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Happy Holidays!

Uncategorized Dec 23, 2019

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not,  I hope you have the kind of seasonal break you wish for.

I am painfully aware that many women in midlife will be spending Christmas alone through no choice of their own. Whether you are widowed,  divorced, separated from your children or alone for other reasons, I wish you a peaceful time. 

And for those who do celebrate - Happy Christmas! Thank you for being part of the Midlife Movement and I look forward to expanding our ranks in 2020 and beyond!

With love, 

                 

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12 Tips for a Stress Free Christmas Day!

Holidays like Christmas can be stressful for those that organise the festivities, so I asked The Midlife Movement Community what they thought was the secret to a happy holiday. They are a thoughtful, enterprising bunch! Here are their top tips:

1.  Remember, it's only one day!

Tamsin says: 

"I try to remember that it’s just another day. So much of the pressure to have a “perfect Christmas” comes from people trying to get us to buy things. It’s lovely spending time with the family, but it is only a single day, with a glorified roast dinner - one day out of 365 - and how the rest of them are, on average, is what really matters. That helps me stay more relaxed. And if people want something a certain way, they are welcome to do that themselves!"

2.  Make lists

Angie's top tip:

"Make lists and keep checking them and hopefully crossing things off to give yourself a sense of control. When it’s all in our head it snowballs and we can think...

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I need your help!

Now that the shooting phase of the Face it, Own it! project has come to an end (see this blog post for more details: Midlife Women are Hot - Naturally!) the next phase - putting the book together - has begun.

Our fabulous book designer, Tony, has started work on the layout after drafting the cover and it will go to print after Christmas! But to do that, I need to pre-sell a minimum number of copies. Which is where you come in!

Until 31st December, the book is available for pre-order at the special early bird price of £29.95 - including postage if needed (you might prefer to pick yours up in person if you attend the Exhibition on 6th - 8th March 2020)

This is a strictly limited edition hardback, signed especially for you by me. It celebrates the natural beauty of us all and sends a message to the world that while make up is fun, we are ok, just as we are.

BUY HERE 

Thank you so much for all your support in this endeavour!

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5 Simple Steps to a Healthy Pelvis

Do you find yourself holding on really tightly when you sneeze? Or when you exercise? Stress incontinence is no joke, so I asked Certified Restorative Exercise Specialist, Brittany Denis, to give us the low down on what we can do to improve the issue for a leak-free life!

Incontinence is an initial warning sign that the strength of your pelvic floor is compromised in some way and no longer has the strength to hold the contents of the pelvis. The initial symptoms are leaking urine and can progress to the point of pelvic organ prolapse.

Pelvic health is the conversation no one wants to have, so, unfortunately, incontinence has become all too common. And millions of people are suffering in silence. And with the number of incontinence products and adult diapers popping up in stores, we’ve normalized the issue. But being incontinent at any phase in your life is anything but normal. 

Incontinence has become such an issue it’s one of the top reasons women end up in...

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Midlife Women are Hot - Naturally!

As I come to the end of the shooting phase of the Face it, Own it! project, I want to stop and reflect for a moment.

First,  some numbers: as I write, 50 women have had their no make-up portrait taken by me and over 100 have sent me their no make-up selfie.

We've been featured on the television (BBC Look East), in newspapers, magazines and online, including one of Germany's top women's magazines, Brigitte, and on the radio. The project has clearly struck a chord.

Those that have come to the Studio have travelled from as far as Glastonbury and Liverpool - 5-6 hour round trips! I feel humbled that this project has resonated so strongly with so many women. And I am so grateful for all the efforts made by them to make what was almost a whim on my part into the vibrant, successful project that it has become.

Just to be clear, this was never meant to be "anti" make-up, or those who wear it. Many of the women who have taken part wear make up on a daily basis. The...

