Midlife can be a time of many changes, be it health, hormonal, appearance, lifestyle or wellbeing. Here are our 15 top tips for health and happiness in midlife, to help you navigate this life stage with confidence (including some sage advice from friends of Willowberry taken from our Age Without Apology Insta Live interview series).
Remember it’s just a phase
One way to navigate those midlife bumps in the road is to take yourself back to your teenage years; remember how excruciatingly awkward it could all feel? The mood swings, the uncertainty, the feeling that everything is in flux and your feet are no longer on solid ground? Then remember too that it passes.
Be a little bit selfish
Between career and home, teenage children and elderly parents, appointments and responsibilities, midlife can sometimes be a time when your time is not your own. So take any opportunity to do something for yourself even if it’s just going for a mind-clearing walk, sitting in a coffee shop with a cappuccino or losing yourself in a book.
Get strong, keep moving
“Exercise has anti-inflammatory properties; it’s a great stress-buster; it helps you to sleep; and it’s been shown to help women who suffer with things like hot flushes,” explains Emma Bardwell, Nutritional therapist and women’s health specialist. “Focus on strength training, particularly if you are suffering from weight gain. Building muscle mass has massive physical benefits and it’s really empowering for women too.”
Look more confident in 2 seconds (even if you’re not feeling it)
“One of the quickest tricks is your posture,” says Ruby Hammer MBE, international make-up artist. “If you just open up the shoulders and stand upright you are already pulling everything up.”
Call on the professionals
With the conversation around perimenopause and menopause coming out into the open, the stigma surrounding asking for help if you need it is, thankfully, starting to lessen. If you’re worried about any physical or emotional symptoms, your GP should be your first port of call and/or find your nearest menopause clinic via the British Menopause Society.
“Eat plenty of plant-based foods, lots of colour, lots of diversity, lots of antioxidants, lots of healthy fats,” advises Emma Bardwell, Nutritional therapist and women’s health specialist. “Add in plenty of vitamin E sources like avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds, and stay hydrated. Hone in on those basics. Look to things like phytoestrogens (oestrogens in plant form). You’ll find them in things like soy, tofu, flaxseeds, chickpeas.”
Consider a supplement
You might want to think about adding a supplement or two into your daily routine to make sure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. B vitamins along with vitamin D and C and magnesium all have benefits for women in midlife but it’s always advisable to check with a healthcare professional before taking supplements especially if you are on medication.
Fashion a new look
“Don’t lose sight of the fact that as we get older we need a bit more structure,” reveals TV fashion stylist Gemma Sheppard. “I love a shoulder pad, I love popping up a collar, I love a scarf. All these things are good at creating structure. When we start to lose structure in our face and bodies we need to inject structure in our fashion. Good underwear makes a massive difference.”
Take care of your skin – and how you view your skin
Ditch the concept of ‘anti-ageing’ and aim for your best skin, whatever your age or stage. Lines and wrinkles are entirely normal as we get older, so don’t feel you need to reverse them. Willowberry is nutritious natural skincare for grown-ups, for your best skin. Our high-performance range protects your skin’s natural barrier function with a focus on vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids to hydrate, soothe and add radiance.
Do something radical
“I spent a lot of my years feeling scared so when I turned 40 I was determined this was going to be the decade I was braver,” explains model, Rachel Peru. “I’ve said yes to everything and very much worried about it afterwards! Just be really true to yourself and don’t let your age stop you from trying anything new. That’s where the magic happens. When you find that thing that brings you joy.”
Don’t feel you need to be ‘age appropriate’
Whether it’s the way you dress or how you present your face or hair or body to the world. Wear that short skirt, keep your hair long and embrace your grey. Or don’t. There are no rules. You do you.
“Keep on being interested in the world and what is going on, every aspect of it,” urges 81 year old influencer and blogger, Sandra Sallin. “Be it palaeontology, make-up, whatever it is, just be involved.”
Build a network
Friends, family, colleagues, the guy behind the till in your corner shop. The past two years have shown us the importance of community. From a shoulder to cry on to a nod and a smile as you go about your day, surround yourself with people who lift you up.
Achieve a gorgeous glow
“There isn’t one magic product, you have to look at the whole routine,” recommends top facialist and skincare expert, Abigail James. “Cleanse morning and night; invest in a serum; a tonic for hydration; and definitely moisturiser and SPF. I’d then throw in some exfoliation in whatever form you prefer. And finally, don’t underestimate what we eat, the lifestyle we lead and our stress levels. It’s a complete, holistic package.”
Or at least rest. Recharge those batteries and remember that sometimes doing nothing is the most productive use of your time.
Willowberry is nutritious natural skincare for grown-ups, for your best skin.
A favourite with top make-up artists, Willowberry's luxurious award-winning products protect skin’s natural barrier function, to nourish and revive grown-up skin without telling women to be 'anti-ageing'.
As seen in Vogue, Independent, The Telegraph, This Morning and more.