Why Women in Retirement feel invisible?
Do you feel invisible? Often I read comments from women who feel that as they age they are becoming ‘invisible’. I was reading an interesting article in Psychology Today about The Invisible Years and the fact that people are treated as invisible as they age because
We live in a youth-fixated culture where people are afraid to age and to be vulnerable to growing older; where ideals about attractiveness are oriented around those with young, healthy bodies.
Now that doesn’t really sit well with being Over 50 & Thriving does it?
Why do we feel invisible?
As we age I believe some of us lose our self-confidence and aren’t sure of ‘our place in life’ anymore. Whether you are an empty nester or career person who has retired, our self-confidence can take a hit when we feel we aren’t needed anymore.
Retirement can bring it’s challenges, I know I experienced the feeling of questioning my purpose when I retired. However, retiring from work does not mean retiring from life. We don’t have to fade into invisibility once we stop working full time. We should be embracing the many opportunities that having more time affords us.
Here are 5 ways to avoid the invisibility cloak in retirement
1. Respect yourself and the person you are
Sure our bodies might be sagging and there may be a few laughter lines on our face, however we need to look past the superficial. Make the time to go deep inside ourselves and honestly assess who we are as an individual. We need to respect ourselves for the beautiful woman we are and acknowledge that we are unique and have value. Learning to accept, respect and love yourself builds self-confidence and tells us that we have much to offer this world.
2. Surround yourself with positive people
Becoming invisible can mean that we are not putting ourselves out there but rather accepting the notion that we ‘are too old’ – which is nonsense of our course. Surrounding yourself with people of all ages who are positive and energetic will encourage you to be the same. Positivity breeds positivity.
3. Be a Mentor
Recognise your strengths from your life experiences and share your wisdom with others. If you are over 50 you would have had many work and life experiences so don’t take a back step to younger women and feel inadequate. Become a mentor to them and encourage rather than fear them. Be open to also learning from them and building relationships with people of all ages.
4. Keep Learning
Never stop learning or trying something new. There are thousands of online short courses or hobbies that you can try. Keeping your brain active is good not only for your mental health but learning or having interests also makes you an interesting person.
5. Learn to Give Back
It’s not all about you. Giving back to the community by volunteering your time can be so rewarding and fulfilling.
One lady who I know doesn’t wear an ‘invisibility’ cloak is Debbie Harris from Deb’s World. Deb is my next guest in the Over 50 & Thriving series and in her contribution Regaining Your Focus After 50, she discusses how easy it is to feel like we lose part of ourselves when we age but also what we can do to stop that from happening.
Don’t forget to post your Instagram photos using the hashtag #over50andthriving.