Five Signs of Aging That You Don’t Have to Accept
By Anita Ginsburg
Getting older is a fact of life, but many of us struggle to cope with the signs of aging that lower our self-esteem and impact our mental health. The saying, “grow old gracefully,” is all well and good until you can no longer hide your grays. Although you may feel like time is catching up to you, the signs of aging can also be influenced by many other factors, including genetics and lifestyle choices.
Even people in their mid- to late-30s experience changes in their appearance and physiology. While you may not be able to turn back the hands of time, you can take some easy steps to combat some of these common signs of aging.
Although gray hair is typically associated with midlife and beyond, people in their late teens and early 20s can start to develop them. Gray hair is caused by the breakdown of pigment cells in your hair follicles, resulting in a “colorless” strand that can range from snowy white to a smoky gray.
Some people may want to rock the salt-and-pepper look, but others prefer to keep their grays a secret. Simple dye jobs can achieve this, and you can even turn to a professional salon near you and schedule a monthly or bi-monthly pampering session.
Drier, Sagging Skin
Drinking, sun damage and age can cause your skin to lose its elasticity. You may find that you look tired all of the time, and that the quality of your skin is drier than before. You might also notice that you’ve begun to develop age spots, freckles or tiny skin growths.
While you should see a doctor if you notice any moles or changes in pigmentation, the best way to take care of your aging skin is to moisturize and lead a healthy lifestyle. Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and drink less alcohol.
Changes in Libido
Men and women naturally experience peaks and declines in their sex drives as they age. For men, the peak happens in their 20s, while women tend to experience theirs in their mid-30s. In their 40s and 50s, it’s common for both sexes to experience a decline in their libido.
There are several reasons why, but hormonal changes are typically the most common culprit. Women who experience early menopause might want less sex, while men may have shifting hormones that can cause erectile dysfunction.
These changes can cause tension in a relationship, especially when partners fail to discuss these changes with their partner. Make sure you keep communication open with your significant other, and talk to a doctor if you’re having difficulty with arousal or performance.
Muscle breaks down as people get older, so you might struggle to pick up your kids or haul the groceries inside. In order to combat this, you can start working out regularly. Going to the gym is a great way to get out of the house while taking care of your health.
Weightlifting and strength-training exercises can help rebuild lost muscle and prevent faster deterioration.
Life feels harder even though things are pretty good. You stop going out on the weekends, and you cancel social appointments with your friends. These signs may indicate burnout, but they can also point to something deeper.
As people age, they’re more likely to develop depression. The best thing you can do for yourself is to reach out and connect. Talk to a trusted loved one about how you’re feeling, and don’t be afraid to connect with a therapist near you.
By paying attention to your body, you can combat aging and live a happier life. Make sure that you focus just as much on how you look as how you feel. Appearances matter, but not as much as having a healthy mind and body.