Exercise – Why less may be better in your 40s and beyond

Exercise – Why less may be better in your 40s and beyond


Exercise is a bit like Marmite – you either love it or hate it.  We all know the many benefits of exercise and how good it is for us on so many levels.  However, there is an aside which nudged me to write this Blog.Exercise

I am a woman let’s say well beyond the age of 40.  In fact, I am now 54 years young.  No shame in that either. I am not precious or self-conscious in telling people my age.  Nothing to hide, yet so much to be proud of in these wise years.  A lifetime of experiences and learning from mistakes made along the way.

Weight Issues

In my work with women in their 40s and beyond and in fact younger in some cases. Issues of weight always pop up in the sessions. Weight issues are also something I have struggled with myself, particularly in the younger years.  Interestingly the past year issues of weight popped up again and in a sense accidentally.



People describe me as a “curvy??? woman.  I have hips, and I’m short.  A weight gain of 2kg looks like 7kg on me.  Last year at this time I was called “obese??? by the GP, which was to say, the numbers on the chart were not in my favour. Of course, I already knew this as I was doing a fair amount of comfort eating after moving home from England to Scotland.  I know my own eating patterns better than anyone.  Coupled with the fact that I also work from home in Scotland and mostly online creating Journals over at www.theinsightfulway.com, and conducting Skype sessions for www.flourishbeyond40.com and www.isobelmcarthur.com. This involves a lot of sitting on my backside.

At the time I was living in a Farmhouse in rural Scotland with not another soul or houses nearby and life felt a little lonely.  So I found myself sedentary and eating too much.  Calories in and calories out were way out of balance and weight began to creep on slowly.

Another move a few months later into town and feeling much less isolated brought positive change.  I became more active and let go of a little weight, enjoyed the feeling of getting into my clothes and feeling at home in my body again.

Fast forward to joining the local gym, and getting up at 5 am and following a routine of HIIT class, lifting heavy weights in the gym, and swimming each day.  Weight literally began to fall off. I wasn’t feeling hungry and my calorie deficit went the opposite way. I felt truly fit, healthy, energized, toned but I noticed I was “losing??? my face and tried to ignore this fact as I was enjoying all the exercise and associated benefits.

On one of my monthly work visits to Yorkshire, people kept asking me if I was ill, some were very honest and said I looked gaunt (another word for haggard), and generally looked unhealthy.  My husband felt the same way and said so on many occasions.

A Choice

So I took a long hard look in the mirror and yes it was true.  My body looked a lot better, but my face had suffered and had lost its fullness.  This prompted a memory of being told years ago “when a woman reaches a certain age, she has to choose between her butt or her face???.  This isn’t necessarily true for all women, but perhaps women who have a certain shaped face – like mine.

The past two months there has been a major turnaround, as the focus has now been on cutting back the daily workouts to four a week.  My food intake has increased significantly and I am eating what I should be and slowly regaining a few kilos.  My curves are coming back. Yes, I chose my face over my butt.  Lifting heavier weights and gaining some great fat burning muscle and increasing tone feels good.  Although my weight is creeping up, my body fat percentage is going down.

Exercise Factors

There are certain factors to consider when you exercise in midlife and beyond.  Firstly, recovery time in between workouts.  Young people tend to recover in around 18 hours.  A person in their 40s and beyond can take up to 36 hours.


Not giving yourself adequate recovery time can actually age you according to John Higgins, MD, associate professor of medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Centre at Houston and director of exercise physiology at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Centre.  He pointed out that if we use the same muscles too soon after a workout can trigger inflammation.

Classes such as HIIT can be incredibly fun, and people love it for the calorie burn too.  Dr. Higgins has found that these workouts have led to rhabdomyolysis – which can be very dangerous particularly if you become dehydrated.  He recommends 48 hours between classes to give adequate recovery time.

Many women fall into the cardio only trap, with no weight training.  In midlife and beyond we are losing muscle at a high rate. Muscle is a great thing to have on our body as muscle burns calories constantly, even at rest.  As a result, a body with no muscle burns fewer calories, plus there is no tone.

Building Lean Body Mass

Weight training two to three days a week will help you maintain and build lean body mass.  You are not going to look like a weightlifter, we are not made that way. Yes, you may see a little increase on the scales. This is because your body fat percentage is changing in your favour.  Why not invest in body fat monitor scales to see this for yourself.

If you are using machines, start to include weights as they help to stabilize your core.  Mixing up both adds variety and interest.

