Voices

12 Ways I Learnt to Stay Relevant Post-40

How does a woman stay 'relevant' as she grows older in today's youth-obsessed world? A 40-something mother of two shares 12 tips from her life.

By Malvika Sehgaal Kaura

The dictionary defines the word ‘relevant’ as appropriate to the current time, period, or circumstances; of contemporary interest. Forty seems distant in our twenties but it’s real and not that far, really! In fact, it’s been redeeming for me. I’m shedding dysfunctional baggage. My life has far more meaning. I’m free to pursue my calling and more importantly, to know what I wish to do! What’s not to love?

This transition wasn’t easy, though. I’m not tech-savvy, neither do I embrace change too easily! Here are a few dos and don’ts that have been my learning to empowering myself and staying relevant.

First and foremost, technology is here to stay; the more we know, the further we get. Mastering our smartphone is the best (and easiest) way to start. Google whatever questions you have. It’s way better than asking anyone else!

Malvika Kaura 6Secondly, use social media positively. Follow the news and areas of interest (art, cooking, gardening, and so on). The mind opens up. Do follow people of the same age or older and learn how they make the most of things.

Thirdly, embrace millennials. There is so much to learn and imbibe. Having younger friends, children or colleagues around keeps you youthful.

Next, (and I can’t say this enough) travel. Preferably alone. It’s freeing and even addictive. The personal growth that travel gifts you will empower you on your way forward! If budget is an issue, read and see videos on travelling on a budget.

Malvika Kaura 2.JPGFifth, journal. Write down your fears and apprehensions and address them one by one. Also write your affirmations. You will be surprised with what may come up.

Sixth, read daily. A magazine, newspaper and your phone don’t count. Start with a page and build it up. This improves concentration, is an instant phone detox and also increases knowledge. Most importantly, with a book in my hand, I’ll never feel alone or needy of company.

Next, inner work helped me shed a lot of my trauma. Spirituality, meditation, journaling, even past-life regression and other tools in workshops have become a part of my yearly planner.

Malvika Kaura 3Eighth, fearlessly shed activities, people and environments that sap your energy and aren’t in sync with the future you. Guard your energies. Let conversations be meaningful and growth-oriented. This period is one of progression; don’t let anyone or anything make you turn back. If that means there are lonely moments, take it from me, those are your biggest mental and emotional growth spurts.

Next, network effectively. Spend time with people who do fit into your future picture. There’s so much to be learnt. Sometimes, this happens interestingly on its own. The minute I decide to do something new, things fall in place.

Tenth, go back to things you enjoyed as a child. For me it was painting. I now paint professionally alongside my business. Hobbies are therapeutic. Adopt many and pursue regularly.

Malvika KauraNext, exercise. Stay active. Your mind and body need it. Do something you enjoy. Dance, yoga, walk, swim …. anything. I enjoy being hands-on with my tasks so I push myself to do mostly everything myself. Lethargy has to be manipulated around, smartly.

Twelfth, dress up. Take pride in your appearance, your clothes, accessories, makeup, hair. I don’t colour my hair nor blow-dry, but it’s always clean, my nails are never chipped and I rarely leave my room (globally) without sunscreen or dressing up!

In a nutshell, have fun with yourself. Grow your mind, fix the body and do what makes you smile.

Malvika Sehgaal Kaura is a Delhi-based travel enthusiast, fashion designer, marketeer and artist. 

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