Over the past two weeks, I have been in three conversations, all with the same question…How do I help her? Each story featured women who are struggling with their confidence and a loved one who wants to help and just does not know where to begin. Because these midlife women do not feel good about themselves, they do nothing, and are slowly sinking into a mire of mediocrity. It is hard for a close friend to watch it happen. I understand how dangerous this time can be…I have been there. When all of our self- worth is poured into a job, our children, or a financial lifestyle which suddenly changes, the plummet into despair often begins.
In looking back and evaluating my turn around, I believe there are baby steps we can encourage other women to take in order to place them on a road to confidence. However, I do want to stress, it takes the support of friends and family. We all need a Gail in our lives. My Gail (her actual name) is my closest friend and really supported me with just the right questions, delivered out of love, to get me thinking about certain areas in need of change. She was not afraid to be tough and direct when it was required and she encouraged me to dream bigger than the life I was leading. Here are areas where friends and family can really help these women live with more confidence:
- Improve Self-Care on the Inside. I know from experience, healthy habits like exercise and proper eating result in healthy thinking. Also, a twice a week workout with friends has been crucial for long term success…or, honestly, I might have quit when the weights got heavier! Share recipes and eat out together to get a new healthy lifestyle plan going. Gail and I would drink mass quantities of water together, and always discuss how to get a better night’s sleep.
- Improve Self-Care on the Outside. Begin with the face! Proper skincare and getting the face to look bright and healthy can really set a woman on the path to thinking with confidence. A friend can suggest a visit to the esthetician or even a skincare counter at the department store together to get ideas. An illuminated glow just starts a day with more positivity. Next step might include a new hair style!
- Improve the wardrobe. We talk about it all the time here and on my blog. Wearing clothes which fit properly and communicate new messages, can really turn a day around. Most ladies I know who are in a serious funk about midlife send the message I DON’T CARE with their clothing choices. Changes can happen on any budget thanks to thrift and consignment stores. What woman doesn’t like shopping with a friend??
- Improve the Mind Meal. While it is important to watch what we feed our bodies, it is just as important to watch what we feed our minds. If women spend long hours of the day with negativity online or on television, the results will be negativity and fear. Doom and gloom abounds through news and even entertainment media. Be careful. Evaluate what you feed your thought process…it would probably be better to power down and go take a walk. Laughter and a sense of humor is so important to all of us. Do not allow these to be squelched.
- Improve the way you dream. Gail knew my love of writing, and she was the one who said, “You need to start a blog.” With her encouragement, I began a blog and a return to freelance writing. My writing had been shelved during young parenting years, and picking it up was like a cool bath on a hot day. Every woman has inside of them a talent or something they love to do, and sometimes a friend can pinpoint where they need to begin. Practicing what we love is a major confidence builder. She has always dreamed bigger than I did, but the dreams she had plummeted me forward when I know I would have set idle. Hope is infectious. All a friend needs to do is get it started and so often hope will grow from there.
Gail has been my sounding board, my confidant, my Sundance Kid, and my all-important prayer partner. When women ask, What Can I Do for Her? I reply…be there, be present, encourage them in these areas, help them to start small and dream big, and stay close by to applaud when there is progress.
Every Oprah has a Gail…and, ladies, I believe we are all Oprahs! Look at all she overcame to become a powerhouse. If you would like to honor how a woman in your life has helped you and been a best friend forever, then please comment below and let’s bring forth more ideas! Thank you for stopping by The Joy Boutique, and…..
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and grandmothers out there!