Well Aging sounds like a bit of a new age term, doesn’t it? It’s actually been around for a while!
Well Aging is all about getting rid of the negativity that surrounds aging. After all, aging is a completely natural process and just because we get older and wiser doesn’t mean that life suddenly stops!
At Beauty Pillow, we really love the idea of embracing yourself, your body and the changes that aging brings. Well aging is really about taking care of your whole self so that you can enjoy and embrace the ride throughout this thing we call life.
We are all complex beings with many different needs that grow and change as we do. The core things that remain for each of us are:
Our physical health
Our mental health
Our emotional health
Our social health
Embracing the well aging concept is all about creating sustainable lifestyle choices that help us to age well. Favoring one of these elements too heavily, or ignoring one for the others will have a negative impact on the rest. All parts of the whole need to be running smoothly to help us look and feel our best.
Well Aging and Our Body
Physically we know that we reach a peak and start to decline. Those cricks in your neck you start feeling in your thirties and forties definitely weren’t there in your teens and twenties. This is because when we hit 20, our body naturally stops producing as much collagen. The reduction of this core protein leads to muscle and joint stiffness and a loss in skin elasticity that allows wrinkles and lines to develop.
Adopting a well aging perspective for your physical health means enjoying regular exercise, eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep. Sounds simple enough right? We’ve noticed that in theory this is a simple enough practice, but when you take a look around the health and wellness space it can be really difficult to find simple, factual information. Added to that, finding information or tips that don’t focus on shaming for enjoying an indulgent meal, missing a work out or getting a much needed lie in.
We’re sold on the idea that if you’re not being productive, you’re not doing it right. But, what is it? And, what is the right way?
When we look at our physical health from a well aging perspective, we're not trying to tally up the good versus the bad. We’re looking at the positives of what our body can do, the delicious taste of your meals and the luxury of restorative sleep. Taking the time to enjoy the physicality of how we live our lives, helps to create a happier, healthier mindset that radiates from the inside out.
As we age and the demands on our bodies and our time change with our lifestyles, we think it’s important to celebrate what our bodies can do for us. Embracing this will help to create a positive long lasting relationship with our body that is removed from the marketing surrounding health, aging and skincare.
Looking in the mirror is something we do everyday of our lives. It’s part of getting ready in the morning and for those of us with an active skincare routine, it’s part of our before bedtime ritual. It can be hard to stay positive about the changes our faces and bodies go through as we age, especially with such a focus on anti aging.
Embracing the concept of well aging, doesn’t have to mean forsaking your skincare and beauty routines. Well aging is about being your best self. Supporting your skin through an anti aging or anti wrinkle routine might actually be the best thing for long term skin health. After all, skincare is a huge part of self care. It might be codified as part of the aesthetics and beauty industry, but don’t forget: your skin is the largest organ in your body!
Using products that protect and nourish your skin, supported by an active lifestyle, a balanced diet and plenty of sleep are the best things you can do for your skin. Creating a skincare routine that supports and protects your skin's natural moisture barrier will go a long way to helping you look and feel your best, no matter your age.
The mind and mental health are complex and unique, no one approach will work for every body. Feeling mentally well is intrinsically linked to our physical needs being met, our environmental stimulus, our emotional needs being fulfilled and our social selves. A big part of well aging is embracing the idea that mental health is health. In our modern society, we’re slowly stepping away from the stigma attached to mental health needs and care but it’s a gradual process.
Embracing the whole self can be a difficult thing for many of us. Ensuring our physical needs are met goes a long way to improve our mental wellbeing. Ensuring we get enough sleep, exercise and nutrients are some of the most basic acts of daily self care we can regularly practice. Have you ever noticed that it can be really hard to motivate yourself to do a workout, but once it’s done you feel more energized, focused and most likely sleep deeper? Endorphins, gotta love them!
Mental health within the framework of well aging really means embracing the moment and assessing what you need in that moment. It’s not about bougy self care like a sweet treat and a bath (though your self care might look like that!), it’s about creating long lasting routines that help support you as you grow and evolve.
Whether you turn to journaling, physical activity or seek professional help, mental health for well aging is about feeding your needs sustainably. With consistent practice, we’re more likely to be able to process or approach difficult situations with less stress and more awareness. Utilizing these skills as we age will help reduce the impact of stressors on our body, so we’re able to enjoy the things we love, for longer.
How You Feel
Have you ever noticed how you feel is written on your face? Our emotions can be affected and impacted by many things beyond our control. Using the well aging approach to our emotional needs might seem a little strange, but humans are complex beings and everything is intertwined.
Sometimes, when we’re going through a trying emotional time, we physically feel the effects. It’s called heartbreak for a reason!
Well aging is all about embracing the tough times to learn and grow. It might seem counter productive but embracing the downs as a period of personal growth can help create a strong, more resilient you in the long run. Using tools for your daily self care and physical practice can help to ease the emotional toll.
Often it might be the last thing you feel like but there’s a lot of truth to the simple saying “There’s nothing a good meal, a hot shower and sleep can’t fix”. Having our physical needs met goes a long way to alleviating the stress and burden of more complex emotional needs.
It’s not all negative! Have you ever noticed that when you laugh and smile, other people tend to join in?
As much as well aging encourages embracing the tough times, the philosophy encourages as much celebration of the good times as possible! Leading a happy, physically and socially supported life can go a long way to help us feel and look young, well into old age. Being young at heart is certainly something we’d like to celebrate!
Where You Are
Our environment can affect many aspects of our lives and impact on more than you’d think. The amount of sun exposure, the levels of air pollution, exposure to pesticides and fertilizers, even how much we travel can have an impact on our bodies, which shows most obviously in our skin. Protecting and nurturing the skin you’re in is an essential part of the well aging philosophy and will help you age well!
Environmental stressors like UV Rays, pollution and even blue light exposure can have a lasting impact on our bodies.
Supporting our internal health by eating a diet high in antioxidants, getting enough sleep and enjoying regular physical activity is essential. Protecting our bodies from the inside out can help to boost our immune systems, helping to ward off illness and disease long into old age.
Supplementing these acts of self care with a consistent skincare routine focused on protecting our body from harmful UV Rays will help to prevent the typical signs of aging from developing.
Living an active, social life often means enjoying the great outdoors. Making sure we protect our skin by using preventative tools like sunscreen, wearing hats and sunglasses (at a minimum) can help us enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us for longer. Celebrating the beauty of nature can be a restorative act of self care and often goes hand in hand with physical wellness. See what we mean when we talk about everything being linked?
Humans are social creatures. Even the introverts among us crave human companionship and connectedness. With our modern lifestyles and dedication to the internet and social media, it can be hard to detach from the world in our cell phones, but the impact on IRL social interactions have on our physical and mental well being should not be forgotten. Creating or being part of an active community is one of the best things we can do for our health and wellbeing.
Social activity is actually one of the most important facets of the well aging philosophy. When we’re socially active we laugh, we cry, we’re exposed to new ideas, new foods, new interests and activities, even new germs. This interaction helps expand our minds, develop our palettes, improve our mental and emotional well being and can even help to boost our immune systems!
It’s all connected!
Keeping an active social life as we age can be difficult. As our work and home lives get busier, it can be hard to make time for friends and family, but having an active support network can help make the aging journey that much easier. We have friends to commiserate and laugh with, families to celebrate and reminisce with, the social element of the well being philosophy is what ties it all together.