Discover steps to grow and improve yourself on your journey into midlife and beyond, and learn how to be happy in middle age.
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If your life feels at a standstill or it has been filled with many unwanted changes, and it’s left you with an overwhelming sense of unhappiness, you can turn that around with a few simple changes. I am going to share small changes you can make to help yourself bloom into your second act.
11 Ways to Blossom in Midlife
1. Discover Your Midlife Path
Before your inner growth can begin, you will have to take a good look at what it is you want for your future. How do you want your second act to play out? What do you hope to accomplish?
Connecting with your purpose will give you a refreshed outlook on your future. Realizing our purpose can seem overwhelming at first.
Read and re-read your answers. A
2. Commit To a Healthy Lifestyle
Focus on better health and fitness. It may not be easy at first, especially if it had never been a priority in your life thus far, but it is achievable.
Target your diet and be sure to consume fresh fruits and vegetables. Choose lean cuts of meat and lots of fish. Stick with whole grains and far less processed foods.
Make time for exercise. The American Heart Association recommends we get 150 minutes of exercise in each week. A good rule of thumb is to strive for 30 minutes of moderate exercise activity a day. I have written about the importance of taking a walk each day, which is an easy way to begin.
3. Make Sleep a Priority
We all know that sleep is extremely important to our health. Our bodies recharge while we sleep and it helps us begin the day feeling refreshed. But insomnia can be a problem for middle-aged women.
There are things you can try to help fall asleep faster like taking a warm bath or shower before bed, making a habit of going to bed at the same time each night, reading before bed, and no electronics. However, having night sweats and hot flashes is likely to affect us no matter what our before bed rituals are.
If menopause symptoms are keeping you from sound sleeping, please read my blog post How To Improve Midlife Sleep for suggestions on getting more sleep.
4. Develop Gratitude
In order to blossom in midlife, it is important to be appreciative and grateful for everything around us. It’s not just the luxuries we may have, but the small things. Be grateful for the sunrise or the smell of coffee or a smile from a passerby on the street, for example.
Some women find it easier to write down their gratitude in a daily journal. There is something very satisfying about recounting our gratitude on paper. I do offer an inexpensive printable gratitude journal in my shop because I feel developing gratitude is such an important part of the growing process.
5. Set Goals
Always having a goal to reach for goes hand in hand with thriving in midlife. Goal setting helps give you a purpose. Once you achieve your goal you can set another and keep building and growing from there.
Be realistic with your goals. You may have a lofty end goal, but set much smaller and more easily attainable goals as stepping stones to get there. Seeing progress is always a great motivator to keep pushing on.
Familiarize yourself with the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting guide:
- Specific – What it is that you want to accomplish.
- Measurable – How will you count your progress?
- Attainable – Move the things that could get in your way.
- Realistic – Is this goal achievable?
- Time-sensitive – Set a timetable with an ending date.
6. Build Your Happiness
Happiness has nothing to do with your circumstances, but everything to do with how you react to them.
Feeling unhappy with our place in life is depressing. I want you to know that you have the power to choose happiness. That’s right, happiness is a choice. Just as being miserable is a choice. Don’t pick misery! You may just be starting out on your new midlife path, but no matter
I suggest you read my blog post, Build Up Your Happiness, where I go into much more detail on the subject. In that post, you will also find a free workbook and list of 25 characteristics of happy people.
7. Avoid Common Mistakes
- Not Realizing Change Is Needed – Stop doing the same things you’ve been doing for decades. Often times, you’re tried and true routines may no longer be fitting for a woman over 50. The hard part is not changing a habit but realizing it needs to be changed in the first place.
- Quit Comparing Yourself To The Old You – You are no longer 21, or even 31, anymore. Our bodies change and our faces wrinkle. Stop beating yourself up because you feel less attractive than you once were. Aging is a privilege and doesn’t lessen your worth.
- Don’t Think Your Sex Life Is Over – Avoid settling into a lackluster sex life just because society favors the young and equates that to being sexy. Have the confidence to feel sexy in your own skin and enjoy the freedom that comes with this time of life.
8. Become Social
There are a number of reasons that we can find ourselves out of touch with friends in midlife. Maybe you have been so wrapped up in raising your family that you let friendships slip away, or maybe your friends were tied to your kid’s school or extracurricular activities, and now you no longer have that. Whatever the case may be, connecting with people is important.
We tend to be happier when we are surrounded by other people, especially people with a positive mindset. Whether it’s through social media, phone calls, or in person, make connecting with people a daily routine.
I have a private Facebook group for women that are 40+ to have a place to gather, discuss and share all things regarding midlife. I’d love you to join us as we Celebrate Midlife together.
8. Be Teachable
Make learning a life-long practice. Be open to new experiences and new knowledge. It will keep your mind healthy and sharp.
This doesn’t have to be about book learning, per say. Trying a cooking class is a great example. You might just cultivate a brand new passion by learning new things. A fantastic place to start is with CreativeLive, a community of different classes (many for free). The broad range of classes has something for everyone.
10. Reduce Stress
To be able to flourish and enjoy the second half of your life, you will need to reduce your stress levels. Stress can be harmful, especially when it is chronic. It affects you physically and emotionally.
Some helpful tips to relieve stress:
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, nicotine
- Enjoy a healthy diet
- Get more sleep (see number 3 above)
- Learn to say no
You can get more info on those tips and much more by reading my blog post, 8 Ways To Reduce Midlife Stress.
11. Know What’s Out of Your Control
Stop wasting your time, energy and thoughts on things you have no control over. It is completely unproductive behavior that will only result in your frustration. Learn to deal with or move on from things which are out of your control.
A few ways to cope with things you can’t control are:
- Determine what you can control
- Identify your fears
- Develop healthy affirmations