I worry. A lot. I’m in business for myself so I have no backup; we’ve moved to 3 different states in the last 6 years; my mom – half way across the country – is getting older and is in need of help that she won’t take; the kids, ages 25, 23, and 21…well, we always worry about our kids; I’m involved with a long time friend in our new blog; my husband, a good guy, just this morning found a part in his backpack to something that he insisted he had given to me. So I looked. OCD style….for weeks. Worrying will kill us all, particularly since it does no good. It doesn’t get a thing accomplished, it causes loss of sleep, an upset stomach, and makes me cranky. So…I’ve decided to try to knock it off before the Grim Reaper comes looking for me.
In every article I read about women past the age of 40, the biggest lifestyle changes need to be: don’t smoke (I quit years ago); be active (on it); eat a healthy diet (working on it). I’ve also found what we’ve all been told – that some exercise will produce endorphins which will make you feel better. About 7 weeks ago I told my husband we weren’t 19 anymore. We needed to stop eating crap because it was easier and get back to working out. So far, so good.
I have found that when I get myself twisted into a knot because I’m living in my head (that’s where the worry starts), if I go out for a brisk walk, or bike ride, I do feel better. I get away from my desk, I get some fresh mountain air, and for whatever reason, the worries tape in my head that plays over and over…stops. I am able to put life’s current crisis or issues into perspective, and start again with a fresh mind and outlook.
At middleSage this month, we’re focussing on Health and Aging. The reason is that so many of us have SO MUCH on our plates, it’s not that we don’t take time for ourselves…it’s that WE ARE POOPED. There are so many demands on our time by bosses, families, commitments, and our sometimes inability to say “no”, we are tired, cranky and worried.
We want to put out a challenge to all of us: starting today, make the decision to do something good for yourself. When you get to feeling like I do – that my chest is tight, I’m worried about everything under the sun, I want to run away from reality – grab the dog, your ipod, whatever, and just go take a walk. Leave your home office, workplace, the dishes – whatever. Just walk. Look around you. REALLY look. What do you see you haven’t seen or noticed before? What does the wind, rain or sun feel like on your face? What is the song you’re listening to? How is the dog liking your walk? What does it feel like to your tight chest as you pull fresh air deep into your lungs? Are you talking deep breaths to relax yourself?
The bottom line is…we don’t need to keep feeling like stress and worry are ruling our lives. We need to show ourselves a bit of love. We need to set some personal boundaries. We’re usually able to set them with other people – what we need to work on is the boundaries we set for ourselves.
I’d like to think that 50 is the new 30. We look different than our mothers did at this age, our world is different that our mothers was, but folks, if we don’t figure out how to alleviate some of our stresses, take some time for just a walk, then guaranteed, Worry will be our Grim Reaper.
Are you in for the challenge this month? What will you pledge to do for yourself? We’re looking forward to hearing from you!