Transform Your Mindset: Mental Health Tips for Women Over 50

Show Notes:

In this episode of “Aging with Grace & Style,” host Valerie Hatcher discusses the importance of mental well-being for women over 50. She explores how societal narratives about aging can be reframed to appreciate wisdom and growth. Valerie offers insights on cultivating a growth mindset, practicing gratitude, and challenging limiting beliefs through cognitive restructuring. She emphasizes the power of self-talk, self-compassion, and positive affirmations in fostering a healthy mindset. The episode also addresses major life transitions like the empty nest and retirement, providing tips for coping with identity shifts and embracing new opportunities for personal growth.

Timestamps:

00:00 Introduction to mental well-being for women over 50

01:05 Embracing aging with wisdom and resilience

04:54 Challenging and reframing limiting beliefs

06:19 Implementing cognitive restructuring for mental wellness

12:20 Navigating life transitions like the empty nest phase

13:17 Preparing emotionally for the retirement phase

0:14:24 Coping with identity shifts and an empty nest

16:52 Transitioning to a second act with self-compassion

18:15 Recap of top strategies for mental health care

19:23 Encouragement for nurturing mental well-being

Key Takeaways:

  • Reframe societal narratives about aging and embrace your hard-earned wisdom.
  • Cultivate a growth mindset and a belief in your ability to keep evolving.
  • Challenge limiting beliefs and negative self-talk.
  • Build self-confidence and silence that inner critic.
  • See life changes as opportunities for self-discovery and growth.

Let’s connect:

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 Have questions, comments or feedback? Email hello@agingwithgraceandstyle.com

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Stay tuned for more inspiring chats, tips, and stories about the midlife journey.

See you soon!

Transcript
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Hey there. As you know, May is Mental

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Health Awareness Month. And today, we're going

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to talk about a topic that's incredibly

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important for us women over 50, and that's

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taking care of our mental well-being.

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Hey, friend. Ever feel like those old fashioned

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ideas about aging just don't fit you? If you're ready to

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own this incredible chapter with grace, style, and a touch of

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sass, this is your space. Welcome to the aging with

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grace and style podcast. I'm Valerie Hatcher, and I'm here with empowering tips, inspiring stories,

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and a whole lot of fun just for us,

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women over 50. So grab your favorite beverage, turn

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up the volume, and let's get started.

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Whether you're navigating the empty nest,

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approaching retirement, or simply going

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through a major life transition, This stage of

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life can bring up a whirlwind of

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emotions and challenges. But you know what?

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Girl, we got this. And I'm

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here with some insights that might help you to

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thrive. So let's start by

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addressing the narratives and mindset surrounding

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aging. Society often tells

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us that our best years are behind us, but

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that couldn't be further from the truth. This stage of

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life is a time of immense wisdom,

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resilience, and unique perspectives that

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only come with experience.

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Instead of viewing aging as a process of

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decline, we can choose to see it as a

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journey of growth, wisdom, and newfound

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freedoms. For example, many women

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over 50 report feeling a sense of liberation

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from societal pressures and external

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expectations, allowing them to focus on

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what truly matters to them. This stage of life

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can be a time of self discovery

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where we shed limiting beliefs and embrace our

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true authentic selves. The key

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is to cultivate a

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growth mindset, the belief that that our

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abilities and our potential are not fixed

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but can continually grow and

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evolve with effort and perseverance. Now

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this mindset shift, it can be empowering, opening

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up us up to new possibilities

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and opportunities for personal growth.

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Another tool in our mental health

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toolkit is gratitude. By

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actively gratitude and and focusing

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on the positive aspects of our lives, we

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can shift our perspective and and

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cultivate a sense of appreciation and

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contentment. So a gratitude

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exercise that you can do is, if you haven't

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already done so, start a gratitude journal. I

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have one. Now I don't use it every day, but

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I can tell when I need to pull it out and when I need

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to reflect on what I'm grateful for.

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So what you can do is each day, write

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down, say, 3 to 5 things that you're grateful for.

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These can be big or small from, like,

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feeling healthy to appreciating a beautiful

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sunset. If you want to add

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on to that, you can reflect on

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why you're grateful for each of those things. That kinda

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deepens the impact. So for example,

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I'm grateful for my morning cup of coffee and my

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quiet time. It's a small ritual that

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really helps me to start my day. So starting

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your day by focusing on what you appreciate

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can have an impact on your mindset and your

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overall well-being. Now

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let's talk about limiting beliefs that that can hold us

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back. I'm guessing many of us have

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them or at one point or another have had

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them, whether it's feeling invisible,

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doubting our capabilities, or telling ourselves

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we're too old for certain pursuits.

