By Marianne Clyde
Part 2 from “House of Mirrors” blog
Life Transitions can be nerve-wracking and crazy-making if you let them. So don’t let them do that to you. The list of life transitions that a woman experiences after 50 is long. Here are some of the most common:
- Empty Nest Syndrome
- Caring for Aging Parents
- Widowhood or Divorce
- Health Challenges
- Becoming a Grandparent
- Career Changes
- Rediscovering Identity and Purpose
- Financial Planning Issues
- Relationship Changes
- Self-Care and Wellness
- Reconnecting with Adult Children
- Exploring New Hobbies and Interests
Here are 5 things you can do to ease the craziness a bit:
Maintain Healthy Habits: Like navigating through twists and turns, prioritize your well-being. Maintain a balanced diet, engage in regular exercise, and get enough rest. Physical and mental health play crucial roles in adapting to change. Stress inhibits your brain’s ability to consider new ways of thinking. Hormones released from stress and anxiety, if not given an avenue of release, can create a toxic environment in your body. That’s why it’s important to drink lots of water, exercise regularly and even practice deep breathing exercises to allow the nervous system to relax. Practices like meditation and gratitude can help calm the sympathetic nervous system which ignites your “fight, flight or freeze” response to stressful factors.
Explore New Hobbies and Interests: In the House of Mirrors, you encounter different reflections of yourself. Similarly, try exploring new hobbies and interests during transitions. It can open up new avenues and bring a sense of fulfillment, as well as create a new sense of understanding to who you really are and what brings you joy and fulfillment.
Update Skills and Knowledge: Just as you adapt your steps in a House of Mirrors, stay adaptable in the face of change by updating your skills and knowledge. Consider workshops, courses, or online learning to stay relevant and confident. Continually keeping your brain and body challenged is not only a good idea but it’s vital as you age. I found a great little statistic that claims, “learning new things can make older adults’ brains 30 years younger in just 6 weeks!” At the very least it has a significant impact on your physical and mental health!
Celebrate Small Victories: Celebrate every triumph, no matter how small, just as you might celebrate finding your way through the maze of mirrors. Recognize your progress and use it as motivation to keep moving forward. Do a little happy dance right there in the middle of your maze every time you have a small victory! Make a list of things that make you happy and every time you have a bit of success or forward movement, treat yourself to one of those things. I little hit of natural dopamine feels good and encourages you to keep going.
Practice Self-Compassion: Amidst the distortions of a House of Mirrors, be kind to yourself. Acknowledge that transitions can be challenging, and it’s okay to feel uncertain. Take deep cleansing breaths all along the way, which will help you stay calm. I even have a tattoo on my wrist that says, “just breathe.” As a therapist for many years, that advice has proven valuable to a huge number of clients. Practice self-compassion and remember that it’s okay to ask for help when needed.
We, at Isn’t She Amazing, are here to surround you with guidance and support and inspiration to encourage you on your journey. We find that a supportive community is one of the most valuable tools in your tool belt to help you find your way through the innumerable confusing and frustrating transitions that you might find yourself in as you age.
Refer to the previous blog here for more tips.