When you think about self care for women, particularly after the age of 50, what comes to mind? Eating well? Exercising? Keeping our hair trimmed, perhaps covering the gray? Regular dental check-ups? Annual physical? All good things to do and some are very important to our overall health. But let’s dig a little deeper.
Why is self care so important? As women over 50 we’re not youngsters any more, our needs have changed over the last 10 years or so. But, we’re not ready to check out yet, either! At least I’m not. I hope there are still some good years left in me. 🙂 And I want to make sure that I’m the best woman I can be.
How do we accomplish this? We MUST practice self care every single day, the type of care that goes beyond what we eat or whether we’ve walked 10,000 steps yet today.
In fact, my personal self care commitment goes beyond today, or tomorrow, or next month. I PLAN for it, work at it and adjust it as needed. Why? Because my life isn’t stagnant and I’m not living in a cave.
I always need to be aware of my needs, inside and out, and adjust the daily self care essentials as my life changes.
All that said, there are some fundamentals that are always going to be a part of my daily self care in some form. I keep track of them with a worksheet I created, Promises to Myself. You can see what it looks like at the bottom of the post, and access it in the Free Resource Library.
My Five Essentials of Self Care for Women
Ponder these self care essentials and see how they might apply to your life. You’ll also have access to a free printable that can be used for reference, and a healthy reminder! More details at the bottom of the post.
1 | Commitment to Myself
At the risk of sounding self-absorbed, I know that I must make my health and wellbeing a priority. I have to take care of ME. Every. Single. Day.
That might mean saying no when I feel that an activity or event is not in my best interest. Or, skipping that drink when I know it isn’t a smart choice.
It can be somewhat of a balancing act for me, with children, grandchildren, and an aging parent to help care for. Our lives as women over 50 can be full, lively and sometimes complicated!
Our family and work responsibilities, community and church events, plus other commitments, can fill up our lives very quickly. Sometimes we can choose to say no; sometimes we can’t. Make wise choices when you have the option.
The foundation of what I choose to do, where I choose to go, how I choose to spend my time, is the knowledge that if I don’t care for myself, no one else is going to do it for me.
My commitment to myself is to be kind, generous, loving, empathetic, patient and giving, while never forgetting who I am and what my healthy limits are.
How about you? Is personal self-care at the top of your priority list every day?
2 | A Morning Routine
A simple morning routine can make all the difference in how your day ultimately works out. We lead unique lives, of course, so how we start our days will not look exactly the same.
But what is consistent it this: how you start the day can make a huge difference in how it plays out.
For me, the best way to start my day includes:
- a fresh, hot cup of coffee
- daily devotions and prayer
- a quick scan of emails and such
- a 30-minute workout
- proper skincare for my age
Sometimes the routine just doesn’t happen, because, that’s life if you know what I mean. But the majority of days, when I wake up, that’s what I do. I get my head right, my heart right, and do something good for my body.
How about you? Does your day begin with a time that is set aside just for you?
3 | A Mind and Heart for Learning
You’re never too old to learn something new may be an overworked phrase, but it’s really true.
As a 64-year-old woman, I am motivated and inspired by learning. At this time in my life that learning is revolving around my online business…this blog. It is quite different than the local business that I owned in Florida, so the learning curve is definitely at the lower end.
I am taking courses, reading materials, attending seminars, and learning everything I can about running a successful and profitable online business. (Which ties in with #1 and #5 on this list!)
Although I’ve hardly spent time on the sport the last couple of years, continuing to play golf and developing my skills there is always on the list. I love the atmosphere on a golf course, and it is definitely a challenging sport!
I’ve been spending a bit more time in the kitchen, experimenting with recipes. Learning a new language is on the list, and I actually started learning Spanish a year or so ago until it fell further down on the priority list.
Whatever you do, continue to learn and grow as you mature. Keep your brain busy and active, just like the rest of your body.
How about you? What are you learning right now?
4 | Finding the Balance with Appearance
When it comes to self-care, it may seem like this doesn’t quite fit in. What does “balance” have to do with anything?
For me, it is the balance of knowing that looking my best, caring for myself enough to give a thumbs up when I look in the mirror, is sufficient.
I know there are wrinkles, sags, bags, crepey skin, a shrinking waistline, and, gravity is pulling it all toward the floor. Even so, I will always put effort into keeping my natural self looking as youthful as I can.
But that is enough. I am not going to obsess over the fact that I’m getting older and my body is evolving. Self care is not about turning back the clock.
The flip side of that thinking is relevant, too. I’m not going to give up on myself, give it the I don’t care attitude, and go down a path of self-destruction, overt or otherwise.
For example, I spend time working the muscles in my face, to keep them looking as youthful as possible.
Our faces are full of muscles, 43 of them actually, and just like the rest of our body, perform better for us when they are in top condition. so I give those muscles regular attention, just like I work the muscles in my body with exercise and fitness routines.
Every day, I want to find a healthy balance when it comes to my appearance.
How about you? Are you ‘in balance’ from head to toe?
5 | Always Have a Plan
I’m the type of person who always has a plan. Huge, life-changing decisions or everyday projects. I’ve got a plan for them.
When it comes to how I care for myself, I also have a plan.
At this time in my life I need to make sure that I am moving in a positive direction:
I think this is where some women in midlife miss an opportunity for self care. They may be with a spouse or partner and feel like they have a safety net for life’s circumstances.
Or, they might decide to “deal with it when the time comes”. And, what time would that be, my friends?
Others may allow themselves to stagnate…keep everything the same…don’t take a risk, say no to learning, don’t think about life too much.
To me, truly caring for myself is not narcissistic or selfish. It’s about taking the time to think about, and plan, to be the best person I can be as I grow older.
How about you? Do you think about…prepare for…plan for your ‘future self’?
Self Care for Women Over 50
My Top 5 may not look like yours. I wouldn’t expect that we’d all live our lives that similarly. But, we owe it to ourselves to create the self care plan that will keep us living well, healthy inside and out, as we age.
Here are a few suggestions and a helpful worksheet to get you started:
- Plan for the stressful times with a DIY Self Care Kit. We should all keep one handy!
- Take the time to sit down and figure out where you want to be a month, six months, or a few years in the future. Yes, life can change from one day to the next, but that doesn’t mean we should stop caring for ourselves, or planning and setting goals! Consider your health, your finances, learning opportunities, emotional health, etc.
- Make the commitment to yourself to put your self care plans and goals into action…right now!
I created a helpful worksheet, Promises to Myself, to help put thoughts and goals in writing. You can access it in the Free Resource Library:
It is meant to be used as a reference and updated when you decide it’s time for a refresh.
For example, I used the GOALS section to write down my goals, personally and business-related, for where I want to be in 6 months.
Then, I used the SMALL STEPS section on the right to add some specific ways I would get there.
In the NOTES area I jotted down some other specific thoughts and actions I wanted to remember.
The Daydreams corner is just what it means…whatever thoughts you want to write down, doodle, draw a picture…it’s up to you. I wrote down a series of descriptive words, characteristics about myself to work toward.
I may decide to update it in a few weeks or a month, or longer. We’ll see. For now, it resides on my desk and I see it every day. It is a daily reminder of the things I’m working on in my personal and professional life.
Whether you decide to utilize this worksheet or not, remember that there is only one YOU. The importance of self-care for women over 50, like us, can’t be stressed enough.
Let’s give ourselves…our body, mind, and spirit…the care and attention they deserve. We’re worth it.