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Dealing with Depression At 50+: A Journey of Healing and Resilience

April 25, 2024

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Suddenly, I hated Santa.

Depression can feel like an invisible struggle, especially for the millions of women over 50+ facing its challenges. Trust me, I know. I have had a lifelong battle with depression and anxiety. I’ll tell you a little story. I have always been a Christmasaholic. Always. From the time I was a child and throughout each stage of my life, I was crazy about Christmas. I mean, my kids all had trees in their rooms. (And I had 5!) In fact, every room in my house had decorated trees. Even the bathrooms. 🤣 Each year we picked themes. One year was all about nature. Another year was our Candyland Christmas. One year it was Santa from around the world. And one year, I organized a luminaria for the community in our neighborhood, covering 5 blocks and over 80 houses. Hundreds of people came.  It was Christmas magic.

And then one Christmas, I didn’t even want to pull the decorations out of storage. I just couldn’t feel that feeling of precious joy. I mean, I used to cry at touching Christmas carols. Seriously. Even in my middle school band performance at Christmas, I was holding back tears when we played “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”. And yet here I was, numb. No matter what I did, I had lost that lovin’ feeling. That is when I realized that depression had set in again. Worse than I had dealt with before. If you have trouble feeling joy for things you have always loved, or don’t even want to do them anymore? You might be suffering from depression too.


Shining Through Depression After 50+


As a mindset coach passionate about supporting women in this stage of life, I want to be by your side on this journey toward healing and resilience. Here are some insights and strategies to help you break free from depression’s grip and rediscover your inner strength and joy.


Understanding Depression in Women Over 50:

Depression in women over 50 can be different from what younger individuals experience. It might show up as sadness, hopelessness, or physical symptoms like fatigue and sleep issues. There are many reasons for depression at this stage of our lives, from hormonal changes to life transitions like menopause, being a caretaker, or retirement. Sometimes, there seems to be no reason at all. Asking for support isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a brave step toward healing.

Breaking Free from Silence and Shame:

Whether it’s talking to a friend, seeing a therapist, or exploring meditation and mindfulness, remember that reaching out is a sign of strength. Be kind to yourself throughout this journey. Embrace vulnerability, honor your feelings, and know that you deserve love and compassion just as you are. It’s time to put the stigma towards mental health to rest, girls. We don’t want our granddaughters to ever feel like they have to hide how they feel, right? So let’s be brave, and show them the way. Side note: Therapy is covered by most insurance. And if yours doesn’t, there are plenty of online options that have sliding scales, like BetterHelp or Talkspace. And if you are hiding your depression because you think it would be a burden to someone else, please stop. You matter, you matter, you matter! And anyone who truly cares for you will know you matter too.


Empowering Your Mindset:

Challenge those negative thoughts that depression feeds you. Replace self-criticism with self-compassion, doubt with belief, and fear with courage. You have the power to rewrite your story and adopt a mindset of resilience and possibility. Your struggles don’t define you; your resilience does. But, this takes support and practice. You have to be willing to do the work. If you are, the potential for change is enormous!


Shining Through Depression After 50+


Healing for Body and Soul:

Healing from depression involves your whole being—body, mind, and spirit. Try mindfulness, yoga, journaling, or simply spending time in nature. Do things that bring you joy and peace, and prioritize self-care. Remember, healing isn’t a straight line, but every step forward is worth celebrating. In my experience, it wasn’t one thing that helped me find my way through depression. It was a synergy of things. Mindfulness, challenging limiting beliefs, self-care, therapy, and medication were my magic combinations.


Building Your Circle of Support:

Surround yourself with a supportive community of women who understand and empathize. Share your stories, offer encouragement, and draw strength from one another. Together, we can create a safe space where vulnerability is embraced, and hope is renewed. The Middle Girls has both a public Facebook page and also a private community for members of my coaching system and courses where other women our age can lift you up. Or look around in your own world.

When I first was diagnosed with anxiety over 20 years ago, I felt the stigma. But I felt it important to share what was going on with me. And when I did, I was shocked at how many people told me, “I deal with that too.” When we speak out about our struggles, we give other women the courage to speak about theirs. There is bonding in that. I found support in the least likely of places, but with people I will always remember.


Depression Sucks, But…

As you navigate depression after 50, know that you’re not alone. Trust your inner wisdom, and believe that healing is possible. Do your best (and your best is always enough!) to face this journey with courage, compassion, and a belief in your resilience. You’re stronger than you think you are, and brighter days are ahead. Depression sucks, but there is hope to feel good again. To feel like you aren’t walking around in concrete anymore. If you are interested in receiving support, mindset training, and guidance with coping skills for depression, check out my signature program, The Mindset Shift Coaching System. I’ll see you there! 🤗

P.S. After some therapy, some good mindfulness practice, and medication that is working for me, I love Christmas again, my friends. And I never really did hate Santa. We just fell out for a while. Can’t wait for the next holiday season!🎄💗


15 Inspirational Quotes for Depression

If you’ve been a reader of TMG for any length of time, you know I believe deeply in the power of words. These inspirational quotes for depression are not a magic pill, but maybe they can be a spark of hope in the distance, helping you feel less alone.


🤗 “Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say ‘My heart is broken.’” ― C.S. Lewis


🤗 “I understand your pain. Trust me, I do. I’ve seen people go from the darkest moments in their lives to living a happy, fulfilling life. You can do it too. I believe in you. You are not a burden. You will NEVER BE a burden.” — Sophie Turner


🤗 “I saw the world in black and white instead of the vibrant colours and shades I knew existed.” ― Katie McGarry


🤗 “Drink a glass of water. Make the room dark. Lie down and close your eyes. Notice the silence. Notice your heart. Still beating. Still fighting. You made it, after all. You made it, another day. And you can make it one more. You’re doing just fine. You’re doing fine. I’m doing just fine.” ― Charlotte Eriksson


🤗 “There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.” ― John Green


🤗 “Every man (or woman) has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


🤗 “You say you’re ‘depressed’ – all I see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn’t mean you’re defective – it just means you’re human.” ― David Mitchell


🤗 “I am bent, but not broken. I am scarred, but not disfigured. Sad, but not hopeless. I am tired, but not powerless. Angry, but not bitter. I am depressed, but not giving up.” — Anonymous


🤗 “It is very hard to explain to people who have never known serious depression or anxiety the sheer continuous intensity of it. There is no off switch.” – Matt Haig


🤗 “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” – Victor Hugo


🤗 “When you’re depressed you don’t control your thoughts, your thoughts control you. I wish people understood that.” — Anonymous


🤗 “People think depression is sadness. People think depression is crying. People think depression is dressing in black. But people are wrong. Depression is the constant feeling of being numb. Being numb to emotions, being numb to life. You wake up in the morning just to go to bed again.” — Anonymous


🤗 “Every storm runs out of rain.” – Maya Angelou


🤗 “You’re like a grey sky. You’re beautiful, even though you don’t want to be.” ― Jasmine Warga


🤗 “Stars can’t shine without darkness.” – Unknown


Remember, you matter. You MATTER. 

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I'm Kathy, your new get-a-grip best bud.

I’m an online educator, business, motivational & mindset coach, podcast host and author helping to teach women over 50 how to empower themselves to create the life they always wanted... 

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