#10 TREAT YOURSELF KINDLY

Happiness Choice #10 - treat yourself kindly - know your worth

KNOW YOUR INTRINSIC WORTH

We all need to find our sense of worth outside of anything we do or achieve. Every time we place our self worth in the hands of others we risk losing our happiness. People are fallible and even the ones we love the most can undervalue us or hurt us. We need to have an intrinsic sense of who we are and what really matters to us to help us smile through the ups and downs of life.

If we let others define our values and priorities we begin to say yes to everything, and wonder why we are left so exhausted and drained. We need to value our time and abilities, and not sell them to the lowest bidder. Knowing our worth is at the heart of learning to treat ourselves kindly.


INVEST IN YOURSELF

If we don't invest in ourselves, it is likely nobody else will. We need to take responsibility for our own happiness and learn to fill our days productively. When the kids leave home and we have time on our hands it's easy to fall into a bit of a slump. We wonder what we are going to do for the next 50 years to fill our time and to move forward with purpose.

I've spoken to women who are thriving at this stage of life - starting new hobbies, travelling, re-connecting with their husband, taking on volunteer work, getting a pet, and the list goes on. I've also encountered women who are at a total loss. They have no idea what to do with their lives now they are no longer mothering children. Somewhere along the way they lost themselves and don't seem to have the impetus to get started on something new and creating a life for themselves.

START A BUCKET LIST

I think the idea of a bucket list has a lot of merit. It doesn't have to be spectacular - not all of us have the financial means to launch into an epic list, but there are lots of small things we can put on the list. I've been thinking about what I'd like to do for the last half of my 50's and already have a few ideas tucked away - there's probably a blog post in there somewhere on what I want to do before I hit 60!

There are so many opportunities open to us and it's really just a matter of sitting down and starting that list. Maybe there's a hobby you always wanted to try - for me it was stained glass, and I also have a macrame kit that I'm going to have a shot at soon. Maybe it's taking a trip somewhere - Europe would be nice, but a weekend away to a lovely little spot near your home can be lovely too. Even a day out shopping (or window shopping) and having a coffee with a friend each month can be a start in rekindling your sense of self.


go for long walks, indulge in hot baths, be kind to yourself

BUY YOURSELF A TREAT

I am the queen of frugalistas - I have always lived by the mottoes "watch your pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves" and "a penny saved is a penny earned". The problem with that way of thinking is that I've missed out on little life sweeteners along the way and I'm not good at finding things to treat myself with now that we have a few spare pennies to spend. 

It's important to find a balance - you don't want to blow every cent so that you have no back-up plan for that rainy day, but you also don't want to be sitting at home every weekend missing out on having some fun. I'm learning to treat myself to the occasional bargain buy at the shops, to go to the movies, to have little treats that make me smile and encourage me to keep on working and bringing home a pay cheque.

START A BLOG

If all else fails, you could consider starting a blog! Blogging would be one of the most positive and powerful motivators I've come across for looking at Midlife from a proactive viewpoint. It teaches you new skills, connects you with fabulous women who are celebrating their lives and sometimes you even get to meet them in real life. I had the pleasure of catching up with Jo from LifestyleFifty recently when she moved into my neighbourhood. It was a great opportunity to chat about blogging and empty nesting and loads of other stuff.

Writing keeps your brain active, figuring out all the background stuff to maintain your site is a huge learning curve. Working out what you want to write about, what's important to you, what resonates within you that you want to share with others, is a great boost to keeping your mind stimulated and it really does bring with it a sense of accomplishment and happiness.

STEP OUT

Sometimes all it takes to move forward is to take one step at a time in the right direction. Surround yourself with people who inspire you to be happy and start making some small changes in your life that will fill the holes those adult kids left in your life. Happiness is tied in strongly with our sense of self and it's up to us to keep growing and becoming the best we are capable of - there's still so many years ahead of us!

Happiness Choice #10 - treat yourself kindly - know your worth

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19 comments

  1. Another great blog, oh daughter of mine and your backside looks great in those pants! lol.
    (Sorry, I couldn't help myself....yes, I know it's not you in the pic)! xo

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  2. Oh how I wish it was my bottom in the pic! Still, I'm being kind to myself and to the bottom I have and doing my best not to compare :)

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  3. Another great post Leanne and I wholeheartedly agree. Being kind to yourself is so important and now that we have reached midlife and beyond there really isn't any excuse not to. Life if what you make it and I know this is the most exciting time of my life and I'm making every moment count. Which reminds me I have to use a voucher Rachel gave me for Mother's Day for a facial!

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    1. It is definitely the time to take a little bit of a break and treat ourselves isn't it Sue? Before we know it there will be other obligations and things slowing us down - seize the day! (or have a nap!)

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  4. I have to really work on treating myself kindly. I spent too many years pinching pennies and now sometimes it is difficult to spend on myself!

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    1. I'm exactly the same Michele - every penny was accounted for and I don't regret it because we are in a good place because of being frugal, but there needs to be balance and doing something nice for ourselves occasionally is part of that balance isn't it?

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  5. Always learning great stuff here. Thanks.

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    1. Thanks so much for saying so and for visiting - I love that you aren't scared off by all the women commentors!

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  6. It's been difficult for me to get out of the habit of going and doing. Even after almost 6 years in an empty nest, I feel like I need to plan and work all the time (my husband said I need to learn to turn off my problem-solving brain...) I have to force myself to sit quietly with a cup of coffee in the morning or buy new clothes. After years of taking care of others, it's weird to be able to take time and money for me. This post is a great reminder that this time of life is perfect for learning this lesson!

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    1. I know the feeling Melody - there used to always be something demanding my time and money too - but now I feel things slowing down and rather than seeing that as a bad thing, I'm seeing it as an opportunity to enjoy a few of the things I missed out on when we were younger - still a long way to go, but one step at a time (and one coffee date at a time!)

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  7. I can so relate to this post! I'm working on all the things on your list. And p.s., I too love the empty nest years:)

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    1. Thanks Talya - these years have so much to offer if we choose to see the joy in them - the kids successfully launched and now time for ourselves to enjoy and benefit from - win/win!

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  8. Its so easy to be kind to others and so difficult to be kind to yourself. Love this!

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    1. I know Diane! I am useless at being self-indulgent, but I figure I can do little things and enjoy them and maybe that will lead me to finding things for myself that are really being spoiled!

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  9. Once my kids were gone and I wasn't spending all my time focusing on them I was able to focus more on myself and do the things I enjoy! Thanks for sharing at The Blogger's Pit Stop! Roseann from www.thisautoimmunelife.com

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    1. That's what this stage is all about isn't it Roseann - re-discovering ourselves and letting it be okay to treat ourselves to something after all the sacrifices along the way.

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  10. Hi, Leanne - I wholeheartedly agree that self-respect is essential. I believe that it is a key ingredient both in truly respecting, and being respected by, others. I strongly support the idea of a 'doable bucket list'. If you don't know and articulate your goals and dreams, how will you know what to reach for?

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    1. You're so right Donna - my problem is I often don't know what I'd like to do as a treat - I'm starting to put a little list together of things I'd like to do and it's a nice feeling to know that I'm worth it (hard to get my head around though!)

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  11. Another popular post for me to feature in the Blogger's Pit Stop. Well done.
    Kathleen

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