I remember the first time I had a two-day hangover. That’s when I knew—I was no longer a 20-something who could survive on three to four hours of sleep or enjoy that extra glass of wine the night before a big meeting. The truth is, as I’m sure you know, the older we get, the more our bodies change. But sometimes we forget that this also means we need to adjust our self-care habits. So if you’re nearing 30 or well into your 30s like we are, here are some ways you can update your self-care habits for better overall wellbeing.
Main and featured image via Dear Society.
Dial-in your skincare regimen
We hate the term anti-aging. That’s not the goal here. The goal is to age naturally and gracefully while taking amazing care of yourself. But as you get older, the same $6 anti-acne skincare wash might not be what your skin needs anymore. Just because you’ve been using a product for a long time doesn’t mean it’s still the best one for your skin. You should have a streamlined skincare routine for both A.M. and P.M., and don’t skip it. Water and sleep are a huge part of this too, obviously. The more water you drink and the more sleep you get, the happier your skin will be. And of course, SPF every. single. day. Even in winter. Even inside. No excuses!
Take vitamin D
Have you been feeling more sluggish, experiencing mood swings, or are generally irritable or depressed? Vitamin D isn’t just for a sun-kissed glow. Vitamin D deficiency is common and has been linked to many health problems including increased risk of heart disease, depression, cancer, autoimmunity, the seasonal flu, and more. Keeping your vitamin D levels up is crucial as they are essential to calcium absorption (aka strong bone health) and overall immune function.
Incorporate weight training
Weight training is important the older we get. Not because we want to bulk up, but because we don’t want to lose all of our muscle mass. Your muscle mass naturally decreases as you get older, so it’s more important than ever to incorporate it into your weekly routine. Get yourself a little set of dumbbells or a weighted medicine ball for easy, at-home weight training.
Get friendly with your doctor
We tend to be pretty good about going to the doctor when we feel sick or are hurt, but you’d be amazed at how many women are not on top of their annual screenings and check-ups. And I’m talking from head-to-toe. You should be getting your teeth cleaned by the dentist at least twice a year. Once a year, you should be seeing your gynecologist for your annual pap smear and your primary care physician for your physical. Every two years, you should get your vision checked and see a dermatologist to check your skin. After you turn 35, you should also be receiving yearly mammograms.
Go to therapy
There’s no age limit for therapy. Even if you can only go once a month, consider this as another type of wellness visit, but for your mental health. It’s important to have a safe space and someone you can talk to about your emotions, fears, and feelings. As we get older, the need for this doesn’t subside. We might not have as much drama as we did in our 20s, but there’s always stuff to be worked on.
The key here is quality, not quantity. Rather than a large group of acquaintances, really focus on your core group of friends. Having a tight-knit, quality friend group, even just one or two can help you live a longer life and have a stronger immune system. Social isolation isn’t good for your body or your mind. But having a small group of friends who you see frequently is crucial as we age, both for our physical and our mental wellbeing.
Stay on top of your medical history
No one is going to take care of your health for you. You need to know your medical history, your risk factors, and your medications. Set up a system to track your information. This system will help you (and your doctor) quickly understand any problems that come up in the future, prevent errors in treatment and diagnosis, and help decide what preventative tests you may need. Start with getting a family medical history and recording your own history, too.
Read for 30 minutes every day
Whether it’s part of your bedtime routine or how you spend your lunch break, a daily chunk of time spent reading is crucial to self-care in your 30s. And I don’t mean an online article or blog post. I don’t need to tell you all the benefits that reading regularly has on your mind. But did you know having a regular reading routine can help you regulate stress, alleviate depression, and even live a longer life? It’s a must.