6 Reasons Self Care Is Essential For Women Over 50

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three older women toasting wine

For sure you’ve heard of self-care. As midlife women, it’s something that's often talked about and referred to, but many are unlikely to actually practice it.

Self-care for women over 50 can be a foreign concept.

After decades of taking care of just about everyone else, you know you’re supposed to be taking time for yourself, now. You probably catch yourself thinking about what you should be doing... but aren’t.

You also know the common excuses you tell other people. The thing is, you believe them to be true.

Thoughts like "I don’t have enough time", "I’m too busy," or "So and so really needs me." It’s not that these situations are never valid, but they for sure aren’t always in the way.

When it comes to your excuses, you likely don’t stop there. There’s often something going on behind those excuses.

After decades of practicing the art of putting others first, it can be downright uncomfortable to prioritize yourself.

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Self-care is intentional

That might be getting more sleep, exercise, socializing, travel, downtime, creativity, or hobbies, for example. It’s personal and important.

The thing is that midlife is really a huge opportunity. It can be a time in your life where you can rediscover what self-care looks like for you.

It can also be a chance for you to practice self-care with the same love and commitment that you show to others.

In fact, it’s not just an opportunity to prioritize yourself, it’s essential. It’s critical. And it can be something you can get really good at, too.

Here are 6 reasons why self-care for women over 50 is essential.

1. You crave it.

You catch yourself thinking that you should eat better or maybe have more downtime. You’ve noticed you never do what you think you should do for yourself.

You have some awareness of what you want. You have a powerful desire for something and, now, you’re old enough and wise enough to do something about giving yourself what you want.

2. Having your own back increases self-confidence.

When you have your own back, you begin to discover that you can trust yourself.

Essentially, thinking about what’s best for you is a step in the self-care direction. And when you follow through on giving yourself what you want, you learn how to take care of yourself, which is what you want and what you need.

You increase self-confidence by learning that you can count on yourself this way.

3. Putting yourself first makes it easier for you to help others.

Prioritizing your own needs isn’t selfish. When you take care of yourself, you strengthen your own resolve. When you’re stronger and more fulfilled, you’re in a better position to be of service to others.

You show up as your best self, not a lesser version of yourself.

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4. You serve as a role model.

Practicing self-care has an important side effect; you end up demonstrating this critical skill to those you care about. Family, friends, and co-workers see you and your priorities.

When taking care of yourself is something you value and act on, they see you putting this value into practice and appreciate the positive results you’re creating.

This behavior teaches others through observation. They'll see the results you’re getting and the way you’re able to function at your highest level. It can be incredibly rewarding and really affect those you love.

5. You regret-proof your life.

Using the term "regret-proofing" in my coaching practice is a way to highlight the importance of taking intentional action to reduce the likelihood of having regrets.

In midlife, it’s common to start being sensitive to the passage of time. You might feel more urgent about running out of time to do things, say things, try things, and be a certain way.

Perhaps, you thought you had plenty of time to lose weight, learn how to paint, repair a relationship with someone you care about, become a more relaxed person, or travel to the Galapagos, but now you're not sure.

Prioritizing self-care helps you work on making sure you don’t have regrets.

6. You open yourself up to more happiness.

Self-care is a way to literally take care of yourself on purpose. Nobody can take care of your needs the way you can.

Knowing that you can and will meet your own needs is the pathway to loving yourself and feeling more fulfilled.

Happiness is the state of well-being and contentment. You get out of your own way and empower yourself to create more happiness in your life.

Here’s the thing — the term "self-care" places a big emphasis on the person who is really responsible for taking care of you.

No more excuses. No more prioritizing everyone else. It’s the perfect time for you to get reacquainted with your mind, body, and soul.

Practicing more self-care will help you feel great, be more fulfilled and find the happiness you want.

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Suzy Rosenstein, MA is a master certified life coach and host of the popular podcast for midlife women, Women in the Middle. If you’re 50+ and tired of feeling afraid of running out of time, visit her website, listen to her podcast, and download her free podcast bundle, Get Unstuck in Midlife for mindfulness strategies and tips to actually get excited about your life again!