People have often described me as young-at-heart and in fact, the Blazen Divaz, the parade and performance team that I belong to, describes themselves as a group of young-at-heart women and they really are. One of our members is over 80. She still dances, is active around the community and takes many leadership roles.
In the “Young at Heart” song sung by Doris Day and Frank Sinatra, the first lyrics go like this:
Fairy tales can come true It can happen to you if you’re young at heart For it’s hard, you will find To be narrow of mind if you’re young at heart
You can go to extremes with impossible schemes You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams And life gets more exciting with each passing day And love is either in your heart or on it’s way
Don’t you know that it’s worth Every treasure on earth to be young at heart For as rich as you are It’s much better by far to be young at heart
It’s such a positive song!
I feel that staying young-at-heart is important to living your best life. Scientists are finding that people who feel younger than their chronological age are usually healthier and more psychologically resilient than those who feel every bit as old as their chronological age.
So how does one stay young at heart?
1. Get Out of the House
If you’re trying to keep yourself young at heart, the worst possible thing you can do is stay at home all the time. This is especially important if your job is a work-from-home job. I work from home and often I need to push myself to get out and do some errands or go to a networking meeting. Otherwise, I have a tendency to stay in pajamas all day!
Too many seniors make this mistake when they retire. It ages them prematurely and leads to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and loneliness. And even before Covid, this has been a problem that has increased. We need to begin fighting against this WAY before retirement.
How often should you aim to get out of the house? The best answers depend on your living situation -do you live alone? With a significant other? With extended family? How many days you should be out doing something varies based on your home situation but the most common recommendation is to leave your house at least three days a week.,
If you don’t have many social connections right now, it’s imperative that you make some. Your local community is bound to have groups or regular meetings for something that interests you. Volunteer, take a class – pottery, yoga, and/or internet marketing come to mind, join a networking group or small group at church. Any of these could lead to new social opportunities and friendships. Polka Dot Powerhouse is a national organization of women whose mission is “to connect the world’s most positive, action-forward, amazing women to build lifelong friendships and business relationships”. You don’t need to be a business owner to join.
2. Try Something New!
Have you ever taken any of the personality tests such as Myers-Briggs or Strengths Finder or one that seems to be popular these days – Enneagram? I always enjoy them and learning more about myself. When I took Strengths Finder, one of my results was “Learner” which basically means that I like learning new thingsor doing new things all the time.
But I would as you, when was the last time you did something new – something you’ve never tried before? Was it recently or so long ago that you can barely recall? Or maybe it was somewhere in between.
People who stay young at heart try new things regularly, or at least semi-regularly. It’s important to stay curious about life and there’s ALWAYS something new to learn or do. Trying new things benefits you both physically and psychologically. It makes you feel good, expands your horizons, and lets you know that you’re alive. Plus, the endorphins make you happy.
It doesn’t need to be something huge like skydiving or bungee jumping, but if you want to do those things and are healthy enough for them, that’s perfectly fine, as well. (I’m afraid of heights so I’ll be doing NONE of those, not even ziplining!
The types of new things you can try for this exercise are endless. Are there still things you want to learn? gourmet cooking, memoir writing, pottery throwing, blogging, macrame (this is what I’m currently trying to learn), jewelry-making? Another thing I was looking at trying is aerial yoga! That looks pretty fun! Check your local college or studio to see what kinds of things they offer. Some of these things could even turn into a part-time side hustle!
Traveling counts too (now that it’s more open)! So does learning to play a musical instrument. Hiking, taking a cruise, starting a garden, tutoring children, learning to bake -anything you have never done before counts as trying something new and will help to keep you young at heart.
If you’re having trouble deciding what to choose, take out a sheet of paper and brain dump for 10 minutes to make a list of all the things you’ve thought about trying but haven’t. Cross out any that aren’t realistic or are out of reach right now for various reasons, such as your schedule or budget. But promise me you won’t cross them ALL out.
Prioritize what you have on your list and choose one to start with. Mark things off as you try them. If you make it through the whole list, just make another one and do it again. You’ll be trying new things -and staying young at heart -for a long time to come.
