Transitions Kuel Thought Leader: Nancy Tepper
You can’t do everything—self-care is important. Life is demanding, but if you forget about your own needs, you can’t take care of others who depend on you.
Remember to set boundaries and preserve your energy so that you don’t become depleted. Here are 7 lessons EVERY woman in her 50s should learn:
“The act of giving without any expectations is a gift that you give to yourself in addition to the recipient.”
1. Say No:
Saying no is important. “You can’t dance at all the weddings” or you will become burnt out, which will take a huge toll on your physical and mental wellbeing. Don’t people-please but instead be wise about your own needs.
2. Give Without Expectations Of Receiving:
Generosity should never be based on an expectation of receiving something in return. Don’t be petty. When you give your time, a gift, or anything else, do so because it makes you feel good. Don’t be a “tit for tat” person. Give and be generous because it makes your heart feels full. The act of giving without any expectations is a gift that you give to yourself in addition to the recipient.
3. You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks:
Don’t typecast yourself. Just because you don’t know how to do something, or haven’t branched out of your current skill set, doesn’t mean you can’t learn something new. YouTube, Google, online classes, and a plethora of websites can provide information that can help you figure out basically anything you want to learn (plus our adult children are great resources as well!).
You only get one life, so now is the time to try your hand at anything that makes you feel inspired. Go for it!! Even if you pivot away from your initial effort, you will learn things on your journey. No one has limitations that can’t be overcome with hard work and perseverance.
4. The Way You Look At Life Affects How You Feel:
No one goes through life without facing difficult circumstances. We will all be challenged and must rely on our coping skills and resilience to help us overcome obstacles. The lens we chose to look through can help us to become stronger and more adaptable. Looking at the good and the learning you get even from a horrible situation can be transformative and help alleviate unhappiness.
5. Mindfulness And Appreciation Are Keys To Happiness:
You have all heard this before but all you can really count on is the present moment. Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is undecided. Smell the roses and be appreciative and grateful for what you are experiencing now. If you don’t learn to do this, many moments you can enjoy will pass you by.
“Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is undecided.”
6. Set Your Adult Children Free:
When your children become adults, you must let them navigate their own lives and make their own choices. That sometimes means they will make mistakes, feel pain, and sometimes be sad. In our modern world where we have instant access to information, many of our adult children count on us to be “fixers.”
This isn’t good for them, or us, as that isn’t our role anymore. If you’ve done your job as a parent, your children are ready to face the world, stand on their own two feet, and learn from their own experiences. Setting your kids free into the world of adulthood is the ultimate gift and is the most difficult thing for parents to do. This is a particularly difficult lessons for women in their 50s.
7. The Concept Of Hedonic Adaptation Is Real:
Remember how happy you were when you got a new car, a great handbag, a piece of art, or a sparkly piece of jewelry?7 Odds are that you were super excited and charged up for a while. The concept of hedonic adaptation says that humans will quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite a major positive change.
This is also true with negative events. The human ability for our emotional baseline to end up where we started and become insensitive to new stimuli means we can’t really sustain happiness from new possessions over time as we adapt to their presence in our lives. If you are focused on finding happiness, try to have fun experiences with friends and family that make you smile and feel connected and that can give you memories that can last a lifetime.
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