Women over 60 have lived complicated lives. By the time we reach our 60th birthday, we have our share of battle scars. Some of us have lost someone close to us. All of us have, in one way or another, battled discrimination and stereotypes. Throughout our lives, we have faced questions of body-image. Now, as we enter our 60s, we have a choice to make. Will we allow our negative self-talk to prevent us from living our dreams? Or, will we take control and replace our doubts with positive emotions and a desire to get the most from life after 60?
Here are 5 of the most common negative statements that women make to themselves, consciously or unconsciously and, more importantly, what we can do about them.
“I don’t have enough energy”
Do you ever feel like life has become too stressful? Do you struggle to find the energy to deal with your obligations and explore your passions? You’re not alone! Many women over sixty struggle with “low energy” at times. But, it doesn’t have to be this way! You just need to change your perspective. Energy is not something to be conserved. The more we engage with our bodies and the world around us, the more energy we have. In other words, using energy creates energy.
Action: Check out this interview I did with Dr. Dale Atkins, a psychologist and relationship expert, on how women our age can take better care of themselves to reduce stress and let go of negative people.
“I don’t have enough time”
Women our age often feel overwhelmed. There are so many other people in our lives who want a piece of our daily schedule. Do you ever feel like you’re not making enough time for yourself? Do you have big dreams for the next stage of your life, but don’t know how to fit them in? Part of the solution is to learn to be a little bit selfish. After a lifetime of looking after other people, you deserve to build your dream life after 60. Another simple step that you can take is to simplify your environment.
Action 1: Think back over the last week. In one column, write down all of the things that you did for other people. In the other column, write down the things that you did for yourself. Are you happy with the balance? If not, schedule time in advance for something that you care about. Your time is precious.
Action 2: Watch my interview with Dr. Dale Atkins to find out more about how downsizing in retirement can help you to be happier.
“I don’t have a man in my life”
More women over 60 are single than ever before, either due to a divorce or the death of a spouse. The good news is that you don’t have to let your relationship status impact your happiness. If you want to find a partner, it’s not too late. Or, if you would prefer to stay single, but, want to be more socially active, this is also possible.
Action 1: If you want to be more socially active, but, aren’t looking for a relationship, there are plenty of options. Check out our website Sixty and Me for discussions on a variety of topics, from travel to fashion to personal relationships.
Action 2: If you’re still interested in finding a partner, check out my interviews with dating experts Lisa Copeland and David Wygant. They offer practical, and often humorous, tips on how to maximize your chances of dating success at any age.
“I don’t have any friends”
Ironically, in our modern, hyper-connected world, many people are left feeling isolated. By the time we reach our 60s, our children have moved away, we are considering retirement and our husbands may be preoccupied with their own problems and interests. As a result, it’s easy for women our age to fall into a pattern of feeling lonely.
Loneliness is real, but it doesn’t have to define your life. Women over 60 have many resources at our disposal to help us make friends and stay connected.
Action 1: Start by reaching out to a few trusted friends or acquaintances for a regular lunch date. Perhaps you have friends who would love to see you more often, but they’ve gotten bogged down in their own day-to-day “busyness.”
Action 2: Do what you love to do and friendships will come naturally. If you already have a hobby, try finding a club where you can practice with other likeminded people. Or, try something new. Put yourself out into the world and make a contribution. You’re bound to connect with more like-minded people in no time!
And, the Big One… “I am too old”
It often feels like our youth-obsessed culture doesn’t value people our age. There is a stigma attached to getting “old,” and we see it in a variety of circumstances, from age discrimination by employers to fashions made only for 20-year-olds.
We can’t change society, but, we can change ourselves. Just because these stigmas exist, doesn’t mean we have to allow them to limit our lives. Many women over 60 are just as active, engaged and motivated as ever before. It is up to you to build your dream life after 60. Whether you want to become a weightlifting champion or focus on your grandkids, the choice is yours.
Action: Write down one thing that you want to accomplish this year, this month, this week, and today. Update your list on a regular basis. You are never too old to accomplish your personal goals.
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Did any of the negative statements in this article apply to you? Which ones? What other beliefs or negative statements do you think women our age use? Please add your comments below.