With age comes a lot of wisdom and experience, but just because you’ve turned 40 doesn’t mean you’re suddenly equipped to deal with every life situation effortlessly and you’re immune to those creeping thoughts of failure and insecurity. Sure, there’s no longer the angst that comes with being in your 20s and the pressure to establish yourself that comes with your 30s is behind you, but every now and again, any woman over 40 needs some affirmations for when life isn’t going as planned. Below, the five self-care phrases every woman over 40 needs in her life.
1. No is a complete sentence.
The disease to please can be burdensome, but there comes a time when you can’t worry about disappointing people all the time. Understanding that you can say “No” without having to explain yourself will do you a world of good. Sure, you may feel a bit guilty at first, but your true friends and family will always understand. (Here are five nice but firm ways to say “No” if you’re not sure how.)
2. I’m doing my best.
Whether you’re a parent or not, it’s easy to get down on yourself. And with the uncertainty of the world right now, you can seamlessly lean into that gnawing sense of inadequacy brought on by imposter syndrome. However, try and remember these aren’t normal circumstances we’re living under, and sometimes the best you can do is get through the day. If you manage to do your work, feed your kids and spend some quality time with your loved ones, that’s time well spent. That ever-growing laundry pile will be taken care of eventually.
3. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
It’s easy to get bogged down by the pressures and demands of everyday life. And while you want to take care of everyone around you, your efforts will be moot if you’re not emotionally and mentally sound. Check-in with yourself and remember to do things that rejuvenate and motivate you. Go to that brunch with your girlfriends, plan a solo trip to the museum or arrange for an all-day spa excursion with your beau if that’s what it takes.
4. I decide who I am.
Societal pressures of where you’re supposed to be in life don’t just dissipate once you turn 40, so it’s important to remember that whichever path you took in life is the right one. Maybe you’ve spent the last decade as a lawyer and the pandemic has made you want to follow your dream of being an entrepreneur. Go for it. Ambition certainly doesn’t die at 40—you can create new goals for your life and reinvent yourself no matter your age. You decide.
5. Let it go.
That awkward date, the glaring typo in the quarterly report, the fact that your kid’s class heard you belting Pat Benatar because their Zoom mic wasn’t muted. Mistakes happen and sometimes there’s just no use in harping on them. Let it go and keep moving forward.