Creating Peace on Demand! Using Meditation to Enhance Your Self-Care


Javier Snchez Mingorance / Getty Images

Click here to Listen to Episode 41 of the Welcome To Your Life! Midlife Made Easier Podcast

I have been rallying the self-care flag since April.  Like no other time in our lives, we need to focus on our well-being, or we will be swallowed by doubt and overwhelm.  So, for August, I will continue to share a new tip that will enhance your self-care and bring you some peace.  Midlife is not always the most secure time of our lives, but if we are intentional about taking care of our needs, it can be more comfortable.

So, what if you could create peace in your day on demand.  I know it sounds a little woo woo, but with a little bit of planning, you can make it happen using meditation. “Meditation provides you with that quality “me time” that’s so key to refiling your cup at the end of the day. It’s not only me time in terms of being alone and being away from others but being away from your day to day thoughts.”

     According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, “meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being.” You can create your own meditation by sitting in a quiet place, using a memory that helps you feel more confident, happy, or brings you peace.  Focus on memory and breath.    You can also use a meditation app like Headspace or Calm.

Meditation is something you can do whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed.   As with anything, meditation takes practice, so do not be upset if you cannot settle down on your first couple of tries.  Acknowledge the thoughts you are having and keep practicing. Do not worry about being perfect; be intentional on spending this time with yourself.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

My gift to you Beating the Midlife Slump! 10 Strategies to Help You Boost Your Self Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

Join the private Welcome To Your Life Midlife Made Easier Facebook group, a curated community exclusively for fun-loving midlife. Learn from and connect with other midlife women this is your village a safe place to vent your concerns and celebrate your wins.  Click here to join (note: you must answer the questions to be considered).

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Self-Care and Your Career: 3 Ways to Make Sure That You Are Still Doing Something You Love

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Listen to Episode 40 of the Welcome to Your Life! Midlife Made Easier Podcast :Self-care and your career: Make sure that you are still doing something you love

There was a time when you joined a company, you were expected to stay in their employ until you retired.  But, that is no longer the case, especially as the pandemic continues to force companies to close or drastically reduced their workforce.   Even in these unprecedented times, you must see your choice of career as a way of engaging in your self-care.   Doing work that you love and find purposeful can be instrumental in helping you to reduce your stress.   “Living in a world of ‘always on’ culture can wreak havoc on you physically, emotionally, and spiritually,” Amy Blaschka says in Forbes. “Constantly grinding leads to burnout, anxiety, and stress-related illnesses.” 

So, what do you do when you want to change careers in midlife? It can be very disheartening seeking a new career path or even a new job within the same field when you a midlife woman.  It can seem as though your experience and education are overlooked as employers seek to hire younger, less experienced, and less costly staff.   But, there are things that you can do to ensure that you get the position you want.

Make sure that you running to something, rather than away from something. If you are miserable in your current position, you may gravitate towards anything that looks better. However, there are more beneficial ways to decide.

  • Any exit looks good when the building is on fire. You will be more likely to be happy with your career change if you take the time to choose the best field for you. The more you dislike your current job, the more critical it is to take a deep breath and examine all your options.

Avoid a career decision based on financial considerations. Of course, salary is a part of the decision-making process, but using it as the sole criteria can yield disappointing results. Money, even a large amount, probably will not make up for spending 8+ hours a day in misery at your job.

  • Midlife is not the time to take on more stress as stress tends to have more health issues, which are expensive, too.

Do not be averse to obtaining the necessary training and education first. Midlife is not the time to stop learning, do not try to change careers without updating your skills, and having the required credentials in place. You might look at volunteering or becoming a temporary employee to get the necessary experience. This will also help you to ascertain if this is the move you want to take.

When you begin the search, be sure to show yourself some self-compassion.  Network with colleagues in your new field and ask for an introduction or referral.  Do not practice negative self-talk; this will only delay your progress, speak kindly to yourself, and surround yourself with a nourishing support system.

