Note from Pauline Durban, Founder and President of Covered Perfectly - this is an interesting article from Robin, something I certainly needed to read. Stress is my middle name. Check out what she has to say.
Over to Robin...
Hello, my friends! I just spent a wonderful week in Hilton Head regaining balance in my life. I stepped away from writing on my blog and delegated work as an interior designer to my other designers. I took a break, breathed in the ocean view, and relaxed. I spent time at the ocean to refocus on me and balance my work commitments and my personal life. I have been feeling a tad stressed out with my crazy busy interior design business and this blog and the social media involved with running this business. I needed to stop and just breathe. Do you stop and think about how stress affects your life, my friends?
Since my New Year’s resolution, (where I thought I was going to write 2-3 posts a week), I have been busy with major design projects and it seemed all I was doing was sitting in front of my computer working. I stopped exercising 3 times a week, and my blood pressure was going up! I knew sitting and not exercising was the culprit, but so was the lack of a good night sleep without interruptions.
HOW STRESS AFFECTS US AFTER MIDLIFE
What? Stress after midlife? Absolutely!
As women, many of us have gone through menopause and we already experience sleepless nights, but stress also triggers our adrenal glands to put out higher levels of cortisol, a hormone that responds to stress. Did you know that elevated levels of cortisol are associated with belly fat, poor sleep, brain fog, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and even lowers your immunity? Chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels also increase the risk for depression, mental illness, and lower life expectancy. Although memory loss is a normal part of the aging process, high-stress levels can significantly increase and expedite this process.
If you are on any medication to combat blood pressure, high blood sugars, and extreme fatigue consider decompressing or destressing once a week at most, once a month. Think of it as a “mindful cleansing”.
Steps to Decompress and Find Balance over 50
Intense exercise increases cortisol shortly after exercise, so slow it down and take a walk if you’re under a lot of stress. If you love exercising at a high intensity, wait 2 hours before going to bed. Cortisol and adrenaline spike after an intense workout, but leaves your body 1-2 hours. Never go to bed immediately after a tough workout. Yoga is a wonderful exercise to reduce stress because of the mindful breathing that goes with yoga. Doctors say yoga also helps with depression.
I sleep like a baby when I am in Hilton Head because I exercise every day. I am either walking, riding or swimming every day. Nothing rigorous, but I am moving which is so important in lowering your blood pressure. I am up before the sunrise, grab a cup of coffee and checked my emails. Then I walk 2 miles every morning with Bruno and Sammy. Because we have to keep Bruno on a leash while at Hilton Head, I walk him 4 times a day and probably walk over 4 miles in a day. We walk the beach and ride our bikes at least twice a week which is something I never do in Atlanta. Hilton Head has bicycle paths everywhere and it promotes a healthy lifestyle. I don’t do any weightlifting exercises but I lose 5 pounds everytime I am at the beach. I also feel invigorated and refreshed by exercising every day.
Learn to Relax and Have Fun
Make time to have fun every week if you can. Go to the movies, take up a fun social activity like ballroom dancing, binge-watch a television series, or spend time with your friends. Getting out with friends and family is so important as we get older. The more social we are after 50 the less stress we will have. We will have better health, improved mood, and live longer lives.
Exercise Your Mind
Exercising your brain can be as simple as doing crossword puzzles, playing cards or mahjong with your girlfriends. Many of my golfing friends are playing bridge and we even started playing mahjong on Tuesdays.
Watching television programs like Jeopardy or the Wheel of Fortune where you need to find the correct answer also stimulates your mind.
Find time to Meditate or to be Quiet
Many of my friends begin each day reading the Bible, a daily devotional, or meditating to center themselves before they leave their home.
Nature is another way to find inner peace and to reduce stress. The sounds of nature can soothe a stressful mind. Just stare at the ocean, listen to the birds in the morning, or walk in the woods or in a garden to gain balance in your life.
Read and Unplug
Reading and spending quiet time away from electronics can also reduce stress. Reading uses your brain, improves focus, and reduces stress. Our brain doesn’t need to work when watching television or looking at social media. Being alone with a good book, magazine, or newspaper is so beneficial as a person over 50.
I like reading something other than emails or business documents to help me to relax. I packed 5 months of magazines in my bag and even found the time to enjoy the latest issue of Modern Luxury Interiors- Atlanta. (I am one of the interior designers featured in the April issue.) I still love reading magazines and books in paper form because I enjoy turning the page instead of swiping. I think the digital age will make paper obsolete, which is sad, but also very green.
When Covered Perfectly reached out to me to do a collaboration with them, I knew exactly what outfit I was going to select. If you haven’t heard of Covered Perfectly, it is a company whose sole purpose is to provide flattering, comfortable clothing for women over 50, founded by Pauline Durban. How wonderful is that, my friends? Another woman-owned business and made in the USA! Love supporting women and American made products!
I selected this Ink Blue Leisure Suit that can be worn for the daytime or as pajamas. I am wearing a medium and it fits me so well and is very comfortable because of the MicroModal fabric which is super-soft, luxurious, and oh so comfortable! I like the high scoop neck on this outfit for better coverage. It also comes in a V-neck style too.
I love wearing this Leisure Suit at the beach because I am here to relax and decompress. It is so comfortable and I don’t feel like I’m wearing pajamas. I like wearing super comfy and casual clothes at the beach and This outfit is perfect!
Covered Perfectly has graciously offered my readers 20% off when buying 1 or 2 items by using my code RL20. Or you can use the Buy 2, Get the 3rd FREE Special, no code necessary. (Only one discount can be applied per order.) Happy Shopping my friends!
Thank you for stopping by today, my friends! Thank you Covered Perfectly for collaborating with me on this blog post. This post contains affiliate links which may provide income for Hello I’m 50ish, but all the opinions are purely my own. Go out and be fierce my friends! I hope you’re living your best life now and that age is just a number to you too! I would love to hear from you! How do you decompress after 50? I would love to know!
For more details on Robin's blog, click here.