Life advice for your 40s: how to rewrite your story

Our 40s are a period of reflection. As we come up for air from the first half of our life, we then begin to wonder what we should do with our lives in the next half? There are lessons to be learned, changes to be made, and a whole bunch of potential awaits, for both late-bloomers and people who have been living it large already. So what’s the life advice for your 40s you need to know? We spoke to, Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse, master storyteller, who has devoted her life to helping others rewrite their stories whose latest book Storytelling Legacy: Everyone Has Stories—What are Yours? to get her essential life advice for your 40s, as well as her perspective on what being a woman in her 40s in today’s world looks like with the benefits of hindsight.

What are some things you would go back and tell your 40-something year own self? 

At 40, be very good to yourself. Self-care (sleep, regular eating, lots of exercise and healthy connections) will determine how the rest of your life will go.  40’s and 50’s are “turning point” ages. 

What are some of the biggest issues women in their 40s are facing today? 

Overwhelm, not enough time, clock ticking in relationships, life is operating “at its peak”. 

What can we do about them?

Remembering that overwhelm is simply a sign of “not” making enough choices, clutter is about “not making choices” and not enough hours in the days is about “not making enough choices”.  Theme here, “go forward and choose along the way”. It means getting comfortable with “letting go “ of people, activities and things. 

advice for your 40s

What are some life lessons you’d like to impart on women turning or progressing into their 40s? 

Simplify.  In order to find all the good things and the things that make you happy, your job is to “make room” by living more simply. 

What is the best way to conquer your 40s? 

Don’t see them as “something to conquer”. I see the forties as rich time to change direction and look forward to each decade as it comes along. Sometimes the best focus for the 40’s is to turn the sail of your private ship and decide which directions (s) you want to go. 

What are some of the things we should do before turning 50?  

The best tools are daily exercise goals, getting one’s body ready for the next few decades, let go of worn out relationships and make plans for the next chapter in life.  The 40’s are the perfect evaluation, choices and directions you want for yourself as the ships starts sailing in a new direction. 

What should we stop doing in our 40s? 

Hanging on to old relationships from which one has grown, hanging on to lifestyles that aren’t preparing for a healthy future.  Buying things that one will need to downsize from in the 40’s and 50’s.  This is not a good time to accumulate. It is a time to evaluate. 

advice for your 40s

Any advice for women wanting to totally rewrite their own story in their 40s?

I would suggest that the 40’s is a perfect time to rewrite one’s life.  Take each of your past experiences. Choose to either celebrate it, document it (pictures, videos and stories) and hang on to them, and also know what, who and how to eliminate what you don’t want to repeat, take along or plan to enjoy.  This is the evaluation decade. 

Do you have any particular story you would like to share which you think would resonate with our readership?

My forties were the end and the beginning of many things.  It was the end of accumulating things of no current value or sparks of joy. It is important to understand that I have kept many things and some are reaching vintage.  However, I don’t keep anything that doesn’t invoke a “spark of joy”.  

The forties were also the time that I cemented in my “need to exercise and move”.  Whether I was in my neighborhood, along a country road, living in a city or sailing on a ship. walking each day became as regular as brushing my teeth.  I still walk 2 miles a day and if all my miles were laid out in a row, maybe I’ve walked across the US.  It is as familiar as breathing. It was the time that I decided to never work again. Mind you, there have been many 12 hour days of work, but I don’t consider it work IF I love what I am doing. That way my activities become my passion and I am very passionate about life.   

One of my favourite stories is:  Walking through an airport in Chicago, a little boy came running up to me and said, “you are the lady in the red dress”.  I said “yes, I am”.  At that time, I had made a movie and made a decision to always wear something bright and different in each major presentation I made publicly. I could repeat the outfits, but each was chosen for a reason.    Never again, did I wear grey, brown or anything dull.  Later in life, I kept the same plan for zoom calls, interviews, family movies etc.  Women and children may not always hear or be interested in “what you said”, but they rarely forgot what you wore. I was also the lady with the striped green and white dress who wore glasses that also had green and white frames. The moral of this story is “stand out, own your space and enjoy it”.  You matter! 

Anything more life advice for your 40s to add? 

Enjoy the 40’s and remember.  “You are the captain of “your ship”.   Sail away! 

Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse has devoted her life to helping others rewrite their stories, and is a master storyteller. In her latest book, Storytelling Legacy: Everyone Has Stories—What are Yours?, Sharon finally shares her story, with tales of celebrity, culture, humor, spirituality, travels and much more. She is a nationally known consultant, family therapist and author of 23 books on everything from personal development to relationships to caregiving.

Staying strong and fit in your 40s and beyond

As we move into our forties there is a lot to celebrate! We have seen quite a bit of life, and as a result, we are wiser, more centred, and are ready to conquer the next half of our lifetime. But in the midst of all of this empowerment, our bodies are changing. As our hormones start to fluctuate we can experience disrupted sleep, night sweats, bloating, fatigue, and recurring muscle aches and injuries. Often we feel that despite our exercise and eating patterns not changing, our shapes are, particularly around our middle and this can be disheartening when you are trying to stay strong and fit in your 40s.

What is happening and how can you stay strong and fit in your 40s and beyond?

