Take the Time to Focus on Wellness
Whether you have entered therapy or are considering it, the times we are living in now are tough. We are especially overwhelmed with anxiety about the economy and COVID-19. These times are even harder for adults who struggle with anxiety and depression when the world feels normal. I believe that our present circumstances indicate a different approach. While in close quarters with loved ones, we're trying to sort out how the world is changing. It's a daily rollercoaster of emotions. This is an important time to focus on our own wellness as women. By this, I mean we must make it a priority to care for ourselves as individuals. By feeling more balanced inside, we will feel able to offer more support to our loved ones.
How to Take Care of Yourself as a Woman
There is a distinct possibility if you are reading my blog that you aren't happy with yourself and/or with your marriage. Honestly, relationship problems can make you question your self-worth. If you allow negative thinking to affect you in this way, it will also affect your spouse or partner. Sometimes, patients enter therapy because they instinctively want to work on themselves first. When they feel more confident, they will turn to the issues with their partner. Others will talk in therapy for years, but they won't be able to change the dynamics in their relationship. In the end, focusing on wellness should help you feel more positive about yourself, more in control of your emotions, and able to enjoy each day. As a therapist, I realize that it's hard to get basic services due to social isolation. That's why I moved to walk and talk and teletherapy. If you decide to try therapy, I can help you work through your own challenges and help you feel more able to cope. Balance is the key to surviving a crisis. In the meantime, you can reflect at home on your life and try to reshape your thinking with the following types of empowering statements.
I am desirable.
Being able to attract a mate and keep one is important to many women. We take comfort from the physical affection and love provided by our mate. We also feel worse, even completely rejected, because our partner starts withholding affection. When you look in the mirror, however, you must learn to accept yourself as you are. This means accepting you're getting older and your body is changing. This means loving who you are and not doing things that harm your body just to look younger.
I am confident.
There are two ways you can go through the day. You can move forward and do your best in each situation, or you can limit yourself with weaknesses and fears. With limiting beliefs, you stop yourself from having a good day before it happens. Better things can happen in your life if you allow yourself to be happy.
I am willing to take risks.
Being in a relationship requires making yourself vulnerable to your partner. If you perceive the risk of rejection is low when sharing intimate details about yourself with your partner, you will engage in risky behavior. If you perceive the risk of rejection is high when getting closer to your partner, you will back away to avoid rejection. A question we might explore in therapy is how you feel about being close to a partner, or, even if you want to be with a partner anymore. Keep in mind that people who define themselves more by their close relationships are more willing to take risks in relationships. If you work on your self-esteem, you can achieve greater confidence. Feeling sure of yourself makes it easier to take risks and increase your interdependence with your partner.
I deserve to be treated with respect by my partner.
This is another common problem. Middle-aged women stay in abusive relationships because they were mistreated in the past, and they accept poor treatment in their marriage. I understand if you have low self-esteem. We can definitely work on that. If you want to stay with your partner because he or she provides financial support, that's understandable. However, by staying in a bad relationship, you let your wellness and self-esteem suffer. You choose to tolerate an imbalance of power in the partnership. If you want to feel comfortable in your own body and more self-confident, then you must set limits with everyone. Tell others how you want to be treated. Tell others what behaviors aren't acceptable if they want to continue their relationship with you.
I can trust my instincts.
The opposite of trusting your own instincts is questioning your innate abilities, believing you can't get through everyday situations. You have many talents and personality traits that will help you get through life on a daily basis. If you don't trust yourself, you set out to do something and change your mind. It's self-defeating and exhausting. When you listen to negative self-talk or feel unworthy of success, you are missing many chances to be happy.
I can survive on my own.
I've worked with many women who stay in long-term relationships because they are afraid of being alone or being unable to support themselves without their spouse's income. If you are alone because you are widowed, separated, or divorced, you can make it. You might have to go through hard times to restructure your finances and living arrangements, but you can live alone. It's a matter of changing your expectations for your lifestyle, especially with reduced income.
I will make time for myself and attend to my needs.
I've heard many patients say they are waiting for something to change in their relationship. They believe if they keep giving to the relationship, often more than they should, that their partner will treat them better or that "things will get better." Unfortunately, you only have the power to change yourself. You can change conditions at home and adjust how you react to your partner, but he or she must be willing to improve the relationship.
You are a wonderful person. I hope that you can work through these challenges if you are living alone after your partner died or contemplating separation and divorce. Take it one day at a time. Find someone to talk to, and remember to contact me if you need an experienced therapist.