Ladies, I hope you enjoyed today’s show. Remember that just because you are in midlife does not mean you have to continue doing something you no longer love.  Be encouraged, and let your passion be your guide.  Do not forget to share this podcast with someone you love and

Whenever you are ready:

Join the private Welcome to Your Life Midlife Made Easier Facebook group, a curated community exclusively for fun-loving midlife women. Learn from and connect with other midlife women; this is your village, a safe place to vent your concerns and celebrate your wins.  Click here to join (note: you must answer the questions to be considered).

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Do Not Be Afraid to Feel Your Feelings

WTYL Episode 39 Welcome To Your Life! Midlife Made Easier Podcast

The world is in chaos it is scary and a bit overwhelming. Before we get started, let us take a collective moment to breathe.  Maybe like me, you have been holding your breath as every one of your body’s senses has been bombarded by emotions too quick to process.

So, I invite you, no, I implore you, find a comfortable seat, relax your shoulders, and plant your feet firmly on the floor. Close your eyes.  Place your left hand on your belly, and your right hand on your heart.  Take a deep breath through your nose, feeling the rise and fall of your belly and chest.  Do this three times.  Now, sit for a moment and just feel the awareness of stillness.

Even when you were not physically moving over the last 12 weeks, your mind has been in constant motion.  I would bet you a butter pecan iced coffee that you are emotionally, financially, and spiritually exhausted. 

Having been hit simultaneously with a global pandemic which has killed over 120,000 people in the United States alone, left 40 million Americans unemployed, plural police shootings which have sparked nationwide protests. Fueled by 400 years of systemic racism, brutal injustice, and downright disrespect of the human rights of black and brown folks in this country.

As women of a certain age, we have become very adept at hiding our feelings; after all, it would be selfish of us to spend time dealing with our own emotions, when we need to be the glue that holds our world together.  So, we pack them away in a little box with the promise that we will unpack them later.  Well, my friend later is now.

Some of us were never taught the importance of examining how we feel, that was a luxury for the rich and famous.  I mean really, “was this not an issue of class in that the higher socioeconomic classes could spend their time contemplating their sadness while the rest of us regular folks had to get to work? How possible was it, really, for the average person, to be with or in their sadness, “sitting still” when things needed to get done? After all, didn’t we all need to get out the door and earn a living?”   Our parents showed us they loved us by providing for us, as a single mom my mother rarely had time to ask us how we felt or really examine how she was feeling, she was too busy trying to put food on the table.  Unfortunately, the cycle continued with me. 

Feeling your feelings is not an easy task, believe me, I know.  I am the queen of holding things in and telling myself that I will deal with it some other time.  When things are not as hectic, when my life is in order, or when I have more time.   I placated myself bingeing on Netflix, alcohol, food, and shopping.  Until being unemployed meant that I had to let go of these vices and deal with my feelings.

When you are focused on numbing your feelings rather than processing them and using healthy coping strategies, you prevent yourself from living a full and meaningful life. Hurt, frustration, pain, sadness, and anger are all-natural and healthy parts of the human experience. When we try to suppress these emotions, we are unable to thrive.”

At the end of a recent yoga class, one of my students exhaling loudly said, “I do not believe that I have taken a real breath all day.”  Your feelings help you decide whether you are in alignment with your wants and needs.  The scary part about taking that deep breathe feeling your emotions and identifying how they show up in your body is that you must submit to being vulnerable.  

Being vulnerable can provide us with the key we need to live a full life. If we’re brave, it will allow us to finally let our guard down and open ourselves up to the sadness, disbelief, and frustration we may be holding on too, which means “more energy and attention we have to devote to our functioning life.”  

Does holding your feelings in lead to emotional eating, shutting yourself off from family or friends, sadness, headaches, gut issues, overspending, or yelling at co-workers?

Your assignment this week is to sit in a quiet place, use the breathing exercise we did at the beginning to anchor your mind.  This process will be as long or as short as you would like it to be, it must be done. At the end of your day, take out a blank piece of paper, set the timer for ten minutes, and just write how you are feeling. My free writing led to me address some things that I had pushed down but that needed to be addressed immediately, such as the daily emotional eating I had been doing to ease my frustrations.  Once you complete the activity, shoot me an email at info@reneereid.net and let me know how this exercise worked or did not work for you.

