AGELESS LIVING: MY TOP 10 TIPS AND TRICKS

Hello!  I'm so happy you're here!  And I'm so happy I could get this post up before the end of the year. The time from Thanksgiving to New Years is usually when most of us have some well deserved down time.  Of course, currently, the lines are blurred, but it's still a great time to evaluate your life and contemplate the vision you want for yourself moving forward.  Every year at this time I like to go through my planner and acknowledge what I've accomplished, (typically this would involve a girls trip).  I also note what I didn't accomplish and decide what I'll leave behind and what I'll take into the new year.  Well, it was 2020.....pausing for a moment of silence.  It's been quite the year for all of us in so many ways and we've had to learn to let go of the things that are out of our control, a great life lesson in itself. 

If you are here, whether you're over 40, 50 or 60, it's because you are vibrant and fabulous and interested in being healthy, happy and living your best life.  This is what I call Ageless Living.  We are nothing like the generations of women that came before us.  We are groundbreakers, this isn't your Grandma's 60!  This isn't even your Mother's 60.  We don't look, act or feel like the stereotypical women of our age group that came before us and that's just the way we like it.  But let's face it, life in this middle lane, as I like to call it, is certainly not without challenges.  MY TOP 10 TIPS & TRICKS is about taking care of YOU, being in control of YOUR life so that when we are met with the things we can't control we can be strong and resilient and know how to weather the storm.   

Life in this middle lane also comes with new found strength.  We learn to care less about what other people think of us and more about what we think of ourselves.  We learn to speak our minds, create boundaries and that the word NO is a complete sentence.  And we learn the importance of Self Love, Self Esteem and Self Fulfillment.  Self love is asking yourself everyday "what do I need?"  And then doing that.  There's a lot to choose from here so think of it like a menu, one from Column A, one from Column B, and see what works for you.  Also, it's probably the longest blog post in history.  I'm just a rule breaker, what can I say.
 
Is there more maintenance as we get older?  Hell yeah!  But remember it's not about perfection, you're a human-being, a beautiful work in progress.  I live by the 80/20 rule.  80% of the time I'm living by my Top 10's and I feel fabulous.  The other 20% of the time, well, I'm eating too many carbs, too much chocolate and I'm just trying to function.  Yesterday I left the house wearing hoop earrings, however one was silver and one was gold.  Not as bad as the time I got to work with one brown boot and one black boot on, but still.  2020, just trying to function.

And remember, no one's life is better than yours, for every perfectly planned instagram photo there's a pile of dirty laundry waiting for someone's attention.

MY TOP 10 TIPS & TRICKS FOR AGELESS LIVING
  1. SELF CARE
  2. ATTITUDE
  3. MENTAL HEALTH
  4. FITNESS
  5. NUTRITION
  6. VITAMINS 
  7. LEARNING
  8. JOURNALING
  9. CREATIVITY
  10. STYLE
1. SELF CARE ~ there's a reason this one is first and it really encompasses the entire list.  I cannot stress enough how important your self care practice is.  And yes, it's a practice!  Because life is full of distractions and road blocks, other people pulling us in different directions, and if we don't take care of ourselves, no one else will.  It doesn't matter how many loving people are in your life, when it comes to self care it's up to you.  Make yourself a priority.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone say they really need to go to the chiropractor or the acupuncturist, or they think a nutritionist would really help them, or those supplements are too expensive.  But then they'll drop $85 on a new pair of jeans.  Spend your money on your health!!!  Without your health you have nothing.  Again, without your health you have nothing.  I cannot stress that enough.

Self care is self love, there's a good reason they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first.  And it's not just about treats like facials and mani pedis, (although I encourage those things!).  Self care is whatever feeds your soul.  It's cozying up with a good book and/or a cup of tea, it's taking a time out walk, or a long soak in a hot tub, it's anything and everything that makes you happy and you plan it into your days.  My favorite self care musts are my morning and evening routines.  

