So, let’s talk about when the kids finally leave home. For most families, an “empty nest” represents a huge milestone that both parents and children alike are proud and excited to reach. But, I’m a person who believes in calling a thing a thing, so I also recognize this right-of-passage as something we as a culture rarely want to admit to ourselves much less to anyone else: It’s a trigger.
Celebrating the end of everything we as women have ever been conditioned to be – nurturers, companions, protectors, caregivers and providers – is the scariest state of being I personally have ever had to contemplate. When my oldest daughter left for college, I found myself asking the question: “Who am I, if I’m not ALL these things?”
The problem isn’t just that women have been tricked into believing our value is directly linked to our ability to successfully perpetuate the cycle of life, but that once we’ve accomplished that mission, we’re done being vital, interested contributors to society. That reaching our middle years means a sudden loss of self-worth and self-assurance.
Nothing could be further from the truth. To make sure this next phase of life is your best phase of life, here at five simple things you can do on a daily basis that will have you feeling like you’re ready to conquer the world:
1) Acknowledge what you’ve accomplished: Have you ever sat down and written out all the amazing things you’ve done in your life? If you haven’t, you should. It can be a real eye-opener and a great way to put things in perspective. Oftentimes we get so wrapped up in the day-to-day that we become disconnected from the things that got us to where we are in the first place. At the end of the day, its okay to celebrate yourself. You deserve it.
2) Adopt a beginner’s mindset: Be open to everything! When you look at life and all of it’s possibilities with a fresh set of eyes, things will start to look different, guaranteed. Start by asking yourself: What have I always wanted to do but never had the courage/time/energy/support/whatever to do before? Now is your time. Why not try?
3) Get your twerk on: No matter how many times I hear it, there’s something about T.I.’s song, “Bring Em Out” that makes me want to drop it like it’s hot (or at the very least lukewarm). Dancing like nobody’s watching can be a huge mood and confidence booster. A number of studies, like this one in the journal, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, prove it. So, go ahead and scrub the ground. It’s actually good for your health.
4) Treat your body like a temple … literally: I HATE eating clean and exercising regularly. But, I LOVE the way doing both of these things makes me feel. It’s true what they say; nothing worth doing is ever easy. But a healthy mind and a healthy body go hand-in-hand. You take care of them, they’ll take care of you.
5) Envision your body image: According to the law of attraction, what you think about most will eventually come back to you. Along with better health, I also wanted to look better too. It’s what motivates me to get off the couch and move my body. If it can work for me, it can work for anyone.
Photos by Christina Jones Photography