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These self limiting beliefs can be damaging to our

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mental well-being. Trust me. I've

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experienced self limiting beliefs with

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thoughts like I'm not as good as other content

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creators or podcasters or will people even listen

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to what I have to say or even do

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I have anything to say? Those are just

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a couple of them. The good news is that we

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have the power to challenge and reframe

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these negative thought patterns. One technique

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that I've been following is called cognitive

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restructuring, where we examine our thoughts

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objectively and replace them with

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more realistic perspectives. So, for instance,

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one exercise is called the thought record,

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and here's how it works. 1st, we

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identify the negative thought or belief that's

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causing you to distress. For example, I'm too

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old to start a new career. Next, challenge that

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thought by asking yourself, is this thought

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based on facts or assumptions?

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What's the evidence for and against this

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thought? Or am I blowing

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things out of proportion? Then come up

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with alternative, more balanced thoughts,

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such as age is just a number

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and many successful people have started new careers later in

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life, or my experience and wisdom are

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valuable assets that can benefit a new

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field. Then take

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action based on your new, more realistic

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perspective. Perhaps

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you research inspiring stories of career changers

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over 50 or maybe schedule

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informational interviews in your desired field.

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Building confidence and self esteem

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is also crucial in overcoming these limiting

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beliefs. Remember, you're powerful.

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You're capable with tons of

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wealth and experience and knowledge that you can offer to the

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world. So let's talk

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about the power of self talk and self

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compassion. So our internal

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dialogue can have a profound impact on our emotions,

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our behaviors, and overall well-being.

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If we're constantly berating and criticizing ourselves,

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it can lead to anxiety, to low self esteem,

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and a whole host of mental health challenges.

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So some examples of negative self talk are,

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I'm too old to try new things, and this can lead

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to a fear of taking risk and missed

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opportunities for growth, or I'm not good

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enough. Self doubt and low self esteem

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can impact our motivation, our relationships,

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and overall well-being, or

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I'll never be able to do that. This

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limiting belief can become a

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self fulfilling prophecy that

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prevents us from even trying.

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Negative self talk can perpetuate anxiety,

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depression, and a lack of self confidence.

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It can also strain our relationships

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as we project our inner critic onto others.

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So that's why it's important to cultivate a

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kind, nurturing inner voice, one that

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treats us with the same compassion and understanding that

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we'd offer a friend. When we practice self

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compassion, we create a

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safe space within ourselves for healing, for growth,

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and self acceptance.

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Positive affirmations and mantras can also be

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helpful in reprogramming our subconscious minds

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and creating a more, let's say, a more

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supportive inner dialogue. So some

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examples of positive affirmations would

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be, I am worthy of love, happiness,

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and success. I embrace my

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authentic self without apology. I

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am strong, resilient, and capable of overcoming

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any challenge. My age is an

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asset, bringing wisdom and experience to everything I

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do. I am constantly growing,

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evolving, and becoming the best version of myself.

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Now try creating some affirmations of your own.

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Positive affirmations can help as to rewire

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our thoughts, to boost self confidence and to

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counter negative self talk, repeat them

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regularly, especially during the times when

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you're facing self doubt. Now let's talk

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about those major life transitions

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that can totally shake things up, whether

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it's the empty nest, retirement, or

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taking on new caregiving roles, these

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changes can be both exciting and daunting.

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So if you're dealing with the empty nest, then

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know that the feelings of sadness, of loss, and

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even identity crisis are completely normal.

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You're fixed with trying to to figure out

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what's next, but be gentle with yourself

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and remember that this transition

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also offers an opportunity to rediscover

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your personal passions and redefine your sense

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of self. A few tips for coping

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are rediscover old hobbies, interests, or passions

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that you may have set aside while raising children. This can

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help redefine your identity beyond motherhood

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or explore new experiences, classes, or activities that

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excite you and allow personal growth.

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Maybe strengthen connections with friends, family who

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can relate to the empty nest experience. Now

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most in my circle have experienced this whole empty

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nest syndrome. So we're all at about the same stage of

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life. And then consider volunteering

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or pursuing a long held dream

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using your newfound time and energy.

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Now retirement is another major transition that can bring

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up mixed emotions. On the one hand,

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it's a chance to finally enjoy the freedom and

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leisure that you've worked so hard for. But

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then on the other, it can feel like a loss of

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purpose and routine. While I

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think I still have a few years before retirement, I've actually

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been reading up on how to prepare it excuse

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me, prepare for it, not just financially,

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but emotionally. And here's what I found.

