Sunday, May 18, 2008

Women Over 50: Your Personal Checklist

I found an article from WebMD that I thought women over 50 would appreciate (see below).

If you are going through the empty nest feeling, the good news is there is life after the kids! And if you are having feelings of uncertainty about the rest of your life, relax. It is going to be what you make it, and it can be wonderful and fulfilling!

I have coached women who are going through this stage in their lives, and who can't figure out how to get that lump out of their throat they feel every time they approach their college-bound son or daughter's empty bedroom.

Coaching can help you prepare for the dramatic changes you are about to face. A coach is interested in you and respects you. A coach will support you in finding where you are and where you'd like to be. It is a partnership, a relationship based on trust and honesty.

You don't have to cope with this alone. Coaching can help parents who are feeling sad and who are unsure about what they want to do with the rest of their lives. If you're divorced and feeling alone reconnecting with family and friends can be extremely helpful. If you're married and you've drifted, working to reconnect can yield wonderful results.

Click here to learn more. Here's the article I said I thought you would find useful. I have more on the website, so visit it at


Women Over 50: Your Personal Checklist
Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
By Jeanie Lerche Davis

From WebMD

For women, turning 50 is a milestone. Society tells you it's a crossroads. Your body underscores the point. Every woman over 50 feels it.

"The kids are going to college, parents are aging. There may be marriage problems, job challenges. It's definitely a stressful time," says Jennifer Zreloff, MD, an internist with the executive health program at Emory University School of Medicine. "You also find that you can't abuse your body as much as when you were younger. Your body just isn't as resilient as it used to be. It's a time when women need to seriously take stock of their lifestyle habits, and make some changes."

For many women over 50, it's also a time of self-reflection, says Cynthia Barnett, EdD, a retirement lifestyle specialist in Norwalk, Conn. "You begin thinking about your purpose in life, about finding what makes you happy and fulfilled. You may be ready for something new, work you love to do."

Women Over 50: Making More of Mind and Body

To keep mind and health in optimal shape, here's your to-do list:

___Get lots of sleep. Maybe you got along with four hours a night when you were 40, but your body can't take that abuse when you're older.

___Set aside quiet time every morning. Meditate, pray, visualize your day. Read something that inspires you. Focus on self-renewal.

___Be optimistic. Take time to understand what you want out of life. Find purpose and meaning. Then spread the joy to others.

___Get cancer screenings. Colon screening begins at 50. Mammograms should be annual. Pap smears continue every one to three years if you are sexually active.

___Check your bones with a bone density scan. Talk to your doctor about calcium and vitamin D. Get at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily.

___Get an annual checkup. You need blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, and thyroid tested. Also, talk to your doctor about any symptoms of depression, which can be common for women over 50. These include: persistent sadness or pessimism, feelings of worthlessness, loss of hope, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, and insomnia.

___Get plenty of aerobic exercise (like walking). It builds strong bones. It also reduces heart disease risk. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women.

___Take up yoga. Yoga is a great stretching exercise and enhances flexibility. Flexibility gives you better balance, so you don't fall -- which avoids fractures.

___Have fun. Go bungee jumping, rock climbing, backpacking, skiing, dancing -- whatever makes you happy. Act like you feel, and you'll feel youthful.

___Eat colorful foods. It's important for women over 50 to get plenty of fruits and vegetables. And eat more fatty fish (like salmon) to get heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Learn to love whole grains, lentils, and skinless lean protein. Treat yourself to sweets, but only occasionally. When you use oils, lean toward the good ones, like extra-virgin olive oil.

___Drink sensibly. For all women, not just women over 50, one alcoholic drink a night is plenty.

___Find a creative outlet. It helps prevent depression -- and depression affects memory. Having a creative outlet helps stimulate your mind. Take up painting. Create a wonderful garden. Engaging your creativity stimulates your brain more than reading, and certainly more than TV.

___Make your home an oasis. Eliminate clutter. Fill your home with great music, books, and friends. Withdraw and recharge when you need to.

___Associate with positive-focused people. They will not drain your valuable energy with complaints. They will help you pursue the best that life has to offer.

For women over 50, that pursuit can take any form and take a woman anywhere. Make now the very best time of your life.

Medically Updated: April 2008.
Published March 23, 2007.