Whether you’re a woman in enjoying your mid-twenties or the early forties, somewhere in the back of your mind, you’re probably mindful of the aging process. Often times, society likes to place these definitions on what it means to age. In society, many people judge a woman by her ability to produce children, look younger than she is and maintain the perfect shape. Ignore all of that. Instead, consider the ways you can age gracefully in the coming days, months and years.

1. Fitness

If you’d like to maintain optimal health, you’ll have no choice but to get moving. Exercise is essential for those who want to maintain strong and healthy bodies. Whether you’re trying to maintain your current weight, lose weight or build muscle, challenging your body is such a great habit to maintain. Your body needs cardiovascular exercise to maintain a healthy heart. Your muscles need to be strengthened so that you can carry out various tasks without aches and pains. It’s also wise to do exercises like Pilates and stretching in order to keep yourself limber and flexible.

2. Rest

Gone are the days where you could stay out all night, party with your girls and rebound the next day without consequence. In order to be alive, aware and present, it’s best to make sure you get the amount of rest your body needs in order to thrive. Do some experimentation to find out how much rest you need. Try the experiment on a day that you don’t have to go anywhere. Go to bed around 10 p.m. However, don’t turn on your alarm clock. Sleep until your body naturally wakes up the next morning.

Once you wake up, look at the time. This will be a good indication of how many hours you truly need. For some women, it’s best to have at least seven hours of sleep. Other women need nine hours. Take note of your magic number. If you find that you’re still sleepy after getting ten hours of rest, you might want to see a doctor to make sure there’s no underlying medical issue. Take your rest seriously. Your body needs the chance to repair and refresh itself.

3. Therapy

Often times, women are carrying a lot of emotional baggage and trauma from the past. No one is perfect. Everyone has experienced their fair share of trauma, disappointment and hurt. As a result, it’s best to work through those issues with a professional therapist. Therapy is similar to personal training except it’s in your mind.

It’s giving someone access to you in a way that will help you become a better version of yourself. Some of the conversations can be challenging. You might discover new things about yourself that you need to work on. However, you’ll become more self-aware, happy and whole. When you smile, you want that smile to come from an authentic place.

4. Proper Nutrition

Fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains are vital for a healthy, balanced diet. There are many diets that leave out critical nutrients that you can get from foods like apples and bananas. In order to age gracefully, you should treat your body well. Eat when you’re hungry. Drink lots of water. Make sure your plate is dominated by fresh, organic ingredients. Don’t be afraid of multi-vitamins and supplements as they can help you get additional nutritional value.

5. Beauty Products

There are many people who believe you should stay away from anti-aging products because of random stigmas. Truthfully, you’ll want to do your own research to figure out what works best for you. Maintaining a healthy glow isn’t as hard as it might seem. You’ll want to develop morning and nighttime routines for your skin. If you’d like to maintain elasticity and a youthful glow, make sure you’re using Retinol, Vitamin C serums and more.

Whether you’d prefer to use anti-aging serums versus anti-aging supplements, the explanation hereshows how the respective options can impact factors like energy, skin elasticity and more. One major beauty product you should incorporate is sunscreen. The sun can be extremely damaging if you’re not careful. A sunscreen with a high SPF should be worn every day. If you deal with hyperpigmentation, rosacea or scarring, make sure you use an SPF daily in order to decrease the chances of worsening the appearance.

6. Nurturing Relationships

There are people who genuinely love drama. If you are one of these people, you definitely need to have a few conversations in therapy regarding why. It’s not healthy to live in a constant state of panic and drama. Take a close look at your relationships. Consider the types of relationships you’ve cultivated.

It’s always good to have a balance in your life. You’ll have people who pour into you. You’ll have people who you’re supposed to pour into. You’ll also have relationships that are symbiotic and mutual. If the majority of your relationships are parasitic, you’ll want to start distancing yourself. You don’t have to cut everyone off. Just create some distance between you and the ones who are pulling too much from you.

7. Medical Check-Ups

Visits to the doctor are not optional anymore. Mammograms, pap smears, and eye exams are all very important to your overall health. Make sure that you develop a good relationship with your primary care physician. Get the right referrals so that you can work with specialists you trust. As you age, you’ll want to make sure that if any, disease arises, you catch it early.

8. Wardrobe

Just because you can still fit in the tiny party dress doesn’t mean you should. As you age, you don’t have to dress in a boring way. However, you do want to be mindful of how tacky it can come across for a 40-year-old to try to look like a 20-year-old. Though you might try to look younger, you’ll only look older.

It’s unfortunate that items like wine and cheese get better with time, but people assume that they don’t. Aging is a beautiful process when you choose to fully embrace it with grace and joy. Thankfully, these tips will help you to embrace the present and future gracefully.