-made 5-minute guided morning ritual, this is for you! Check it out here >>
- Try something you’re not good at. Branching out and doing something just for the sake of doing it (not because it’s a strength of yours) is a hugely eye-opening experience that can carry over into your life! Take that dance class, painting class, or rock climbing experience by the horns and go for it, girl!
- Ask your partner or best friend for feedback. Chances are, you’re holding yourself to a much higher standard than anyone else! These real conversations can help you open the door for more grace as you see the powerful impact even your imperfection has on the lives of others!
#2: Having a to-do list that’s longer than your grocery list
Clearly, we live in a “go, go, go” culture and if you’re constantly running from one thing to the next, caught in a whirlwind of busyness, to-do lists, and obligations you are aging yourself faster.
Stress hormones are at play in a very big way, and these cause your blood vessels to constrict, increasing your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke (not to mention the major downstream effects of stress like stubborn weight, insulin resistance, increased perimenopause and menopause symptoms, and more).
If your to-do list is getting out of control, or if you are feeling crazily stressed out with no end in sight, even setting 5 minutes aside for yourself in the morning can make the biggest impact in your life.
My Daily Self-Care Journal is designed exactly for this reason! It fits into any schedule and helps you really get clear on how to set the tone for your day along with gentle accountability on how you are going to take care of yourself!
(And it makes the perfect gift too!)
Get the journal here today >>
#3: Hitting up coffee every day, especially in the afternoon
Believe me, coffee is one of my favorite things, but it’s really not doing you any favors, especially if you’re having 3 or more cups each day or are partaking later in the day.
This is a trap I fall into often—the promise of a quick boost and a delicious drink in my hand helps me feel like I can get by…
But drinking more than 2 cups per day lowers DHEA, a critical hormone for regulating inflammation and for maintaining a youthful appearance. DHEA naturally decreases as you get older, but excess caffeine accelerates the process.
Now does this mean you shouldn’t have any coffee? No. But setting some boundaries is important. Stick to 1 or 2 cups and only before 12pm.
If you need that afternoon pick-me-up, here are some alternatives:
- Reach for some Peppermint or Wild Orange essential oil to inhale an invigorating aroma.
- Try just taking a quick walk out in the sunshine to recharge you for the rest of the day.
- And if that’s not possible, sub a quick Matcha latte (this is my favorite brand) because the antioxidants and other compounds actually fight inflammation and signs of aging while delivering a more subtle caffeine boost!
#4: “Wining” down at night
New research continues to appear, and the verdict is out: hands down, alcohol ages you. Any amount of alcohol is associated with accelerated aging and a shorter lifespan.
Excess or daily alcohol consumption contributes to neurodegenerative decline, worsened hormone imbalances, sleep issues, increased body fat, and so many other symptoms that are draining your energy every day.
Swap out that nightly wine with a nice herbal tea or sparkling water with berries for a healthier alternative that still feels like a treat!
(Hint: sparkling water with some lime juice and raspberries or something similar in a fancy glass can help you feel like you’re treating yourself just as well as that alcoholic drink!)
#5: Sleeping on your side on a cheap pillowcase
Think about it: every night you’re pressing the delicate skin of your face into your pillow for eight hours straight. And if this pillowcase is anything other than silk, you may be bringing on premature wrinkles and sagging
This is because cotton pillowcases restrict your skin from moving and keeping its natural shape and elasticity.
Treat yourself to a good-quality organic silk pillowcase and try to sleep on your back for an easy way to protect your complexion and maintain youthfulness!
#6: Eating big meals
Eating large meals (where you feel overstuffed, bloated, and icky for hours afterward) more than twice per week puts oxidative stress on your cells that actually makes you age faster.
Small, spaced-out meals of high-quality, nutrient-dense ingredients support cellular energy and mitochondrial health rather than maxing out your already worn-out body.
For even more cellular support and to boost mitochondria, try intermittent fasting during the follicular phase of your cycle and the first half of the luteal phase (optimally days 7-20 at least, and more if your body responds well to it). This is the time of the month where you can really hone in on your cellular energy because your body isn’t preparing for or experiencing your period!
#7: Not consistently exercising and skipping weights
One of the fastest ways to age your body is to be sedentary. Daily exercise—even if it’s only 20 minutes—improves your quality of life and increases lifespan dramatically!
And I’m not talking high-intensity workouts here…
For the most part, gentle workouts, focusing on just moving your body throughout the day beyond your “exercise time,” and creating a weight routine is going to do FAR more for your body after age 35 than strictly intense cardio.
Muscle health is essential for thriving as we get older, so focusing on some gentle weight exercises is critical to stay feeling youthful and energized as long as we can!
Take the stairs, opt for a further parking spot, pace while you talk on the phone… Just keep your body moving throughout the day, and you’ll protect your health for years to come!
#8: Not wearing sunglasses
I will say I am just a little obsessed with sunglasses… I wear them all the time.
BUT they’re so important for more than just the style factor!
Wearing sunglasses (even on cloudy days) prevents fine lines around your eyes (because you’re not straining and squinting all day long), and it also protects your eyes from cancer and cataracts that become more common as we get older.
So pull out those shades every time you go outside to keep your eyes sharp!
#9: Forgetting to apply sunscreen on your face every morning
It doesn’t matter if you’re not hitting the beach… you still need to apply sunscreen every day! The sun is the biggest factor in aging skin, as it accelerates dark spots, wrinkles, and skin imperfections that leave you looking older than you feel.
I recommend starting your skincare routine with at least SPF 30 before you apply any other makeup. I personally use a Super Serum Skin Tinted Sunscreen by Ilia right now, and I’m loving it (and the fact that it has no toxins to wreck my hormones)!
#10: Canceling your girls’ night out
Get together with those friends—it will keep you looking and feeling younger!
Friendships have powerful anti-aging benefits, and studies show that people who have strong social connections tend to lead longer (and happier) lives! (1)
So even though your schedule is busy and you feel worn out by the end of the day, call up that bestie and have some time together. The oxytocin boost of meaningful connection—not to mention the stress relief of having some fun—will help keep you young and energized longer!
More Tips to Help You Age Gracefully
Getting older doesn’t mean you have to settle for feeling crappy all day, or not even recognizing yourself in your own body anymore.
I’m here to help you get your power back to feel (and look) your best at any age! Supporting your hormones is critical through the transitional periods of perimenopause and menopause. But with so much info out there, it can be hard to know where to start.
The plan I put forward in The Essential Oils Menopause Solution is designed to work with your body to relieve your biggest symptoms and help you live with abundant ease and grace at any age.
Plus, it’s easy to follow—and you have the whole book to guide you on how to deal with any specific issues you are facing on your unique journey!
This book will be your roadmap to not just surviving the transition to menopause—but thriving.
You deserve to have these answers, and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes you!
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