We all try to make good choices, or at least avoid bad choices when we can, right? But unfortunately, even seemingly harmless choices can end up having unforeseen consequences! In fact, I recently learned about a whole set of behaviors that share the unfortunate consequence of accelerated aging. Finding out that a few bad habits could be undermining the effort I put into taking care of my skin and body was initially pretty distressing! But now I can take steps to avoid these habits in the future, so I know it’s a good thing in the long run. :-)
Today I’ll be sharing a list of those behaviors that may be aging you. Since I don’t think any of us “mature women” are eager to age any faster than necessary, I think you’ll find this information as enlightening as I did!
13 Habits That May Be Aging You
1. Not Wearing Sunscreen
If you don’t take the time to apply sunscreen before spending time outside, you won’t have any protection against the aging effects of the sun! Sun exposure contributes to wrinkles, age spots, and sagging skin. You can make sure your face is always protected from the sun’s rays by adding a daily moisturizer with SPF to your beauty routine.
2. Sleeping On A Rough Pillowcase
If you’re sleeping on a rough or cheap pillowcase, it could be contributing to wrinkles! Your skin gets thinner and more sensitive as you age, so little things like your pillowcase can have a big effect. To avoid wrinkles, consider swapping your old pillowcase out for a silk pillowcase.
3. Being A Perfectionist
It’s easy to feel the pressure to be “perfect,” especially in the age of social media. But holding yourself to an impossibly high standard may be aging you! The swirling doubts and negative thoughts that plague perfectionists can trigger the production of stress hormones, and stress hormones contribute to aging.
4. Not Taking Care Of Your Teeth
Your teeth are one of the first places to start showing signs of age. To keep them looking nice and white, make sure to brush and floss daily, and see your dentist for regular checkups. You can also try a homemade teeth whitening treatment, like the one at the link below!
5. Ignoring Your Mental Health
It may come as a surprise, but experiencing psychological distress such as depression and anxiety can actually result in accelerated aging. Your mental health and physical health are linked, and you need to take care of both of them! If you’ve been feeling down for more than a couple of weeks, make sure to seek the help of a professional.
6. Skipping Social Events
It can be tempting to stay in when Girls’ Night Out rolls around, but maintaining your friendships is actually good for your health! Those with a strong social network of friends and family tend to live longer (and happier!) lives than those without social support.
7. Eating Junk Food
Eating all that junk food may be hurting more than just your waistline! Choosing a diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help lower your risk of heart disease and protect against degenerative diseases.
8. Having A Loaded To-Do List
As I mentioned above, stress can have all sorts of negative effects on your body that contribute to aging. Stress can increase your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and even stroke. Find ways to relax, and ask for help when you need it!
9. Starting Every Day With Coffee
Starting your mornings with a cup of coffee may not be the best choice. Coffee lowers levels of DHEA, a hormone that reduces inflammation and keeps your skin looking youthful. If you don’t want to cut out coffee completely, try swapping it out for a cup of green tea a few times a week!
10. Hunching Over Your Computer
Hunching over a computer all day is terrible for your spine! It puts stress on the front part of your spine and can even lead to arthritis. Make sure to practice good posture if you spend a lot of time in front of a computer like I do!
11. Using A Straw
I never thought that sipping from a straw could contribute to aging, but it’s true! Regularly using a straw can contribute to wrinkles around your mouth (not to mention that straws just aren’t good for the environment.) Opt to sip straight from the cup instead.
12. Not Wearing Sunglasses
You may not see the point to wearing sunglasses, but they do more than you might think! Sunglasses can actually protect the skin around your eyes from the aging effects of the sun. This means fewer wrinkles, and protection against cancer and cataracts. Find a comfortable pair of polarized sunglasses and keep them in your purse or car.
13. Not Spending Time On Hobbies
When you have a lot going on, spending time on hobbies can seem like a waste. But researchers from George Washington University found that people who engaged regularly in a hobby had fewer doctor’s visits and needed less medication than their hobby-less peers. Spending time on your hobbies is good for your health, and you’ll be happier for it too!