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Mid-life crisis is a term most commonly used to describe the actions of middle-aged men seeking to regain the pleasures of youth, often imagined.
Most women, however, do experience a massive shift in their being as they transition from the first half of their life to their second. This is something they have no choice in. They are told they have choices, however, in how they deal with and respond to this change.
That is great in theory, but the reality is for many women they feel powerless, controlled by not only their circumstances but also their hormones, which seem to conspire to work against them rather than for them.
This eBook gives some insight into what happens at this time of life, some of the reasons behind it, and a little gentle advice on how to deal with some of it.
In dealing with a very serious subject, it is approached sometimes lightheartedly, but not frivolously; it is too important for that.
The writer has been there, done that. It is written from the heart.
Ladies, this is something we all need to discuss. The Midlife Crisis. We need to embrace the idea, learn about the notions and not just the preconceived ideas we see splattered on the television.
We’ve all seen the Lifetime movies depicting a lady in her 40s or 50s going completely and clinically insane or running out and buying a $50,000 sports car on a whim. Ok, that last one is usually a man buying the sports car, but you get the idea. It’s ridiculous, far-fetched and almost never goes down like that in the real world.
Let’s begin with the actual term itself… The Midlife Crisis. There are differing opinions on what this really means. Most common, people assume they are having a midlife crisis if everything in their life is going wrong, typically being in crisis, and they can’t seem to get things under control.
In a nutshell it boils down to stress. Stress is the mind’s reaction to change, both good and bad.
Another is the belief that middle life is riddled with change and change creates a stress reaction. Similar to above, yes, except in this example these people are refusing to deal with the stressors and changes.
Why? They are the sandwich generation, the 40s and 50s group, who are afraid to age and afraid to die. Let that sink in for a minute. Could it be we are just afraid of aging? Of what’s next? Is this all there is to life?
Yes, stress comes with any sector in life. You’ve got the stressors of getting dating and getting married. There is stress related to education and graduation and what comes next. Of course there is stress in being a new mommy; heck, being a seasoned mommy.
Stress is found in marriages and the work force. It’s found in every single aspect of our lives. And yet, somehow when we were younger it seemed easier to deal with; even dealing with several stressors at one time might have been a cake walk.
One of the biggest causes of stress for any organism is change, from transplant shock for plants to re-homing for pets. It is worse for humans, because we don’t just experience it, we ponder it, anticipate it and re-live it, over and over.
Even pleasantly anticipated changes instigate a stress response. Our subconscious minds don’t differentiate between causes of excitement, only degrees of it, and negative stress usually carries a bigger emotional payload than happy stress.
The mid-life phase, for women of today, brings stress like no other. The nominal, approximate, half-way point in life. There may be choices, but going back is not one of them. Change is forced upon you.
No matter your definition or how you choose to explain what you’re going through, there are several key components that pretty much stick out like a sore thumb. If you’ve ever experienced the stages of grief, look back and compare.
There are several similarities. It would seem appropriate if you really thing about it. Perhaps you are grieving. You have officially survived the first half of your life and it took some work to get to where you are today.
It’s natural to grieve when you say good-bye, and you are saying goodbye to the old you. Well, not the old you, the you that you used to be. Actually, the younger you.
Let’s take a look at the possible symptoms:
Your body just isn’t working the way it used to anymore. When you cross paths with a mirror you’re not exactly in love with the reflection anymore. You probably see loose skin and wrinkles that seem to have snuck in overnight. Probably your joints require some sort of pharmaceutical intervention to get through the day without cracking like an old floorboard.
Getting ready for a party doesn’t even bring joy anymore as your hair won’t play nice and there seems to be more on the brush than on your scalp anyway. So you panic a bit. Everything is falling apart, or at the very least it’s falling down. Sound familiar?
This couldn’t be you! You’re strong, you work out and eat right and take care of yourself! How could your body betray you like this?