Your regular menstrual cycle starts to change in your forties where our hormones are in a state of flux, with oestrogen becoming dominant. We start to have more anovulatory cycles, meaning that as an egg isn’t being released, there isn’t the stimulus to produce progesterone, so causing a hormonal discrepancy. This is where we start to feel those confusing changes in our bodies, and the closer we get to the actual cessation of our periods, the worse these become.

How does this affect our training and body composition?

Oestrogen often promotes inflammation. This leads to an increase in total body inflammation, and a poor ability to adapt and respond, with a predisposition to things like iron deficiency, sore joints, puffiness, picking up respiratory tract infections and so on.  We also have a decreased sensitivity to insulin, and how they moderate blood sugar control. This is what can cause that storage of belly fat.

What can we do?

We should approach this as the new, positive chapter in our lives that it is. Women do have the capacity to continue to be strong, powerful and fit in your 40s and beyond. However, if inactive, around 3% of lean muscle mass can decrease each decade from the age of 30. 

But the good news is, it is never too late to start, we just need to look at ways to train and maintain that neuromuscular stimulation and muscle integrity. Here are some key considerations we need to take into account when planning our training so you can stay strong and fit in your 40s:

Lift heavy

We really need to build in some quality resistance training, low-rep heavy weights. Not only does this help with neuromuscular action, it also increases the stress on the bone and helps with bone turnover, increasing or preserving bone density. Here we are looking at exercises like squats and deadlifts, to a maximum of 5 or 6 reps.  Safety is a key factor here of course and you should work with a professional when you are learning to do this to ensure you are lifting correctly.

fit in your 40s

High intensity interval training 

One of the best ways to stimulate muscle production, these short, sharp interval workouts prompt your body to build lean muscle and shrink visceral fat more effectively than a slow burn endurance workout. It also helps your body to process insulin efficiently, making you less prone to insulin resistance, or becoming overweight. These intervals can be built into most types of exercise, from running to cycling, rowing etc and work with very short (20 to 90 seconds maximum) of high intensity exercise, followed by longer recoveries. The good news is that if these are done correctly, the total workout shouldn’t last more than about 30 minutes.

Plyometrics 

These exercises include exercises like jumping, hopping or bounding, or otherwise giving your bones and muscles the extra stimulus that comes when you push off against gravity and land back down. The key here is the multi-directional aspect rather than running, with exercises such as jumping jacks, side hops, skipping and so on which improve muscular strength, bone health, body composition, posture and physical performance.

fit in your 40s

Do less volume and more intensity 

This is the area where a lot of people struggle. The tendency at this time is to push harder and longer to get rid of this newly acquired body fat, but ultimately that backfires, putting you into a state of low-energy, high stress cortisol cycling. Encouragingly, women have that inherent ability to go long because of the sex differences within the muscle enzyme activity, as well as the body being predisposed to endurance. So if you want to keep in those long, social workouts, make them just that, keeping in your lower heart rate zones where you can still hold a conversation.

In summary

All of these specific interventions work to not only to decrease visceral abdominal fat, increase our insulin sensitivity, increase our lean-mass development and the way our muscles fire, they also build stability around the joints. When we do this, we increase the ability of the muscles around the joint to withstand heavy weight and withstand the pressures of lifting and moving through resistance, not only with exercise, but everyday life.

fit in your 40s

Working with a coach

If you are keen to work towards a goal of staying strong and fit in your 40s, or simply be the best version of yourself in your forties and beyond, then it is worth considering working with a coach. Denise Yeats works in a very holistic way, advising on diet and nutrition in tandem with exercise, and constantly listening to her clients and the way they are adapting not only physically, but also mentally to the training she is setting them. 

Denise Yeats is a triathlete and IRONMAN Certified Coach with a passion for personal development of women in the perimenopausal and menopausal stages of their lives. Find out more at www.deniseyeats.co.uk.

Pelvic floor in your 40s and beyond

I have to admit, I have really noticed a change in my pelvic floor and my ability to control my bladder since I hit my 40s. There, I said it. But it’s not a truth most of us would never be bold enough to admit, until someone else did. And although there has been a lot in the news lately about pelvic floor health in the menopause, very little has been said about it in decade before. So what happens to your pelvic floor in your 40s and what we can do to address some of the issues we might face when it comes to pelvic floor health? We get the lowdown here with Karin Goldschmidt, Pelvic Health Senior Physiotherapist at The King Edward VII hospital.

How does your pelvic floor change in your 40s?

Pregnancy and childbirth will have put a major strain on your pelvic floor muscles, but an increase in body weight can make this even worse.

Menopause usually starts when you are in your late forties or early fifties, however in some cases it can happen earlier or later than this.  As the body starts to produce less oestrogen, many women find themselves putting on weight much easier than when in their 30ies. In fact, fat mass can increase as much as 44% during menopause. When a person has a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) of 26 or above, their pelvic floor has a consistently heavier load to support. Body fat presses down on the bladder and bowel and can result in difficulty controlling the release of urine, faeces or wind.

Skeletal muscle atrophy and associated weakness are inevitable as we age, and the pelvic floor muscles are no exception. Once you reach 40, you ‘ll lose as much as 5 percent of your muscle per decade. This decreased strength and muscle mass is related to myriad pelvic floor dysfunctions, including stress UI, pelvic organ prolapse, faecal incontinence and sexual dysfunction.

