'I'm not perfect, but I am what I am.' Chrissie Swan on the life lessons she's learned in her 40s.

Thanks to our brand partner, Tena

Media personality and Nova breakfast radio host Chrissie Swan's ability to embrace fun is a lesson many of us could learn in 2020. Chrissie tells Mamamia how she doesn't worry about what people think and has worked to accept her flaws; even the really embarrassing ones.

There are certain benefits that come with being in your 40s.

For Chrissie Swan, it's been a time of her life where she's felt more unapologetically 'herself' than ever.

"I was never hugely worried about what people thought of me but I'm even less so now," she tells Mamamia.

"My life has become very simple and my priority is my family. I've realised that if they're thriving, I'm thriving. Their wellbeing affects my self-esteem more than anything."

Living through Melbourne’s latest lockdown has been a testing time for a lot of families - Chrissie's included.

"One challenge I've faced in lockdown with everyone at home all the time is there's no downtime for me between work and parenting," she shares. "My kids are at the ages now where I can be frank with them though, and they understand when I need 15 minutes to be quiet on my own before my next shift starts."

Chrissie, who has three children with her partner Chris Saville, says her biggest life learnings have been about embracing what it is to be human. That includes all the supposed 'embarrassing' bits.

"I'm not ashamed of the experiences I've had as a result of being a human being," she shares. "I'll talk about anything and everything because I'm not embarrassed about being a normal woman.

"I've been broadcasting live on TV or radio consistently for 17 years and I learnt pretty early on that the most reassuring conversations come from the commonality of perceived taboos.

"I laugh until I wee. I snort. I fall over in front of people. I've been out with all my clothes inside out, I've been in a job interview and my shirt has burst open… the list of 'embarrassing' moments is endless only I don't find them embarrassing. I live for them!

"All the seemingly mortifying things that occur in life are not so bad when you get an 'OMG, me too!' response from someone who thought they were alone."

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Her ability to empower women to embrace their perceived flaws is what Chrissie's fans have always loved about her. 

In her newest role as an ambassador for TENA, she is proud to take traditionally taboo subjects like bladder leakage and start honest conversations that break down the shame.

"There's this idea that only women who've had babies have a little wee when they do a star jump, which is totally false," she says.

"I've been running for the bathroom since as far back as I can remember. Trampolines have been danger zones for me since I was in my teens!

"But it just is what it is. Newsflash: We buy condoms and tampons and pads… we all do. So, what's the big deal?

"I think there's a lot of reticence to discuss anything that routinely happens to women, regardless of it being common for literally billions of women, and that includes periods, reproductive issues, infertility, miscarriage, postnatal depression, the list goes on.

"The more we talk about what goes on in women's lives, the more we know we're not alone and that makes almost anything easier to deal with."

Something else the 46-year-old has learnt over the years is to prioritise the fun and love yourself for who you are. Especially right now.

"Fortunately, I'm a naturally positive person. I've always valued the pursuit of 'fun' very highly, which sounds so frivolous and inappropriate for a grown-up but if you don't have fun what do you have?" Chrissie says.

"Generally, I accept myself with all the flaws - and I really do believe that this acceptance is what keeps me happy most of the time.

"I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but I am what I am. It's literally the best I've got!"

And that might just be the bit of advice we need to get us through the rest of 2020.

Feature images: Getty/Chrissie Swan/Instagram

TENA has been developing innovative products to manage incontinence for over sixty years – no wonder it’s the world’s number one adult incontinence brand1. Still a taboo subject, incontinence affects 37% of Australian women2 of varying ages and life stage, often impacting their confidence, daily activities and social relationships. However, there are steps you can take to improve, even stop leaks, and in the meantime there’s TENA. In addition to products, we have advice on prevention, improvement and management, because we believe that incontinence should never get in the way of you being you. Find out more at TENA.com.au 1 Euromonitor International Limited; Retail Adult Incontinence, all channels, RSP value sales, Tissue & Hygiene, 2020 edition 2 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, 2006 - https://www.continence.org.au/about-us/our-work/key-statistics
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