Free Radicals

Prolonged exercise causes the body to change its metabolism and as result, there are more free radicals released that damages cells and may speed up ageing. We are already overexposed to free radicals in pollution and an unhealthy lifestyle; we really don’t need any more to be flooding our system.  There are many plastic surgeons who believe that running is not good for facial tissues.  Skin flopping up and down will eventually loosen. Not a great youthful look.  As we move into midlife and beyond osteoporosis becomes a factor.  Our body needs a little impact on bone health.

The bottom line is that we cannot do the same thing we did at 20 without there being a consequence.  It is easy to fall into overtraining mode, and as a result, move towards burnout due to chronic fatigue.


Balance is key.  Yes, exercise, and eating healthily is vital, but it is necessary to take a different approach than you did in your younger years.  Your body will thank you and so will your face.

 If you enjoyed this blog, then you may enjoy our other blogs on the site too.











Motivate Yourself to Exercise in Your 40s and Beyond

Motivate yourself, work on your mindset and move your body. This is the message we hear constantly and for good reason.  Health is priceless particularly as we move into midlife and beyond.  In our youth, time seems to go nice and slow.  However somewhere between 30 and 40 time seems to speed up and appears to fly by.   When we reach 40 we may find ourselves questioning many aspects of our life.  Have we achieved what we want to achieve? Are we leaving behind some form of legacy?  Is our life a full and happy one?  This is also the time when we start to lose friends and family to illnesses and disease.  This makes us question or own mortality and health.




Our bodies go through changes in midlife. Menopause may be causing a redistribution of weight. Hormonal fluctuations cause mood swings, skin loses laxity, and gravity begins to take its toll.  We lose muscle mass and bone density and exercise becomes more of a necessity than an option.

It is a true saying that exercise is not about finding the time but creating the time.  By making healthy life choices and changing our lifestyle then we have a better chance of living longer and with a better quality of life.  Having the flexibility, energy  and stamina to enjoy grandchildren, to travel, have adventures, are all great motivators to get moving.   Finding the motivation to incorporate regular exercise into your life brings so many benefits.  Once you see the results your desire to exercise will soar.


The  tips within this Blog will hopefully get you off the sofa and motivate you to move your body every day in some way.  There are so many reasons why you may be avoiding exercise, some of which are:

  • body image issues in public
  • lacking energy
  • no motivation
  • dislike of any form of exercise

Only you know your personal reluctance or avoidance to exercise.  The above are what I hear regularly from my clients and these challenges are easy to overcome, once you know how.

The first place to kick start motivation will always be within your mindset.  When your mindset is focused in the right direction, then following a regular exercise regime become easier to maintain. One of the keys is to find the type of exercise that you enjoy and mix it up to prevent boredom.


Here are some questions that you can use to nudge you towards making exercise part of your life and to motivate you more:

  1. What benefits do you think you will get from exercising regularly?
  2. How do you think your body will improve?
  3. How will you feel?
  4. What is stopping you?
  5. What needs to happen for you to incorporate exercise into your life?
  6. What small change could you make every day towards exercising more?


Visualisation is a great way for you to start making powerful positive changes within your life.  Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.  Allow yourself to relax and quieten your busy mind.  Visualise yourself 10 years from now having made healthy lifestyle changes.  Exercising regularly, taking care of your overall wellness goals.  Feeling fit, flexible, energetic, healthy and well.  Spend some time tuning into how that feels for you.  This is a very real possibility that you have the power to create within your life.  Make this visualisation as real as possible in your mind.  What are you wearing?  what is happening?

Now do the opposite, and visualise yourself 10 years from now NOT having made any healthy lifestyle changes. How does that feel for you? Maybe you have gained more weight,  have no energy, feelstiff and lethargic.  This is also a very real possibility. Ultimately you have a personal choice.  Which will you choose?

The following is a great place to start:


Taking a thirty minute walk every day is a great way to start the day and improve your mood.  It is also good for heart health, bones, lowers body fat, and reduces the risk of diabetes type 2, and osteoporosis.


If your goal is to lose weight and become fitter then you are also creating a calorie deficit by burning more calories.  Weight loss is all about input versus out output.  It makes sense that if you are burning off more than you are consuming, then you are likely to lose weight.  Walking of course is much easier if you have a dog!




Another great exercise option is swimming and is good for all ages.   This mode of exercise is also very helpful if you have knee or joint problems as it is non weight bearing.  Your body is supported in the water and the fact that water is very dense you have to work a little harder.  Swimming is also great for increasing lung capacity. If you feel self-conscious in a swimsuit then find out when the pool is quiet and go then.




