What? Me turning 52? Is it really possible? At least this is what my documents tell me. Yet, I still feel like the girl I was 30 years ago. That part of me is still there, although a lot of signs in my body tell me that maybe something has changed.
There has been a time, however, when I forgot I am a beautiful, sexy, intelligent, creative woman, regardless of my age, body shape and what I’m going throuh.When I was about to turn 50, life decided to put me through the changes and challenges that this part of life commonly brings about: menopause, physical changes, a separation, my mother’s death, the need to sell my house and start a new career. There were days when I didn’t want to get out of bed because I could not cope with all that stuff at the same time. Thanks God I soon realized I wasn’t being of any help to myself and to my children. I had to start loving myself again.
It wasn’t easy though: I looked at myself in the mirror and what I saw was not the young, strong, courageous, beautiful, sexy, athletic, creative, humorous woman I used to be. I started keeping a diary then where I wrote down every little success I made every day on my path to re-discover myself. I realized that, no matter what other people say, no matter what I read in magazine articles, no matter how I may feel on a particular day, I am special. There are things I don’t particularly like about myself, times when I find it difficult to see the positive things in my life, but I am willing to change what I can change and accept what I cannot change.
This is the ABC of what helps me to love and nurture myself – or remember to love and nurture myself – every day.
Accept your body
True, there are things you would like to – and you may – change. However, you have to start working with what you’ve got. You have to love yourself no matter what shape or size you are in. You are awesome. You are beautiful. You are unique. You are YOU. Never forget that!
Remember that your essence comes from within – from your mind, your personality, your heart, your soul. Being yourself, expressing yourself, speaking your mind, regardless of what other people may think, makes you feel so good and free!
Cultivate positive thoughts
I love that. Remember that you choose your thoughts. So keep thinking positively! No matter how bad you feel about yourself, there is always something good in your life. Focus on the good, the positive, and get the negative out of your mind.
Do something just for the mere pleasure of doing it
Doing something without the need of measuring how well you did it, is so fun and liberating too! Remember: it’s never too late to try something new or do what you really want to do and just for fun.
Just look at your face after attempting something you believed you would have never thought possible for you: it’s radiant!!! Don’t let other people’s opinions or fear or criticism stop you from being as wonderful as you can be.
Embrace your uniqueness
Think about what you do well. You might be a great coach, a great writer, a great athlete, a fantastic parent. No matter what you are, there are unique qualities about yourself that make you stand out. Embrace your unique qualities and talents and spend more time cultivating them.
Forget about comparisons
Stop comparing yourself to others. It’s ok if you don’t look like Julia Roberts or Nicole Kidman or the girl you were 20 or 30 years ago. You are beautiful as you are now and you will always be, because there is nobody else like you! Even your wrinkles contribute to your beauty. Anna Magnani, a famous Italian actress, said to a makeup artist preparing her for shooting a film: “Don’t cover my wrinkles, it took me a lifetime to earn them”.
Get more sunshine
Get out, take a walk, go cycling and get all the benefits of sunshine . It strengthens your immune system, muscles and bones and stimulates Vitamin D, so important for the health of your pineal gland which is the part of the brain responsible for producing happy feelings. So get out and be happy!
Have a special Valentine’s day for yourself and take yourself for a date
Why not making it a day for YOU? Do something special: treat yourself, spend the day at a luxurious spa, spend the night at a very cosy hotel, have lunch at a special restaurant, get away for the weekend in a place you have never been before. Make this day a special day and repeat the process year after year!
Every so often, try something new! Eat or do whatever you wouldn’t normally eat or do. Change your routine, explore new topics, try a new hairstyle, new clothes, new makeup, new workout routine. See what works and what makes you feel special! And the bonus is that by trying something new you can give yourself a little boost.
What are you doing to love yourself – or to remind you to do so – every day?
Stay tuned for part 2!
This post was first published in Baby Boomers – Secrets Of Life After 50, PWN Publishing, 2014.Copies of the book can be ordered through Project Prosperity. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
(image credit: http://livingajoyfullifenow.com/)