10 decisions women should make at 40

Published On: Jun 18 2014 11:15:00 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 19 2014 12:15:43 AM EDT

Turning 40 can mean changes for some women.

Turning 40 can mean changes for some women.

"That's, for most women, a really changeable time of life," said Tina Tessina, a psychotherapist.

Tessina said there are 10 smart decisions a woman can make after age 40.

Decisions 1 and 2 are: Make your life your own and change your life roles.

"It's a good time to reevaluate but it's also a time when women feel empowered to start living for themselves instead of everybody else," said Tessina.

Decision 3: Revitalize your career or start a new one.

"I've done a lot of reinventing. I do it every chance I get," said Tessina.

Decision 4: Focus on friendships.

According to Prevention magazine, women with extensive social networks have lower blood pressure, less diabetes, less heart disease, and half as many strokes.

Decision 5: Get healthy.

In fact, according to Women's Health, regular exercise may lower the risk of breast cancer by 37 percent, osteoporosis by 45 percent and heart disease by 14 percent.

Decision 6: Secure your financial position.

Tessina said nine out of 10 women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point in their lives.

Decision 7: Decide to be who you might have been.

"I think everything you've learned up until now is useful and you might want to tweak it a little," Tessina said.

Decision 8: Have fun.

People who have regular fun are 20 times more likely to feel happy, according the the website The Happiness Project.

Decision 9: Create joy and meaning in your life.

One study found people who reported a sense of direction and meaning had stronger immune systems than those who were just "happy."

The last decision: Give back.

"At 40 or after, you've got a lot of wisdom and a whole lot of experience. It's time for you to mentor somebody, to give something back," said Tessina.

Women over 40 should also remember to get regular health checks, including an eye exam every two to four years, a pap smear every one to three years, a mole check every year and a mammogram every one to two years.

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