I have definitely reached middle age. How do I know? There are a few tell tale signs you might be able to relate to. The most obvious sign is that I now love Radio 2, and ‘Gardener’s World’, and I was very excited to join the National Trust a couple of years ago. Bits of me are starting to sag, and other bits are sprouting hairs where they didn’t used to. I can’t easily read tiny writing on food labels anymore. I’m suddenly very disturbed by the fact I don’t have a single family photo of my childhood, and that I’ve never even printed my son’s baby photos, let alone put them in an album. I’m also, weirdly fascinated by death and I’ll happily while away my lunch break watching ‘Ask A Mortician’ on YouTube, (which is more entertaining than you might think!).
I’m sure it’s pretty normal to start both reminiscing, and pondering your mortality at my age, and let’s face it, the news reminds us of our mortality every day at the moment. I’m cool with my aging body, including all the sags and sproutings, but I can also see that I need to take more care over my maintenance nowadays.
Caring For Yourself In Middle Age
Most things wear a little with age, but some of us wear faster than others. Why is that? Genetics come into it, but the more important factors are the ones we can influence ourselves. Free radical damage from stress, poor diet, and pollutants can all speed up the aging process. Not only can we do our best to minimise our exposure to these, we can increase our intake of antioxidant foods which help to reduce the damage. Simply doing the basics, like ensuring we eat well, sleep well, drink enough water, and get regular exercise can make a big difference.
Hormonal Changes During Middle Age
All women will know to expect menopause around now, but there are so many symptoms that we don’t always notice the early signs. The hormone changes we see in perimenopause can lead to a kind of second adolescence, but it can last around 10 years, usually from our early 40’s onwards. At first it can look like burnout, anxiety, depression, or you might notice minor changes, like getting dry skin. Later we can get more pronounced symptoms like the classic hot flushes and mood swings. Menopause can often be more difficult for women who tended to have higher amounts of oestrogen to start with, but it’s also important to remember that many women barely notice their menopause.
‘Manopause’ is more subtle than menopause but just as important to address. Where us ladies get the hot flushes and the mood swings, men can get prostate enlargement and heart disease. Of course where heart disease is concerned, there can be no sign of it until something goes wrong. This is why it’s important for both men and women to have any routine checks available on the NHS, even if you’re not keen on the treatments that might be offered to you.
Here are some ways you can take better care of yourself as you reach middle age:
- Have any checks offered by your healthcare provider. Ask for one if it hasn’t been offered.
- Make sure you look after your basic self care every day, in terms of nutrition, hydration, activity, rest etc. My new home study programme will show you exactly how to do that.
- If you notice anything out of the ordinary, get yourself checked by your GP first of all. It’s probably nothing to worry about but occasionally other health issues get mistaken for menopause/manopause and missed.
- Likewise, be aware that some symptoms, like anxiety are dismissed as having some other cause when in fact they’re due to hormone changes. You might need to look outside the NHS to establish what’s really going on.
- Supplement a good multi, omega 3’s, a probiotic and an antioxidant complex every day.
- If hormone changes are making life difficult, or you’re worried about other signs of aging, book a free call with me for more advice.
Herbal Medicine And Middle Age
Herbal Medicine has so much to offer as we reach middle age. Not only can it help to nudge our hormones back into balance, we can target specific issues like the anxiety or the heart disease. Over the coming months I’ll be writing about menopause and manopause much more. If there’s anything specific you’d like to learn about, please message me and let me know.