4 ways you can keep your aging parents safe

While gals in their 40s are always looking for ways to be healthier and ensure they can still do everything they used to do in their 20s and 30s, their parents are another issue. The older you get, the older your parents will be, and this means they may require more care and support. And of course, you’re going to provide that care and support to say thanks for raising you and making sure their quality of life remains as good as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to keep them safe, but how?

Move closer to them 

aging parents

Moving closer to your parents will make sure you can look after them in case anything happens. If they cannot move in with you due to any number of reasons, you can at least try to be as close as possible. 

Being closer to them will allow you to respond immediately. You don’t want to be on the other side of the country if something happens, so being able to act quickly can put your mind – as well as theirs – at ease. While moving house is not always convenient, it’s something to consider as your parents get older. 

Consider care options 

If moving house isn’t on the cards right now, you can look at other options, especially if your parents have suffered an illness or a fall that has affected their mobility and overall health. 

There are many care services to consider, such as care homes, while live-in care has become an increasingly popular option for elderly folks who do not want to move out of their house. With this, a professional carer will be on hand at all hours to provide support and company, which can make it easier for you if you do not have the time to drive back and forth due to other family or work commitments. 

Check-In regularly

Sometimes, you don’t need to be right by your parents to keep them safe. It might be that they just want you to check in regularly so you can see how they are doing. 

A phone call every night or every other night is often enough, especially if they live far away and you can’t nip over for a quick chat and a catch-up. You could also buy them a smartphone with messaging apps so you can get immediate responses. 

Let them keep their independence 

aging parents

Your parents’ independence is crucial for their wellbeing, so allowing them to maintain this independence can be beneficial for keeping them safe. 

While you might think that they cannot take care of themselves like they used to because of old age, there’s a chance they will surprise you. They don’t want people to coddle them but instead let them live their lives and feel they are in control, which will keep their mental capacity in excellent condition. 

Taking care 

While not all parents will require all-day care and support immediately, it is something that may happen to your mother or father (or both). If you know your options before something happens, such as an illness or a fall, you can make sure they can enjoy the rest of their life with independence and support.

Are you currently dealing with your aging parents? Let us know by commenting below or connect with us over on Instagram.

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What to do when the world is full of bad news

Is it me, or does everything just feel so bloody hard right now? The world is full of bad news, and life feels – well, depressing. Just as we begin slowly emerge from one crisis, then comes another to beat us back down again with another. If you are anything like me, this might be happening for you on a global news agenda front, then on a more micro level of general daily clusterfucks. When you have the together – which is usually the norm at these times – it can leave you feeling utterly miserable.

If you are wondering how to drag yourself through life when the world is full of bad news, then today we have some words of wisdom to soothe you from influential leadership authority Drew Povey and former BBC and Sky journalist Sam Draper – authors of the new book When The Clouds Come.

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Let’s be honest, it’s hard to stay positive and chipper when that metaphorical rain keeps falling and the world is full of bad news. But storms arrive and they pass, and we abide regardless. So how can we learn a few simple ways to get more silver linings in these tumultuous times?

In our new book ‘When The Clouds Come’, we explore some positive and practical ways to deal with difficulties and challenges in your life. And here we’d like to share with you why P’ing’ is so important to staying realistic and positive in times of crisis – Pausing, gaining Perspective, and Prioritising.

The 3Ps

In these times of anxiety, the easiest and arguably most annoying response to a problem is ‘toxic positivity’ – “look on the bright side”, “others have it worse than you”, “feel the fear and do it anyway”. All true in many ways, but sometimes you can’t help but feel the pain and trauma of stuff going wrong. It’s human to have these emotions and react in these ways. However, the 3Ps might help you acknowledge the difficulty and find a realistic and optimistic ways through.

world is full of bad news
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Time to pause

The Pause is the first element of our model. The pause is powerful in all different scenarios in life. Consider a conversation where the other person isn’t really saying anything, just pause. Wait. Don’t say anything. Within 15 seconds that person will respond or remark on your silence. You have literally made them talk. The pause is powerful.

So why is the pause useful right now? Well, if you think about the world we’re living in at the moment we’ve never been so anxious and so contactable. Thanks to broadband and technology, many of us remain contactable all day long. Where is the time to pause? It’s no surprise that we get into quick, fast thinking mode that makes for poor responses to any situation. Everything is expected to be instantaneous and we can get a little bit upset if it doesn’t happen right now.

The alternative is finding a moment to slow down, be outside, give yourself some head room.