My Morning Routine ~ I get up with the sun and I do a 10 min morning guided meditation, (I'll share my favorites later), then it's usually onto my yoga mat for stretching a few sun solutations and depending on the day, a walk/run in the hills or some journal writing time.  I always set my intention for the day, and I write it on the calendar in my phone to remind myself of it each time I look at my to-do list.  I do affirmations with my crystals which really grounds me.  And I have hot water with lemon or mint tea and then a protein shake.  Then after all that...... I get ready for work.  It's worth getting up early!  
My Evening Routine  ~ it's a little more unstructured but I try to wind down with end of day yoga for relaxation, maybe some journaling or reading and some herbal tea.  My husband and I watch a few Seinfeld re-runs so I have to work that in too.  I release any energy that I may have picked up during the day from other people that's not for my highest good (a practice recently suggested by a friend) and I think about what I'm grateful for. 

If you have never meditated here are my 3 all time favorite amazing meditaions to help you get started.  All you have to do is sit and listen.  Meditation is truly my saving grace.  And it's not rocket science, seriously, sit and listen.  Then you'll learn how to sit in silence so you can listen to yourself.
  • Guided Morning Meditation, (10 Minutes to Kick Start Your Day) on Youtube.
  • Life is Kind by Sarah Blondin, I can't link it because for this one you'll need Insight Timer which is a free App, the symbol is a little wooden bowl.  This one was everything to me for 2020. 
  • Self Love Healing on Youtube.  This is so beautiful, the visuals and music, if you have trouble clearing you mind watch this one with eyes opened and just enjoy!
Beauty Self Care ~ facials, massages, mani/pedis, spa days, all well deserved treats for all that you do. Treat yourself at least once a week to something that makes you feel beautiful!  It can be as simple as a sheet mask from Target you put on at night (to scare your family, haha) and lay down in the legs up the wall pose (see that below).  It doesn't have to cost money, go on Pinterest and you'll find recipes for all kinds of home made beauty concoctions.  The point is that when you set aside time for you it sends a message to your subconscious that YOU are important!  

Are you a mani/pedi girl?  I am, our salons are closed again, so it's back to bare nails and gray roots.  When Covid lockdown started in March I swear it was the first time I had seen my toes without nail polish since the 7th grade!

Here's a few other ideas to do at home and check out my Self Care Board on Pinterest for lots of TIPS:
  • Oil pulling ~ this has been around for thousands of years and originated in ancient India as an Ayurvedic practice.  It's used for unifying the body by pulling toxins out through your gums and mouth.  You take a spoon full of coconut oil and swish it around for about 10 min, spit it out onto a paper towel (throw it away, don't wash it down the drain since it hardens) then brush your teeth, it also whitens your teeth!
  • Dry brushing ~ also an ancient practice from the Egyptians who were known for their elaborate beauty routines.  Dry brushing should be done from the feet up towards the heart and then down the top of your body to the heart, before a shower and with no oils or lotions, kind of why they call if dry brushing.
  • Foot patches ~ I love these!  Herbal patches you put on the bottom of your feet before you go to sleep.  They are supposed to pull toxins from your body.  In the morning the patches are black.  This is an ancient Japanese practice and it's not been proven scientifically but most of the things I love have not been proven scientifically either, you know, like unicorns and miracles. 
  • Sleep ~ never underestimate the power of a good nights sleep!  It keeps you sharp, it helps with weight loss, powers up your immune system, gives you energy and can cure some of those minor aches and pains.  Find more on my Health and Beauty Board.
Make your bedroom an oasis of calm with these TIPS:
  • Cozy clean sheets and a fluffy quilt or blanket .
  • Add a salt lamp and some house plants. These are great additions to set the sleep mood while naturally purifying your air. 
  • Drink herbal tea to help you fall asleep or take a few drops of Melatonin.
  • If it's not dark enough use an eye mask. 
  • Spry lavender on your pillow.
  • Try sleeping on your back with a neck roll pillow.  This releases pressure on your neck and shoulders and gives your face freedom from those extra creases we don't need.  
  • Candles are so romantic and dreamy to fall asleep to so get some battery operated candles like they use in spas so you won't burn the house down.
  • Have favorite things next to your bed, favorite photos, essential oils, healing crystals, books, journal, flowers.
2. ATTITUDE ~  yes attitude! YOU get to decide on your own attitude, you don't have to be in a bad mood one minute, a good mood the next, depending on what's happening around you, that nasty email you got or that snippy co-worker that pisses you off.  YOU get to control your thoughts which control your feelings and leads to your attitude.

