Self-Care Begins at Midlife

“Midlife – That time when you finally get your head together and your body begins to fall apart!”
~ Anonymous

With everything going on right now with the COVID-19 virus, you or your loved ones could be facing very difficult times with stress, especially if you are one of the millions of hardworking dedicated individuals who are keeping the rest of us safe, healthy and fed.  Thank you so much for your service.

They say getting old isn’t for the faint of heart, but today’s woman at midlife is really at the peak of her game.  She has so much wisdom from her life experiences and so much more to give and to do.  The problem is midlife can be the time that health issues begin to pop up.  I’ve seen it for myself and with many of my friends and clients.  This is why I say, “At midlife self-care comes first.  You must put yourself on the top of the list!”

I remember that period in my life when I worked nonstop. There was always another project or goal to achieve.  I was at the top of my game financially, but I was physically exhausted , and that’s when it all came tumbling down.  I had my midlife wake-up call! It’s funny now when I look back because the messages were there blaring at me. I wasn’t exercising. I wasn’t hydrating. I was getting home late and then getting out early. I never ate meals at work.  In fact, if I did make a sandwich to take to work, I would woof it down in the car before I got to work. Seriously!

My wake-up call was two-fold. First, my knees gave out, and I had to take six weeks off work after bilateral arthroscopic knee surgery. After I finished physical therapy, I went right back to work finishing the year and leading dozens of events. That’s when I got the call in the night that my stepfather had lung cancer, and soon after that, my mother was diagnosed with dementia.

Finally, the Universe had my attention in a way that hit me like a ton of bricks. Have you experienced anything like this?  Are you pushing yourself and putting everyone else’s needs first? If so, you are not alone!  Sometimes it takes a lot to get our attention.

I decided to take a year off from work to explore my options. Because I had invested three years in the Strategic Coach program out of Toronto and implemented everything I had learned, I had put systems and a team in place so that my business was literally able to run without me.  In addition, we had a business model that generated ongoing passive income. Basically, after a year, the stars were aligned, and I was able to sell the business to my partner so that I could retire financially secure at 48. I now had the time and the space to reflect on this next chapter of my life.  It was also then that I began on my path to healing and self-care.

My message today is that it’s never too early to plan, and this includes making time for self-care.  The secret is putting self-care at the top of your list and having a game plan. Taking control of your life and your calendar is truly life-changing and can give you the power to control your life in a magical way.  So bring out your calendar, and before scheduling ANYTHING ELSE, and book time for YOU.

For the last 12 years, I have worked from home, I have focused on work that inspires me. Health, exercise, and nutrition are all a huge part of my life.  Who are the women who inspire you?  Reach out to them and ask them how they have done it.

I have two people in my life who inspire me.  The first is my husband, Mark.  A few years back, he decided that he wanted to improve his physical health every single year.  Today, he just rode his bike 20 miles doing hill training at one of our parks. He burned 1,400 calories. His journey to health began after our children graduated. He constantly encourages and supports me.

Our Creative Director here at Smart Women, Lynn Abbott-McCloud, could barely walk from her car into the grocery store before she had both of her knees replaced. That was a few years ago, but today, she runs marathons and travels around the world simply because she loves running. She has also taken up biking.  It was a long journey for her too, but she never gave up.  Even when she broke her wrist after a fall this year, she kept going and signed up for Peloton so she could ride and run inside.

I understand that all of this can be scary. I froze the first time I walked into a gym. It was overwhelming. I had no idea what to do, so I left.  I brought my daughter back with me, and she made it so much fun.  Now we both do yoga and the gym together.  We also paint together and are closer than ever.  But this all started with me asking for help.

This month, I am interviewing two fabulous health gurus.  I know they will inspire you to take that next step to self-care. Debra Atkins of Flipping 50 is a Wellness Coach and Fitness Expert.  Bridgit Danner is a Functional Health and Detox Expert who will share how toxins interfere with our health and what to do about it.

Remember, you don’t need to do this alone. As Christine D’Ercole, a fabulous Peloton instructor and speaker says, “You have the hands of this peloton on you!” You’re never alone on your journey. Reach out for support, take a class, find a friend to exercise with, but the most important thing is to just DO IT. Make yourself a priority. Start simple and put YOU on the top of your list!  Stay happy, healthy, and germ-free!

 

Katana Abbott, CFP®, is a Retirement Coach, founder of the Smart Women Companies, and the host Smart Women Talk Radio with over a million subscribers.  For over 30 years, Katana has shown women how to take charge of their life and finances and believes it’s never too early to plan for expected and unexpected events like retirement, encore careers, moving abroad, or preparing for long-term care.  She has written several books, created a financial literacy course, and is a popular speaker. Katana has been honored by NAWBO as one of Detroit’s Top 10 Business Women, receiving the Breakthrough Award. To download her new ebook, The Five Biggest Money Mistakes Women Make and How to Fix Them, visit www.katanaabbott.com

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