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Imagine this (or maybe it’s you):
45 year old woman, works full time, has teenagers living at home, helps her aging parents, is trying to keep a partnership alive beyond “honey we ran out of milk” and still wants to see her friends.
That same woman is also:
– exhausted
– gaining weight
– has aching joints
– itchy skin and dry eyes

mid life exhaustion is real!

Yet nothing has changed she thinks.

But: her hormones probably have started changing. With peri-menopause comes not only hot flushes and rage, but also all the above symptoms and more.

This is a time in a woman’s life when lifestyle factors play a big role. Not only is how she feels every day, but also in the next 5, 10, 15 years.

Enter the Lifestyle Audit – the key to future proofing your health

A lifestyle audit offers a comprehensive evaluation of current habits and routines to ensure they align with long-term health and wellness goals. At this stage in life, women often face significant changes, including hormonal shifts associated with menopause and increased risk of chronic conditions such as osteoporosis and heart disease. By conducting a lifestyle audit, they can identify areas for improvement in diet, exercise, stress management, and sleep, which are critical for mitigating these health risks. This proactive approach allows for the implementation of targeted strategies to maintain optimal physical health and enhance quality of life.

Your choices matter

Moreover, a lifestyle audit helps midlife women address and manage mental health more effectively. This period often coincides with significant personal and professional transitions, such as children leaving home, career changes, or caring for aging parents, which can contribute to increased stress and anxiety. By assessing their mental health and well-being, women can identify stressors and develop coping mechanisms, such as mindfulness practices, therapy, or social support networks. Improving mental health is crucial for overall well-being, as it directly influences physical health, relationships, and daily functioning.

You have a lot of living left to do

Additionally, a lifestyle audit encourages midlife women to evaluate their personal goals and aspirations, leading to greater fulfillment and purpose. This stage of life can be an opportune moment for self-reflection and growth, allowing women to reassess their priorities and make intentional changes that align with their values and desires. Whether it’s pursuing new hobbies, furthering education, or making time for travel and leisure, a lifestyle audit can illuminate opportunities for personal development and enrichment. Ultimately, this process fosters a sense of empowerment and satisfaction, as women take active steps to create a balanced and rewarding life.

How to audit your lifestyle for optimal future health and wellbeing

The main areas to consider are

  • sleep
  • diet/nutrition
  • stress management
  • exercise
  • mindset

Each of these factors impacts the other, but many would suggest that sleep is the key. When we sleep well (consider both quality of sleep as well as quantity), we are in a better place to manage food choices, control stress levels and do some exercise.

Sleep

Many books have been written about sleep, so I can’t go into all the information here, however, a good place to start is:

  • making sure your bedroom is dark and cool
  • avoid looking at screens one hour before bed
  • stop eating 2-3 hours before bed
  • aim to establish a bedtime routine. If you have children, think back to when they were babies. Our evening routine was dinner, bath, stories and singing and then sleep. The same works for adults – routine helps the brain recognise it’s nearly time to sleep.
good quality sleep is key

click here to read more about getting a good nights sleep

Diet/nutrition

Again, a huge topic, so I’ll stick to saying

eating a variety of plant foods helps nourish the body
  • Consider eating a Mediterranean style diet. This includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, some red meats, wholegrains and dairy. Not only does this provide a wide range of nutrients for the body, it feeds the gut bacteria and can help keep you regular.
  • Avoid sugar and alcohol. Both cause inflammation in the body which can ultimately lead to disease.
  • Hydrate – drinking 6-8 glasses of water throughout the day helps with digestion and keeping you regular

Click here to read about diet and inflammation
Click here to read more about the dreaded middle aged spread

Stress management

Oh this is a biggie. Many of us live in a constant state of elevate stress levels, resulting in elevated cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a hormone thief and demands sugar as fuel to keep going. So yes, that’s why you may crave sugar and white carbohydrates when you’re under stress.

don't tear your hair out

Some tips you might find helpful

  • Take 10 deep breaths – a simple brain reset that we can do any place and at any time
  • Move – get up and go for a brief walk to get out of your head and into your body
  • Learn how to say “no” to things you can’t or don’t want to take on
    These might all sound a bit simplistic, but I urge you to give it a go – you might just be pleasantly surprised.

    Click here to read about the art of rest, and what rest might look like for you.

    Exercise
Working out with friends is more fun

One of my personal favourites. We need to move. Every. Day.
It’s that simple
The hard part is making it happen.

Start with finding something you enjoy. It might be an exercise class, but it could also be dancing, playing a sport, or horse riding

Finding someone to exercise with can also be helpful – it’s a great way to catch up with friends and have an accountability partner.

Next try to have a mix of exercises to include

lift heavy stuff - it's good for you
  • strength for muscle mass and bone density
  • cardio for heart health
  • flexibility and mobility for general ease of movement and fall prevention

Click here to read about why exercise makes us feel good. You will also find articles about osteoporosis and the risk of heart disease.

Arrgh! that’s a LOT

Yes, there is a lot to consider, so you might like to start by thinking about how you’d like your life to look in the next 10, 15, 20 years.

What will you be doing? Who with? Where?

Having a clear vision of your dream future can act as a guide to help you move forward and make positive changes.

Next, think about where you are at right now. There may be things you can’t change right now. But remember, nothing is forever. Start with something small you are ready and able to change now. Maybe it’s walking an extra 1000 steps a day; maybe it’s going to bed 15 minutes earlier or having some alcohol free nights a week.

By making small changes consistently, you will see big benefits in the future.

Something just for you:

If you would like some help gaining clarity around what you want to change and how you can achieve that, please reach out. I have a FREE strategy session for you – simply click here to book your call (note: it says 15 minutes, but we will need at least 30-45 minutes so block out the time in your calendar

Anja - Health and Menopause Coach, personal trainer

Anja Lineen is a Health and Menopause Coach as well as Personal Trainer. With over 18 years experience working with women, and post menopausal herself, Anja has a wealth of experience and knowledge to draw upon to help you.

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