Please note that the title of this post is How to Look and Feel More Youthful, not How to Look Younger! Although I admit it’s flattering when someone tells me I look younger than my 50 years, I believe the secret to living a healthier and more satisfying life is being youthful, no matter what your age is. I meet women who at 30 look defeated and bitter, and ladies who at 60, wrinkles and all, exude life and energy. Which of the two do you think looks and feels more youthful? Which would you prefer to hang out with? To give you a better idea of what I’m aiming for with this post, visualize some synonyms of youthful: spry, sprightly, vigorous and active. It´s not about trying to look 20 at 40, but about having joie de vivre at any age.
The following are some of tips to stay limber of mind, body and soul, from your biological youth to your golden years:
STAND UP STRAIGHT
Nothing ages you more than slouching. Bad posture is not a result of ageing. It happens because of lack of exercise and body-awareness. Stand tall at all times and you will look and feel better for your entire life.
Even if you don’t adhere to a strict exercise regime, make sure you stay active regularly. A little bit of exercise every week for a lifetime will keep you limber. Going all out in your youth and becoming a couch potato when you’re older puts you on the fast track to ageing.
Read Related: Fabulous at 50! 7 Women Who Embrace Their Decade
SLEEP A LOT
Our culture seems to look down on those who get more than 6 hours of shut-eye. We wear working hard and sleeping little as badges of honor. But sleep is the time during which the body repairs, so make sure you get at least 8 hours straight and if you can’t, then take naps, meditate or relax at regular intervals.
KEEP YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR
Bitter people look older and most likely scare away potential lovers and friends—which in turn makes them more bitter. No matter what obstacles you´ve had to face in life, a good attitude helps overcome the next ones and be open to new relationships and connections. I know beautiful women with pleasant demeanours who’ve gone through the unthinkable, such as the loss of a child. And I also know women embittered by divorce or poor career decisions who look “old” in their forties. Don’t take yourself too seriously, ever!
DRESS YOUR STYLE, NOT YOUR AGE
Despite the flak middle aged women get for sharing clothes with their teen daughters, I believe you can actually pull that off! Not by wearing a T-shirt that shows your midriff when you really should be wearing a girdle, but by developing your own sense of style that is ageless. Just a week ago I retired a see-thru top for that reason. But I wouldn’t be caught dead in sensible shoes and a plaid skirt.
WEAR YOUR HAIR THE WAY YOU LIKE IT
I didn’t cut my signature long hair when I hit 40, nor when I turned 50 last summer. However, I have a friend who sports a pixie cut that she got in her mid 40´s after having three kiddos. She looks great, but it´s not for me. Don’t be coerced into a hairstyle that makes you look 10 years older—a good hairstyle should subtract years from your look. And everyone is different.
WEAR MAKEUP, JUST NOT A LOT OF IT
Under-eye concealer, a good CC cream, smudged eyeliner, mascara, lip-gloss and cream blush are enough to make anyone look refreshed but not overdone. The key is for your skin to look dewy and for your eyes to look rested. Swear off dark lip colors and powdery foundation.
HANG OUT WITH PEOPLE OF ALL AGES
Don’t lose touch with the younger generations, or you run the risk of dating yourself in more than one way. Of course you are older and hopefully wiser, but try not to lose the sense of wonder and hope you had when you were young. Also seek out those older than you. They will help you realize how much more of life is ahead of you and how young you really are.
PURSUE YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE
No matter what age you are, if you pursue your life’s purpose, that which your heart desires, that which helps you feel you can make a difference, that which you would do for free because you love it so much … you will always look and feel youthful. Nurture your passion and that will keep you alive until your last breath. I will never forget how my grandfather would write poetry, paint and sculpt, until the day he died. I aspire to do the same.