I would love to study a new subject but am always so busy. What do you suggest?
You and many others have asked the same question! It is commendable to follow your heart even if your other commitments stand in the way. But measure the sacrifices you have to make. Usually if someone can’t indulge in further learning, it has to do with lack of time, not money, given that you can study online at no cost. But how to fend off the children? Or carve out some hours after work? As Hamlet would say, “That is the question!” No one wants to throw away what they already have. Number one rule is to be clear about your subject.
If French is your baguette, don’t waste time trying out Swahili; if you want business skills, don’t start a world tour of cowboy courses. Identify a clear subject, find a reputable (ideally certified) course, and set realistic goals.
A one-year Open University MBA with exams and regular papers when you are a dental hygienist and have three young children is inadvisable. Rule number two is be highly organised: mark the calendar with exact times set aside for studying; spread out the load in manageable ways, and reward yourself for sticking to it (e.g. finishing that chapter). Avoid late nights as it will destroy your relationships and your sleep pattern. Indulge yourself when you have to but never take your eyes off the goal. If work is bite-sized, it is better handled. Buddies are a great way to keep going: the two of you can keep each other on track. And, of course, make sure those around you are all aware of your commitment and support you. The learning process is empowering, but doing it as a mature student can be challenging. Be strong and pat yourself on the back when you get there. Bonne chance.
How early is too early for anti-ageing measures?
Anti-ageing measures fall into two categories: products and procedures. Sunblock is a first-defence product which can be used from the moment of sun exposure in infancy. My own childhood was at a time of ignorance about sun damage, with olive oil used for protection (we were like a bunch of French fries creating an oil slick in the Caspian!). I can testify that where the sun is concerned, nothing is too early. World-renowned New York-based plastic surgeon and anti-ageing specialist Dr Haideh Hirmand says that starting in our late 20s, we can add stronger protection like anti-oxidants and retinoids. Where procedures are concerned, Dr Haideh recommends mild medical cleansing facials in our 20s and 30s, and gentle peels to renew skin and keep it healthy going forward. Into one’s 30s and 40s, she suggests stronger peels and regenerative procedures like micro-needling with PRP, and mild IPL lasers for pigment and texture.
The starting age for Botox depends very much on the muscle tone of your face and individual need. Where skin is concerned, the saying ‘a stitch in time’ is never more applicable. The war against the sun and atmospheric damage is waged in many ways. In Far Eastern cultures where pale skin is prized, women use umbrellas and/or wide-brimmed hats on sunny days as teenagers. Korean products are currently hugely in demand and though their lasting effectiveness is yet to be studied, young Korean women boast beautiful skin. Even in India where women have darker, more resilient skin, there are elaborate rituals to exfoliate and brighten the skin – especially for brides.
As with all beauty and healthcare regimen, a healthy dose of common sense goes a long way.Wanting to freeze your face in time isn’t the necessarily the best anti-ageing method, but a sensible approach as suggested by Dr Haideh can only pay dividends in the end.
From April 2018 issue of Harper's Bazaar Arabia
Photography: Ajith Narendra. Stylist: Sanika Tipnis. Prices approximate