What changes/symptoms does this mean women in their 40s might experience

Common symptoms of a weakened pelvic floor or bladder dysfunction are:

  • Leakage of urine when coughing, sneezing, bending, laughing or lifting weights which is called stress incontinence.
  • It is also common to leak when hurrying to the toilet, hearing running water or even when putting a key in the door when arriving home, this is called urge incontinence.  
  • Many women experience a dragging or aching sensation around the vagina or anus which can be due to a prolapse of the pelvic organs.
  • Problems in controlling wind or bowel contents which often is associated with constipation due to difficulties in emptying your bowels causing a need to strain.
  • Painful sex or decreased sensation due to vaginal dryness.

A perhaps less well known issue, although also common, is tightness of the pelvic floor muscles as a result from rarely relaxing them. This can lead to pelvic pain and trigger other symptoms.

Why is it important that women in their 40s make pelvic floor health a priority?

In our 20s and 30s women might not have paid too much attention to their Pelvic floor and thinking that issues such as leakage and Prolapse are symptoms one just have to learn to live with. However it is very important to understand that as we age, if not looked after, the Pelvic floor is likely to become weaker and therefore their issues could potentially become worse and hugely affect ones quality of life. The good thing is that, if given the appropriate attention and care,  these symptoms are often reversible.   

How can women in their 40s protect their pelvic floor – and is it all about kegels?

Kegels are very important indeed, as well as staying generally healthy with consistent exercise, a varied fibrous diet and drinking lots of water, there are other important ways to look after our Pelvic floor.

Posture

The posture of your body changes the way your pelvic floor muscles work. If you’re sitting slumped, it’s hard for your muscles to do anything to help you. If you sit taller, supporting your head and neck up better, your abdominal muscles can work much more efficiently and your pelvic floor is not as switched off and compromised by the pressure. When standing, if your posture is poor, you can end up tilting your pelvis which will also impact how your pelvic floor muscles work. When standing with a better posture, your abdominals, bottom, pelvic floor and leg muscles are allowed to work together in synergy.

Breathing

This is something that comes completely natural to us yet most us don’t do it the as efficiently as we are meant to. We tend to hold our breath when concentrating doing our pelvic floor exercises  as well as not breathing properly down into our tummy and not expanding the breath into the side of our ribs. As your diaphragm ( breathing muscle) moves, so should the pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor is not a rigid structure, meaning it should move up and down in synergy with our breathing. As we breathe in, the pelvic floor moves down. As we relax, it moves back up. It follows the movements of your lungs and diaphragm.  

The knack

Get into the habit of tighten your pelvic floor muscles the second before any activity which involves a rise in intra-abdominal pressure – coughing, sneezing, lifting, carrying, bending – even laughing sometimes!

Toileting position

Using a step or stool under your feet while on the toilet helps create a squatting position which will reduce pressure into your rectum when passing a stool. This will reduce pressure on the ligaments and muscles in this area. It is also important to ensure you always sit and relax on the toilet and not get in a habit of hovering as this does not allow your pelvic floor to relax completely while you empty your bladder.

Can you share a recommended pelvic floor exercise routine? And how often should women aim to do this?

I often recommend to download the NHS Squeezy app for help with visualisation and motivation. However you can do this routine anywhere  without any equipment at all.

Pelvic floor muscle exercises  should include long, held squeezes as well as short, quick squeezes; ensuring that you let the muscle ‘go’ or ‘relax’ after each squeeze. You should work the muscles until they tire and do the exercises regularly to help the muscles become stronger and more effective. Always remember to breath out as you lift the pelvic floor and breath in as your relax. Also start the lift from the anus, then the vagina and finally a gentle drawing in of the lower part of your tummy to activate your deepest of the abdominal muscles.  

Long squeezes         

Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold them tight, then release and let them fully relax. How long can you hold the squeeze? Repeat the squeeze and hold until the pelvic floor muscles tire. How many times can you repeat the squeezes? Aim to be able to do 10 long squeezes, holding each squeeze for 10 seconds.

Short squeezes

Quickly tighten your pelvic floor muscles, then immediately let them go again. How many times can you do this quick squeeze before the muscles get tired? Always let the muscles fully relax after each squeeze.

You may need to start with ‘little and often’ if you find that you can only hold the squeeze for a short time, or only do a few before the muscles tire. Aim  for 10 short squeezes.

It’s great if you manage to do your pelvic floor muscle exercises at least 3 times each day, however we all lead busy lives and this obviously might not always be possible, however remember than little is better than nothing!

You may find it easier to do them when you are sitting or lying down. Build up your exercise routine gradually over the weeks and months. You should notice an improvement in 3 – 5 months and then keep practising your pelvic floor muscle exercises once a day to maintain the improvement.

Is it ever too late to work on your pelvic floor health?

Absolutely not, better late than never. Your pelvic floor health is for life! Just like any other muscle group in the body, the pelvic floor muscles can always be improved in strength and in their ability to relax. And your bladder and bowel are adaptable too and responds to various trainings.

Any other advice you can share on looking after your pelvic floor in your 40s?