Think about the number of people that have brilliant ideas in the shower, or start thinking of things when they’re having a walk outside. In our busy world, we rarely stop and pause. These rare moments facilitate a moment of clarity or creativity that we need to make even better decisions. It’s a slow thinking habit that you’re trying to create. A deliberate pause point. If you’re in a meeting and it’s getting to a point where you can’t quite make a decision, or it’s getting fractious and difficult – time to take a pause. Ask everyone to take ten minutes and stretch their legs and come back. It works. When they return, it’s a different mindset, a different framework.

world is full of bad news

Get some perspective

The next P is Perspective. It’s the reason why so many people find it easier to give advice rather than to actually make their own decisions. Someone else’s eyes often seem to be better than your own at seeing a situation clearly. Sometimes we live life really zoomed in. As if our life is only a couple of inches from the end of our nose. We can’t quite see the bigger picture.

Sometimes it only takes a short conversation from a close friend to see that bigger picture and when you do, it really changes how you might make decisions. It’s the easiest thing in the world to get hung up on the smallest details, the tiniest of issues. Those dark clouds are on the horizon and you lose the other possible options that you could decide upon. When problems arise it is very easy to catastrophize about the situation – the snowball seems bigger and bigger, and looks like it could cause the end of the world. When really, it’s just part of a passing snow shower. Press pause, get perspective, and try to see what is actually happening.

Review your priorities

The final P is Priorities. It’s now time to use the information you’ve gathered and set some priorities. What is it that matters most right now? Part of the feeling of panic and catastrophe is because the problem reveals a whole range of different things you might try and solve. But which first? What is our important?

We need to see past a whole range of distractions to the key elements that matter most. This helps you decide what to do next. If the different perspectives you’ve been given provide you with the calm reality of your family being safe, a roof being over your head, food being on your table, you can then get to the real dilemmas. They’re the things that matter most. In these high-pressured times, we can all take on too much and try and do too much and therefore achieve very little or get that sense of being overwhelmed. We all do it, and we all need the chance to pause, gain perspective, and refocus our priorities.

You won’t feel positive by just ‘pulling up your boot straps’ or ‘soldiering on’ when the world is full of bad news, but if you use the 3Ps to help take control of your own situation, you might just see that patch of blue sky on the horizon.

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When the world is full of bad news – as it currently is – take a moment to reflect on the above. Here’s hoping the storm clouds will pass soon enough. In the meantime, come and get a virtual hug over at our Instagram community here.

Image by rawpixel.com

Five ways women in their forties are a force to be reckoned with

Roll up roll up all women in their 40s! We need to get the record straight now don’t we? For some reason unbeknownst to us all, 40 becomes a number that became associated with a life going downhill. At some point it was decided that women in their 40s should collectively feel a fear of being in their 4th decade, of being sidelined.

Well I say pah to that! Sidelined indeed…more like hitting their stride, thank you very muchly.

As a 41 year old, I have never felt more alive, powerful, confident, decisive, fulfilled and quite frankly….a force to be reckoned with. OK sure, we might have some challenges to grapple with along the way – you know, just a perimenopause here, then a menopause there sandwiched inbetween an identity crisis along the way.

But then we rise (all hail!), like a phoenix from the flames and POW! unleash the power within (stand back people or you might get taken down along the way!)

So with that, today we have a rather fantastic dedication for all women in their 40s by Yvonne Bridges – Author of YOU Are Relevant -A Guide for Mid-Life Women to Step into Their Power (available on Amazon now here). Here she lays down five ways women in their 40s are a force to be reckoned with (hear us roar!).

*****

When you were a teenager, didn’t you think being over forty was ancient? Or, like some women, you chose to have your children when your career was well established and on a good trajectory and now your children think you’re ‘old’ because you’re over forty. I can relate to that one – perhaps you can too.

The exciting thing about getting to your 40s is the experience and wisdom you’ve gained and are now applying in many facets of your life. Perhaps one of the less exciting things about our 40s are the few extra lines and sags appearing in a variety of places on our bodies. Nonetheless, here are five reasons why women in their 40s (mid-life women) become a force to be reckoned with as they progress through that decade.

They are clear about what is important to them and how their values impact their lives

Values drive behaviors. Professionally, this is a decade where women gain clarity about their personal and professional boundaries. They do this not only because they may hold family commitments or professional agreements which may infringe upon each other, they do it because they choose to be aligned in their thoughts, their words, and their actions. Their boundaries between the two arenas (personal and professional) which may have been in opposition in the past, now hold less tension because women demonstrate greater confidence in their approaches and decision making.