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This is your body talking...

health mortality stress Nov 18, 2019

A couple of weeks ago, my 61 year old husband was running on the treadmill at the gym when he felt his left hand and foot grow numb. A trip to the GP confirmed his blood pressure was dangerously high, so he has spent the past 2 weeks while he hasn't been able to work or drive adjusting his diet and exercise regime and popping pills.

There is a human tendency to take our health for granted, to not expect anything to change, to think - even though we know that the thought is quite absurd - that "it will never happen to me."

Although there might be a genetic component to high blood pressure, chronic stress has a cumulative effect. Consistently high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body not only increases our risk of heart attack and stroke (and remember, without oestrogen menopausal women have the same risk factors for heart disease as men), but can cause a whole host of other issues, including headaches, depression, insomnia, low sex drive, palpitations and a weakened...

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Lessons in Grief from a Hiker

Few of us will have remained untouched by loss by our midlife years. For this blog post on grief, I turned to my friend, Forest Therapy Guide, Jill Emmelhainz. Jill and her family suffered the unimaginable loss of their teenage son, James. Since then, Jill has written candidly about grief both as a form of therapy for herself, and to help others walking the same trail.

This 5 point guide to dealing with turbulent times is taken from Jill's blog, The Big Epic, where she documents her adventures on the hiking trails of North America and writes about the healing power of nature. 

Are you a roller coaster lover? Or are you like me—terrified of those torture devices? It doesn’t matter which kind of roller coaster it is, from kiddie ride to mega-coaster, I hate them all the same!

Along the Appalachian Trail in Northern Virginia, there is a 13.5 mile section called the Roller Coaster. This series of a dozen short steep hills comes with a “warning”...

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5 Things to Remember when Life Throws a Curved Ball

change optimism uncertainty Nov 04, 2019

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” John F Kennedy

Very few of us like change. The status quo is usually where we feel safest and happiest - it's not called a "comfort zone" for nothing! Yet we all know that change is as inevitable as death and taxes.

As I've grown older, I've largely lost my fear of change. I've come to accept - even embrace - it. Here are my 5 things to remember when life throws you a curved ball.

1. Resistance is useless. It doesn't matter how much you want life to stay static, it simply can't, any more than the ocean can stop moving with the tide. As with so many things, the tighter we cling the more painful change will be. You might as well relax and go with the flow.

2. We were born to grow. Becoming an adult was never going to be the end game. Growth often comes from discomfort. Stagnation isn't good for any of us, physically, mentally or spiritually.

3....

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7 Steps to Self Acceptance

I founded the Midlife Movement Membership to help women who are struggling through the perimenopause and all the changes midlife brings, to rediscover themselves and boost their confidence. Over the months, I have come to realise that one of the keys to being happy in this next part of our lives is self acceptance.

What do I mean by that? Well, today's young women undoubtedly are subject to societal pressures about how they look and how they behave,  but I believe we were born in a era where generally (there are always exceptions!) we were encouraged to be quiet, to be, dare I say it, subservient. To be good.

My dad gave me some advice. You're an intelligent girl, Jo, he told me, but if you want to get on in life you have to learn how to hide it sometimes. He meant around men, particularly older men who took exception to a 16 year old taking them on and running rings around them.

I loved my dad. He meant well, and I am sad to say I heeded that...

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Money Matters - Taking Control

finance pensions retirement Oct 19, 2019

For this week's topic, I asked Caroline Anstee, Managing Director and Founder of Financial Designers, Anstee and Co to talk us through pension options for women in the UK.

Question: What options do women have to take control of their finances independently?

Caroline:

  1. If you are in your 40s and still working: Keeping up to date with their pension, having it reviewed regularly and contributing if affordable after looking at the budget. Request a state pension forecast. Have a plan and review it annually, saving as much as you can. Keep protection under review to ensure all liabilities are covered. Review any company benefits and ensure any dependents are secure. Don’t rely on anybody else looking after you in retirement.
  2. If you are in your 50s and still working: same as before but streamline the plan a bit more, review the plan and see if you are on track. Review whether current plans are still fit for purpose.
  3. If you are 50 plus without a pension of...
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