Here is a perfect example of what happens when you let other people have control of your attitude:

Let's say you got your hair cut at lunch time, you love, love, love it!  You can't stop looking in the car mirror all the way back to work.  You park, you take 100 selfies, you know, to get one good one, you post it, best one you've ever taken, you feel absolutely fabulous.  You walk back into the office and a coworker looks at you and says "you cut your hair, I liked it better before" and walks away.  Your head instantly explodes,  you deflate like a punctured balloon, your internal dialogue goes something like this. "WTF? Shit, OMG does it look bad?  What was I thinking cutting it?  I posted a selfie! OMG!  Should I take it down?  Do I look horrible?  Bla, bla, bla.

Your mind is spinning on someone else's comment, which has absolutely no merit, it's the same hair cut that you felt fabulous about a few minutes ago.  So here's your first attitude TRICK.  It's the CANCEL STAMP.  Take a good look at it and when your mind is racing and screwing you over because of someone else, imagine this big fat cancel stamp smacking you right in the forehead.  What does she know anyway, she a no style?  It's easy and once you get the hang of this, you will find that no one else's bull shit can mess with your mood. 
This second TRICK I got from Blanche Devereaux on the Golden Girls (I'm addicted to Golden Girls re-runs).  The 'girls' went to a high school reunion to meet men, it wasn't their high school so they were impersonating other people.  Apparently Blanche was impersonating someone who was hated and 3 people walked up to her to tell her off one after the other.  After the first one rants at her you can see she lets it hit for a split second and then she turns around and says "OH WHO CARES".  And then she says it each time she gets yelled at.  A huge light bulb went off in my head when I watched this and I started to do it.  It is so freeing.  I'm not saying that there aren't going to be issues in your life that are deep and require lots of attention, but for the nonsense in life, like the hair story above, or those emails you get that instantly give you a pit in the stomach over nonsense, this works like a charm.  Try it the next time a car cuts you off and you feel a little road rage coming on, "Oh, who cares",  it's soooo freeing!

In an interview in 1985 actress Rue McClanahan, (who played Blanche), said "the Golden Girls aimed to show that when women mature they add layers.  They don't turn into creatures.  The truth is we all still have our child, our adolescents and our young woman living in us".  Now ain't that the truth!

I like to believe that the Universe has my back, that for every challenge we come up against in life there is a lesson and a greater good to come from it.  Even in our darkest moments our attitude can determine just how much light we let shine through.  If you think you are beating you are.  This line has stuck with me since I discovered this poem by Walter. D. Wintle in my 20's. 

                                                                   If you think you are beaten, you are

If you think you dare not, you don't,
If you like to win, but you think you can't
It is almost certain you won't.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!”

