Self-Care Tips for Older Women
While self-care is all the rage among Gen Z and Millennials right now, many older women came of age before self-care was really a thing. While learning how to make time for valuable self-care can be an adjustment, it can greatly improve your quality of life and also lower your stress levels. Here are 12 essential self-care tips for older women, from using anti-aging skincare products to staying on top of doctor’s appointments:
Make social connections.
Maintaining old friendships and making new ones is key for your mental health. Make it a point to schedule time with your old friends on a regular basis, and seek out new friendships in your local area as well. Some of the other suggestions on this list, such as taking an exercise class or art class, are great avenues for meeting new people.
Exercise can help your body stay strong and healthy, no matter how old you are. Doing a mix of cardio and strength training each week will keep your heart, lungs, muscles and bones in good shape. If you aren’t motivated to work out at home, then join a gym or sign up for an exercise class, as both can be great ways to meet new people.
Drink plenty of water.
Staying hydrated is key for maintaining skin, joint and gut health. Most people need between three to four liters of water a day, depending on how much they sweat. You can also drink herbal tea or other healthy flavored beverages if you don’t like drinking plain water. Try to limit your consumption of alcohol and caffeine, which can have a diuretic effect.
Eat a well-balanced diet.
In addition to drinking plenty of water, you should also seek to eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet that is high in lean proteins, whole grains and fruits and vegetables. You should also try to limit your consumption of sugar, sodium and processed foods. A little bit in moderation every once in a while is fine, but don’t make these foods a central part of your diet.
No matter how young or old you are, you should be wearing anti-aging sunscreen on a daily basis in order to protect your skin from UV damage. Even if you already have fine lines and wrinkles, sunscreen will prevent them from deepening as fast. You should apply sunscreen to all your exposed skin, not just your face but also your ears, neck and chest as well.
Take care of your skin.
Besides wearing sunscreen, you should also have a 3-step skincare routine that is tailored specifically to your needs. As we age, our skin tends to become drier, which means that you will want to prioritize hydrating serums, moisturizing creams and other nourishing skincare products. Giving your skin the moisturization and hydration that it needs will promote a youthful appearance, since dryness exacerbates the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Spend time outside.
Being outside in nature is good for both your physical and mental health, so make time to get outside whenever the weather permits. Even just sitting on a park bench or going for a light walk on your lunch break will make you feel better. Just be sure to wear sunscreen and seek shade when it’s sunny out.
Get enough sleep.
Most adults need at least seven to nine hours of deep sleep every night in order to be able to function well. There are multiple things that you can do to get a better night’s sleep, including not drinking caffeine after lunch and exercising often (which will tire you out). You should also go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time each day, even on weekends, to help your body maintain a sleep schedule.
Try out a new hobby.
Hobbies can provide multiple benefits, from giving you satisfaction at learning a new skill to creating an opportunity for you to make new friends. Carving out time each week or month to pick up an old hobby or try out a new one will boost your mental health and also help your stress levels decline over time.
Set aside time for yourself.
As you age, it’s easy to let self-care fall by the wayside, especially if you are trying to balance the demands of a job with taking care of your children or your own aging parents. For many older women, the best way to ensure that they schedule time for self-care is to literally put it in their calendar like they would another task or meeting.
Stay on top of your physical health.
When you’re taking care of other people, it’s easy to let your own health slide. If you have been putting off doctor’s appointments for yourself, contact your health provider’s office to get those scheduled. Exams, screenings, vaccinations and other preventative care will go a long way toward keeping you healthy for many years to come.
Take care of your mental health.
Your mental health also deserves the same level of care as your physical health. Older people are especially prone to anxiety and depression, so keep an eye out for those warning signs. Therapy and/or medications has been shown to be effective in treating mental health conditions and improving people’s well-being, so don’t be afraid to seek those if you feel like you need them.
We hope this list gives you some practical ideas for ways that you can incorporate self-care into your daily routine. If you have other ideas for self-care tips for older women, we’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below!