Mental Health at Midlife

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Last week I sat on a panel at The Wing to discuss Wellness for Women over 40. Whew, a BIG topic! My focus was mental health and I touched on four of the ways women are affected in middle age:

1. Body/Mind: hello changing hormones which can lead to mood swings, low energy, sleep issues, and more. An aging body complete with aches, pains, fatigue, and challenges doing things we once loved. Our minds may feel foggy, there may be memory loss, and an increase in stress or anxiety due to juggling all the things.

2. Society: there’s pressure to remain youthful and we may not feel seen like we used to especially now that we’re called “ma’am” or “madame” when versus “miss”. As we move closer to retirement, money worries may increase due to wage gaps or having taken time out of the workforce. We may be caring for aging parents and children who have moved back home (or are still in school).

3. Emotions: most have experienced trauma or loss that may lead to a loss of identity or desire to change an outgrown identity. Many experience divorce, new partnerships, sexism, abuse, death, fertility, and retirement concerns—all that contribute to stress. There may also be feelings of guilt or regret and wonder, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”

4. Spirit: we may begin to question our beliefs and choices while also seeking deeper connections to ourselves, relationships, nature, and the spiritual world. There may be a reckoning to make the most of the remaining years and to leave a legacy by how we live our lives.

I shared this quote by George Eliot, “It’s never too late to be what might have been,” along with tools to help to navigate this time such as self-care (can I possibly emphasize this more?!), movement, ongoing reflection through therapy/journaling/mindfulness, creative practices (what did you love as a child?), lifelong learning, and more.

Pros: we’re oh-so-wise and super effing resilient!

Does this post resonate? Would you like more on midlife? Such a juicy topic and SO much to share/learn. We’re aging and we’re beautiful! x