3. MENTAL HEALTH ~ this is a broad category and for the purpose of this post I'm focusing on your mental well being with TIPS for being more aware of your own needs when it comes to your mental health.  This goes back to self care as well:
  • Know your Secret Sauce ~ I wrote about this in a previous post you can read here.  Basically knowing your secret sauce is knowing what grounds you when life gets bumpy.  For me it's faith in knowing that the Universe always has my back. 
  • Create Boundaries ~ know you limits, know what and who stresses you out, acknowledge how you're feeling and be assertive and direct.
  • Be Mindful ~ this may sound etherial but it's not.  Being mindful of what you are doing when you are doing it keeps you from having accidents.  It helps with your minute to minute judgements and decision making and can stop you from mindlessly shoving a package of cookies in your face.  I speak from experience. 
  • Meditation ~ scientifically proven to lower blood pressure, cure illness, add longevity to your life and reduce corstisol, the stress (and fat) hormone.  Not to mention that once you start meditating you will see so many positive shifts in your life you'll understand what all the fuss is about.
  • Gratitude ~ focus on gratitude even in your toughest times.  This will help maintain your strength. There is magic in the Universe that reacts when you focus on gratitude.  It brings you more to be grateful for.
  • Affirmations ~ start your day with affirmations.  It's easy, start with the words 'I am' and fill in the rest.  For example;  I am healthy...I am strong...I am prosperous...I am worthy...
  • How you Spend Your time ~ are you doing the things that bring you joy?  Make a list with two columns.  In the first column list all the things you love to do, the stuff that really makes you happy. And these can be anything from simply curling with a good book, or wild like jumping out of an airplane (haha, not me) but anything goes on your list, it's yours, for your eyes only.  In the second column next to each item in the first column (think pre-Covid), note the last time you did each of those things.  If there's a big discrepancy it's time to change it up and include more of what you love into your daily life! (post Covid) You may even find things on your list of loves that you have never done, but always wanted to.  Remember, life is not waiting for you to join, you've had the power all along!
4. FITNESS ~ I'm sorry to tell you that there is no magic pill, diet, shake, potion or guru to losing weight during or post menopause.  There is one thing and you're probably not gonna like it.  It's stinky and uncomfortable and makes you wash you hair more often then you want to.  It's sweat.  Good old fashioned, stinky, drippy, clothes staining, hair wrecking, extra laundry doing stink'n sweat. It's up to you, you will get out what you put in.  There are so many work-out specialists on line and at you fingertips everyday.  If you want to get motivated it's just an instagram post away!  Invest in good work out sneaks, water bottle, ear buds if you listen to music or mediations while you work out or walk and an outfit you feel good in, it does motivate you.  And don't forgot the sun screen if you work-out outside. 
Whether you challenge yourself to 10,000 steps a day, ride a bike, jump on a treadmill, take a class (virtual for now) dance, stretch, do yoga, pilates, the list goes on.  Guess what this means, there's no excuses!  I recently wrote a post about the big M and fitness, you can read it here.  Currently I do walk/run 4x a week and do yoga in between with Zoe from Yoga Burn.  I love her 15 minute sweaty combos.  But there are so many restorative yoga poses, called Asanas, very important, especially ones you can do before bed.  These are relaxing poses that keep you supple, release stress, lower blood pressure and have kept yogis living until they're 100.  Here's a few to try.  My go to is legs up the wall. 
5. NUTRITION ~  best TIP here, EAT YOUR VEGGIES!  Sometimes it's not always about the things we give up, but the things we add.  If you commit to eating one or more servings of fruits and/or veggies with every meal, you will fill your body with anti inflammatory foods.  Inflammation is the root of so many diseases and it comes from our bodies being more acid then alkaline.  The best way to counter act that is with fruits and veggies.  I try to sneak them in at every meal.  For breakfast I make a shake with unsweetened almond milk, protein powder a handful of spinach and usually frozen pineapple and cherries.  Then around 10 am I have avocado toast.  Sometimes I'll do a veggie juice but shakes are quicker to make so during the week I usually stick to that.  Lunch is protein and salad with veggies and dinner protein and veggies or sometimes just veggies.  I know that I'm getting what I need so when I'm snacking, and I am, I may be eating nuts but throw in some chocolate chips with them, or plain greek yogurt with banana and nuts and agave.  I do love cheese and will not give it up so I usually have it with nut crackers or some other type of gluten free cracker.  The things I avoid mostly are processed foods, sugar and gluten.  Once you get the hang of it you can get creative.  Lots more ideas on my Health and Beauty Board.  Around menopause there are certain foods that trigger your metabolism for the better and some people call them meta blasters here's the list:
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Lentils
  • Pomegranates
  • Quinoa
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Raw nuts ~ walnuts and brazil nuts are good for your brain
  • Seeds ~ pumpkin seeds are great antioxidants and sunflower seeds are great brain boosters
  • Cucumbers
  • Watermelon
  • Spices ~ turmeric and cinnamon and ginger
  • Onions and garlic
  • Tea, tea and more tea!  Green and Herbal  
  • Water ~ lugging a water bottle with you everywhere used to be trendy, but the truth is there's no better way to clear your gut, move toxins through your body, lose weight, keep your skin looking good and keep you hydrated then good old H2O.
TRICK ~ combine things, add seeds to your salad and nuts to your oatmeal or yogurt.  Trader Joes has a yummy tumeric and ginger tea and I add an orange green tea to it.  So in one cup you're now having antioxidant green tea along with a good dose of ginger and tumerac.  After I have a cup of hot I also make ice tea with it.  Not a fan of veggies like broccoli and cauliflower?  Try roasting them in the oven.  Just spread them on a baking sheet pour olive oil over them with salt or other spice you like, toss and cook at 400 until they get really well done, especially the broccoli and cauliflower, wait till it's brown/blackish around the edges, you will never steam them ever again!  I also add big cloves of garlic when I roast veggies, it caramelizes and is so good and good for you!  