3. Move Your Body
Mobility and continued mobility is so so important to staying young at heart. Because when you’re able to move with vim and vigor, you just naturally feel better. In the last few years, with people working from home or on furlough or off work, we’ve been sitting a lot more. And I’m sure you’ve heard that “sitting is the new smoking”. It does a lot of damage. If you don’t move your body enough, you will age faster and end up with more health problems than you otherwise would have.
That doesn’t mean that you have to join a gym, unless of course, you like gyms! Any purposeful activity you engage in that makes you move your body is exercise. Yoga and tai chi are two low-impact forms of exercise that are popular with women over 50. Walking at a quick pace is also excellent and is actually better than running for midlife women.
One type of exercise often overlooked is dancing. Every form of dancing is great exercise. Even though nost towns do not have a group like my Blazen Divaz, most towns DO have places offering dance classes. Some places offer a different form of dance each month -ballroom one month, line dancing the next, and so forth. There are also online dance classes such as TapFit, an tap fitness workout. If you like ballet, there are classes on Udemy, on online learning platform.
As usual, the most important thing is not what kind of exercise you choose, but that you choose to move your body and that you do so regularly. That’s what will keep you young and fit.
(Important note: if you’re not used to exercising, get your doctor’s permission before you start!)
4. Revamp your skincare and makeup routine.
Our skin changes a lot during midlife, starting in our 40s and the skincare and makeup we had been using are no longer good enough. Your skin becomes thinner, loses fat, and collagen and no longer looks as plump and smooth as it once did. And then, with menopause, estrogen depletion causes even more changes. We need to add different products to our skincare regime and change the kind of makeup we use. In the past, it was difficult to find good products for women over 50. Fortunately brands are seeing that midlife women have buying power and that they have been neglected in the industry so they are creating more products for us.
Hormonal changes also affect our hair. It may thin out and not be as full as it once was.
What can you do?
Help maintain your collagen levels.
As we age, our existing collagen breaks down, and it gets harder for our body to produce more. Collagen in the deep layers of the skin goes from a finely ordered network of fibers to a disorganized maze the older we become.
Use products make for midlife skin such as hyaluronic acid, retinol and vitamin C, E serum. But with so many serums, how do you even use them? What goes on first? What can combine with the other serums?
Read on here to find out!
Here are just a few of my favorite brands for skincare, hair care and makeup.
Yeouth Skincare – excellent products for those on a budget. You can also find them on Amazon.
Rejuvalift – this is a product that helps with undereye bags, wrinkles, crepey texture and lines as soon as you put it on. It lasts all day. It really does make a difference!
City Beauty – a lot of really nice skincare products. Their clear lip plumping gloss is great! And I love their packaging!
Better Not Younger – haircare made especially for women over 50. They also have a probiotic.
5. Start a side hustle!
A friend messaged me on Facebook last week saying that her husband had to unexpectedly retire (there seems to be a lot of that going around) and that she needed to find some additional work to do as they are not financially set. She was wondering if I knew of any at-home businesses – something that didn’t require a college education.
A lot of people have left the workforce and are now doing something from home – they’re calling it the mass resignation. Still other people are looking for a way to add to their income or change its origin so that will carry them into their retirement years.
You’re first thought upon hearing this suggestion might be “no way,” but starting a new gig brings excitement, a sense of purpose, hope and more! All of that leads to feeling young at heart!
Here are some things you might consider to start a side hustle.
- Translation services – if you speak more than one language
- Delivery services – Uber Eats or DoorDash
- Become a coach or mentor
- Find a direct sales company that you LOVE – can be lucrative and has growth but you really need to love the products in order to sell well. (With Facebook group parties, you can also do this online to a certain extent.)
