By the time women reach their 50’s, they have a lot of life experience behind them and know a lot about surviving. Some of this is positive and some of it… not so good!
Some of the strongest women I have worked with are amazing survivors, they have come through the worst that life can give. Being physically and emotionally abused, surviving life threatening events, the death of a child or the suicide of their husbands, and go on to find ways to have a fulfilled and happy life.
For most people though, surviving is not about a big catastrophe. It’s the long slow grind of daily life, a build up of lots of smaller incidents, difficult relationships and life changes that leave you stressed and depressed, feeling stuck, overwhelmed and powerless.
Sometimes surviving each day is a fantastic achievement is the best we can do and in the short term is a great coping strategy.
But coping isn’t really living and leaves you dangerously near the edge of not coping.
But surviving is not thriving and many strong women, myself included, have found themselves in situations where they are only surviving. That feeling of just getting through each day, and no more, creeps up on you, until the day you crash and cannot keep going any longer.
You may be depressed, feel overwhelmed by anxiety, be dealing with a bereavement, been in an abusive relationship, coming out of a divorce, even been made redundant, retired or be in a difficult work situation.
As strong women we are able to put up with far more than most other people. We can keep going, however difficult our situation is, and do not want to give up and throw in the towel.
We protect and take care of other people, putting their needs first, staying busy and small, and find it alarming to be the one who needs help, rather than giving it.
We are used to being able to deal with life and feel embarrassed and ashamed about the situation we find ourselves and so carry on for longer…. until we are on our knees and burnt out.
Moving from this bleak place does take time, but by following these guidelines you can recover and come back to the strong woman you really are – wiser and clear about how you want to live the rest of your life.
1. Acknowledge what is going on.
The moment you realise that you cannot continue as you are is the moment you start to recover. Hopefully you are not at rock bottom, but even if you are it is never too late. Whatever your age or circumstances it is possible to put your past behind you and move on. I am working with a 75 year old woman at the moment, who is leaving her husband after 50+ years because she has enough and wants more for herself – however long she has left.
Get the type of support that you need. Support from friends and family, maybe legal and financial support, and support from a professional if you feel too low, stuck or overwhelmed to see clearly. Strong women often find it difficult to ask for help as they are usually the person who is turned to by other people for advice and support. But admitting you need help sometimes gets you out of the ‘surviving’ place you are in far quicker than leaving it to time, or, by going through this alone.
3. Be kind to yourself.
Blaming yourself, calling yourself names or punishing yourself will not help. You will feel stuck and unable to move on. You will feel anxious and doubt yourself, undermine your confidence and feel depressed. Treat yourself as you would another person that you love and lavish yourself with kindness and attention. Do things you love. Spend time with people who care for you. Exercise, sleep and eat good food. Treat yourself everyday to something, no matter how small.
Trauma is the effect that something has on you. It is something that causes a traumatic reaction in your body and mind. This might be from one big event, or from high levels of fear over a period of time.
If you suspect you are suffering from trauma – anxiety, depression, mood swings, flashbacks, feeling negative towards yourself or feeling isolated and unable to connect to people- get it treated. There are many methods that are safe and do not involve talking about or reliving an experience you have had. Trauma stays in your body and will eventually rear it’s head however good you are at hiding it.
5. Develop a positive mindset
When you have been in survival mode for a long time it is difficult to see how things can be any different. Use mantra’s and affirmations like’ I am able to learn a new way of being’, ‘I know that life can be peaceful and interesting’, find meditations on You Tube ( I like Abraham Hicks), challenge your negative thoughts and beliefs, experiment to see how you feel, try new things, be with people who understand and support you, think in very small achievements and acknowledge them.
Each week I offer a small number of complimentary coaching sessions. If you want to get out of coping and surviving and start thriving, I’d love to gift you £150 coaching session to help feel clear, calm and confident. All I ask in return is that you provide me with a testimonial and some feedback. You can book your session here here: If you have any questions, or would prefer to book with me in person, please reply to this email.
Each week I offer a small number of complimentary coaching sessions. If you want to get out of coping and surviving and start thriving, I’d love to gift you £150 coaching session to help feel clear, calm and confident. All I ask in return is that you provide me with a testimonial and some feedback. You can book your session here here: If you have any questions, or would prefer to book with me in person, please contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
With 20+ years of experience supporting many people through challenging or even traumatic times in their life, I can give you the understanding, tools and techniques that you need to make positive changes quickly.