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Celebrating 40th: My Secrets to Looking and Feeling Young

This weekend I am celebrating a big ‘0’ anniversary – I am turning 40! Yikes! For many women, including myself, entering 40s can be a bit intimidating. While I am pondering on what I’ve achieved in the last 4 decades of my life and where I want to be, my friends and colleagues find it hard to believe my age. So today, I thought I would share my top 5 insights on what has helped me to look and stay young physically and mentally.

1.Healthy body

Having good genes (my Mom is 60 and nobody believes her age!) and being slim built helps looking younger my age and is something I can’t take credit for. But staying in good shape also takes eating healthy and looking after your body. While I don’t really exercise regularly, I always try to eat well and avoid processed and fatty foods. I cook most of my meals at home and take leftovers for lunch. This way I know exactly what goes into my body. In the meantime, exercising, even brisk walking or a 20 min yoga or HIIT session at home always help to elevate my mood and get toned.

2.Saying ‘No’ to bad habits

Many of my friends find it amusing that that being half Russian I never tasted vodka or got drunk. Neither have I tried any substances or smoking. I stay clear of anything that can cloud my judgement and damage my body! The only drink I allow myself is a glass of mimosa on special occasions, like birthday or New Year’s celebrations. But trust me, being sober I always manage to have as much fun as my drinking friends.

3.Skin deep

Ever since I was young, I learned that going to bed with your make up on is bad for your skin. So, I religiously cleanse my face every evening no matter how tired I am. I also wear SPF every day to protect it from UV exposure, which ages your skin prematurely. After years of trying different brands of skincare, I am now very happily settled down with La Roche Posay products, which are great for my sensitive skin, and understand why French women look so youthful.

4.Feeling young

But apart from the physical aspects of it, staying young at heart is also important. I have noticed that over the years I have spent a good portion of time hanging out with friends who were younger than me. For example, I’ve done a couple of master’s degree programs a bit later in life, in my 30s, with students who were still in their 20s. While they thought we were in the same age group, I felt like I was slowing down my mental and emotional aging!Not taking yourself seriously and taking time to explore what you love, trying new things and pushing boundaries fills your heart with happiness and helps you stay young.

5.Cool threads

Over the years my dress style has evolved in the opposite direction of my age. When I was in my early 20s starting professional career in the States, I wanted to look older and be taken seriously. So my wardrobe was all about power suits and heels. Nowdays, I feel a bit like a youngster with a preference for a youthful and sporty look – on any day I choose boyfriend jeans, funky sweatshirt or blazer, and plimsolls or ballet flats. So, never let your age guide your dress style.

I really do believe that we are as young as we feel and age in the passport is just a relative number. As people these days live longer, 40s are becoming new 30s and it’s a great period of one’s life. I feel I have accomplished a lot by now and no longer need to prove my self-worth to anyone, I have wisdom to make the right choices and I chose quality over quantity. Yet, I still have energy and resources to explore my passions and try new things. So, with that let me raise my glass of mimosa and ring the bell into my 40s!

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