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Why You’re Never Too Old to Dream

Sep 28, 2018

Is there something that you’ve always wanted to do but you’ve let that dream slip away because life took over?

Like me, you might have dreamed about travelling the world, enjoying a vibrant social life, finally getting fit or losing weight, learning another language or learning to scuba dive, or doing something else to give you that sense of pleasure and excitement and make you feel good on the inside.

But then you got married, or you had kids, or you became ill, or your career became demanding, or you had other commitments that forced you to put your own interests on the backburner.

You didn’t worry too much at the time. You just told yourself that you could do these things once the kids have flown the nest, once you have more time on your hands.

But that hasn’t happened because you don’t feel like your youthful self any more.

It’s been so long since you’ve claimed that ‘me’ time that you don’t entirely recognise the person you’ve become. Or perhaps you’re entering into the menopause years, or you don't have the energy to do the things you want to do. Often it can feel that somehow your body has let you down.

I’ve heard so many women say this very thing. They share their old dreams, their old ambitions and their old hopes for their lives with me. But then they go on to say that they just feel too old now, they lack energy, or they just can't do it these days.

I know how that feels all too well. Having had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for the past 4 years has forced me to make changes in my life, put my dreams onto the backburner temporarily and to reassess my goals.

But never once did I give up hope because I knew that once I started to heal my body, I could start making these dreams come true.

The same applies to you.

It doesn’t matter how old you are (or feel), or if you’re struggling with your menopause symptoms, or if you feel like you’re ‘over the hill’ or if you feel like you’re constantly exhausted and overwhelmed.

There’s always a way to find ‘you’ again and reignite the dream.

Let me explain a bit more about how your hormones can affect your motivation and ability to chase your dreams, then give you a few quick tips on how you can lift your spirits and feel younger and motivated again.

The connection between your hormones and your motivation

It might surprise you to know that our hormones levels play a huge role in how much energy we have, how motivated we feel, and how confident, happy and focused we are, especially as we grow older.

Once we hit our mid 35s and enter our peri-menopausal years, we often see changes thanks to declining levels of certain hormones. Oestrogen is the one which gets the most attention as it’s most closely involved with many of those ‘classic’ symptoms of the menopause that many women report, such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, and so on.

Now, oestrogen has a relationship with a brain-chemical called dopamine, which is commonly called the ‘reward’ or ‘pleasure’ hormone. It’s this hormone which encourages us to act, to achieve things and allows us to feel that pleasure when we’ve done something great.

As our oestrogen levels drop, or dopamine levels also start to decline and you’re far less likely to feel motivated as the years go by.

Self-care also plays a role

But it's not just our oestrogen levels that can contribute to feeling less motivated or energized.

Motivation, energy and enthusiasm also come from feeling completely healthy, happy, nourished and rested.

So if you’re struggling to fall asleep or you’re waking up several times a night because of night sweats (or because you need a wee), you’re unlikely to be getting the sleep you need and are less likely to achieve your dreams.

If you need two cups of coffee to feel normal in the morning or you can’t wait for the weekend to begin so you can have a break, then you’re clearly not going to be feeling at your best and are going to find it harder to achieve your dreams.

If you’re searching for comfort in your food or you’re reaching for the sugary, processed snacks when you need a boost of energy or cheering up, your body won’t be working at it’s best so it will struggle when it comes to moving forward in life.

And if you’re struggling to come to terms with what the peri-menopause or menopause means to you, if you’re shouldering emotional burdens, you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, of you have other issues which hold you back in life, achieving your dreams might seem so incredibly far away.

Don’t give up on your dreams!

Now, I’m about to share with you four easy ways you can lift your spirits, reclaim your motivation and feel like your old self again. But before I do, I’d like to give you a quick task to do.

Grab your journal or notepad and a pen, and write your answer to the following question:

“What would you do with your life if money was no object?”

Remember, it doesn’t matter how old you are, how much money you really have in the bank or whether you have commitments such as ageing parents or kids at university. Allow yourself to dream big!

Once you’ve done this, have a look at my tips below on how to increase that lust for life and motivation again.

My tips are:

  1. Put on your favourite ‘tune’ loud and dance like no one is watching. I tend to do this on Sunday evenings. I love listening to Trevor Nelson and those old school tunes.
  2. Sing to your heart's content.You’ll instantly feel much happier, you’ll give yourself a nice boost of energy, and you’ll also strengthen the vagus system (which links your brain to your digestive system, reproductive system, and the rest of your body.)
  1. Get to the bottom of what’s causing your low energy levels, mood, and lack of motivation. Could it be your thyroid or your oestrogen levels? Or are you lacking energy-boosting foods, antioxidants, protein and carbs from veggies?
  2. Schedule time to meet up with your friends. Instead of meeting for drinks go for a walk in nature. It will benefit you more than alcohol and you’ll feel uplifted and connected with your friends. I promise you will sleep much deeper and longer too.

Over the years I’ve been working to heal my CFS, I’ve noticed the impact that my everyday habit and lifestyle have on the way I’m feeling, for good and for bad.

Dedicating more time to self-care, dancing and singing, meeting friends more often and allowing myself the chance to dream has ignited that fire inside me and helped me feel excited about the future.

What could it do for you?

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