Celebrating the Good Things in Later Life

No-one wants to get older, but unfortunately, there’s no way of preventing the march of time – at least not yet; you never know what science will come up with in the future! But for now, aging is inevitable. Rather than feeling depressed at leaving your youth behind, it makes sense to look at the second half of your life as a new beginning, an opportunity to achieve great things and enjoy yourself, and celebrate the many ways in which life is so much better now for older women. Getting older is no reason to feel down, and there are plenty of things you can do to make this the best time of your life.

Health

Looking after yourself is just as important now as it ever was, and eating well, exercising, and finding ways to relax are essential to maintaining good health. You no longer have the inconvenience and for many women pain and disruption of menstruation, and there are no more worries about the risk of pregnancy, which is a tremendously liberating feeling. Many women feel down when their fertile years are over, as it can seem as though an essential part of your identity and value as a woman has been lost. It can also feel unfair that men don’t have to experience a similar process, and like the suffering caused by monthly cycles, they escape the possible effects of the menopause.

If you find yourself feeling negatively in any way post-menopause, you need to try and concentrate on the positive aspects of the situation, and the new freedoms you have that you won’t have experienced before. If the change is making you feel unwell or have any effects you are finding it hard to cope with, seek advice from your doctor as there may be ways they can help. The only thing you need to bear in mind is that you won’t be producing the same levels of hormones that you would have pre-menopause, which can affect your hair, skin, and bone density, so be mindful of addressing these issues with good diet and preparations designed for older skin.

Using your brain

Whether you have devoted yourself to your career or devoted yourself to raising a family, or if you’ve been the envy of everyone and managed to do both; those years of hard work aren’t necessarily coming to an end, but they will be changing. You may have reached the pinnacle of your career, or your children may have all left the nest, and it can feel as if you don’t have such a focus to work for anymore. What you need to do is find a new focus, something that you want to achieve that will fulfill you and make you happy. It could be a change in career, studying for qualifications, starting your own business, traveling around the world, getting involved in charity work, devoting time to a hobby; there is a world full of possibilities, and you are now in a position to forge ahead with a new project or life change.

No ambition is too large or too small

It’s become something of a tradition now to draw up a bucket list, or a “fifty things to do before you die” list. You can put anything on this list, large or small, but the idea is to think about all the things you’d love to do and have never had the chance to. It could be activities like swimming with dolphins, visiting a particular country, or being able to complete a cryptic crossword. You could be more ambitious and think about climbing a mountain, learning to surf, or running a marathon. It could be charity fundraising, volunteering at your local hospital or library, or becoming a foster carer for stray animals. The point is there are no restrictions except for your imagination as to what you want to put on your list. Remember, this is supposed to be things you want to do, not things you feel you ought to! Just because someone you know is planning to do a parachute jump, doesn’t mean you have to sign up too. Be selfish, from the point of view that your list should be made up of all the things that will mean something to you, and never mind what anyone else thinks.

The fears of growing older

Even if you feel perfectly fit and well, there could be a worry in the back of your mind about what the future holds for you. Will your body or your mind start to fail you in some way? Will you run into financial problems? Will your kids still visit you? It’s hard to avoid worrying about such things because we all know people for whom these fears have become a reality. The way to look at it is that worrying will not prevent or aid with anything, and rather than worrying, you’re better off addressing your fears head-on. For example, if you worry about becoming so infirm you can no longer live at home, then seek out more info about the care facilities available to you, and see what they’re like. It may ease your concerns when you see what high standards modern care facilities have, and how different they are from the preconceptions you may have. Living a full, active life is the best prevention against failing health, so looking after yourself and making the most of your time is one of the wisest courses of action.

This part of your life is a new adventure, one which you have control over in far more respects than your ancestors would have. You have the opportunity to reach for the stars if you wish, and although it might feel a little scary thinking about how you’re going to live in this new chapter of your life, think of that fear as excitement. These emotions manifest themselves in the same way physically; our brains interpret them positively or negatively. So, if you feel the flutter of butterflies in your stomach, embrace the feeling and use it to inspire you to enjoy the greatest years of your life.

Thanks to Fatima

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