Often mid life brings about changes we never wanted. The children are leaving home, maybe our career is shifting or downsizing, or maybe our marriage seems as though it is falling apart. Sometimes, we find ourselves caring for an aging parent or feeling sandwiched in between taking care of their needs while still raising children who aren’t quite ready to live on their own. Meanwhile, we flip the calendar page one more time to experience yet another year of aging.
Whatever the stress you face, changes don’t have to be a bad thing. Mid-life changes don’t have to cause a mid-life crises to be part of your life. Here are the best ways to make the most of mid life changes even if they sneaked up on you unexpectedly.
For a woman, the onset of menopause and other physical stress just adds to the problem. These changes can lead to depression or anxiety. For some, the onset of aging may come side-by-side with a medical issue, such as Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, or perhaps even more severe life-threatening issues. Whatever you do, make sure you are taking care of yourself so you can be there for others to make the most of the rest of your life.
Embrace the fact that change is part of life, and make the most of it. Not every change is a bad change. Don’t allow expectations of getting older necessitate the need to experience stress. Many women admit to going through these changes that occur midway through life with very little upset. Some even enjoy the process of a new adventure.
Mid-life issues only become a crisis when you allow the stress to guide you into making choices you may never have considered before and are completely out of character. Maybe you’ve thought the answer is leaving your marriage, changing your career, or starting to take on new poor habits of smoking, drinking, or even shopping excessively. These are all signs that it’s time to stop and regain control of your life.
Don’t worry or obsess over the anxiety of all of these unknown changes, instead take control to accomplish things you always dreamed of doing without a sudden shift into reckless behavior. For instance, if you find that you just turned 50 and never visited that dream spot or never finished the song or book you started writing twenty years ago. Instead of slipping into despair and hopelessness that it will never happen, take steps to complete your goals.
If you need extra help, don’t be afraid to talk to a therapist. There is never shame in asking for help. Sometimes, just talking it out with someone who is able to listen to works wonders. When the person you talk to is also able to offer solid, truly helpful personalized advice as a therapist can, it’s even better.