Sadly, too many women suffer from pelvic floor issues unnecessarily, often due to little knowledge that support exists or too embarrassed to seek help. However please be assured that passionate  women’s health professionals are here to help and there is no need to suffer in silence, there is nothing we haven’t seen or heard before! And on a very positive note, with the right support (and a little bit of patience and determination) many pelvic floor issues can be treated and symptoms improved greatly.  On a final note , always take your time to urinate and poo, never strain!

So how is your pelvic floor doing ladies?

Photos by MART PRODUCTION

Five steps to find your voice in your 40’s

Do you find you struggle to speak up and be heard?  You try and speak only for someone to interrupt you and finish off your conversation. Do you feel like no one is listening? It feels like your opinions, ideas and thoughts are not important enough.   When you feel like no-one is listening to you it can make us feel unvalued, unappreciated, and just damn right fed up.  It can affect our self-esteem and our confidence. We scream inside our heads ‘why won’t you let me speak?’  We hear voices in our own head telling us not to bother; it’s not worth it as no-one listens anyway.  But it doesn’t have to feel and be this way.  All you have to do, is make a few changes and you’ll be amazed the difference that it will make. 

Step 1: Control your thoughts

Be in control of your thoughts; they can either help you or hindebr you.  Your thoughts can either empower you or disempower you, encourage you or stop you.  Your thoughts can change your life now and for the future.  Choose them wisely.  When negative thoughts pop in your head; challenge them.  Are they true?  Really true? Ask yourself is it true or are you just scared of the outcome?  Do you fear failure is that why these negative thoughts appear?  If so, challenge that thought. Turn each thought around, upside down and inside out until you feel it’s truth.  Challenge your thoughts to get the lifestyle that you want. 

Be brave, push yourself and the changes can really happen; it’s all in the power of your thoughts. For example, you’re heading to a meeting at work and you want to talk about an idea but your thoughts are; ‘no-one will listen to you’, ‘They will just interrupt me anyway’, ‘it probably won’t work’ and before you know it you decide to not even bother speaking up.  What if you changed your thoughts to; ‘I’ll explain all the reasons why this is a good idea’, ‘if they interrupt me, I’ll ask them to let me finish’, ‘this idea is amazing and will make a real positive difference’, ‘go on girl, you can do this’.  Can you see the difference on how you will feel when you turn those thoughts around?

Step 2: Be passionate, not emotional

Doesn’t it just make you crazy when someone says this to you ‘you’re being emotional’!  Your feelings of frustration get higher and higher, and things just got a hell of lot worse.  When this happens its crucial to flip back to Step 1.  Control your thoughts.  Most of the time we are being passionate about a certain subject only when we feel we are not being listened to does our passion turn to emotional, either upset, frustrations and anger.  Let’s not forget that our hormones will certainly be raging at this point when our emotions kick in.  When this occurs, tell yourself to stop.  Stop speaking, inhale a deep breath of calm and exhale the stress. Reflect and remind yourself why this important and start again.  Interrupt the emotion and get back the passion.

Step 3: Call it out

If someone interrupts you; talks over you, shuts you down, call it out.  Ask them to kindly let you finish the conversation without being interrupted.  Most of the time people don’t realise that they actually do it.  If it’s during an argument I think we are all guilty of this from time to time, so just be aware that you don’t interrupt too.  Let people speak and then you can challenge them to let you speak too.

Step 4: Listen to understand, don’t listen to respond

Sometimes we react and respond too quickly because we want to get our point across but when we do that our minds are not fully listening to what the other person has actually said.  They may have a totally different perspective, but they may not be wrong, and you can respond too quickly before you fully understand the other persons reasoning.  Think about the number 6 and 9.  If one person is viewing it upside down you can see why they would be adamant that they are right when they believe it’s a number 6 versus the view the other persons sees which is a 9.  Again, our changing hormones won’t help us as we can get easily fired up.  When we sense this happening, this is when we must tell ourselves to stop.  Take that breathe, check your and theirs perspective, and start again.

Step 5: Know that there is always a way

Decide and know what you want, challenge those beliefs that are getting in the way. Trust and believe that there is always a way because seek and you shall always find.

Sara Harling author of ‘Why Won’t You Let Me Speak?’  Available at Amazon, Waterstones and The Hive.

Photos by Polina Tankilevitch and Pexels

Being in your 40s! Women in their 40s tell it like it is loud and proud….

Can you believe it folks!? 40 Now What is now ONE YEAR OLD! We are so thankful for everyone who has supported us by reading our articles about being in your 40s. And what better way to mark our 1st anniversary by having some of our favourite women share their wisdom about being in your 40s loud and proud! So without further ado, it’s time to hand over to the women helping us celebrate this exciting milestone with their honest and inspirational insights…

“If you’re true to yourself and your values then it’s possible to see a massive change in your life at this juncture. Reevaluating your values in your 40s is the ideal way to review what you want and start living your best life.” – Dr Mandeep Rai, author of The Sunday Times Business Bestseller The Values Compass

“As I reached my forties, life had taught me that when an opportunity presents itself, always explore and seize it with both hands.  Don’t be afraid to have things go wrong.  I don’t like the world failure – it’s just part of your journey and as long as you learn from the experience, then it’s an invaluable part of building your character and your business. Finally, always be flexible as having the ability to change will ensure growth.” – Nicole Sealey, Real Housewife of Cheshire and businessewoman