You can conquer anything if you acknowledge its existence.  The more we try to hide our feelings or put off dealing with them until some arbitrary future date, the more we will use unhealthy coping skills to bottle up our emotions.  It is time to feel again.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

My gift to you, Beating the Midlife Slump! 10 Strategies to Help You Boost Your Self Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

Whenever you are ready, here are two ways I can help you create the future you’ve always wanted:

  1. Join the private Welcome to Your Life Midlife Made Easier Facebook group, a curated community exclusively for fun-loving midlife. Learn from and connect with other midlife women; this is your village, a safe place to vent your concerns and celebrate your wins.  Click here to join (note: you must answer the questions to be considered).

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  1. Work with me privately. I am looking for 10 women over 50 who are looking, to lose weight naturally, reduce their stress, and increase their joy. If this is you, please fill out the form below. All eligible applications will be contacted by phone or email.  Click here to apply! Your first call is free!

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How to Create the New Life You Have Always Wanted

I get it, this was going to be your year.  2020 was the year you were going to lose weight, get a new job, disconnect from distracting or destructive relationships.  Find your soul mate, really take hold of your self-care, and make it a regular thing. Maybe, you were well on your way to making this happen, and then the world fell apart, and you with it.  I am here to tell you and myself that it is not too late to make your new life happen.  You can still make significant changes to your mind, body, and spirit. Guess what! I have a plan to help us do it.

This plan is going to require us to take some baby steps every day because real change does not happen in a day; it occurs when we make small shifts towards what we want.  Make sure that you hit the follow button so that you do not miss a post because, over the next couple of weeks, I am going to share with you 30 easy to implement life-changing tools and tips that will help you to transform your life.  Real self-care is more than just getting a manicure or a massage. It is the culmination of everything you do for yourself physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and financially. 

Some of these tips may sound unnecessary, but hey do them anyway, remember it is the culmination of our efforts that creates real change.

So, let us start. Today, I want you to take out that massive goal list that you prepared at the beginning of the year, focus on one area, and create three smaller goals that will help you to complete the task.  For example, if you want to work out every day instead of focusing on an hour’s workout, try 20 minutes. “Every time you set and achieve a goal, your confidence and sense of competence increases.”  If you have been struggling to get your two-hour writing session done, then opt for 15 minutes a day, in a week you will have written 105 minutes that’s a blog, book chapter, short story, or podcast episode. 

Setting smaller goals will reduce overwhelm and keep your life balanced. So, what do you say what area of your life will you focus on with your three tiny goals? I would love to hear about your success.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Are tired of banging your head against the wall and you need help to figure out your next steps.  Schedule your Soul Transformational call with me, it is completely free, and during our time together we will figure out what barriers are keeping you from the life you want. 

Self-Care is Your Superpower

Self-care and self-love are so intertwined that, to me, they are the same. It’s hard to love yourself when you are not taking care of yourself.  I know that we must take care of others, but real self-care is a conscious desire to take care of our own physical and emotional needs.  We are about to start a new month.  This would be an excellent time for you to set your intention and start or restart your self-care plan.  Self-care is your superpower; without it, we are only half showing up for the people and things we love.

Your self-care can show up in many ways, journaling, meditation, exercising regularly, scheduling your medical appointments. The point is to ensure that your physical and mental well-being is at the top of your crowded “to do” list. When you do this, you can genuinely help others with an open heart. Otherwise, resentment will rise, and you will feel guilty for the genuine feelings emanating from your spirit. Because, self-care is your superpower!

So, take some time today and make a list of all the things you need to feel happy and whole. To have peace and live courageously and connected to the spaces you inhabit. You deserve it-give yourself permission to have it.

We start May 10th are you in!   Let me help you lose your next 10 pounds join the 5k Walking and Clean Eating program get healthy, lose weight, and increase your energy.  Everyone who signs up has the chance to earn a medal during our 5K virtual  walk/run,  and you can bring a friend for free that’s right your registration comes with a free guest pass.

