As women over 50, we are dealing with more now than we ever have previously, purely by virtue of our lived experience. Menopause, changing bodies, fluctuations in weight, hormones that are all out of whack, abonnement and to add to all of that we are living through a pandemic of global proportions in Covid-19
One of biggest ramifications of Covid-19 on most of us personally is a newfound sense of isolation and loneliness. Locked away and precluded from the activities we used to partake in and the people we used to interact with has led many of us to turn inward and when this happens anxiety and depression can skyrocket.
By now, this isolation may feel like the new norm but in the midst of all the crazy, we need to employ new tactics to remain strong, both in mind and body. The unofficial adage of this pandemic ‘we are all in this together’ is a slogan of hope. We really are all experiencing the same thing and that unites us. As women over 50 in particular, we need to focus on what makes us the same rather than what separates us. The lives of all of has have shifted slightly and we have all done a tremendous job of adjusting to the new norms. We are all working collectively to beat this thing and I think that’s a huge comfort in and of itself.
There are people everywhere supporting you and people everywhere that you are supporting without even being aware of them. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the big picture, especially now, but it’s so important to stop and take stock. We really are all in this together.
If you are experiencing loneliness and isolation, these are some tactics you can employ that will help you feel more connected. These suggestions can help you feel useful, valued and excited. But it’s all up to you- you need to do the work!
There is nothing better and more instantaneous for boosting our mood and mindset than exercise. When we move our bodies, our brains release endorphins which help us to cope with the stress exercise puts on our bodies. Endorphins help push us even further and encourage us to continue training by giving us a natural high as a reward for our efforts. Bottom line: If it feels good to exercise, we’ll continue to do so.
Endorphins have many benefits on our overall mental health including reduced depression and anxiety, a boost in self-esteem and lowered stress levels, all of which contribute to rapid ageing in the body. Exercise in any form is wildly beneficial for our state of mind and can pull us out of feelings of isolation and loneliness.
If you are just starting on your exercise journey and not sure what to do or where to go, I would love for you to join the Fabulous50s Challenge group on Facebook. The challenge group has been designed to accommodate every woman looking to improve their fitness level and to help support and encourage you through the process. This is also a great way to meet new, fabulous women who are all on a similar journey to you. You are not alone in this.
FIND A BUDDY
Further to the above, having a solid partner throughout this process can give you perspective and insight. An accountability buddy is someone who can keep you on track to grow, improve and someone who will hold you to a higher standard, and vice versa. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind for both you and your accountability buddy.
- Hold each other accountable
- Uplift and support each other
- Don’t speak negatively about yourself or anyone else
- Take some time to talk about what went great in your week
- No criticism, judgement or sarcasm
- Each week, set one goal for yourself that’s going to push you outside of your comfort zone
If you want things to change in your life, you need to start doing things differently so you can get different results. You should be the person that stops the conversation cold when your buddy starts beating up on themselves.
Start by having a once per week conversation with this person by email, video chat or phone call and see how you go! You may want to make your meetings more frequent, but once per week is a great starting point. But how do you find a buddy? Here are a few ways:
No matter which method you choose to use, there is never any harm in asking someone to be your buddy. If they say “no,” you can just move on and ask someone else. You’ve just got to get started! It might feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but anything you can do to push you out of your comfort zone is going to feel that way initially- especially if you’re already feeling isolated. But it’s only by doing these things that you can be lifted out of your isolation. Then, you will be able to enjoy your life so much more.
Isolation is a mindset. It’s something that we tell ourselves is real so many times that eventually, we believe it. But don’t lose hope because there is a way out of it! It’s all about taking baby steps and doing one little thing every day that makes you uncomfortable. It’s also important to realize that, while we may think that everybody else has so many more friends and opportunities, that’s not the case. However, so many of us feel isolated because don’t have that one special person. So why not?
There’s absolutely nothing stopping you today from making one small change. When you do something small outside of your comfort zone, miracles happen. Just don’t give up if something in your life isn’t going as you had planned, try something new- and if that doesn’t work, then try something else! You are so worth it and you have so much to offer. Don’t hold back all of your gifts by isolating yourself from the whole world.