- Teach a skill – for example, knitting, macrame’, cooking, upholstery
- Teach an online course – crocheting, coaching, organizing, cooking, wine education, personal development
- Affiliate sales – through Amazon, Shop Style Collective or another affiliate platform
- Transcribe videos – you can make $15-$20 per audio hour, more for those with legal or medical background
- Write freelance content
- Start and monetize a blog
- Rent things out on FatLlama
- Make YouTube tutorials
- Start a dropshipping business
6. Volunteer With Young People
Volunteering in any capacity is good for you and will help you stay young at heart and meet new friends. Volunteering with young people, however, is especially good for staying young-at-heart.
Researchers haven’t identified exactly why, but there is something about being around young people (defined as anyone under 25) regularly that seems to slow down our mental aging process and keep us young at heart.
Maybe it’s all of that extra energy transfer from younger people to us midlife peeps! Regardless of the reason, volunteering with young people is something to consider.
What kind of volunteer work is available? To start with the obvious one, educational help in the form of tutoring is always needed. Or, now that schools seem to be open, volunteering in the classroom could be an idea.
Every community needs volunteer tutors at schools, community centers, and other places. You will need to fill out an application and pass a background check, but you don’t have to have been a teacher.
Mentoring young people is another great option. Not every kid or young adult has someone to help them grow into adulthood. Organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters are dedicated to matching at-risk youth with adults who are willing to mentor them. There are also organizations working with foster kids who have aged out of the system, or women who are escaping domestic violence who accept mentors.
Another option is to volunteer to help out with sports. Most kids, teen, and college-age sporting leagues depend on a legion of volunteers for coaching, refereeing, setting up and taking down equipment, and a host of other activities. No matter what sport is your favorite, you can probably find a group that needs your help.
Do you have grandchildren? Why not volunteer at their school? All schools need adults to volunteer everywhere from the cafeteria to the library to the theater. They are usually glad to have grandparents willing to help.
You could also volunteer at local arts or music organizations, or at any local museum that caters to a lot of young people. These groups always need volunteers. You could be a tour guide, lecturer, or even work in the gift shop. I’ve volunteered as an usher for our local summer theatre and for our philharmonic orchestra performances and it was lots of fun!
Children’s hospitals always need volunteers. Libraries often do too. Local festivals and fairs are usually run by volunteers and are often directed at young people.
These are just a few of the many opportunities for volunteering with young people. Helping young people is a great way for you to stay young at heart while also doing good in your community.
7. Teach Something
I’m sure you know that you don’t have to be a professional educator in order to teach something. In fact, the best way of truly learning something is to teach it – learn it, do it, teach it.
What skills do you have? What kind of things do you know how to do? They can be academic or practical skills.
Here are some thoughts on subjects that you can teach:
Sewing, Knitting, crocheting, macrame’
Woodworking or upholstery
Computer software such as Microsoft word or Keynote
If you know how to do something well, you can teach it.
The next question you probably have is how would you go about doing so. Well, your local senior center, lifetime learning institute, and/or community college or even grammar schools often need instructors in all of these areas. (I taught sign language to my daughter’s 6th grade class waaay back when.) Most of these positions are voluntary or pay only a nominal wage but what you get out of them is worth it.
Other options for teaching include registering with a local arts center or group dedicated to the topic and teaching through them. Museums often need specialists to come in periodically and teach classes related to their subject matter. This is especially true of art and science museums.
If you’re mechanically, artistically or technically inclined, you can join your local Makers group and teach your skills to new people. There are a lot of women right now who are looking to learn things related to fiber arts – sewing, knitting, crocheting, and macrame. And right now, with our economy as it is, having this skill would come in handy for creating birthday and holiday gifts on a budget.
And then, of course, there is also online. This has become a very popular way to teach. some of the places where you can create and offer a course are Udemy, Thinkific (which is what I use), Teachable, Podia, and many more.
Teaching gives you all the benefits you need to stay young at heart. It gets you out of the house, engages your mind, and lets you get social interaction. Look at your skill set and see if there’s anything that you might be able to teach. Teaching could be just what you’re looking for!
So there you have it – 7 ways to stay young at heart! If you’re looking to stay young-at-heart, which one will you try first?
LEARN TO LOVE YOUR LIFE AGAIN
Do you feel like you need to hit the REFRESH button on your life? Download our free guide and begin to create your best life yet!