 $5 of your registration will be donated to the Atlanta Mission to help them provide safe housing and meals for homeless mothers and their children:  SIGN UP YOU’RE YOUR MEDAL IS WAITING:        

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Is Your Cell Phone Disturbing Your Sleep?

We cannot live without them, right?  I am talking about your cell phone.  Some of us have even taken to sleeping with our phones.  I am guilty of that, but that could be the worst thing you could do if you want to get a good restful night’s sleep.  Not only does the urge to keep rechecking your social media accounts interrupt your sleep patterns.

😴📱Scientists are just beginning to dig into all the effects cell phone use has on our health … including obesity, heart disease, brain changes, depression, and more. But one thing they do know is that the blue light that comes from screens can severely impact the quality and quantity of our sleep!  If you still have children at home, now is the time to get them in the habit of putting their phones away before going to bed.  If the urge is too high to see who liked, shared, or commented on your last post, I am raising my hand, then recharging them in another room is a great way to break the habit.

If you want to get a great night’s sleep.  And who doesn’t, 😳📵😴try to put your phone (and tablets and TVs!) away for at least an hour before you go to bed, so your brain gets a break from the blue light, which can make you want to stay awake!

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Let’s connect on the gram  https://www.instagram.com/iamreneereid/

Has your life stalled?  Download the Ultimate Midlife Guide: 

Beating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

The latest episode of Welcome To Your Life Midlife Made Easier Podcast: This podcast is for midlife women who are juggling midlife, wellness, relationship, and work/life balance.  Get the latest tips, tools, and interviews from midlife women just like you.

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What Is The Best Picture You’ve Taken All Week?

The world has gotten so gloomy. It’s important that we make a concerted effort to remember the good things. Because, while we are in the midst of death and dying, life is still going on. 📷🌆👶🏻What’s the best picture you’ve taken this week? Share it in the comments!

No Need For Masks Or Social Distancing!

I took this photo on one of my morning walks. It was cold! But, it was good to get outside away from the news coverage and smell the fresh air and see that nature is still thriving.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Let’s Connect ON the Gram

Has your life stalled?  Download the Ultimate Midlife Guide: 

Beating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

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The Anniversary of Loss: Three Ways to Get Through the Day

    If you have made it to midlife, you know what it means to lose someone you love.  April 17th would have been my younger brother’s 59th birthday.  Every year, on that day, I am reminded that there is a very noticeable gap between my youngest brother and myself.  David died from the same disease that took our dad, heart disease.  Of course, he was not the first death I’d experienced.  I have buried both of my parents, two grandmothers, and a beloved aunt.  But this is different. David and I were born 11 months apart.  I told people we were twins because between April and June, our respective birth months, we were the same age. 

     David was the balance between my youngest brother and me, he was calm, funny, a gifted artist who loved comic books, sci-fi, and he was the first tech nerd I ever knew.  As the pandemic rages around us, my heart goes out to the families who will celebrate their own anniversaries of loss next year.   Let me share with you three ways that I have found to get through the day.

  1. Cry:  This is not the day to stay in control of your emotions; if you feel like crying, let the waterworks go.  If possible, don’t spend the whole day crying that can be so draining.   Deal with your emotions unapologetically.
  2. Do something in remembrance:  My brother and I shared a love of all things sci-fi.  This year I watched the new Picard series in his honor.  You will never forget the person you lost, you can “empower yourself by proactively anticipating the anniversary and incorporating his or her memory into your plans.”
  3. Connect with others, the first couple of years after David passed away, I admit I shut myself off, worked long hours, or busied myself with my kids.  This year, I shared with them how I was feeling, told stories about when we were growing up, and how I would fight anyone who tried to bully him. Sharing with them helped me to remember David and gave them some insight on our childhood, a topic they tell me I don’t share enough.  My daughter-in-law dropped off a nice bottle of wine, and chocolates her kindness gave me a new memory to add to this anniversary.  On your anniversary, connect with others, share stories and memories.  Start a new tradition to honor your loved one and celebrate their contribution to you and to the world.

