Ladies who age gracefully.

This post is dedicated to one of my dear friends and others who have kind hearts but often fall into bad relationships (not this gorgeous lady who sits opposite me in the frame if you’re curious).  A romantic relationship is her priority (aside from work).  Oftentimes, she would just cross out her plans in order to see him whenever he wanted a companion.  No matter what time it was…  Bit by bit, he gradually lost respect for her and took advantage of her kindness.  Along the way in their on and off relationship, the man’s ignorance made her sobbed as she threw herself onto the bed from time to time. 

What I want to tell her and actually did (many times!) is… to value yourself more than anything else.  It might sound selfish yet, trust me!  It’s rewarding and prevents yourself from a fake relationship that you don’t feel uplifted. 

Life is too short to be with a man who is not on the same page as you and doesn’t respect your values. 

Think of it this way.. If you’re an unhappy woman, you’ll be less attractive and age faster than you should be!  So don’t cry over him and get back on your feet!  You may feel lost at first as he keeps on contacting you and comes up with all the excuses that he could find just to see if he could get you back.  A gentle reminder… you will only find yourself repeating the cycle of resentment and end up wounding yourself.  Then please don’t let him walk all over you…  Be firm, stand on your ground, and let him figure out the moment of truth after a few conversations.  Still, you should be lively and soft from the outside… 

We are neither teenagers nor young adults, just one of those women who seek ways to live happily and age gracefully.  Thanks to a little help from Asian genes that make people around the world wonder about our age.  Yet, without a certain set of lifestyles, we would have had a hard time crafting the blueprint of staying young.  If your determination is set, here are a few patterns that us women can do to slow down the clock and improve our self-esteem…

// keep busy // 

Instead of pulling your head down and staring at his texts or social media all day long, keep your chin up, hide your phone somewhere, and just forget about it (until you actually need to contact someone).  In this very moment when you are in agony and loneliness, try as hard as you can to not think about his positive sides and stay away from his presence.  I find this the most effective recovery method…  Keeping myself occupied and productive forces me to be more focused on the task at hand and raises my consciousness of the surroundings.

I’ve been using my planners for more than ten years now to organize my days as well as record places and activities I have done daily.  My work life balance become easier when I break down my schedules into hours and think a day ahead about what I’m going to do tomorrow or a week/month later.  I like to think that keeping busy is a form of entertaining oneself.  Sinking yourself in sorrow is not going to benefit anything or anyone.  Each life is born with a purpose, so make it worth your while.

// keep moving your body //

Well, if you can’t think of anything to put in your planner, you may start with a workout plan.  Do you know why people who exercise seem to function like young adults?  Those in their 30s who don’t exercise experience the natural decline in muscle mass decades sooner than those who constantly keep themselves moving!  Exercises, in particularly endurance, resistance, and strength training, can increase and tone your muscles.  You don’t have to be a body builder to age gracefully.  It is how early you decide to start that counts…  As you get older, exercises should be increasingly integrated in your routines.  

It’s been 8 years since I first included a workout plan into my weekly schedule (and yet, felt like I should have started sooner!).  I began with running on a treadmill like many of you.  I’ll be honest and say.. I HATE RUNNING!  Believe me.. I hated it that much and felt almost as if I was being punished every single time.. So that didn’t really move me until I got into yoga, weight training, and many more!  It’s quite essential to find types of exercises you like so that you can keep it up without being bored and completely dropping it.  I tend to vary my workout patterns because I get bored easily!  Hence, in a week, I see myself alternating quite a few activities: cycling, hiking, yoga, boxing, stretching, and so on…

Anyhow, I don’t just exercise seeing that I have to or want to be like others.  I do it because it’s fun to stay active and delightful to see tons of positive results!  I eat and feel better; I behave better to others; I’m more conscious; I move and think faster…  So basically, staying active makes me become a happier person and improve my level of self-love.  To battle depression, imagine the person who doesn’t treat your well as a punching bag maybe?

// be diligent with your self-care routines //

Ladies!  Needless to say that we have to always look good so that we can feel good.. and vice versa..  You should aim for taking care of yourself first before sharing happiness with others.  This cannot be the other way around!  Most of us get inspired by the individuals who treat themselves well and enjoy their lives to the fullest.  Women in general are inclined to age faster than their male counterparts.  Well.. if you don’t want your partner to run off with another person, you’d better take good care of yourself externally and internally.  You can’t really be lazy if you want to accomplish anything in life, can you? 