“You are never too old and it’s never too late to live a life you love! I was bankrupt at 38 at 50 a multi award winning entrepreneur. You CAN!” – Sarah Pittendrigh, Motivational Mentor, Multiple Founder and Multi Award Winning Entrepreneur

being in your 40s
Left to right: Dr Mandeep Rai, Nicole Sealey, Sarah Pittendrigh

“40 is when it all really started to change for me – it was when I had the courage to get not only my first tattoo but the other 6 I had done in quick succession. It was also the year I changed my business stars, I left my well paid corporate job; and decided to set up my own PR business working with wellbeing and spiritual clients. This meant I could be there for the school run, work the hours I wanted and also enabled me to navigate through the hell of home schooling. I also cleaned up my act a little, I minimised my drinking habits, I practiced meditation, yoga, and started growing fruit and veg in the green house. It is in my 40’s I have truly felt comfortable in my own skin.” – Sarah Lloyd, Founder, IndigoSoulPR

“I have been loving being 40 so far. It feels like a really nice stage of life where my children (8 & 5) are a little older and need less from me. I am focusing on my business and my own health. I’ve started going to strength training once a week and have been really enjoying it. I’m loving building my business which includes a thriving practice as a clinical psychologist, an author and podcaster.” – Dr Marianne Trent, Clinical Psychologist at Good Thinking Psychology & Author

“Being single and childless in your 40s does not make you a failure, it makes you the envy of your friends. It allows you to focus on yourself and be spontaneous. Stop worrying what others think, the people who care matter and the people who matter care.” – Alix Johnson, Head of PR and Communications at National Museums Liverpool

Left to right: Sarah Lloyd, Dr Marianne Trent, Alix Johnson

“My 40’s have been my best decade. My world imploded, but I rebuilt it differently. I (re)discovered myself and redefined my legacy. I took control and stopped living by life’s ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’.” – Carolyn Hobdey, Author, Motivator and Educator

“One of the biggest things I have learned is that if you change the language in your head and it’ll change your life. I read a book called You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay and it literally did. I also created a series of positive supportive phrases that I still repeat to this day. Slowly but surely things started to change and here I am today, living my best life.” – Jo Pickard, award-winning voiceover artist and presenter

“My life changed soon after turning 40 – I met the love of my life and we started a business – Work Pirates, I got diagnosed with ADHD and now I’m writing a book – Good Girl Deprogramming. I finally realised that I didn’t have to do everything on my own, so I’ve asked for and received all the help I need to be a success.” – Michelle Minnikin, Entrepreneur and founder of Work Pirates

Left to right: Carolyn Hobdey, Jo Pickard, Michelle Minnikin

“By her forties a woman has crystallised her intelligence – rooted in life experience – making her fearless, determined and confident to take on the world and fight to make a difference. The best is always yet to come!” – Asma Iqbal, partner at Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors

“At the age of 42, I feel that I have learnt to acknowledge both my strengths and weaknesses and have realise both have helped me grow into the person that I am today. It is important to see challenges and obstacles as a time for learning. I believe you can achieve anything you want to in life, you just need to work hard, learn hard and of course play hard!” – Maria Afentakis, research scientists and author of The Spiritual Scientist

“I finally know who I am, and where I ‘m supposed to be. If you face your fears and just put one foot in front of the other, magical things happen.” – Rebecca Hartley, Director, Saving Grace Events and ambassador for the charity Prevent Breast Cancer

Left to right: Asma Iqbal, Maria Afentakis, Rebecca Hartley

“My 30s were heartbreaking after losing my husband at 34 so turning 40 was fine. I have a son and my clock wasn’t ticking, I just wanted my life to be happy and meaningful. Hitting 40 I knew I was too long in the tooth to have my ideas squashed, style questioned and commerciality quizzed and what I know in my head can’t be put on a spreadsheet, it’s called GUT and I have bags of it. ” – Katie Moore, celebrity stylist and founder of stylepath_ldn

“We are all capable of incredible things – especially in our 40s. No matter your age, background, or title. If you want to change something – you can do it. Know you can, and do it now.”   – Philippa White, CEO and Founder of The International Exchange

“Firstly, to trust my own wisdom. To gather insights from others I admire have walked a path of self exploration, but to ultimately trust my own life, my experience, and learn from my own challenges, joy and being.” – Carmen Rendell, Founder of Soulhub wellbeing community

“I have two main feelings. One that is I finally feel like I can just be myself and live life on my terms. It feels like I’ve had enough lived experience to own my decisions which is very empowering. The other one is that I feel like with all that experience, I can make the next half of my life absolutely incredible by doing what makes me come alive, sharing my learnings with others and doing more of whatever makes me truly happy and fulfilled. It’s exciting.” – Puja McClymont, Life and Business Coach, retreat host and podcast host

Left to right: Katie Moore, Carmen Rendell, Philippa White, Puja McClymont

Can you relate to the above insights and experiences of being in your 40s? Why not add your experience of being your 40s in a comment below and join our Instagram community here where we will be keeping the conversation going.

Cover photo by Lara

How to feel sexy in your 40s – yes it’s possible!

Are you wondering if is possible to feel sexy in your 40s?