Strength training in the 40s and beyond is a great way to keep osteoporosis at bay and to burn fat. Don’t avoid lifting weights because you fear you will develop massive muscles.  You are more likely to firm and tone.  Exercise with weights at home, but it may be useful for you to book a few sessions with a personal trainer to make sure you are using proper form to prevent any injuries.  There are also excellent exercise DVDs and Apps that you can use to motivate yourself more.  Remember that your metabolism continues to be raised for around 72 hours after exercise which is also another bonus.


There are so many fitness trackers out there, and this blog has not been written to promote any one in particular. Research which ones appeal to you.  They are a great way to motivate you and keep track on how many steps you are taking,  calories you are burning, and sleeping. This is also part of keeping you motivated.  Checkout out the NHS Fitness Studio which is a great free online resource.

Before commencing any exercise programme make sure you check in with your GP to ensure there are no reasons why you should not be exercising.

Have a wonderful day! Please feel free to browse the other Blogs on the site and to download the free gifts.




Cutting hair short beyond 40 – why you don’t have to

Cutting Hair Short Beyond 40 – why you don’t have to 

Hair and how you wear it impacts your confidence in huge ways. How many times have you heard someone say “women need to cut their hair shorter after the age of 40????  What are your thoughts about that statement?

There are women that are able to wear waist length long hair in their 60s and look great.  In day to day reality this doesn’t work for most women over the age of 40 for many reasons.


The bottom line is that our hair changes as we reach our 40s.  It may have a tendency to become drier, thinner and more brittle.  Grey strands begin to overtake your natural colour and hair loss may be occurring due to hormonal fluctuations.

There is no way that you would want to look 16 from behind and 60 when you turn around.  But truly at the age of 60 you probably wouldn’t care about what anyone thinks anyway!

Long hair that is dry, brittle, straggly, over processed and out of condition is difficult to manage. You are more likely to wear it up in a banana clip or pony tail on a day to day basis.  Length can also drag your features downwards and age you in the most uncomplimentary way especially with a thin face.


Facial Features

If  your hair is full, thick, and healthy looking, then hair just sitting on the shoulders or even longer can look fabulous.  Women with fuller looking faces tend to suit a longer length due to the fact that the longer it is, the more it will pull the features downwards which isn’t great news for a thin face.


If your face is long and thin and you wish to soften your lines and wrinkles, then choosing to keep long length could be aging you more than you realize.

Shoulder length hair can look good on many women over 40, particularly when soft layers are added to flatter, frame and soften the features of the face.

A chic bob can look lovely on women with oval or heart shaped faces due to their slim jawlines.  Soft layers allow the bob to move naturally, and bobs can be styled in different ways too.

Have you noticed that some older actresses such as Meryl Streep, and Catherine Deneuve love to tuck their hair behind their ear sometimes?  This is a great way to draw the eye upwards, show off a fabulous pair of earrings, cheekbones and looks stylish at the same time.

But what about grey hair?

Pardon the pun, but this too is a “grey??? area.  Some women can carry it off magnificently, and many can’t.

Due to the hair becoming more dry and coarse, a short funky, pixie hair style can look great. Think of Dame Judi Dench. Equally a great bob can wonderfully too.  Women who choose to wear their silver hair long, or waist length will have to spend a fair bit of time in maintaining condition to keep it looking good. If you end up pinning it back in a ponytail most of the time, why have it long in the first place?


Avoiding the Time Warp

Styles tend to go around in cycles, whether that is clothes, hair or make up.  I have found one of the mistakes I could fall into easily is going back to a style I had in the 80s due to my naturally curly hair!  Not a good look for now.

Stay chic, stay current, stay stylish.  Condition your hair regularly, and use good quality products.   If it is dead and thin on the ends, then have a few inches cut off. It will look much healthier straight away.

Go to a stylist who works with “older??? women’s hair.  Have a consultation and discuss what you have in mind.  Listen to the suggestions the stylists make.  They will take into account your lifestyle, the shape of your face, and the condition of your hair.

Styles in your 40s should look and be:

  • Easy to manage
  • Chic
  • Flatter your features
  • Fashionable
  • Natural
  • Compliment your bone structure
  • Work with your skin tone

There are women with bold, quirky personalities such as Helena Bonham Carter, and Vivienne Westwood, who choose styles to suit who they are.


A woman in her 40s generally knows who she is and is more likely to do what she damn well wants.  The great thing is, that is her prerogative. Why fit in, if you want to stand out?

What about colour?

There are so many wonderful colours and hues to choose from.  Make sure your stylist takes your skin tone into consideration.  You don’t have to be short and boring, use colours that reflect your personality and who you are too.


Ladies over 40, you are just getting started!  Those old rules no longer apply to the degree that they once did.  You can wear your hair longer with the right cut, style, products and maintenance.

