Hello to 40!
Welcome to your forties! An age synonymous with family life (juggling children, a partner and/or extended family and ageing parents), career developments (really making a name for yourself) and sometimes, when the off-chance arises, finding even a glimmer of hope to look after yourself.
Okay, who am I kidding, juggling all of these things is HARD WORK. Is it really possible to “have it all” in your forties? Chances are, especially if you have children to look after, and a partner to support (be it financially, emotionally, romantically or all of the above) somewhere along the way you have forgotten to look after yourself. And how can you POSSIBLY put yourself first and up your self-love when you have mouths to feed, soccer practice to attend, and a job to maintain?!
Too often we get caught up in the tick-boxes of life, moving from one thing to the next, and hardly taking a breath for ourselves, until it is too late. We become bitter or disappointed or, worst of all, unwell, because we have been second best after all these years.
Jada Smith NAILS it in this YouTube clip:
In order to be the BEST wife and mother, you must be the best version of you. And to be the best version of you, it is your RESPONSIBILITY to put yourself first. To really look after yourself, to love yourself enough to feel completely worthy of your own love. (Not to mention the beautiful example this leaves for your children.) Tips of self-love can be found here
Here are some quick and simple ways to start putting you first:
Keep one week night free
Pick one night a week that is your time to do whatever you feel like. This might be an early night in bed with a cup of tea, or perhaps it’s dinner out with your friends.
Whatever it is, ensure it is the same night each week – so it becomes a habit and something you truly look forward to. If you have children, ask your partner or a family member to look after them. If this isn’t possible, incorporate them into your evening – have a dinner in with friends, or read a book with a tea while your children to their homework. There will
ALWAYS be obstacles and opportunities – if you say “I can’t” then you are right. Start to look for the opportunities and notice the space you have in your week for you-time.
Too often we wait for ‘reasons’ to treat ourselves to a manicure or a bubble bath. Start to treat yourself just because! Run yourself a bath with candles and oils on a Saturday night while hubby is with the kids.
Book yourself in for a facial or massage for no other reason than it is going to make you FEEL good – and because you deserve it!
Here are some treatments you could consider in your forties
Start a journaling practice
Journaling allows us to get out of our mind and onto the page, tapping into our emotions at a soul level we sometimes dismiss. Before you close your eyes at night, write a quick reflection of your day. Get it all out onto the page – your stresses, your emotions, your gratitude’s – everything. Start to connect with how you are truly feeling, so you can make the appropriate changes to really look after yourself.
When we are caught up in the motions of life, we find ourselves in auto-pilot – rushing from one thing onto the next, with barely any breathing room. Start to notice the gaps in your day that can really bring you back to the present moment.
It may be practicing deep belly breaths while waiting at a red light. Maybe it is walking a lap of the oval while your children train for sport. It could even be pumping up your favourite music while cooking dinner for your family. Start to notice ways you can make little moments more enjoyable for you, to really BE in the moment, enjoying the littlest things.
How do you manage your own wellbeing while juggling family and a career?