As I journey more into my 40’s and look at was to feel good I have found that no matter what I try the common denominator is ME. It is up to me to feel good in myself, to feel comfortable in my own skin and to start feeling sexy again. No amount of reading self help books or courses are going to change how I feel unless I change the way I think about myself. As Mel Robbins say “No one is coming to save you, no one “so ultimately it is up to us to feel sexy again not any partner, husband, or wife it is up to us and us alone. Feeling sexy is far more than how we feel in the bedroom it’s about confidence in how we look and feel about ourselves. It is about knowing we are attractive, beautiful and capable through our own eyes; it is self-love at its best.

Accept, like, love are the steps I use when helping women to feel good about their body and start to see themselves as sexy. Acceptance can be the biggest barrier to self-love.

Accepting where you are now, longing for the body we had in our 20’s is pointless as it will never be that way again. Looking to the past will never helps us feel good in the present moment so embrace the body you have now. Accepting your body doesn’t mean giving up it is a starting point to where you want to go and how you want to feel.

Sexy is a feeling

The sexy feeling you once had is pivotal to getting your sexy back.

I want you to think back to a time when you felt absolutely super-hot sexy . Close your eyes and let the image come to the front of your mind. Then go through these questions

  • What are you wearing?
  • Where are you?
  • Who are you with?
  • What are the smells?
  • How does it feel in your body?

Now open your eyes and check in with yourself, how do you feel in this present moment, what’s happening in your body ? How do you feel? Has the feeling stayed in with you?

Our mind works in images and the image creates a feeling so when we recall the memory or image of when you felt sexy it is possible to get the  same feeling back. This technique can be used when you want to feel good about yourself or want to get that sexy feeling back.

feel sexy in your 40s

What you can do to feel sexy in your 40s

To help you start on your sexy back journey here are some scientifically and not so scientific  methods that can help you.

Get fitted for a new bra

Having your breasts all nicely supported helps you stand taller, and your clothes sit better. Buy bras in lace and cool different colours to help with the sexiness factor.

Exercise

To realease the endorphins and to remind you how amazing your body is .

Give someone a complement

What you give out you will receive back doubled. Making others feel good helps you feel good. Also practice receiving a complement don’t brush it of, just say THANK YOU !

Smile

When you smile it is impossible not to feel good – try it. Try smiling at yourself in the mirror for the ultimate feel-good factor.

feel sexy in your 40s

Stop the self-sabotage

Remember you have the power to change your thoughts so when those negative self-sabotaging thoughts or patterns creep in, catch them and change the thought.

Bring back the fun

Try to bring in some laughter and fun into your life, we can sometimes forget that we need fun in our life and take everything so seriously. This can work well if you feel self-conscious around your partner, break the ice with a joke, laughter can help you both relax.

Visualization

As I said thinking back to a time when you felt sexy or creating an image of being sexy and attractive can really help bring about those feelings. Bring in all your senses to create the image in your sun-conscious mind.

Create you own sexy affirmations

I am a big believer in affirmations but sometimes we can think in negative affirmations such as “I am not attractive, no one loves me. Saying this will never get us anywhere so you need to change it to something positive and in the present tense approve of myself I  am willing to accept love I deserve love”

Masturbate

Looking to yourself for pleasure is the ultimate form of self-love and can boost your self-esteem. So, get to it embrace your own body for those sexy feelings of pleasure. If it been a while or you are new to pleasing yourself reading erotic novels and taking a visit to Ann Summers is certainly a way to start.

Not everyone feels sexy all the time, life and being a woman in your 40s in general can see to that but remember you are not on your own. If you are trying to get your sexy back and feel sexy in your 40s believe me there are many other women trying to do the same so go easy on yourself, Don’t forget to let the fun into your life and remember thoughts are just thoughts and a thought can be changed.  

Sarah Lyons is an image consultant, body confidence and wellbeing coach for women, she helps women all over the country look and feel-good inside and out. Find out more at www.sarahlyonscoaching.com and follow her on Instagram @sarahlyonscoaching & @wellstyled_by_sarah.

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi and Matthias Cooper via Pexels

What are the benefits of bone broth in your 40s?

This article includes PR samples

At this point in my life, I’m grabbing at straws for anything that might benefit my health and wellbeing. I recently purchased a gua sha in a sad attempt to iron out the life lines on my face and reduce the puffiness in my eyes. I vow to use it everyday and make it a part of my skin care regime but ask me again in three months time and I have a feeling it will be very much discarded like many fads. Today I very much enjoyed my little ritual and the extra couple of minutes of self care it offered.

The other ‘trends’ I’ve been looking into are collagen supplements and I’ve started experimenting.

The importance of collagen

 benefits of bone broth

Natural Beauty, Wellness Expert & Co-Founder Of New Generation Beauty Brand, Raw Beauty Lab, Sonia Bainbridge explains;

‘Collagen is the structural protein responsible for keeping your skin looking plump, glowing and wrinkle free. However, you lose collagen at the rate of 1% each year after your mid-twenties which causes fine lines and wrinkles to become more prominent.

Most women don’t notice any changes until they approach their 40’s and this is primarily because the rate of collagen degradation increases as you approach menopause.’

So how can you increase collagen production? One simple answer, for some, is bone broth!

What is bone broth?

Belinda Blake, a nutritional therapist and clinic tutor for the Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION) says;

‘The broth made from bones can be an excellent food for women in their 40s. The long, slow cooking of bones in a liquid which includes a little acidity (either wine or vinegar) helps to draw out minerals locked into the bone matrix, including calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

These are in a very bioavailable form and may help support strong bone health at a time when the breakdown of our own bone tissues may start to exceed that of new bone formation. 