There is no need to give in to the belief that because you have hit your 40s you have to opt for the chop to avoid the “mutton dressed as lamb???look.

Cutting your hair is more dependant on the condition of and  willingness to spend time styling it. It is also about the lifestyle you live, and what is going on in your life on a personal level.

The long thick, healthy and lustrous look is  challenging for many women with thin, fine hair, but extensions can come to the rescue; another blog entirely.

Ask for a fresh style, rather than a young style.  There is a big difference between the two.

If you enjoyed this blog, then you may enjoy our other blogs and the Image Makeover blog on the site too.










menopause mindset mastery

Menopause Mindset Mastery- 3 positive changes

Menopause Mindset Mastery – 3 positive changes

Menopause Mindset Mastery is incredibly helpful as you approach menopause and for many different reasons.

During my weekly shopping trip to the supermarket the other day, I overheard a conversation between two middle aged women that went like this: – “well I may as well eat whatever I want, I’m in menopause so it’s all downhill from here???.  To which the friend replied “oh yes, totally agree, I’ve gained so much weight, must be the hormones???.  Oh dear, a true example of a very negative menopause mindset!


I couldn’t help but take a little sneak peak into their shopping trolleys. No surprise there; crisps, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, boxed cereals, processed food, a few bottles of wine, and a lonely looking piece of broccoli.

Positive Mindset


menopause mindset mastery

Later in the day I had a Skype session with one of the Flourish Beyond 40 Programme participants who happily told me that she had dropped one dress size and never felt hungry!  She was happy, exuberant, and excited about life.  A great example of menopause mindset mastery.

I’m not saying that you won’t gain weight during menopause, or that your body won’t be extra efficient at converting excess calories into fat.  Unfortunately most of it landing it straight onto your tummy, otherwise knows as the  “menopot???.

We all know that menopause can be an extremely challenging time for many women, and not so challenging for others.  What is evident that a positive menopause mindset will likely improve your overall health and wellbeing in a big way.

menopause mindset mastery

When your  menopause mindset is focused in the right direction, you are far more likely to get the results you want.  As a result, you are more inclined to make healthier lifestyle choices to navigate this phase with more ease and comfort.

Are you a pessimist or an optimist?

Take a moment and think about these questions: are you an optimist or a pessimist?  Do you always find the negative in situations and people rather than the positive?

Are you focusing your attention on everything you don’t want rather than what you do?  Instead of thinking:

  • I don’t want to be fat and frumpy after menopause

Why not choose to think:

  • I choose to be fit, healthy, happy and well in menopause and beyond

Age is Lifestyle Not a Number

I get it ladies, I really do.  I too am travelling the menopause journey with you.  However, I know that the right  mindset works.

3 Steps to Menopause Mindset Mastery

menopause mindset mastery

How you too can develop a Menopause Mindset Mastery

  1. First of all, start to be aware of the stories you are telling yourself.  What are you choosing to believe about the menopause?  Beliefs such as “it’s all downhill from here???, “there is nothing to look forward to now???, “my partner will no longer find me attractive???, are all incredibly emotionally damaging.

How many times do you hear yourself speaking unkindly to yourself when you look in the mirror?  Would you talk to your best friend that way?  It may be time for you to show as much compassion to yourself as you do for others.

Life Expectancy

Do you know that the average life expectancy for a woman now is 86!  So ladies, how are you going to choose to live the rest of your life? If you are 50 now, then that’s more than 30 years.  What does your mindset say now?

No you don’t have to dress frumpily

No you don’t have to wear your hair short

No you don’t have to apologize for speaking your mind

No you don’t have to feel invisible

No you don’t need to stop taking care of yourself

No you don’t have to stop wearing make up


menopause mindset mastery

Why not take some time this week and write down the beliefs you currently hold and believe about yourself that are not necessarily helpful or useful to you?  Ask yourself why you are choosing to hold them?  This is the first step towards developing menopause mindset mastery.

Once you have this written down in front of you, decide what you want to choose to believe instead.  Embrace beliefs such as “I am wiser and have lots of juicy life experience to deal with life???, “I am in charge of my lifestyle choices???, “midlife can be totally liberating an empowering???.

The thing is, all of the above are actually true.  Think about all that you have achieved in your life so far.  In fact, why not write down all of your achievements and read it, acknowledge, accept it and celebrate all of those achievements no matter how small!

Maybe there have been times in your life where you discovered how much inner strength you have.  Knowing this is incredibly empowering.