They are beginning to determine who they want to become in this next phase of their life

Arriving at 40 makes women step back and take stock of where they’ve been and where they want to go. This process most often begins with defining who they want to become. Interestingly, this can be a challenge to define. We, as humans, are rarely one thing. A woman in her 40s may be a parent (single parent, co-parent, stepparent … to name a few), be career focused, be a stay-at-home mum, a sibling, a caregiver, or she may be courageous, vulnerable, wise. I could go on and on. The important thing to acknowledge about women in their 40s is the clarity they hold about who they have been, who they are now, and who they want to become. This begins to create an almost omnipotent force as women in their 40s begin this important part of their life journey.

women in their forties

They hold clarity around the actions they will begin to take to becoming the woman they want to be

A woman’s 40s can be a time of continual action that contributes to the wellbeing of others while not always aligned with who she has decided to become. When women slow down and align their actions, they use their experience to step into innovative approaches. They shift their behaviour, so they move forward differently. Here’s an example. A woman who may have found their thirties consumed with moving their career forward, taking care of young children, and being a great partner. Each of these worthy endeavours and associated actions can exhaust women and, in their 40s, they begin to ask themselves – ‘what do I really want to do?’ Do those actions align with who I want to become? If the answer is yes, the forward propulsion for these women is remarkable. If the answer is no, the decade of the 40s finds women making a shift toward greater alignment between becoming and doing.

They can visualize the outcomes they seek

Like high performance athletes, women in their 40s and beyond see there is more for them to pursue. They create their own runway. Some leave significant corporate jobs with accomplished titles because of poor culture or the ongoing promise to become less misogynistic without any evidence of this happening. Some watch their children flourish as young adults and re-evaluate their own path and begin solopreneurship. Some begin to volunteer for causes they believe are worthy. Some even begin registered charities to move and shift people’s knowledge forward about subjects otherwise not spoken about – think of #metoo and #blacklivesmatter and #orangeshirtday and #wearpinkforbreastcancer. The desire to be the change they seek enables women in their 40s to be willing to take a step forward into the unknown while visualizing a future – different for them and different for others.

women in their forties

They are beginning to live in their wisdom and are willing to share it with others

Have you ever enjoyed a conversation with a woman in her 40s, or beyond, and walked away wiser? This is the gift of experience and shared wisdom. I’m fortunate enough to have many friends and colleagues like that. One, who thoughtfully, mindfully, and deftly asks me to consider another point of view without a trite phrase like – have you thought of this? She invites curiosity and the willingness to explore perspectives with such an open heart that all who interact with her feel this shared wisdom. Women in their 40s cultivate that – with and for each other. The deliberate cultivation of collaborative wisdom ensures the next generation of women step into better spaces and hold greater confidence in themselves.

When you consider those five elements of why women are a force to be reckoned with in their 40s, what might you see when you meet one of those women? You would see a woman who confidently makes decisions which align with her values and are good for her, her family, her colleagues, and her friends. This woman speaks with wisdom. She cherishes her connection with others. She speaks her truth – mindfully and thoughtfully. This woman demonstrates tenacity and grit. She is willing to take risks. She learns from her mistakes and accepts the invitation those mistakes present to take a step in a different, new direction.

In short, women in their 40s are a force to be reckoned with because they are stepping into their own power. They hold that power lightly and with strength. They are relevant. They have runway left in their lives. The world will become better, kinder, stronger, more thoughtful when women continue to step into that space. The relevance of women in their 40s, and desire to uplift and uphold other women, expands their runway. Know it. Believe it. Live it.

So whether you are a woman in your 40s, or a woman yet to be in their 40s and wondering what lies ahead, join us in this tribute and leave a comment below and connect with us on Instagram.

Woman photo created by lookstudio

Everything going wrong? How to bitch slap those clusterfuck days

Clusterfuck – otherwise known as a complex and utterly disordered and mismanaged situation, a muddled mess of everything going wrong, which lets face it, the last two years have been without a doubt. But that’s on the macro level. We can kind of handle that because everyone is going through the same clusterfuck of everything going wrong together. The worst type of clusterfuck in my view is when you are going through your own personal clusterfuck of everything going wrong on a micro level, one that is totally personal to you.

Let me paint a picture

….of one of my recent clusterfuck days. I had just booked a holiday to Cape Verde having vowed to not try and travel overseas until the pantomime was over. Within 24 hrs I had to cancel it and was feverishly trying to rebook a holiday to Turkey. OK so totally my own doing there.

I had a firm word with myself and tried to move on. Then sat down and realised I had been locked out (yet again!) of the back end (no not that kind of back end people!) of my bread and butter website Motherhood: The Real Deal as I sat down to try and earn my keep and pay.

