Feeling Lost in Your 60s? Here Are 8 Tips to Get Back on Track
Do you ever feel a bit lost? Are there days when you lose your sparkle and question who you are and what you’re doing? Do you sometimes feel irrelevant and that you don’t have much to look forward to? It’s so easy sometimes to get stuck in a negative spiral, isn’t it?
I’ve been there myself, and I know how hard it can be to get motivated again. Especially as we age, in a society that doesn’t exactly value older people.
One of the reasons I set up The Mutton Club was to try and change the narrative around women in midlife and beyond. I want being ‘mutton’ (ref. ‘mutton dressed as lamb’) to be something to be proud of, not ashamed.
All our lives, women are fed the narrative that we get to midlife, and it’s all downhill from there. And that’s so not true!
I genuinely believe that the older we get, the better we get. And I’m passionate about getting that into women’s heads. But how can we help ourselves when we have a dip in confidence? Here are my top tips I find useful every day, especially when I’m feeling a bit lost.
Don’t Believe Society’s Narrative About Older Women
You can create your own narrative in the same way you create your own life. Be proud of who you are and where you are in life. Be proud to be mutton – it’s a far tastier meat than lamb after all!
Don’t Believe Your Negative Thoughts
Just because something exists as a thought, doesn’t make it true. It’s taken me a long time to learn that but it’s really good advice. You can actually change your thoughts like you change your socks. Positive affirmations can be very powerful, too. We can rewire our thought processes if we change our internal narrative patterns.
Don’t Judge Yourself
Be as nice to yourself as you would be to a friend. If your friend was down, you’d probably give them a nice nurturing positive pep talk, wouldn’t you? Well, do that to yourself. Talk to yourself the same way you’d talk to your friend.
Visualize Yourself Being Confident
See yourself in a scenario where you’re excelling. A few years ago I thought this was complete mumbo jumbo, but I’ve found it’s actually very powerful.
I’ve learnt that professional athletes do it all the time. They visualize themselves standing on the podium with the medal around their neck. A bit of positive self-talk can do wonders. Don’t think, “Oh, I can’t do that.” Think, “I can’t do that YET.”
Try Not to Misinterpret
Check what you think you heard. Could it have been meant differently to how you heard it? Or read it, if a message or email – those can be so easy to get wrong!
I’m not as disciplined as I’d like to be when it comes to meditation, but I’ve found it very useful for getting me back in the moment and grounding myself. Even five minutes a day is worth doing. There are many meditation apps you can use, such as Headspace (paid after the first 10 days) and Insight Timer (free).
Start a Gratitude Journal
I don’t journal very regularly, but when I do, it makes a big difference to how I feel. Taking some time each day to write down the things we are grateful for is another good way of grounding ourselves.
It could be as simple as, “I’m grateful I woke up again this morning!” Or “I’m grateful to have orange juice for breakfast!” Just keep it simple. But it helps to reframe our experience of life.
Try Setting Yourself a Challenge
It’s easy to get down when we have no sense of momentum. Setting ourselves a challenge, however small, can be really helpful.
I’m an uninspired cook, so setting myself the challenge of baking a cake would be massive. Even compared to my first half marathon last year! I don’t know what it is about me and baking, but it brings me out in a cold sweat! Still I know magic happens outside the comfort zone.
I hope these tips may help. Always remember, if you’re feeling a bit lost, you’re most certainly not alone. It can happen to all of us. Be kind to yourself and remember: time is a great healer.
Please share in the comments your favourite way of making yourself feel better when the mojo monkey decides to go for a walk.
Rachel Lankester is the founder of the Mutton Club, an online magazine for fun and feisty women in midlife and beyond. She’s passionate about challenging stereotypes and changing perceptions of older women. She loves yoga, singing, running, travel and anything to do with China. Join her on Twitter @TheMuttonClub.