Ladies you are not going downhill.  Quite the opposite in fact.  You are entering a new, exciting, liberating phase of your life.  Yes, your body may not behave as it did in your 20s, but you can work with what you have to be the best version of you possible. Of course you can’t keep the unhealthy choices and lifestyle you led in your 20s, because your body will let you know immediately.

menopause mindset mastery

You are entering a time of freedom from monthly periods.  A time where you may find that you have more time on your hands when children have left home.  A time where you can now focus on your wants, needs, and desires.  Time to take care of you!  How exciting is that?


  1. Write some great positive affirmations to help you develop new positive beliefs. Affirmations are a great way to change thoughts, feelings and behaviors.  Make sure you repeat your affirmations several times a day and that they are worded correctly. This is another great step towards menopause mindset mastery.

Affirmations also need to be realistic, believable, and achievable.  There is no point stating an affirmation such as “I will lose 10 kilos a week???.  This is highly unlikely and your mind will throw it out and dismiss it completely.  You could say “it is easy for me to let go of 1 to 2 pounds a week???.  Take some time this week to write some great powerful affirmations to create the changes you want.

  1. Have you thought about how grateful you are to your body for allowing you to be able to move, exercise and live? A great exercise is to write a letter to your body such as; Dear body, I am grateful that I am able to hear, see, move, feel …… (fill in the blanks).

Creating Change

Are you taking care of the inside as much as the outside?  How is your nutrition? Could you make any improvements? Are you exercising regularly? If not, why not?  Are you surrounding yourself with people that lift you up and inspire you?  Life is way too precious to be with negative draining people.

Reflect on these questions deeply ladies.  The answers will bring you the solutions you are seeking.

So there is no time like the present to create change, so why not start today?   Make a commitment to yourself to make the rest of your life, the best of your life.

If you have enjoyed this blog you may enjoy the Emotional Wellness blog, the Healthy Eating Blog and many others over at Flourish Beyond 40.

Have a wonderful day!
















Burnout – How to recognise if it is happening to you

Burnout and learning to deal with it enables you to live life in a more calm, peaceful, balanced way.

“All work and no play is a great recipe for an imbalanced life???

Recognising the signs of burnout before it happens is vital for overall health and wellness.  I can thank my lovely daughter for the topic of this Blog as this is something she is dealing with right now.

Burnout in menopause

For a woman in menopause, dealing with burnout is high priority.  During this time the body is already going through many physical changes.   Emotions are also affected with fluctuating hormones that impacts mood, energy levels and vitality.


A menopausal woman going through the experience of burnout is likely to be very challenged, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  This is even further complicated if she is holding down a high powered job, with deadlines to meet, and staff to manage.

High achievers generally like to push themselves hard to reach their goals.  Whilst this may satisfy their “I can do it all??? personalities, it is also affecting many parts of their life in a negative way.

How many times have you pushed yourself beyond your limits with work?  How many times have you said yes, when your body is screaming NO! Even when your body is letting you know that it needs rest?  Do you find yourself putting in extra hours at the office with no reward or recognition?  Most of all are you partly to blame for burnout when it happens?  Perhaps because you continue to say yes to others but no to yourself.

We all have access to 24 hours a day


We all have access to 24 hours a day and a personal choice on how we spend our free time.  However, the choices we make will certainly have an effect on overall wellbeing, productivity and energy levels.  If you decide that you need to stay behind at work for another hour or two when you know you wanted to go to an exercise class, how does that make you feel?  Pushing yourself harder and harder in all aspects of your life is ultimately going to lead you towards burnout and problems.


The symptoms of burnout are unpleasant.  Over time the immune system is compromised and weakened, leaving you more vulnerable to illnesses and disease.



Here are some common symptoms that you may notice within yourself, but there are many more in addition to this:

  • Overwhelm
  • A feeling that you just can’t take on any more responsibility
  • Feeling out of control with your life
  • Chronic stress
  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of concentration
  • Sleep issues
  • Loss of appetite or in some cases increased appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Low moods

If you recognize any of the above within yourself, take it as a wake up call that you really need to address your lifestyle as soon as possible.

Imagine that your body has its own energy tank, just as your car has a petrol tank.  Of course you stop to refuel the petrol tank when your car is on empty.  If you were to continue to drive the car on empty it would eventually come to a stop.  The same applies to your body.  When your energy tank is empty your body will stop working for you.

Burnout is not something you wake up with, it happens progressively.  It is said that burnout and chronic stress are the same thing or closely related.  Indeed, the symptoms of both are very similar.

A balanced lifestyle is key to living life in a happier, healthier, more peaceful, way.  Why not stop for a moment, get yourself a pen and a piece of paper.  Draw a circle and segment slices off to represent the amount of time spent in each segment of:

  • Work
  • Me time/rest
  • Play
  • Family
  • Exercise

The results of this may surprise you and make you realize that an imbalanced lifestyle has crept up on you.