Another TRICK is to eat the rainbow, the more color in your diet the better.  And just to be clear I do not mean colored candy :O   

TIP ~ if you have a vice, an indulgence, mix it with something healthy.  Since Saturdays used to be the day I loved to go out to lunch (well, every day, but especially Saturday) before Covid, I have a lockdown special for lunch now on Saturdays.  My vice, Kettle Krinkle Cut Potato Chips but I make dip for them with non fat Greek yogurt with lots of garlic powder, it off sets the bad of the chips, just a bit.

6. VITAMINS / SUPPLIMENTS ~  sharing what works for me.  Do your research!  I'm a huge believer in supplements.  Vitamins and herbs can work wonders for all sorts of issues.  I know this first hand from dealing with an auto immune disorder in my 20's with the help of an amazing nutritionist.

  • Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc ~ bone density, anxiety and imunity boosting support.  Whenever I feel the slightest anything coming on I put liquid zinc in my water and zap, gone.
  • Vitamin D ~ most of us know this as the sunshine vitamin, it produces the results of the sun in your body.  It also helps with bone density, immune support and most people don't know that a vitamin D deficiency can cause depression.  
  •  B Complex ~ B vitamins improve energy levels, support brain function, cell metabolism and cardiovascular health.
  • Para Thyrolate and L-Tyrosine ~ for thyroid support.  
  • CoQ-10 ~ a great antioxidant that helps fight aging and support brain function. 
  • Ginko Biloba ~ another supplement that supports brain function.
  • Selestro  ~ this was recommended to me by a nutritionist to fight off menopause symptoms and it really did the trick.  It has Black Cohash in it which works as a natural estrogen.  If you are taking any kind of synthetic estrogens or estrogen therapy check with your doctor before taking any herbal supplements.  
  • AHCC ~ during Covid I added this one, it's the worlds leading immune booster made of medicinal mushrooms.
  • Vitamin E ~ important for your organs especially your heart.
  • Ashwagandha ~ known to reduce anxiety and fight off stress and boost brain function.
  • Vitiman C ~ great immune support.
  • Biotin ~ promotes hair growth.
7. LEARNING ~ never stop, that's all, just never stop learning!  Challenge yourself from the smallest things to the biggest things.  Plant a garden, learn a new language, start a new career!  It's NEVER too late to take on a new challenge, no matter how big or small.  This is what keeps us ageless.

8. JOURNALING ~ one of my favorite go-to's especially in times of stress and/or crisis.  Journaling is very therapeutic and if you're feeing like you have no one to talk to a journal can be your best friend.   There are many forms of journaling from your 7th grade Dear Diary where you wrote every detail of everything that ever happened to you, to morning pages created by author Julia Cameron, where you write to dump everything in your head first thing in the morning.  And it doesn't have to make sense or be legible.  There's gratitude journals, therapy journals and my favorite, art journals.  I've been art journaling since I was a teenager, although back then it was called collaging, now it's a thing.  You pull out pictures from magazines, or on line, things that inspire you, places you want to visit, things you'd like to manifest, it's a very tactile activity and you'll surprised at how using your hand to cut and paste frees up your mind.  If you don't want start a book, start with just one piece of paper, you can make a vision board, some people call it a treasure map.  I came across a vision board of mine I saved that was 30 year old!  Everything on the board has manifested in my life!  Give it a try.

9. CREATIVITY ~ people used to think they weren't creative if they couldn't paint or draw.  The word creativity basically means the will to create.  It is all encompassing, it means whatever you do that gives you a creative spark makes you creative.  You don't have to fit into any box.  One of my sister-in-laws once said to me that she wished she was creative.  She's an amazing cook, sends out beautiful homemade cards, grows a phenomenal veggie garden and decorates her house beautifully.  She's so creative!   Creativity is as simple as setting a table or as complex as painting a master piece.  Sing, dance, write a poem, paint by numbers, art journal, garden, try new things.  It's all creative!

10. STYLE ~ take my style test here.  It's easy and a real eye opener.  Start a fashion board on Pinterest, I have two.  Once you start pinning what you like your style will emerge.  And style is ageless.  Don't let anyone ever tell you what you should wear over a certain age, that's just BS.  I defer to my favorite style icons for advice:
MY FAVORITE BOOKS ON ALL OF THE ABOVE TOPICS

INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS FOR A DAILY DOES OF INSPIRATION


Cheers to 2021, may it be your best year ever!