10 Health Tips for Your 40s
Your 40s mark a unique period of transition and change. Physically, mentally, and socially, you and your experiences are evolving.
Left alone, this decade also could be one of declining abilities. With the goal of living up to your potential, here are 10 healthy habits to make your 40s your finest years yet.
Balance the Generations
Your children are getting older and adding new levels of stress to your life. Your parents are getting older, as well, requiring more care and effort on your part.
Both the generation above you and below you need your resources, which means you are in the sandwich generation. This state is an exercise in balance and dividing your resources carefully among the important people in your life.
If situations and stressors grow beyond your control, don’t hesitate to employ others to aid your mission.
Manage the Crisis
People often feel a strong sense of discomfort in their 40s. The difference between the expectations and the reality of their life can be shocking.
When your midlife crisis comes, be ready. Start by accurately identifying your situation and feelings, rather than blaming other people or things in your life.
Once you acknowledge the crisis, you can stop yourself from making impulsive decisions like buying a new car or having an affair. You survive the crisis by taking account of your accomplishments and realizing your life is full of successes. Sometimes they are harder to notice.
Mindfulness is about staying in the present moment and being aware of yourself and your surroundings. When you are not being mindful, you could be distracted and disconnected from your life.
Choose to stay connected with mindfulness by putting down the phone, doing one thing at a time, and focusing on one thought at a time. Multitasking is the enemy of mindfulness.
You don’t have the energy and motivation of a 20-year-old, and that is okay. Rather than feeling that you’ve lost a step, consider ways to put your energy to better use.
By being efficient with your energy, you use your wisdom to compensate. Efficiency is based on being streamlined and methodical in your actions. It’s working smart instead of working hard.
Treat Your Body Well
In your 40s, demands pull you in a multitude of directions. Your job, your kids, your parents all need your time and attention.
With all of these people and things stealing your focus, you have less energy for yourself, leading to poorer self-care. Rather than preparing a quality meal for yourself, getting enough rest, and making time to exercise, you find yourself hungry, tired, and sedentary.
Being happy and healthy in your 40s requires you to eat well, sleep well, and exercise several times each week. Of course, this sounds impossible with your schedule, but your schedule will be impossible without treating your body well.
Caring for a child with chickenpox is a serious risk for any parent who has not had chickenpox before or who has not been vaccinated.
Treat Your Mind Well
Improving your physical health is essential, but it is only half of the equation. Your physical health works intimately with your mental health, so one cannot flourish without the other.
Treating your mind well usually starts with attending to your thoughts and feelings. As you age, you may be more prone to fall into a rut of negative thinking that results in unwanted feelings, but it is never too late to challenge your thinking and find ways to avoid repeating problematic thoughts.
Stay Socially Active
The opportunities for making new friends seem to shrink steadily throughout adulthood. As your kids’ independence grows, you may find yourself cut off from building relationships through school activities.
The benefits of a healthy social life are countless, so make a better effort to find situations where new relationships are possible. By joining a class, team, or other activity, you can build a new friendship with someone who will boost your mood and offer a new perspective on the world.
Engage Your Brain
What have you done for your brain today? You may still feel sharp and focused, but some cognitive decline could be already affecting you.
By stimulating your brain with toys, games, and puzzles, you can ensure your memory, decision making, and attention are with you for years to come.
Strive for Happiness
Everybody wants to be happy, but what have you done to achieve happiness today? Have you pushed your limits in an active assault against the status quo, or have you remained in your comfortable, yet unsatisfying, routine?
Happiness does not arrive at your doorstep. You must seek it out daily by doing the things you like with the people you love.
The pursuit of happiness does not have to be a selfish endeavor. You’ll feel happier by making other people feel happier, too.
In your 40s, you might look at your life as a stuck and stagnate state with no hope of change. You might feel there is nothing to can do to make things better, so you don’t even try.
Settling for anything less than what you want is a failure, and do not let yourself fail, especially when there is so much life left. Small changes lead to big differences.
Start setting new goals for what you want to do in the future and plan ways to achieve these goals. You can get unstuck and see your world as a place full of hope and possibility.