It is common for super high achievers, and people who push themselves incredibly hard to let a balanced lifestyle take a low priority.  Many don’t sleep enough hours, eat healthily, exercise enough, and many fall into numbing the discomfort of an imbalanced lifestyle with alcohol and sometimes drugs.


When was the last time you truly relaxed?  I have heard clients tell me that they don’t know or remember how to feel relaxed.  Recharging, rejuvenating, and relaxation is going to help keep you energized, enthusiastic and give you more vitality.


Everyone has their own preference for relaxation, so whether that is taking time to read your favourite book, unleash your creativity, meditate,  or mindfulness.  Whatever is is that you enjoy that moves you into the relaxation zone, do more of it!


Regular exercise has many benefits.  It releases endorphins,  relieves stress, makes you feel  and look good.  It also boosts your health and wellbeing.



There is no excuse to say that you don’t have time to exercise.  A one-hour workout is literally 4% of your day.  Exercise is about creating the time, not finding the time.

Regular exercise is going to pull you away from your work activities and general sense of busyness. Your mind is able to focus on something else.   It need not be a gym workout, a twenty-minute walk is also beneficial, home exercise DVDs, attend exercise classes,  or swim.  There is a fantastic choice of exercise choices out there for you.


Recently I found myself guilty of not exercising enough due to sedentary work.  At Christmas I received a great fitness wrist band (I won’t mention the name) that records all sorts of fitness and health details.  This one buzzes at me if I haven’t moved for an hour.  This is hugely useful for me particularly when I am in my writing flow and forget all about the time. It is a good motivator.

Do what you can to motivate yourself to exercise, Buddy up, book classes, work out from home, skip while cooking, bounce on a mini trampoline while watching TV, but get moving. Your mind and body will thank you.

Sleep Issues and Insomnia




These are very common and can leave you feeling exhausted, tired, irritable and unable to function effectively in all aspects.  One of the worst feelings of burnout is the feeling of being totally exhausted, and drained yet unable to sleep.

Your body rejuvenates itself during sleep and quality of sleep is just as important if not more so than quantity.  Switch off your devices a couple of hours before bed as the blue light emitted is very disruptive to sleep patterns.  There is a separate blog on this on www.flourishbeyond40.com

Be Assertive!

Learn to say no and mean it.

Being assertive isn’t always easy, but in terms of your overall wellbeing it is non negotiable.  If you feel tired, lacking in energy or vitality and someone is pushing you towards doing something you feel you just cannot do, learn to say no.  Yes, there may be consequences, but what about the consequences of you heading towards burnout.

If work is getting on top of you and you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, them make sure you speak to your employer  about how you feel. This lets those involved know that they need to consider your needs and perhaps make some changes to reduce your load.

If you are an entrepreneur and work from home, then you may think that balance would be easy?  In many cases it is more difficult.  Working for yourself means that you do not have benefits such as sick pay, or holiday pay, and you may find that you are working even harder to cover those times when you are off.

Burnout is something to be aware of at all times whether you work for yourself, or someone else, or even if you have a pressurised home life.  Recognising some of the symptoms and behaviour described above may help you to take a step back and assess your lifestyle.  You can then  implement changes immediately to lead you back towards living a happier, balanced, peaceful, less stressed life.

What about you?  How is your work, life balance?  Is it time to make some changes?






Moving forward letting go

Moving Forward by “Letting go”

Moving forward by  letting go is sometimes necessary in order to continue working on your goals and dreams.   It  can be defined as choosing to release patterns of thought, negative  behaviours, habits, limited beliefs, or anything that prevents you from participating in life fully, or making progress on what you are trying to achieve in your life both personally and professionally.

Stuck in a Rut

There maybe times when you feel that progress has come to a grinding halt,  and you are  not moving forward as much as you would like.  It is possible that you may not even know what keeps you stuck in a rut.

Energies are high late December and the beginning of January.  People are  bursting with enthusiasm, positivity, hope, and intentions while planning the year ahead.  Why do we get stuck in moving forward?

No Enthusiasm

There are many tools to use to stay motivated.  Some people find  Vision Boards, mind mapping and affirmations very helpful in staying on track.  However there may be deeper reasons in why energy wanes, and less and less action is taken in working on goals and dreams.

In order to keep moving forward, it is necessary to identify and let go of what may be holding you back.

 5 Ways to Get Moving Again


1. Have a good  Clutter Clear

Getting rid of things you no longer need allows fresh energy to flow into your life. This may be objects, situations and sometimes people.

