So many couples over 50 are ending marriages that there is even a name for it: The Gray Divorce Revolution. Research shows many reasons for this trend, which is more problematic for women. One reason is “empty-nest” syndrome, a common point of marital breakdown. After years of looking after loved ones, women lose touch with their own desires and needs, and many struggle with feeling purposeless.
Patti Clark, author of This Way Up: Seven Tools for Unleashing Your Creative Self and Transforming Your Life identifies 7 key actions that women can take to move through this sense of loss toward a life filled with more enthusiasm, creativity, and joy.
1. Get Creative!
- Journal – externalize your internal process.
- Garden – play outside.
- Cook, play with spices. Experiment.
2. Start Re-Wiring your brain – Pay attention to how and what you think
- Identify the thought process you’d like to transform and set the intention to change it.
- Interrupt your thoughts and patterns when the negative thoughts arise.
- Use your imagination – create a positive scenario.
3. Be Happy Now
- Practice Resilience – research shows that meditation improves our capacity for resilience.
- Where is your Attention – Focus on what you’re doing right now.
- Practice Generosity – Data shows us that when individuals engage in generous and altruistic behavior, they actually activate circuits in the brain that are key to fostering well-being.
4. Focus on Love and Love Yourself First
- Practice saying ‘No’ to others and ‘Yes’ to yourself.
- Give your body the nurturing, rest, and comfort it needs.
- Prioritize time for yourself without judgment.
5. Be Grateful for what you have now
- Start each day by thinking of one thing that you are grateful for.
- Use Visual Reminders—The two primary obstacles to gratefulness are forgetfulness and a lack of mindful awareness.
- Make a conscious decision to practice gratitude—Research shows that making an oath to perform a behavior increases the likelihood that it will happen.
6. Pay attention to your distractions
- Instead of hopping on to Facebook, unhook.
- Instead of having one more glass of wine, go for a walk at sunset.
- Instead of eating more food, volunteer to feed others.
7. Learn to pay attention to inspiration and take action
- Wake up 5-10 minutes earlier than normal, ask for guidance for the day.
- Ask a question that you want guidance on then go for a walk and pay attention.
- When inspiration comes, take some kind of action on it.
After constantly focusing on others, women need to learn how to focus on their own needs and create a life filled with enthusiasm and joy. Taking one small step everyday is key.
Patti Clark is an accomplished speaker and workshop leader dedicated to helping people through various life transitions on their journey to an extraordinary life. Her new book, This Way Up, is her latest endeavor. PRNewswire.