“In middle age, we are apt to reach the horrifying conclusion that all sorrow, all pain, all passionate regret and loss, and bitter disillusionment are self-made.” – Kathleen Norris
Sarah felt the brutal impact of midlife change. She began to question her identity and lost a lot of her self-confidence in her late forties. By her fifties, she experienced a rapid decline in positive self-talk and appreciation. Then, she slumped further into feelings of low self-confidence and worth.
Millions of women and men suffer from a midlife crisis in their life. A midlife crisis can happen to anyone!
Yet, women especially identify with the “most challenging aspects of midlife” including the effects of re-discovering self, changing family relationships, re-balancing work/personal life, coping with stress, and securing life and financial resources.
As you begin to age, realism that life is short can creep in. When combined with other factors, like depression and anxiety, it can cause you to fall into a midlife crisis.
Learn more about midlife crisis help for successful navigation.
What is a Midlife Crisis?
Midlife or middle age is “that transitional period of life between young adulthood and old age. Middle-aged people often undergo significant changes in their relationships, jobs, and health and their appearance.”
Studies show that a third of men go through a midlife crisis, but not much is known about the number of women who experience the same transitional phase. It is theorized that women might go through midlife turmoil earlier than their male counterparts, usually between the ages of 33 and 44. And some into their 50s. But what are the causes of a midlife crisis and what are some tips to manage through this major life event?
What Causes a Midlife Crisis?
The midlife crisis experience might differ slightly from men to women. It usually looks like a woman dropping her child at their first apartment and crying all the way home. Or, it might involve not posting to social media anymore because you looked in the mirror and saw a different face than you remember in your youth.
It can also involve anxieties where you wake in a panic, concerned that you don’t have enough money put aside for the road ahead. In general, a midlife crisis is an emotional turmoil that comes from within. Still, it can also be influenced by outside factors causing you to take a pause and evaluate the future.
Many factors can set a midlife crisis into motion–differing from one individual to the next. However, a midlife crisis is a normal part of life and the components of changes, so it’s helpful to quickly address how to navigate a midlife crisis with help for dealing effectively with the situation.
How to Navigate with Effective Midlife Crisis Tips for Women
- Acknowledge it early and determine online resources to help you with self-assessment and healing.
- Take care of your physical health. Physiological influences of a midlife crisis involve a decline or sudden change in the body’s hormones and can present a significant challenge to both women and men physiologically, mentally, and emotionally.
Psychology Today explains that “a midlife crisis often involves mood irregularities (notably increased anger or irritability, anxiety, or sadness), weight loss or gain, sleep disruption, and withdrawal from a routine and relationships. People experiencing the middle-age slump generally have an urgent desire to make some drastic change.”
- Consult your physician. A decline in progesterone and estrogen levels in women and testosterone in men can disturb quality of life and quantity of sleep. And it can reduce energy levels and cause depression and overall mood swings. Some men and women also experience memory loss, anxiety, and a decrease in interest in normal activities. So, a doctor can help you to evaluate the best options.
- Take care of your emotions. Emotional influences like a divorce, the death of a loved one or pet, medical disability, fertility changes, and empty nest syndrome may cause an aftermath of persistent grief. For those mid-life experiences, it’s important you take care of your emotions so that you don’t lose confidence and question your life meaning, religious beliefs, and the legacy you will leave for your family.
- Do activities to make you feel good about yourself. Societal Influences are an important part of how to navigate a midlife crisis. Our society values youth and beauty at any age helps us to feel valued and appreciated. Doing activities that we enjoy and taking care of our social calendars help us to retain our youthful mindset.
- Reduce social stressors. While worrying about the effects of aging, some have the additional burden of both raising children and taking care of aging adults simultaneously. Most of the caregiving responsibilities and decisions fall upon women, which can add a lot of social stressors. By seeking help in caregiving situations and reducing social stressors, we can take better care of ourselves.
- Widen your network of friends. Having a good network of friends helps to improve our life’s fulfillment. Sure, family is great, but friends make a long-term impact on our livelihood providing an outlet for releasing our burdens, having social discussions, activities, and being with people who love us unconditionally. Studies show that midlife is easier to deal with when you are surrounded by friends. Women who have close friends experience deeper sense of well-being than those who don’t.
- Share experiences that matter. Make your midlife years the time when you find people who you enjoy being around because of who they are and the experiences and interests you share. It is always good to know that you aren’t alone and that someone feels the same way that you do.
- Be authentic. So what if society puts a greater emphasis on youth? Don’t spend your time trying to hide your age or to mask it by doing things that take away from the genuine you. If you want people to embrace you, embrace who you are and stop trying to shield it from those around you. Be happy in your skin, no matter how old you are.
- Join a cause that is greater than you. It can be easy to dwell on negativity, but when you have something to fight for, you have something to live for. Being involved as a member of something greater than just yourself–such as a non-profit charity or a mission–is an excellent way to stop feeling as if you are fading into the background. It puts things in perspective and helps us to have gratitude for the things we have, instead of what we don’t.
- Let go of past regrets. How great would it be if we could go back and undo all the things we regret? The thing about regrets is that you have no idea how it would have turned out if you had made a different decision. Life is a path that has many twists and turns. Let go of the past, and make happy decisions moving forward.
- Make a bucket list and stick to it. For many, a bucket list is something that you make when you are nearing the end, but that’s simply too late. While you still have ample time, make a list of things that you want to see and experience. Once you think of all of the possibilities, follow through with your list.
- Focus on new ventures instead of those that have passed. Try to change your perspective about what you can’t do. Let go of things lost and embrace new ventures!
Overriding the Stressors with a Simple Plan of Action
There might come a point in your life where you feel as if you have hit a brick wall, and things are all downhill. Midlife may be a time to reflect but it’s also a time when you can set the course for your future filled with peace and happiness.
ChatOwl’s virtual app helps people with anytime accessible therapy plans and exercises to cope with midlife crisis struggles. By seeking the help of a virtual therapy app like this you can quickly address and help alleviate problems while waiting to see your counselor or practitioner.
A virtual app’s usefulness to address how to navigate a midlife crisis can help you alleviate pain and concerns amid the long wait for doctor’s appointments. And learn about successful midlife crisis helps with a simpler plan for moving past whatever cycle of crisis you may be experiencing.