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35 Low-Effort Ways to Elevate Your Life After 50

Level Up, Sis! It’s time to add a little extra sparkle to your crown.

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What little habits will give you a lift this week? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

One thing about Black women is we’re always working to make ourselves just a little bit (or a lot) better. I mean, we’re already popping, but who doesn’t want a little extra Black Girl Magic? Luckily, we don’t fall into the trap of thinking just because one is of a certain age, upgrading life is unachievable or pointless. Nope, we get out there and do the damn thing.

Sometimes, though, we think we have to do it big to take it to the next level. That's so not true. Elevation doesn’t always have to involve huge, sweeping changes that require a lot of time or effort. Check out these easy-peasy things you can do to further enhance your life.

1) Wake up your body with the Cat-Cow pose. It, and other stretches, can help ease stiffness and increase your flexibility so it’s easier for you to move.

2) Write down three recent wins. Boost your self-confidence and motivation.

3) Buy the pre-cut pineapple and frozen spinach. Frozen or pre-prepped fruit and veggies come in handy when you’re short on time and tempted to reach for processed food. Plant-based eating helps reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

4) Say no to one thing this week. It leaves room for something you do want to do.

5) Watch a funny Black TV show. Try one of these. Laughter helps lower blood pressure and relieves stress.

6) Nourish your skin with a long-lasting moisturizer. Skin gets drier as we get older. Slather on a rich and luxurious moisturizing cream to protect and replenish your skin’s moisture barrier. You’ll look well-cared for!

7) Think of words that rhyme with bright. Or aim. Or whatever. Challenging your brain with word games may help prevent memory loss.

8) Crack an egg for breakfast. Or enjoy a tofu scramble. Protein can help slow down age-related muscle loss, so you stay active and have a reduced chance of injuries. Bonus: It can prevent weight gain.

9) Hug a loved one for a stress buffer. A short embrace before a stressful situation, like a job interview or big meeting, can stop the body from pumping out too much cortisol (aka the stress hormone). Hold the hug for 5 to 10 seconds.

10) Stand up straight. Good posture can prevent neck and back pain and injuries. Plus, it can add the appearance of height and a trimmer waistline.

11) Recall a positive memory from your life. Research shows that reminiscing about a happy event reduces cortisol levels and boosts mood.

12) Turn the temp down to 60 to 67 degrees. That’s the ideal temperature for a good night’s rest, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

13) Cry if you want. A good cry-fest will allow you to release pent-up emotions and stress.

14) Enjoy a yogurt parfait. Live active cultures and fresh, unsweetened fruit help protect your gut to keep down inflammation and help keep you regular.

15) Apply a lip balm or lipstick with SPF to protect your luscious lips. Use one with SPF 30 or higher to reduce signs of aging and your skin cancer risk.

16) Squeeze your Kegel muscles for 10 seconds, release for 10 and repeat. Kegels and other pelvic floor exercises can help prevent bladder leaks and make sex and orgasms more pleasurable.

17) Post something positive on social media. You’ll feel good, look good and your positivity may be just what someone else needs at the moment.

18) Take a belly breath. This type of breathing can reduce blood pressure, heart rate and stress.

19) Stand up and walk whenever you’re talking on the phone. Less sitting can lower the risk of heart disease.

20) Listen to a song from Gen Z. Yeah, we know. However, listening to music that’s different from your norm gives your brain a challenge, which helps keep it young.

21) Doodle random stuff on paper. Free drawing enhances memory and focus and also helps relieve stress.

22) Take a 5-minute break outside. Nature boosts mood. And sunlight helps you get vitamin D, a necessity for maintaining strong bones.

23) Know when it’s okay to half-ass something. Sometimes, putting in just enough effort is enough.

24) Silence device notifications for 15 to 20 minutes. Even this short amount of time will limit distractions and increase your focus.

25) Buy a beautiful notebook. Writing by hand can reduce stress and anxiety and help you remember important information.

26) Call a sisterfriend. Staying socially active can reduce your risk for health issues associated with loneliness and social isolation, such as heart disease, depression, high blood pressure, and memory and thinking problems.

27) Work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. This is known as the Pomodoro method. Research shows micro-breaks—less than 10 minutes—can help keep your energy up and boost performance in some tasks.

28) Upgrade your errands or commute with a podcast. Listen to one that’s motivational or informative to feel inspired.

29) Tell your partner, “I like the way you …” Research shows people are more appreciative of their partners when they feel appreciated by their partners.

30) Play hopscotch or jacks. Adults who make time for play report experiencing less stress and they have healthier stress management habits.

31) Say “thank you.” Gratitude can decrease depression and anxiety, boost your mood and immunity, and help you sleep better.

32) Clean your bathroom mirror. Or do a different tiny task that takes less than 5 minutes. You'll get a sense of accomplishment and a boost of dopamine (the feel-good hormone).

33) Ask who, what, when, where, how or why. Remember, knowledge is power. If you have a question, ask it.

34) Flavor your food with lemon juice, garlic or rosemary. Choose these or other herbs and spices over salt sometimes. You’ll reduce sodium and your risk for high blood pressure.

35) Tell your reflection, “You’re beautiful!” Talking yourself up in the mirror, known as mirror work, can boost your confidence.

What little habits will give you a lift this week? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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