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Start envisioning your ideal retirement life

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well before your last day of work. What hobbies,

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travels, or projects would you like to pursue?

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If you can, gradually adjust your

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routine and your schedule to simulate the lack of

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structure that comes with retirement.

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Explore ways to stay mentally and physically

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active, such as taking classes, volunteering, or

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joining social clubs. Reframe

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retirement as an opportunity of new beginnings and

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personal growth rather than an ending.

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Embrace the journey and stay open to the new possibilities that

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await you. I think,

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I've told you that you can go to my website and leave me a voice

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message. Right? I honestly love to

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hear from you. One listener recently left me

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a message with a question about empty nesting,

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and it was based on the empty nest episode

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number 19 that I did. Check it out if you haven't

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done so. But I thought this question was a good one

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to share in this, episode. And so her

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question is, I've

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been really struggling with anxiety since

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becoming an empty nester last year. My kids were

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my whole world, and now I'm not sure who

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I am without them at home. How can I cope with this

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identity shift? Well, you know what?

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Again, I think we've we all who are empty nesters

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experienced this in some way or another in that

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our kids, or in my case, kid, really was our

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whole world. When you think about it, every day

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for however many years, 18 years, 21 years, depending

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on what when they left, every day,

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our routines and our lives were centered

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around them and their needs from birth to

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when they left to go to college or got married or moved into their

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own apartment. So the empty nest transition

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can absolutely trigger an identity crisis,

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which is completely valid and normal to fill.

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So for so many years, your role as a mother was your

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primary focus and sense of purpose. It's natural to

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experience some questioning when that identity shifts.

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Trust me. I went through a range of emotions

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too. 1st, though, be gentle with

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yourself as you navigate this major life change.

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Allow yourself to fully feel and process

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the range of emotions, sadness, loneliness,

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pride at the job well done raising your kids.

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Don't resist or judge the feelings as

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you need them or you need

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to feel them in order to heal.

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Next, see this as an opportunity for

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rediscovery. Who were you before you

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became a mother? What hopes and

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dreams and interests did you once have that you

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can now explore. Spend some time

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journaling about your values, your passions, and

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your goals for this next chapter.

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It can also be helpful to fill that nurturing

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role in new ways, like volunteering,

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mentoring others, or nurturing personal creative projects

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that you're passionate about, Connecting with loved ones

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and expanding your social circle is also key.

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Most importantly, know that this

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identity shift, it's only temporary as you

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transition to your second act. With

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patience, self compassion, and openness to

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growth, you'll begin feeling grounded in your sense of self

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again. This, it can be

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a time of blossoming into an even

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more authentic version of yourself.

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Well, girl, there you have it. I hope this

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look into nurturing our mental health as women over

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50 has provided valuable

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insights and practical strategies that

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you can implement in your own life. At the end of the

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day, prioritizing our mental well-being

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isn't just important. It's essential for

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living our fullest, most vibrant lives during this

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remarkable state. As we wrap

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up, let's recap 5 top takeaways for

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boosting and protecting our mental health. Number

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1 would be reframe societal narratives

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about aging and embrace your hard earned

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wisdom. Number 2, cultivate a

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growth mindset and a belief in your ability to

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keep evolving. Number 3,

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challenge limiting beliefs and negative self talk

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4, build self confidence and

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silence that inner critic. And 5,

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see life changes as opportunities for self

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discovery and growth. These

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takeaways are, let's call them guidepost

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for nurturing your mental health during this stage of

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life. They aren't just words that are coming out of my mouth.

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They are powerful mindset shifts and habits that

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can transform how you feel, how you think,

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and and how you show up for yourself. So

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keep them close, put them into

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practice, and know that I'm

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cheering you on in this journey of growth, self

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actualization, and most importantly, mental

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well-being. Until next time, keep

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shining bright and take care of your

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beautiful mind. And remember, we are in this

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together.

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Thanks for hanging out with me today. I hope you're feeling

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inspired and ready to own your awesomeness. I love

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sharing this space with you, and if you loved today's episode,

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do me a favor, share it with a friend who could use some

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extra inspiration. A quick rating and review

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really helps too. Don't forget to subscribe so

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you never miss an episode. Let's keep this conversation

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going. Head over to pod.aging with

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graceinstyle.com to sign up for my newsletter.

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Until next time, keep shining with grace,

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style, and a whole lot of sass.

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