After 50, our bodies have gone through over 5 decades of wear and tear. If you’re wondering how to feel good after 50, this post is for you!
Now that I have recently left the 50’s decade, I’m excited to share 11 habits and life changes that help me feel good. In fact, several are late-life epiphanies!
Pay Attention to Your Body
Paying attention to my body was one of my big lifetime epiphanies.
For example, after finally noticing that debilitating headaches which I had tolerated for decades came after certain events or activities, I was able to reduce them by about 90%!
This came after years of others suggesting that food may be triggering my headaches.
I thought that since I didn’t have digestion issues, (in hindsight I did, I just didn’t recognize them), I couldn’t have food intolerances.
Exercise After 50, Especially
Exercise is another after 50 big epiphany for me. Like many women, I had walked regularly for decades. But in my late 50’s, I started having excruciating pain in my right leg and hip, sometimes equal to childbirth (natural, yeah, uh-hum).
My orthopedic doc told me I needed to strengthen my core muscles. I had known this for years, but maybe, like you, I hated sit–ups and other exercises that strengthened core muscles.
(Plus, I had a rod in my back and a spinal fusion limiting my ability to bend.)
Like many women our age, we have body issues that keep us from doing what we need to do to keep our bodies healthy, causing more issues.
Here’s how I solved the pain. I started Barre classes. Yep, there I was in a studio full of fit millennials huffing and puffing. Initially, I was scared to death it would cause more problems because it was really hard.
My goal was to be able to do all of the class. I met this goal within a few months and am now attending the more advanced class. Much like the headaches, my hip pain has been reduced by about 90%!
Barre may not be the answer for you. Maybe pilates, weight lifting, walking, or yoga would work better for you but try something new.
By the time we are over 50, our bodies have gotten used to what we have always done. It becomes maintenance, not improvement.
And to feel good, sometimes we need improvement.
Of course, be sure to clear it with your doctor first.
Alternative Wellness to Address Aging
In my late 30’s I began incorporating alternative wellness practices for me and my sons due to health issues we had. The change was dramatic.
It started with removing 21 amalgam fillings, reducing chemicals in our home and food, taking supplements, and more.
For example, think how many rounds of antibiotics you’ve taken by the time you’re in your 50’s or 60’s.
Antibiotics kill the good bacteria in your digestive tract, popularly called your “gut” these days. Simple things like taking good quality acidophilus to restore the natural bacteria balance in your gut can do a world of good.
A lot of people eat yogurt for this purpose, but much of it has a lot of sugar and other unhealthy additives. Plus, yogurt contains limited strains of bacteria, but your gut has many.
Research now shows the importance of keeping your gut healthy.
And simple things like drinking chamomile tea to calm nerves, putting lavender essential oil under your pillow, and drinking tons of quality water are both delightful and naturally help you feel good.
Avoid Dressing Old
This one may surprise you. In my 50’s. I discovered that when I made the effort to put on a little makeup and wear something remotely stylish, my energy was higher.
And, this sounds weird, but it seemed like people were friendlier to me when I was out and about. I do think there is something to this energy thing, and I believe it was because I felt better about myself.
While this seems somewhat superficial, it is what it is.
You may have some clothing items that are more than 2 decades old. I do, and I still love to wear them. In fact, I’m pretty sure my Gap denim shirt is 28 years old!
But every season I like to update my wardrobe with a few new items, and then actually wear them, even for running errands.
Sleep Changes After 50 or 60
What’s the deal with waking up earlier (and having to go the bathroom all night) as we age? I hear this is common with many women over 50.
Supposedly, we don’t need as much sleep the older we get but I’m not sure that’s true. I do know that there is no one rule that fits all when it comes to feeling good.
Personally, I can feel good with about half an hour less sleep than in my 40’s, which isn’t much less.
Only you know how many hours of sleep you need to feel good. This may mean that you go to bed earlier if feeling good is a priority for you.
Dealing with Stress After Midlife
By the time we’re over 50, we’ve been dealing with stress for so long that we become immune to it. At least, this was the case for me.
After committing to living a happier and more peaceful life in my late 50’s, stressors I had overlooked for decades began screaming to be eliminated.
Here are some common stress provokers, especially common for women over 50.
Avoid or limit the people who stress you out.
Get Control of Your Money
The less in control you are with your money the more stressful it is.
Spend Less Than You Make
Spending more than you make means you have to use credit cards or withdraw from savings to live. Talk about stress!
Have a Wealth Plan
A lot of women think over 50 is too late to create a wealth plan, but it’s more important than ever. You can make the changes you need, which will be apparent from a solid wealth plan focused on having funds for life.
Understand Your Investments
Most women over 50 avoid embracing investing. Understanding how your money is invested is an instant stress reducer.
Eat Cleaner As You Get Older
For me, eating clean food contributed greatly to feeling good.
Try this: The next time you pick up a jar or bottle of anything at the grocery, read the label.
Most women look at fat or sodium. These affect long term health or weight. But what about feeling good an hour after you eat?
Almost everything in a bottle or jar has hidden msg in it. There are dozens of names for msg. And while msg is natural, it commonly leads to sluggishness and headaches.
And msg is just one of thousands of food additives. There are food colorings, preservatives, and flavor enhancers in most packaged products.
Our bodies tolerate such additives for decades, until they can’t anymore. Then they let us know in the form of achy joints, headaches, and general sluggishness.
Don’t Make Assumptions
While making assumptions doesn’t seem like it has anything to do with feeling good, it does! We make assumptions about all kinds of things we consume and do.
- Maybe running is no longer the best exercise for you.
- Maybe tap water would be better than water stored in plastic, often in heat.
- Maybe the cheap supplements are doing more harm than good.
- Maybe you don’t really need to volunteer for 5 things.
- Maybe you’d be happier doing something else with your time instead of what you feel like you have to do, which exhausts you.
- Maybe the green smoothie powder has some form of msg in it, even though the alternative wellness professional recommended it.
Don’t make assumptions that what makes others feel better will make you feel better.
Listen, and your body will tell you. But you have to drop the assumptions first so you can hear.
Accommodate Your Natural Rhythm As You Age
Your body will tell you if it feels best going to bed at 9 and getting up at 5 or going to bed at 12 and getting up at 8.
While it may require a change in habits, accommodating your natural rhythm is a free and easy way to feel better immediately.
Does anyone else love naps? Here’s what I do after every afternoon: I get very comfy and either meditate or listen to a favorite podcast or training video. (I take a lot of virtual business classes.)
If I don’t doze off, I haven’t wasted any time, so I don’t feel frustrated. But that rarely happens.
A quick little doze for 5 or 10 minutes followed by a cup of green tea helps me feel good and energized for the rest of the day!
See if it helps you feel the same.
Some experts claim that 15 minutes of meditation is like 30 to 40 minutes of sleep.
It takes a lot of discipline for me to meditate. But when I do, not only do I feel better, my entire life is better.
Research clearly shows that meditation is good for us.
Plus, it’s free.
In addition to other times, I usually meditate when I can’t sleep, because, I figure, why not?
Summary for How to Feel Better After 50
Now you have 11 ways to feel better after 50 that have worked well for me. Again, only you know what works best for you.
But in trying new things that are healthy anyway, there’s not a lot to lose.