There is always time to take care of yourself.  (Unless, you work 20 hours a day.. then forget about it and just go sleep!)  Self-care routines don’t have to be luxury; they could be little habits like drinking water with lemon in the morning, prepping your own healthy meals, journaling, stroking a pet, spending time with good companions, closing your eyes and sitting quietly for 5 minutes a day, etc.  My loved ones all know that once I get home after work and (almost) every morning…

I’m utterly absorbed in my own little routines for a couple of hours

Besides music, books, and cats, I also call my skincare routines as one of my home remedies and zen time.  Seeing that skincare routines function as anti-aging agents, I habitually pampered myself with facial skincare and treatment like I would splash cold water on my face every time after cleansing and keep up with my DIY natural masks.  I don’t even believe in western medications or supplements as means to prevent premature skin aging, so forget about botox, fillers, and all that…  

Only mind over matter and self-care rituals are worth striving for.

// avoid overindulging // 

hmmm.. This is difficult when most of unhealthy foods seem to be visually appealing and taste so damn good…  Given that everyone acknowledges about the fact that eating and drinking wisely can slow down the clock, many (including me) can’t withstand temporary temptations.  So my go-to options when I’m craving for food are real foods while avoiding processed foods whenever I can.  I don’t drink sodas, not even a diet one; they all taste the same to me regardless of what flavours they are.  I don’t entirely cut caffeine and alcoholic beverages; I keep them to a minimum. 

A good diet shouldn’t leave you feeling like a disaster with a strict set of rules.   Alternatively, it should add on pleasurable dimensions to your lifestyles.  Still, when it comes to my main meals, I usually resist having seconds just because I tend to snack (lots) during the day.  It’s ok to indulge yourself with sweets or a glass of wine once in a while.  Having a serious sweet tooth, I personally have desserts 2-3 times a week.  But when I do, I try to be mindful, not to eat beyond satisfaction, and burn it off within the following day!

// manage your stress & create quality time //

Stress can trigger high blood pressure which leads to other risk factors like poor diet, excessive smoking and alcohol consumption, sleep apnea, diabetes, etc.  Many don’t seek to manage their stress naturally so that the issue becomes chronic and adds a few more years on your appearance.  Ladies then start to believe that beauty products and dermatologists can help them delay the aging process.

How does it make you feel when you spend large amount of money on things that aren’t sustainable?

Unlike many beauty concepts out there that we often run after, radiance is beyond just beauty because it’s so delicate and natural.  It only originates from the inside out.. and I’m talking about ‘happiness’.  Individuals find pleasure in different forms.  It could simply be socializing, spending time with friends, loved ones, or even alone, reading a book, petting a cat, taking a walk in nature, doing meditation, working on what you love, the list goes on…  It could even be checking on social media or checking your phone all day.. as long as you think it’s meaningful to you.. Just please don’t do it while spending time with others.  I totally mean it!  (yeah right…)

If your free time is limited, you may want to choose your options wisely and turn your free time into quality time.  You don’t have to do things that other people tend to do.  Like for me.. partying and drinking are not going to drag me out of depression and confusion, instead.. creating a void in my mind.  Or I love watching movies and documentary films as I learn something from them and entirely ditch TV series/shows that many have convinced me to see.  Just simply because I don’t find the same pleasure as movies.

I don’t think I have missed much, haven’t I?

So.. dear friend and ladies who suffer from bad relationships..  Some say happy women don’t settle..  Though I don’t entirely agree seeing that a bunch of married couples have made relationships work, I’m not against the idea.  If you’re already a happy woman and live life independently, why would you resign yourself to be in a mediocre relationship, sacrifice your desires, or stay with a man who doesn’t treasure you dearly?  A healthy romantic relationship shouldn’t make you dull, uninspired, or hold you back from being yourself / doing anything you like.  If so, wouldn’t you rather be doing just fine on your own?  It’s such a waste of time to think of someone who doesn’t value our existence.  When your mind starts to wander around, guide it back to the present moment!  Now go get a planner and plan your life already!

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