But don’t worry because I was soon distracted by the fact my period had come a week two early which meant my mammogram and MRI appointments for my high risk breast cancer screening then had to be rescheduled for some date we couldn’t even bank on because we had no idea if my next period would scupper things once again.

This was against the backdrop of a family ding dong where a family member who shall not be named had labelled me as selfish for wanting to go away against all odds in light of my recent BRCA1 positive status and wanting to live my life to the fullest and a barrage of communications which quite frankly I could have done without.

Definitely not clusterfuck enough yet

My darling four month pup then decided – as she proceeded to dig up a collosal mud pit in our back garden and breakdance the residue all around the kitchen and living room – sofas and all. While I tried to clean the fall out from her kerfuffle up, she chased the mop like a pup possessed making me feel increasingly hot, bothered and hateful by the minute.

Having waited around all day for a doctor that never bothered to call me back about my recent genetic testing debacle, I could feel my annoyance with the world levels reaching breaking point. WHY IS NOTHING EVER STRAIGHT FORWARD? I moaned to my long suffering 40 Now What partner Katie. “Well, my love, because it isn’t”, she wearily replied.

By the time 5pm rolled around, the dinner I had planned on making was a day out of date when I pulled it out the fridge and stunk to fishy high heaven. I called my other long suffering partner Mr C and desperately enquired if he would be coming home soon so I could go for a run before I killed someone with the fall out from my clusterfuckish day. Thank god I did, otherwise I might have been writing this from the confines of a prison cell.

Needless to say I ran every single little bit of clusterfuck out of every cell of my being like I was channelling my inner Usain Bolt.

everything going wrong

Everything is going wrong…so what next?

Clusterfuck days are absolutely the worse. We all have them, we all survive them and live to tell the tale, and go to bed early grateful that the day is finally done and tomorrow will be a new, less clusterfucky (hopefully!) day. We all have our own way of managing them (mine is usually to run faster than my little legs will take me), but in case you need some help in managing your next clusterfuck day, we asked Sam Evans – one of our favourite coaches at 40 Now What – to share their tips to help us with future clusterfuckery:

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You wake up, like every other day. You set your intentions the night before, you mapped out your week, and you say to yourself, I FREAKIN’ GOT THIS! So, you roll out of bed, drink your first of many coffees of the day, and something happens that causes you to feel, “it’s not going to be a good day!”

It could be an abrupt email popping up in your inbox, or your hot drink getting cold before you had a chance of drinking of it, and the constant screaming of “MUM” first thing in the morning, turns an entire day into one clusterfuck of a day as if the day has been totally ruined leaving you feeling drained and exhausted before the day has even begun.

Now more than ever, this is a recurring pattern I see with many women I work with. Instead of taking inspired action or achieving their desired goals, there would always be something at cause to create this feeling as if nothing is meant to be. “It’s the kids fault! It’s the kettles’ fault! Everyone drives me insane!”  With so many triggered events, how can one ever see the joy, when the emotions are so sky high? It’s as if its everyone else’s fault that your day is a complete wreck when really, it’s something a lot deeper.

By having many clusterfuck days, it can be difficult to imagine a good day as our minds have memorised a significant patterned way of thinking, feeling and behaving caused by the need to get everything done.  We live in a time where everything is so fast paced, that we wake up with this feeling of urgency. It’s as if everything has to be done instantly and if it doesn’t go to plan, then we assume that everything else will go wrong. Just by even having that thought alone, sets the tone for the day, because you have already defined the day before it’s even happened.

When we are faced with such urgency, we face more problems in the outside world with what feels as if the world is against us when really, it’s a clear sign to slow down and pay attention to what really is bothering you and most importantly what to do when we are faced with such days.

Top tips for taking back control when everything is going wrong

Set your intentions in your mind the night before

By imagining and feeling what you want the day to be like, actually programmes your mind to assume that your day, is going to be exactly how you imagined it to be.  So think good thoughts as the mind will begin to create the feelings of joy for the following day.

Rise at a time you want to

That first hour in the morning just for yourself is such a magnificent feeling that you literally feel as if you can take on the world.  If you are not a 5am person, then don’t force yourself to be, rise at a time that you feel happy to wake up to, without peer pressure of what everyone else is doing.

Avoid the phone

I know. This can be difficult. But your phone isn’t going anywhere.  That email or message can wait. You are important and you cannot serve in the first 30-45 minutes of your day when you haven’t even given yourself permission to be, especially as in the first ten minutes of waking up you are tapped into your subconscious programming.  You put you first and do something that makes you happy, even if it’s drinking your first cuppa.