Take a look in your wardrobe.  How many outfits are hanging there that you have not worn in the past year?  How many items do you no longer like or need?  Why not bag them up and take them to the Charity shop or sell them online.  Do you really need the mini skirt you wore 10 years ago? “just in case”.


Moving forward

If you have objects in your home that you dislike,  give them away to someone who will appreciate them more than you.  Do you have papers, books strewn everywhere?  Buy some pretty boxes and labels and get organised.  A tidy organized environment  is generally a more peaceful one.

Moving forward


Are there people in your life that are holding you back from moving forward by putting you down, or belittling you in some way?  Is it possible that you could limit your time with these people, or in fact consider whether you need them in your life anyway?

2. Letting go of Grudges and Resentment


Moving forward

Both of these are damaging for your overall emotional health and wellbeing.  The energy attached to these feelings is draining.  Time spent sitting in resentment or seething with grudges will rob you of focusing your attention in a happier, productive way.

It is impossible to feel an ongoing feeling of positivity when holding onto resentment and will certainly slow your progress on moving forward.

Life happens, people behave in hurtful ways.  Maybe you have experienced  disappointment and betrayal.  You cannot change the events that have happened in your life, but you can  change how you choose to respond to it.

3. Letting go of Social Media Addiction

Our lives are surrounded by digital technology. Of course there are advantages and disadvantages to this.   Some people admit to being “addicted??? to Social Media and find themselves getting lost for hours in the Facebook Newsfeed, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and other apps.

If you find yourself spending excessive time on Social Media, ask yourself if what you are choosing to do with your time is getting you closer to where you want to be in terms of your goals?

Is it bringing you joy and happiness?  Do you feel fabulous when you come off Social Media?  Your answers will give you clues as to some changes you may need to make to your life.

Perhaps it may be time to let go of the amount of time spent on your devices. Allocate specific time limits and stick to them.

Reconnect with nature again.  Go out for a walk in the fresh air.  Connect with real people.  Join interest groups where you meet people face to face and socialise outside of the home and away from the screen.

Moving forward

If you are an entrepreneur or working on aspects of your business, do other business building activities that don’t involve technology.  There is also business to be found offline as well as online.  How will you know if you don’t try?

4. Switch off the TV

Are you careful about what you are exposing your mind to?  Do you find yourself watching TV programmes that are adding no value to your life?  Is there something better you could do with your time that would helpful in moving you forward?

Choosing to switch off the TV can free up huge pockets of time if you are an avid TV watcher.

Life passes very quickly.  Why waste  precious moments sitting for hours  in front of a TV?  Why not watch something that feeds your soul, nourishes your mind, or inspires you in some way. What you  feed your mind is as important as what you feed your body.


Moving forward


Use the extra time created to study something you have always wanted to learn. Exercise more, see a friend, take up a hobby.  Do things that gives you pleasure and an element of personal growth and development.


5. Let Go of Grief and Sadness

Moving forward

This can be hard for many people.   The loss of a loved one leaves a big empty void which can be intensely painful.

It is a personal choice whether to view the death of a loved one as a celebration of a life well lived (for adults)  or to choose to sit in pain and sadness for the rest of your life.

What would your loved one want you to do?  In most cases, they would want you to continue to live your life and to be happy as much as you can be.

How do we let go of sadness and pain?  Is this something that is part of the School Curriculum? Is this something we have been taught how to do? The answer to both questions is NO.   Those tools are not in our toolbox of life.

Fortunately, as a trained Grief Recovery Specialist I was able to help myself through the loss of my parents and also help others to deal with their loss.  Many others may end up burying or suppressing emotions that will indeed pop up later.

How we respond to grief generally is what we may have observed from our own parents and therefore emulate what they did and said when they went through similar.

To continue enjoying life to to the full we must keep moving forward.  There are some that find it extremely difficult to let go and instead choose to live in the past or to sit in their grief.  There is no growth in this behaviour.  If you feel that you are unable to participate fully in your life through holding onto the above emotions, seek out professional support to enable you to move on with your life.

Looking for Lessons

Looking for the lessons in any challenges in life may help to fan the flames of inspiration.  Focusing on solutions rather than problems  will help you to keep  moving forward.

Today I am Grateful For…


Moving forward

At the end of each day, why not write a gratefulness list of all the good things that have happened to you during the day.  The small things are just as important as the big things.  Read it regularly.

Every day is an opportunity to start again.  Don’t carry over negative thoughts or feelings into the next day.  Instead why not wake up with a smile, announce that “this is a new day, and  intend to make it a happy one???.

Intention infused with happiness is a very powerful force indeed.


