The big 4-0 is finally here – congratulations! This is an exciting time of your life.

However, know that it’s also completely normal to not feel like celebrating once you enter your 40s. Many women really struggle to feel as beautiful and confident as they once did. Just know that you’re not alone.

The good news is that life doesn’t need to come to a grinding halt – here are a few things you can do to feel more like yourself again.

1.      Take Stock of Your Achievements. Now is a good time to step away from the day-to-day drama and take stock of how far you’ve come. Purchase a small journal and write down some of the things you’ve achieved over the last 40 years.

2.     Step Away from Negativity. Consider who you’re surrounding yourself with. When you’re already struggling with your confidence, there’s no need to surround yourself with toxic or negative friends and family members. Find ways to keep your distance as much as possible. 

3.     Get a Makeover. When was the last time you treated yourself to some new makeup, skincare products, and a haircut? This is a perfect time to change up your routine and embrace a new look. You don’t have to make a drastic change either – even adding more pampering into your routine can make a world of difference.

4.     Book a 40 Over 40 Shoot. 40 over 40 projects are designed to empower women in their 40s, helping them see just how beautiful they truly are through the power of photography. Consider joining other women who are embracing a new era in their lives by booking a 40 over 40 shoot.

5.      Don’t Buy Into Dos and Don’ts. You might be thinking that you need to wear your hair a certain way or only buy certain types of clothing now that you’re 40 – this is absolutely not true. In the end, as much as you should embrace this age, there are no hard and fast rules about what you should and shouldn’t do.

6.     Pick Up an Autobiography. Instead of scrolling on social media, why not pick up an autobiography or two that were written by older women? Sometimes, all it takes is a few wise words from someone who has been where you are to make you feel more inspired.

7.     Consider Becoming a Mentor. Have some knowledge and experience to impart? To boost your confidence, why not mentor someone at work? Not only will they appreciate your time and wisdom, but it will make you realize just how far you’ve come too. With that being said, this is also a great time for you to pick up some new skills yourself.

8.     Treat Your Body Well. Your body is going to change throughout your life and your 40s are no different. Take some time to re-evaluate the foods you are eating, how you’re moving your body, and how you’re treating your mind.

9.     Start Dating Again. If you’re single and have been for a while, make this the year you start dating again. There’s no need to see this as a serious next step either. Instead, see this as you stepping out into the world again and meeting new people just for the fun of it.

10.  Put Yourself First. As women, we very often put everyone else before us – now is the time to change that. Make a conscious decision to put yourself first as much as possible. Change the narrative in your head that says you can’t be selfish. And yes, it’s perfectly fine to say no!

11.  Imagine a New Future. Now that you’ve reached your 40s, it’s time to dream of new things. Perhaps you want to set a new career goal or finally sit down and create that bucket list – now is the best time!

40 can and should be exciting! And all it takes is a slight mindset shift and a few lifestyle changes to finally start embracing this wonderful new chapter.