You can tell when a bone broth is rich in collagen as it will set to a jelly when chilled, forming gelatine. The gelatine, plus mucopolysaccharides like chondroitin, glucosamine and hyaluronic acid which are also found in bone broth, have all been shown to help support joint health and protect against the effects of ageing and degenerative disease throughout the body.’

Made from scratch

 benefits of bone broth

Meera Bhogal knows too well the ill effects of food intolerances having spent years experimenting before she found her remedy. She passionately shares her secrets on her website, Meera’s Made from Scratch.

I was keen to understand more about the hype around bone broth so went to Meera to find out more. She explained that bone broth is an ancient remedy known for easily absorbed nutrients, gelatine, and collagen; which are both thought to support and help repair the lining of the digestive tract. This broth can be drunk warm or added to dishes as a stock substitute. She says;

‘Women going through menopause benefit greatly because the loss of estrogen and hormonal changes will have an even more significant impact on our collagen levels.’ Meera’s broth is handmade with organic chicken carcass (the source of collagen) with other gut-friendly ingredients such as turmeric and apple cider vinegar. I was lucky enough to try some and it really was truly delicious.

My collagen journey

The last three months have been somewhat of an experiment for myself. I did actually purchase a supplement and interestingly, although I can’t really tell yet, my hairdresser commented on how much thicker my hair was. I’ve also had a couple of comments about my glowing skin. So there you go. Maybe there is something in it?

Do you feel like we are in a race against time to preserve ourselves? What do you do to help slow the inevitable ageing process? Comment below to keep the conversation going and hang out with us over on Instagram.

You can also keep up to date with all the latest articles by subscribing for FREE in the box below.

The best ways to stay well as you age

Aging gracefully isn’t always the easiest thing to do but there are some tips and advice that can give you a better chance of doing so. You must remind yourself that you matter and that the better job you do at self-care the better you’re going to feel overall.

Below are some of the best ways to stay well as you age. Put these into practice and it won’t be long before you’re on your way to improved health and more happiness. Getting older can be hard on your mind and body but it can also be a beautiful and rewarding journey if you approach it in the right manner.  

Take care of your physical body

stay well as you age

One of the best ways to stay well as you age is to take care of your physical body. There are many ways to do so such as getting enough sleep and exercise daily. Also, address aches, pains, and discomforts as soon as they occur instead of putting them off. Have a doctor you can visit as needed and keep the number of an emergency dentist handy. It may also help to do yoga or stretch often to remain loose and build more strength and stamina. Your new routine may also include strength training as well as other fun activities that get your heart rate up.

Lower stress

Stay well as you age by finding useful and productive ways to lower stress. Too much of it can be debilitating and cause you anxiety and anguish. It may be that you write in a journal, review your gratitude list, or head outside for a walk when you’re feeling overwhelmed. These are just some of the best ways to reduce stress and reset when you’re experiencing tension and uneasiness. Know what your triggers are and try to avoid them or at least prepare for them when you can. Acknowledge and notice your feelings and have healthy outlets for releasing any negative emotions you’re harboring.

Challenge your mind

stay well as you age

Mental health matters and plays a significant role in how you feel overall and function. Improve and boost your mental health by staying challenged and engaged in life. Find a job and career that makes you think and problem-solve and do some crossword puzzles in your free time. Start a new hobby and socialize with others so you’re always taking in new thoughts and perspectives.

Cook healthy meals

A nutritious diet will also help you achieve better wellness and keep you on track to feeling great. Stay well as you age by cooking healthy meals for yourself and packing healthy snacks to bring with you on the go. Consume more fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins and try to cut back on the refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, and sugar. You’ll have more control over the ingredients and what you’re putting in your body when you grocery shop and cook at home. It’ll be easier to maintain a healthy weight and you’ll have more natural energy when you eat right. There are so many benefits that it’ll be worth your efforts to prepare meals yourself.

What do you do to stay well as you age? How are you preserving yourself? Let us know by commenting below or connect with us over on Instagram.

How to make money from home while you sleep!

The last two years have been turbulent to say the least. So many careers have been affected by the pandemic. For some of us, jobs as we knew them have changed for the better and some for the worse. I , for one, know that having my husband have the flexibility to work from home has been hugely rewarding and has boosted our family. But for many, the changes have been hugely unsettling and life changing. Sometimes, in life, we need to make an adjustment and although it might seem and feel impossible, it could lead to something wonderful and bring us closer to financial freedom.

Lucy Griffiths was as a TV journalist for over 20 years, with an incredibly fascinating career working with some of the world’s biggest television stations as a TV reporter and producer, interviewing; Barack Obama, Tony Blair, Hillary Clinton, and celebrities like; Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Victoria Beckham. Lucy’s career took her from flying on Air Force One with the President of the United States to being in the middle of a refugee camp in a war zone. 

Seeking a new passion

When Lucy’s son was born in 2015, she experienced a traumatic birth, which left her suffering both anal and urinary incontinence and she knew her life wouldn’t be the same again…  after much soul-searching, support and coaching, she set out to find a new passion and purpose for her life. 

