Self care for women over 50 is about learning to love who you are…
Ever feel like you hate what you see in the mirror?
Today, I feel fat. And flabby. And ugly. Yes, I know, I’m teaching confidence, and positive body image, beauty is in who we are. Success on our terms. And, I really believe that. Truly, I do. But I have those days. Days when the societal rules I was taught as a child creep in, and they shame me. Where I see myself in the mirror and say horrible things to myself. Things I don’t deserve. Things I would not say to my worst enemy. “You are so fat!” “My husband must be embarrassed’. “I’ll go on vacation when I can look amazing in a bathing suit.” “What happened to your FACE???”
You all know what I mean, or you wouldn’t have read this far. And it doesn’t matter what size you really are. It doesn’t matter what the truth is. It doesn’t matter what an amazing human you are, at that moment.
The Big Lie for Women Over 50
It sucks. It hurts. And it’s a lie. But it’s a really hard lie to stop believing. And it’s incredibly hard not to believe it when we feel low, or tired, or hormonal, or simply out of sorts. Why? Because our mind can self sabotage. It looks for the negative as a form of self protection. Which probably was really important when natural selection determined if we were eaten by dinosaurs. (Yep, I realize we were not around then, just trying to make a point. :)) But now, not so much. In fact, it’s killing us.
Women are starving themselves, suffering from serious self esteem issues, depression, abusive relationships, severe anxiety and even taking their own lives at record rates. I don’t have all the answers to that. I don’t know each woman’s pain, or pretend to know how to fix it. But if we don’t try, where will our daughters be? Our granddaughters? If you just choked back a tear when you read that last line, join the club. We need to find a way to do better for ourselves, and our girls that follow behind us.
How to Stop Hating Your Body
So how do we do that?
By calling out the pain for what it is. For identifying those moments for what they are. And striving every day to unlearn those harmful, painful moments from our childhood where we were told that what we looked like was who we are. By learning to love ourselves a little more each and every day.
By challenging the lie. One thought and moment at a time. Also, check out my post, Confidence and Self Esteem for Older Women – How to Boost Both.
So start here. Here are some great ideas for self care for women, and taking care of the whole person that you are. And when you find a few that help, please share them with a woman you love, and help stop the cycle. Hugs, my Middle Girls.
Self Care for Women
- Make a list of 5 positive things your best friend would say you are known for.
- Learn something new outside your comfort zone. Always been too afraid to dance in public? Take some lessons, even on YouTube!
- Want to start a business of your very own? Name it and get a business license.
- Buy yourself flowers, and when people ask what they are for, say, “They are for me because I deserve them.”
- Look in the mirror and find one thing you really love about the way you look. Maybe you are so self critical, all you can come up with is the color of your second toenail. That’s fine, you and that second toenail become good friends as you give it all the attention it deserves. Look at it a couple of times a day, and tell it it’s a beautiful part of YOU. Then move onto another thing, and another. Try to find a new thing to love every day.
- Write a short story of a young girl who achieved all of her dreams. Dream big, without limitations. Write down everything she would want to do, have, achieve. Imagine that young girl is you.
- Make a therapy appointment. Everyone underestimates therapy. It isn’t just for when you’re in the middle of a divorce, or you’ve experienced a death. A therapist can help you figure out just what you need to change to get the life you deserve. Or to feel the happiness you crave. Give yourself permission to rewrite the script your childhood may have taught you about therapy. Let’s drop the stigma from our internal scripts, yes?
- When you have a self critical thought, try talking to yourself like you would your daughter, or granddaughter, or best friend. Would you tell her she was fat, useless, dumb, ugly or uninteresting? What would you say to another who talked to HER that way? Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would show her, you deserve it too.
- Find like minded girls to share your thoughts, feelings and frustrations about this part of your life.
- Share TheMiddleGirls.com with a friend and help more women find their “people”!
Return to the Blog for more great articles just for women 50+!