If you’re looking for inspiration to get the most out of life, then these wellbeing tips to keep your brain and body active for us midlifers will hit the spot! Jane Hallam of innovative clothing company Esteem – No Pause, originally developed to combat her own debilitating and uncomfortable menopausal nightsweats and in turn those of women everywhere, provides some tips on keeping your brain and body active during midlife:
Tip 1: Learn/Develop a Language
Prior to having my daughter almost 21 years ago, I took Italian classes during the evening. My only 100% examination result! My late husband and I had been travelling around Italy for years and I felt the need to communicate more effectively. As a result I enrolled on an evening class but this lapsed unfortunately due to life commitments.
Now in my early 50s I have started using a popular language app to refresh my Italian. This helps facilitate communication with work contacts, new friends and immersing myself into Italian life when I visit Italy. The amazing technical performance fabric that I use in my clothing line is produced by a factory in Italy: it’d be rude not to visit and discuss potential clothing applications with them!
Tip 2: Crosswords and Puzzles
Both my Grandmother (into her 90s when she stopped!!) and mother were/are super cryptic crossword fiends. No matter how hard I try I find it difficult to comprehend the rules. I am a numbers girl and love Sudoku. I even have an app on my iPad and save newspaper puzzles for travel either on my own or with my daughter and we can often be found poring over the puzzles together.
Menopause is a key transition in midlife for women and is synonymous with brain fog which means that we need to exercise and challenge our brain just as we would our bodies. Overcoming challenges provides a sense of achievement and boosts our mood which is another bonus.
During midlife you often find that you have more time to yourself as your children grow less dependent and if you have chosen to work part-time or retire. It is the perfect time to investigate opportunities at local FE/HE providers to see what day and evening classes are available. These may be practical, creative and/or academic.
Last year instead of undertaking an art class, I decided to go out of my comfort zone and become a life model for art classes. I have found this truly liberating, partly because I have always been comfortable in my own skin but also because I am fully aware of the challenge posed to artists in drawing the human body. Sitting for artists is also a very meditative experience. It allows my mind to wonder and focus upon challenges and problems that I can find a solution to whilst being very still. I have only had one hot flush during a sitting!
I would love to take a tap class. Singing in the Rain is one of my favourite musicals and I love watching and participating in tap, so noisy and exhilarating! However, for some reason I find it difficult to remember routines and am fine moving to the right but completely forget the moves to the left!
Since January this year I have changed my exercise routine from an early morning 3 day a week outside class to warm daytime classes. These are mainly Hot Pilates, Body Blitz (50% Barre exercise), Yoga Sculpt and Iyengar Yoga. I find this gives some structure to my week and has had the added benefits of improving my posture, general health and my waist has come back! Result!
Once you are wrapped up nice and cosy this winter, get outside. Being in the winter sun can be just as uplifting as being in the summer sun. Exposure to sunlight will help boost your vitamin D intake too. When making errands walking will make you feel so much better than driving. Over time some niggling aches and pains will also ease the more you move.
Tip 6: Unexpected Benefits – New Friends
As you approach and enter midlife your circle of friends changes slightly as with any other stage of life. You may start to work part-time or retire, friends move away and you are likely to meet new ones sharing your new mutual interests. Some of you will be revisiting interests which and others taking a leap into the unknown.
A new friend that I have made over the past year, through her modelling sample designs for me, has introduced me to Vinyl Nights. It’s a bit like going round your mate’s house with a pile of records when you were a teenager but on a larger scale. You can’t help but smile and feel wonderful bopping around to music from your youth. I have also spent a couple of sessions DJ’ing with my own vinyl. With another long-term girlfriend we have discovered Martin Kemp’s 80s Disco, which if it is coming to a town near you I highly recommend it as a fabulous night out. I promise you will be grinning from ear to ear afterwards!
Love Jane x
Thank you Jane for sharing your fabulous tips.
PS. To feel full of vitality from the inside out, check out how naturally switching your antioxidant production back on will help you have better sleep, more energy and reduced inflammation.