Age 40 to 50 is usually the time when most women will try to get a hold of their lives. Just when they think they can detach from social responsibilities and focus on themselves, life presents newer challenges. How do you make it work when the mind and the body are not prepared? How do you find balance, without feeling overwhelmed?
The aging process can be depressing, as women are constantly evaluating their self-worth. “Every woman experiences an individual evaluation process as they age,” says wellness expert Tynisha Camae Drennon, “Basking in the emotions of peace and contentment often comes from having a firm sense of who we are, and what roles we play in our immediate family and community.” For a woman who has been functioning in the full time care-taking role of mother, the transition of her children into adulthood, experiencing their own independence may leave her with a sense of purposelessness. The same can be said of the recently widowed or divorced. Once the family dynamics change in a woman’s life, her sense of purpose shifts, which can lead to an emotional state of depression. Add to that, the changes in a woman’s physical appearance— such as looser skin and face marks—can bring her down, especially if she has always been perceived as an attractive lady.
While it may seem like a downer, look at this time as an opportunity to sit back, reflect upon your life, and do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Understand the wave of emotional, physical and social change, and embrace it with an open mind. In this new phase, you can discover a new you, and find great contentment.
Make a list of everything you used to enjoy, and if you can’t remember, then call an old friend. Reconnect with people who knew you when you felt confident about your self-worth. Think about what is missing in your life—exercise, travel, more challenge at work, a chance to help others? Here’s where you should begin:
- Try Something New Everyday: It could be as simple as saying hello to your neighbor, whom you’ve never greeted before. Doing this creates a sense of competence and effectiveness. This will do wonders to your confidence levels. “It is fascinating to see women embrace their ability to problem-solve and deal with life’s obstacles, once their self-esteem is boosted,” says Lisa Bahar, a professional clinical counselor .
- Sleep Enough, But Not A Lot: Getting good sleep is the key to calmness. “As our body changes, our sleep patterns also change and therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy, well-informed approach to sleep” adds Bahar.
- Exercise: Working your body will surely make you feel fitter and younger. Be sure to use supervision, and remember to not overdo it. If you have never opted for a routine exercise regime before, take up something fun, like hiking or dancing.
- Get Perspective: Be willing to see things from a variety of perspectives and act in accordance. Learn how to accept change, which is bound to occur. “Acceptance is not agreeing or approving, it is just giving up the fight of resistance,” suggests Bahar.
- Communicate: Address your feelings and opinions in a clear and honest way. It is essential to let your loved ones understand you better, as you try to understand yourself. Communicating is likely to strengthen existing relationships.
Growing old does not just mean another candle on the cake. It means getting a wider perspective on life, getting wiser, and understanding yourself better. Once you grow into these emotions and start celebrating each moment, life will balance itself out.