Lucy turned to the online space and created a course, which tapped into both her coaching expertise and her experience of being on camera, to help other women, particularly, to find their confidence to spread their message. She created a training course, but soon realised due to demand that she could turn it into a digital course and sell it on repeat (literally making money whilst she slept or spent quality time with her son – all through passive income). She has now sold this course 50,000 times over and has generated over 1million in revenue. This $19 course paid the family’s mortgage and bills throughout the pandemic where her other income streams dried up. 

She’s helped coaches and consultants, pet-preneurs and horse whisperers, ballet instructors and beauty therapists, to turn their expertise into digital products that sell on repeat and she hopes with the book she can reach even more people. Here, she offers us her top five tips.

1. Brainstorm ideas

How to make money from home

Allow yourself the space to brainstorm your ideas. Free flow and don’t restrict yourself or negate those little ideas that could become something truly remarkable. Give yourself the space with a big piece of paper and just start writing. Allow your creativity to unfurl and see what ideas come forward. 

2. Talk to your audience and then niche down

Talk to your people and find out what they want to buy from you. Test and validate your idea to know that people really want and desire it. Are people being polite: “Oh, that sounds interesting”, or do they really want it: “OMG, where can I get it?”. If they are your target audience and they get excited by your idea, then you know you’re on to something.

3. Niche down 

Be selective with who you are creating a course for. You’re not making a course for everyone; you’re making a course for a select slice of the online world that needs your knowledge and experience. They will identify with you because they are a reflection of you. There’s a saying in the online world, “there are niches in the riches.” It’s true. 

4. Create your course

How to make money from home

This is the big one! Use the audience research as the starting point for the course, and create what your people want and need from you. This will help you to structure and map out your course.  Put your passion and soul into the course and share your experience with your audience. Done is better than perfect, so take action and avoid procrastination. There may be times you want to throw your laptop out of the window, but the promise of making money while you sleep will carry you through the challenging times. 

5. Create a sales machine to sell it

When you’ve gone to the effort of creating a course, you want an audience to sell it to. And it’s no point selling it once; you want to sell it again and again. This means creating an online sales system to sell on automatic while you get on with the business of life. It means you can live more and work less because you have an automated process to make money while you sleep!

Lucy’s book, ‘Make Money Whilst You Sleep’, is her latest avenue through which to create more of a ripple effect empowering others to move away from the hustle mentality that can lead to burnout and mental health struggles, instead encouraging readers to reclaim living their lives the way they want to, using their expertise to bring passive income. 

Have you every thought of a career change or have you been forced into a situation where you’ve had to dramatically change the way you work? Keep the conversation going by commenting below or follow us on Instagram.

5 tips for fulfilling your business ambitions after 40

Turning 40 is around that time of life that many of us feel the call of a midlife career change. Many of us might start harbouring business ambitions, as we seek to make change and create a lasting legacy.

And no matter how established you are, it’s never too late to start again and find something more fulfilling

If you have a passion for a particular field and a specialist skillset, starting your own business could just be the venture you need to give you that much-needed new lease of life.  

There are many perks to owning your own business. It’s a chance to determine your own hours, be your own boss and do something that you love. 

But it’s a hugely challenging venture too. So if you’re not sure where to start to pursue your entrepreneurial business ambitions after 40, check out these five tips for success!

1. Go with what you know 

business ambitions

You don’t have to be an expert from day one – starting a business is a learning curve 

But whether it’s a lifelong talent that you’ve always wanted to turn into a trade, or a field you’ve already worked in and want to go independent with, it should be something you’re passionate enough about to make it your full-time job. 

2. Start small 

It’s tempting to start tackling big projects right away. 

But they say that slow and steady wins the race, and in business, it’s best to go at a pace that is realistic and sustainable. 

This may mean that you don’t give up your current job straight away – if it’s feasible, look into maintaining your business part-time alongside your existing role. Even if you cut your hours, having the guarantee of a stable income will make the challenges of setting up your business easier to handle.  You may decide that you want to return to learning. Why not explore a Training Provider – Apprenticeships & Courses – to see how this could help take you in a new direction.

3. Explore support 

You’ll find that a lot of small business support can come from a range of unexpected sources. 

And whether you need help with funds and finance or other practical advice, your local chamber of commerce will have links to networks that can support your business. 

Alternatively, explore external opportunities to inspire growth and support the launch of your business. For instance, if you’re looking to get your name online with an SEO campaign, consider consulting with an agency such as Leeds-based Maratopia Digital Marketing for guidance. 

Whatever you’re planning on tackling as a business, don’t feel obliged to take it on alone. 

4. Find a mentor 

No matter how experienced you are in your field, there’s always more to learn – particularly if you’re striking out on your own. 

And opportunities such as networking events can help you find friends in your industries to mentor and support you on your entrepreneurial journey. 

Certain industries such as the CIPD (the professional body for HR professionals) run member-to-member mentorship schemes which can provide you with a fantastic support network. 

5. Set goals 

Setting goals is great practice in any venture. 

Whether it’s a set number of sales per month or an income target, it’s always healthy to have something to aim towards. 

These are just five tips for starting a business after 40. Wherever you are in your career, and whatever your business ambitions, we hope these tips help you build a fulfilling future. Tell us about your future goals by leaving a comment below or connecting with us over on Instagram.