Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus

Make the most of your second act, your way

One of the best things about being a north of forty-plus woman, is still having choices when it comes to the second act of our lives. If you’re a woman who doesn’t have dreams of being an entrepreneur, but you’re not ready for a rocking chair, there are still many options that are just as fulfilling.

Mentorship

If you’ve worked in a traditionally male-dominated field, such as engineering, architecture, telecommunications, and internet technology development, to name a few, you can begin mentoring young women who have an interest in these fields. You can help them learn how to navigate their careers from an educational standpoint to real-life advice on how to deal with working in a mostly male workplace. Moreover, mentorship isn’t limited to careers, if you are a part of the LGBTQ community or an ally, you can assist young people who may be struggling with their sexual or gender identity. Helping them come to terms with their reality and helping them find the right words to share this news with their families can be a godsend. You can tutor them through high school, help prep for the SATs, and advise them when it’s time to go to college or a trade school. Moreover, if you have a background in karate, judo, or boxing you can teach self-defense and life skills to be safe. Members of the LGBTQ community are often at a greater risk for violence, knowing how to defend themselves in a smart and effective way can be the difference between getting hurt or worse.

Teaching

If you’re a painter, writer, or dancer, you might want to get into teaching your art. You could be the next female Bob Ross of art instruction. Many communities offer adult education at local high schools or libraries. You can help someone bring out their inner Picasso or Monet.  Dancers can do the same thing. Teach ballet to kids or head a fun tap dancing class at a senior’s home or assisted living. Writers can start workshops to help budding authors find and fine-tune their literary voice. This is a great way to teach others what you know, and it’s a way to keep your creative juices flowing.

Volunteering

Whether it’s a hospital, school, church, or community center, they all welcome volunteers. Volunteers are the life’s blood of organizations like food banks and homeless shelters, that have to raise money in order to keep their doors open and pantries stocked. More importantly, it will help to stay connected to the community and perhaps see a side of it you weren’t aware of.  It’s also an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others and gain a sense of accomplishment and pride.

There are health benefits derived from volunteering. According to the Mayo Clinic there are six main benefits to volunteering:

Decreases the risk of depression.

Gives a sense of purpose and teaches valuable skills

Helps people stay physically and mentally active

May reduce stress levels

May help you live longer

Helps you meet others and develop new relationship

Pursue Hobbies For Fun

If you don’t want to get into mentorship, teaching, or volunteering full-time, you don’t have to. You are allowed me-time. If you enjoy scrapbooking, knitting, sewing, painting, woodworking, cooking, or baking for fun, there’s nothing wrong with that. Spending time on activities that you enjoy can also improve your mental health and wellbeing. Studies and research have shown that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood, and depression. Activities that get you out and about can make you feel happier and more relaxed. It’s a total win-win.

The point again is that you have options for your second act. If you’re still working full-time, pursuing another degree, or maybe you’re on the road as a singer with a band, enjoy it to the fullest. Working on becoming the next Martha Stewart, keep going for it. There is no right or wrong way. All you have to do is remember to make like Nike and just do it.

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For more information on the health benefits of volunteering https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/helping-people-changing-lives-the-6-health-benefits-of-volunteering