     Grief is one of those emotions that never really goes away, a smell, a song, a photo can bring back all the raw feelings of loss.  Take the time to care for yourself and tap into your inner strength.  Take a long walk, write your thoughts in a journal, take a yoga class, or talk to a therapist or coach, don’t suffer in silence.  That is the one thing I am sure your loved one would not want you to do. 

With Love and Peace,

Renee

Has your life stalled?  Download the Ultimate Midlife Guide: 

Beating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

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What Could I Do If I Wasn’t Afraid?

“Love Yourself, Dream Bigger” Teresa Collins

     I am not going to lie to you, midlife can be a scary phase of life.  Questions arise like, who is going to take care of me when I cannot take care of myself.  What if I don’t have enough money to live comfortably? I want to change careers but everyone I talk too tell me I am too old.  And, if these questions, are not enough to handle, what do we tell ourselves when we look at the dreams, we’ve left undone because we were just too afraid to take the first step.   

     If we have learned nothing else from the pandemic it is that we cannot afford to wait until tomorrow to live.  Live Now! Walk the marathon, write the book, start the business, cut people out of your life that no longer support you, acknowledge your mental health issues and get some help. Learn to motivate yourself and follow your own intuition, you got this!

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Have your weight loss goals stalled?  Download The Ultimate Midlife Guide:  Beating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

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Midlifers Tell the Truth: Are You Lonely?

Illustrated by Brianna Gilmartin, Verywell

     It always fascinates me how in 2020, we can be so digitally connected and yet feel so alone.  Loneliness can be a part of midlife for many reasons, divorce, death of a spouse, or an empty nest.  A Psychology Today article contends that loneliness does not depend on your social circle; more than 60% of married people admitted to feeling lonely. In the United States,40% of midlife folks are affected by loneliness, and this could lead to some devastating health outcomes.

     But before we get started, let’s define the difference between loneliness and isolation since many of us use these terms interchangeably.  Isolation ensues when we have very little or no contact with other people, this can happen due to a mental health issue or as a health precaution to fight the spread of COVID-19 which is what many of us are experiencing now.   Loneliness, on the other hand, is an emotional state it can be caused by isolation but can also be due to other things such as the loss of a good friend or moving to a new city.

Health risks associated with loneliness can include higher stress levels, antisocial behavior, increased alcohol or drug consumption, and depression. Studies show that lonely adults are less likely to exercise and consume diets high in fat and calories.

Image: tonyrobbins.com

If you feel lonely, you are not alone. In 2010 AARP commissioned a study that classified loneliness by age; the results were astounding.  Using the UCLA Loneliness Scale, they measured the percent of lonely adults by age group:

  • Ages 40-49 – 43%
  • Ages 50-59 – 41%
  • Ages 60-69 – 32%
  • Ages 70+ – 25%

How can you protect yourself from the devastating effects of loneliness?

  • Nurture existing relationships: this step helped me to combat my loneliness, I make a point each day to contact a family member or friend.  And since we are practicing social distancing due to the virus, I reach out to work colleagues a couple of times each week to stay connected. 
  • Find a hobby: this one was a little bit harder because the things I enjoy don’t necessarily require company, but it has been a real joy cycling with my friend and organizing family walks.   You could start a bowling league or book club and invite family and friends.  Or, do something entirely out of your comfort zone like ballroom dancing and make some new friends.
  • Volunteer:  One of the best ways to get your mind off yourself is to give back to your community.  Find a place to donate your time and gift that organization with your gifts and talents.  Time spent volunteering will put you into social situations that will help you to meet new people in a safe environment.

If your loneliness persists or turns into isolation, don’t be afraid to seek help, many organizations such as Better Help offer online therapeutic services.  As with any service, do your due diligence and research before you commit.  Also, check out the Coalition to End Isolation and Loneliness; this is a non-profit organization that works to assist individuals with local and national resources to end loneliness.   

     It is a myth that the older you get, the lonelier you will become, yes, your life will change, kids grow up and move out, you might get divorced, or your spouse might pass away, maybe your friend of 25 years will move to another state.  I have found that one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to be flexible and to live your life with a curious mind.

With Love and Peace,

Renee

Need some help getting your groove back, download The Ultimate Midlife GuideBeating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Your Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

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