Accepting and loving our body and appearance as we age, while being bombarded with airbrushed 20-year-olds in bikinis can be tough.
Changes in hormones as we get older can make us feel out of control and having a positive healthy body image is important to your self-esteem and confidence.
But how do we navigate the frustrations that come with accepting that our appearance can take us only so far and that our aging bodies often present us with new challenges that can be unpleasant, inconvenient, uncomfortable, or painful?
Fine wine is how.
Fine wine increases in value as it ages, as do antiques and art. So, if you maintain a healthy body with healthy eating and regular exercise, why don’t you adopt the point of view that your worth and beauty increases in value as you age just like a fine wine or piece of art?
- How would you dress if you knew that with every day you became more valuable?
- How would you move across the room?
- How would you smile or react at a social gathering around those lucky to be in the presence of your unique one-of-a-kind masterpiece?
- How could you speak to your body as you caress it with lotions?
- How could you flirt with your smile lines – proof of your decades of a life lived?
Being older has some real advantages, but there are also some aspects of aging that can be hard to accept. As we age our bodies don’t work as well as they used to. These changes don’t have to mean that life as you know it is over, however. There are many things you can do to make your later years more enjoyable, and in doing so, make it easier to accept that you are getting older. Here are my top ten tips:
- Have realistic expectations. Our culture encourages people to think they can be young forever if they just use the right creams and take the right supplements. The fact is, this just isn’t true. As you enter your later years, try to develop realistic (not pessimistic) expectations of what getting older is really like.
- Don’t expect the worst. Having a negative view of the future can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, although, don’t expect to be able to do everything you did in your 20s. Even the most youthful 90-year old won’t be found skateboarding or deep-sea diving. In fact, most people who live to this age will need help with tasks like getting groceries from the store. This doesn’t mean, however, that you won’t be able to take a stroll in the park with friends or play your favorite instrument.
- Avoid denial. There’s nothing wrong with doing what you can to look and feel your best in later years. However, accepting you are getting older means you shouldn’t try to mask or hide your age from others (or yourself).
- Being self-assured and healthy is a more mature kind of beauty that you can aspire to. It will give you a sense of self-worth and attractiveness that trying (unsuccessfully) to look like your former self will not achieve.
- Speak up against that inner critical voice, and counter it with positive statements like “I am healthy and loved.”
- Embrace your past, but don’t try to relive it. Your past is a huge part of who you are. Reflecting on where you’ve been can help you become a more mature person and reflecting on the changes you’ve gone through before can help you accept the changes you are experiencing now. Trying to relive the past as a way to cling to your youth, however, only delays acceptance of who you are now.
- Be proud and grateful. The fact that you are getting older means you survived. Not everyone does. The life experiences you have had has given you a wisdom younger people don’t have. Be proud of what you have achieved and grateful for your life experience.
- Keep learning. Continuing to have an active, fulfilling life will make acceptance of your aging easier. Even if you’ve reached a point where you are physically unable to do a lot of things you might like to do, you can keep learning new things. Stay curious and try new things.
- Exercise regularly. Staying physically active can make your body and mind feel better and can help promote longer, healthier life.
- Eat healthily for your body now. Eating healthy foods and nourishing your body is important to retain a satisfying quality of life. Make sure you get enough protein to keep muscles strong.