Positive morning routine

Journal first thing.  Honestly, our minds as women are full of ideas and things to do, and one of the calmest things to do. Journal everything out of your head, instead of imaginary lists in your mind.

everything going wrong

Address your emotions

Not every day is going to be perfect. You could wake up late, miss the alarm, or feel flustered.  Instead of allowing this to happen, give yourself permission to wake up late. By addressing how you feel is better than forcing yourself to be miss positive polly pants, because that emotion is there for a reason. Address it, accept it, and let it go.

Listen to your body

Sometimes we experience things like aches and pains, as if the body is telling us don’t move, just chill.  If you ever experience this, then listen to your body. Its ok to chill and watch Netflix; it’s ok to take a break and have a me day. Your body knows best so listen. 

Pause and reflect

If things feel like they are spiralling out of control, instead of forcing yourself to make things happen, just pause and reflect on your feelings.  Your mind and body are always communicating with you so listen with kindness to yourself on where you are now, without the need of more chaos projecting in your outer world.

Get in flow with a polarity test

This process is an effective way for a person who is experiencing negative attitudes and self-sabotaging behaviours, such as feelings of irritability, waking up in a bad mood, negative self-talk, and even procrastination.  To allow yourself to move from self-sabotage to a positive state, the following will allow your physical body to respond and have that instant shift:

  • Using your two right fingers, rub the soft spot in between your armpit and boob on the left side, while focusing on the issue that is causing you to feel negativity. Whilst holding on this spot, inhale deeply, and exhale with two breaths – first short second longer. Repeat this three times.
  • After, use the two same right fingers, and gently place them under the nose.  Whilst holding this spot, set the intentions for the day and inhale deeply, and exhale two breaths – first short second longer. Repeat this three times.
  • Finally, tap the side of left hand on the outside by the little finger reconfirming the following positive affirmations – “I am calm, I am content, and I am in control.” Repeat them until you feel they have integrated.

You can do this as many times in the day as you like, and I would definitely recommend doing this every day first thing.

Remember, when it everything is going wrong and itmin feels as if the world is against you, it’s a clear indication that you need time for you. You are so important on this earth and the only way you can serve others and have the most productive day, is if you put you first.

So if you’re having one of those days when everything is going wrong, take a deep breath and remember the above! Have you had a clusterfuck day recently? Why not get things off your chest with a comment below or by joining in with our community on Instagram here.

Photo by Liza Summer, energepic.com, cottonbro from Pexels

Top tips for dating in your 40s

Have you recently come out of a long term relationship? If you are over forty then you might be nervous and apprehensive about returning to the dating world. Here are some tips that can make things far easier for you while you’re dating in your 40s.

To Filter Or Not To Filter

dating in your 40s

The most common way to date these days is through dating apps. This idea brings an important question. What type of photos should you add to your profile? Some people swear by filters and touch ups while others see them as dishonest. Well, this is always going to be a personal preference. The truth is there’s nothing wrong with filters as long as they don’t completely alter the way you look. If you do this then you might get the first date but there may not be a second. It’s better to be honest about who you are. This is important when listing your age too. Tempting though it may be, you shouldn’t list a younger age. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of people out there looking for older men or women. 

Find The Right App 

Next, you should make sure that you are finding the right app that is going to provide the best benefits that you need. You might think that there are only a couple of apps, but this isn’t true. There are various apps worth exploring and even more websites. If you want to ensure that you get the best experience it’s great to explore as many as possible. Apps that you should stay away from are ones where you need to pay per message. These will almost always be a scam. Make sure that you check reviews for any site or app that you are thinking about exploring. 

Be Smart

dating in your 40s

You do need to be smart when you are planning your dates. For instance, you should make sure that you are meeting people in a place that you know and feel comfortable. It’s also advised that you do ensure that you video call first. That way you can guarantee that you do know who you are meeting and avoid the catfish. 

Remember, there’s no harm in going on as many dates as you like to find the right match. But you should get tested using a professional medical centre every time you  have a new partner. 

Don’t Fear Rejection

Finally, it’s important to understand that you will experience rejection in the new world of dating in your 40s. It’s a given and if you are a woman that’s because men swipe right 80% of the time. However, this doesn’t mean that they will always be interested in having a conversation or moving towards a date. Don’t be disheartened, move on to the next match. It’s always going to be their loss, not yours. 

We hope this helps you understand some of the key steps that you should take if you are returning to the dating world at 40. The good news is that there’s plenty of people doing this these days that are back on the playing field at a later stage in life.

Are you dating in your 40s at the moment? How’s it going? Comment below, we’d love to hear from you.