Posts

On hair

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In perimenopause, women face a multitude of debilitating symptoms.  Hot flashes? I help myself keep cool by really reducing booze and caffeine.  Night sweats, no problem, I stay hydrated, wear cotton, keep the bedroom cool and live with the rest.  Spare tyre? I know this one, fewer calories in than out and keep my sugar levels stable. Insomnia? My well-stocked Kindle gets me through those 3am wake-ups till I drop back off to sleep.  But when it comes to hair, just leave it alone, I can about take everything else mid-life throws at me, but just don't touch my hair.  I say as I detox the hoover and detach the tangled blonde mass from the hoover roller brush thingies.  Am I right ladies? In my experience, changing hormone levels can cause dramatic hair loss, here are just some tips I've gleaned along the way to hold onto what's left of my crowning glory: 1) Cut down or if you can eliminate tea altogether, the tea tannins stick to your iron intake and prevent its ab

On loneliness

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'No man is an island' said John Donne.  In modern life, most of us will have to learn to enjoy an amount of quietude.  I say have to, as for a variety of personal reasons, the current pandemic being a prime example, some people will spend massive pockets of time completely alone. 'All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone,' wrote the French philosopher Blaise Pascal.  In some modern toxic positivity circles, this is a new religion, thus we are failing at life if we actually get enough of ourselves and our own company. If so, is loneliness really a thing itself then or is it just a form of suffering resulting from our thoughts and feelings about loneliness? In midlife, social contacts dwindle, family members pass away and other people in our lives simply move on.  As one person's life circumstances change, another's stays the same and vice versa, those common bonds may no longer be common.  There is often

On wardrobe

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After a massive wardrobe clearout, I realised that I mainly wear the same items styled in different ways, time and time again.  These minimal basics never go out of style.  With a little tweaking to jewellery and make up, these pieces look great at every age. Camel coat A timeless camel coat is an investment piece. Pair with oversized scarf and white runners for a sporty classic look. Black slim-fit pants Dress your pants up with a sequin top and throw on your oversized scarf as a wrap to keep away the chills. Breton top Down stripes look slimmer if you can find them.  The breton looks fab with your biker jacket, pop on your sunnies to complete the look. Crisp white shirt Pair with ballet pumps and your boxy brown bag to take you from the office to the theatre or gig with style. Wrap dress Suits most shapes, they look fab with high heeled ankle boots, add your biker jacket to modernise the look too. Leather biker Looks fabulous with your jeans or your wrap dress.  T

On connection

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On the Brendan O'Connor radio recently, I heard an older interviewee say that they had reached an age where they appreciated their own company more than the company of others.  That's a very nice place to be particularly during a lockdown or a pandemic. Many of the social media memes from introvert based accounts will echo these sentiments too.  I don't subscribe to being either introvert or extrovert, but at 50, I can have many moments of both.  I'm naturally caring anyway plus curious (ok nosy) about people which makes me a little bit sociable at least.  However, I do like some decompressing time after a girls or family night out.  Pandemic self-absorption? Most probably. The pandemic (partly driven by work) has decreased my own social contact a hundred fold.  I have met friends twice but probably no more than three, maximum four times this year, even less last year.   As we grow older our needs change.  As a single woman, large loud girl gangs on nights out were a pu

On skin

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One of the first things that struck me this year, as I turned 50, was how sensitive my skin had become.  I read that hormonal fluctuations can thin the skin, this was really true for me.  Like ouch.  Don't get me started on the itching. My skin type itself hasn't changed too dramatically, it's still a little dehydrated as always but it became highly sensitive to exfoliation or any kind of gentle scrubbing.  Instead a daily gentle wash of the face and neck with Eve Lom Cleanser is now leaving my face feeling super clean. I swapped my thrice weekly exfoliation scrubbing routine for a weekly Dermalogica rapid reveal peel (containing lactic acid) to whip off skin debris and reveal firmer skin instead. This is followed by a good massage with Dermalogica skin smoothing cream both to the face and neck.  The results are amazing. I love the Cien serums, I use the Q10 product to boost collagen production, it also contains hyaluronic acid for plumping my skin out.  They absorb qui

On perimenopause

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I was never one to follow the herd.  When it came to 'the change', I had zero plans to suffer its symptoms alongside my fellow females.   Suddenly in my 50th year, I found myself completely floored with anxiety, insomnia, sweats and irritability.  I simply could not control my emotions.  It was a scary time for someone who likes to champion their difficulties, but this had me licked.  I was going to join the legion of women who dwell in a brain fog of misery 'til the bitter end after all.  One day I happened upon a show on national radio, huge thanks to Joe Duffy at RTE and Sallyanne Brady of Irish Menopause, which shed some light on this time in a woman's life and I began to soften.  It was obvious from listening to other women that this thing was bigger than me and if I didn't get some information and support I would struggle. On reflection, I realised that my initial resistance was a protest against menopause because my body had failed to produce a successful pre

On nutrition

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A stubborn little pouch of fat under my belly button caused me to delve deeper into my personal nutrition at 50.  Having innocently figured that with my long hours and busy role, I would be burning fat at a rate of knots, on closer inspection, I noticed a massive decline in my actual physical mobility.  I was now mostly sedentary and consuming the same or more calories as I did when I was dashing around Dublin on foot at 20.  Over the past year, I have kept a check on my step counter and discovered that I am averaging around 500 steps a day (gulp), all this for a job where I leave the house at 11.30am five days a week and return at 9.30pm every night.  Naturally, I've had to start to reduce my intake as quite simply, I just don't need all the calories. Keeping blood sugars level seems to be the key, when I don't, the peaks and troughs of sugar spiking cause me to reach for the wrong kind of foods.  My empty calorie intake goes up and I become hungry again quite quickly.  I