Moving forward







Emotional Wellness

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it” – Sydney J. Harris

Emotional Wellness can seem an elusive goal for a woman in mid-life.  At this time, she may be going through hormonal fluctuations that are affecting her mood.  She may also have a number of responsibilities weighing heavily on her mind, such as taking care of ageing parents, University Fees, or trying hard to climb the career ladder.

It is a common fact that during the peri-menopause or menopausal years, hormones may cause feelings of irritability, and intolerance. In addition, there may also be physical symptoms present such as sleeplessness, fatigue, hot flushes, and night sweats.

With all of this going on, is it any wonder that a woman does not feel at her peak emotional best?  And most of all how can she feel more in control of her feelings and her emotions?  Is this possible?  The answer is yes, with the correct information and specific lifestyle tweaks.

There is no point in tackling rollercoaster emotions with advice such as:

  • Pull yourself together
  • It happens to every woman
  • You will feel better in a year or so!
  • We women have to suffer
  • Get on with it
  • Get busy
  • Stop feeling sorry for yourself

Believe me, I have heard all of the above from my clients and more of the same.  This type of advice does not work and is very disempowering and unhelpful for a woman to hear.  This advice is also not true.

I am sure you have had the feeling when you feel “off??? and you don’t know why. You just don’t seem to be able to identify where the feeling came from.  You just know that it feels uncomfortable and you are not at peace with yourself or the world.

There are many ways and approaches to how you can deal with these feelings.  The first is to acknowledge that all does not feel well in your emotional state.  Reflect on your life at this time, what is happening within and around you, and how it is affecting you.

The first thing you may wish to address immediately is your diet and lifestyle.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is my alcohol intake? Am I drinking more to numb my emotions?
  2. Am I smoking more?
  3. Is junk food featuring in my daily diet?
  4. Do I spend any time doing what I love and enjoy for myself?
  5. Am I giving all my time and energy to other people?
  6. Do I have workaholic tendencies?
  7. Am I feeling overwhelmed?
  8. Do I feel stuck in a rut?
  9. When was the last time I learned something new?
  10. Have I lost my passion for life?

The answers to the above will highlight certain areas of your life that you may wish to address.

Mid-life is another phase in the journey of your life and is full of possibilities and opportunities if you are willing to open your eyes and see them.  It is a time of new beginnings.

Yes, you may say that it is a time when you feel you are losing your looks, and you are experiencing the aging process, but it is also the time where you have more wisdom and life experience and a much more blasé attitude to life.  Some women say it is a time when they stop caring so much about what others think of them and realise it is more important what they think of themselves. Very empowering indeed.

You cannot control the events that happen in your life, you can only control how you respond to them.

The above is a true statement.  The only person in charge of how you feel is you.  Every day, on waking, you have a choice to feel happy and positive or sad and negative.  Sometimes it is not easy to stay upbeat, but it is worth it as life responds to that energy in a more positive way.  You attract what you are focusing on, so choosing to stay as happy as you can be in the situation you are in allows more happiness to flow towards you.

You are what you choose to think

If the above seems impossible then why not start to practice being grateful? Being grateful for:

  • Your health
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Income
  • Lifestyle
  • Pets
  • Water and food to eat
  • Healthy children
  • Loving and healthy partner

Being and staying grateful helps to keep life in perspective.  Yes, you may have known sadness, loss, disappointment, betrayal.  You will also have known happiness, joy, laughter, and excitement.  In which of these does your mind have a tendency to dwell?


The following also damages your emotional wellness:

  • Self criticism
  • Negative self-talk
  • Gossiping about others
  • Seething and stewing on events out of your control
  • Self-pity
  • Holding onto unforgiveness

Science has shown that our thoughts affect our health.  Negative thinking causes too much cortisol and adrenalin in our body and this compromises overall health.  Positive thinking gives us oxytocin and serotonin and this makes us feel good.

Emotional wellness needs an approach that is inclusive of:

  • A healthy diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Effective management of stress
  • Good work life balance
  • Time for self
  • Positive self-development techniques
  • Adequate rest and relaxation
  • Support by experts when needed

Keeping and maintaining a sense of humour is also helpful.  Laughter is good medicine.  A good healthy dose every day allows you to remember the feelings of happiness that are rightfully yours and lightens the load a little. Laughter boosts the immune system, helps to lower the blood pressure and reduces stress.

Have a wonderful day.

Isobel McArthur

Founder of Flourish Beyond 40

If you have enjoyed this Emotional Wellness Blog and would like to learn more.  Why not download the Emotional Wellness Module in the Flourish Beyond 40 Shop? Packed with wonderful tools, exercises and information to help you navigate the ups and downs of life’s emotional rollercoaster.

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