Maybe you fear your mind isn’t as quick as it used to be and your memory seems to be fading. You can’t even remember the three things on your forgotten grocery list let alone why you ended up at the pharmacy instead of the grocery store.
This couldn’t be you! You were top of your class and even homeschooled your kids! How could your mind betray you like this?
Being unhappy sucks. It sucks even more not knowing why you’re angry. So you lash out at the ones who mean the most. If your mate and children scatter when you walk in the room, you’ve entered this stage.
The people in your life will fall into self-preservation mode and avoid you at all costs if they see a certain look in your eye or think the temperature in the house is off by a half degree. If they know you have a single reason to gripe, they will busy themselves with other tasks, even chores, just to steer clear of your outburst.
You will probably find yourself getting all bent out of shape, all the time, for any reason whatsoever. Someone used all the butter and you can’t have toast. The toilet paper roll was put on backwards. The ice machine in your freezer won’t make ice fast enough. No matter the reason you are going to flip and flip hard.
Life’s Big Changes
This could be interwoven with a bit of Empty Nest Syndrome, depending on your given situation. This sometimes turns to anger toward your spouse, who is probably the nearest human being who can take the hit, instead of dealing with the sadness of the kiddos moving forward with their lives.
It’s a difficult part of life to process for a mom, the babies leaving the nest. If they are gone how will they realize they still need you? When you get that first phone call asking for a recipe, your recipe, it will become clear. They will always need you, just maybe in a different form.
Counting backward from 10 might work in the beginning but pretty soon you’ll skip straight to 1 and start spitting fire. Be careful. Later when you replay these conversations, or yelling matches, you might be filled with regret. After all, you aren’t really angry at these poor people just trying to survive. Aren’t you really just angry with the hurried hands of time?
And could it be that your anger isn’t really anger at all… perhaps it’s actually fear.
This phase could be detrimental to your health. To your life. Sometimes women feel they’ve somehow missed out on something. We’ve given our lives to the service of others from marriage, child-rearing, even in the work force, and in this stage we are looking for retribution.
Where is the grand paycheck? Be careful ladies! For some of us this includes creating an exciting life, bringing something to the table that’s going to give an adrenaline rush and make us feel young again. Nothing makes a lady feel young again like that of a man’s attention.
Be mindful. Don’t stay in a toxic relationship, but don’t risk damaging or destroying a perfectly good relationship for the wrong reasons. Sometimes we might lean toward drinking or drugs. Again, be cautious. The vice you choose here could make or break your happiness in the steps to come.
Seriously, you don’t want the next steps to be a 12-step recovery program. The overall feeling here is the endless search for what we feel is lost. It’s not lost actually, we have just lived that part of our lives already and now it’s time for the next step. Some of us aren’t quite ready to move forward. Change can be hard.
There’s no getting around it. It’s ugly. It’s cruel. And it’s going to get you by the feelers and make you cry like a big baby. It’ll make you feel like a failure and point and laugh at your dwindling self-esteem. This unavoidable step will rob you of sleep, attempt to destroy any type of sensible eating habits you once had and try to keep you far, far away from anything gym-related.
Maybe you’re the type to play games on your phone or tablet for hours on end. Or maybe you’ll cringe at the thought of intimacy with your mate. It is likely you’ll have a feeling of a passionless existence. No zest for life. You’ll probably feel a great emptiness and you can’t fill the void.
Sometimes you just don’t even have the energy or desire to take care of yourself. Musty armpits and fuzzy teeth are no exception. Grooming is overrated during this stage. Depression can be scary, and gross, especially if you are in a midlife crisis.
After the veil of depression starts to lift, things look a little brighter. You start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. No matter what the future holds, you’re able to make decisions again. Things in your life that are causing you stress, the things that are changing, you are able to identify them finally and really determine what it’s going to take to feel better.
Your marriage: Keep him or divorce him. Your career: Dump it and start over or keep at the grind. Your location/home: Make that move or stay.
This one really deals with a lot of deeper issues as well. You basically force yourself to look within, see clearer and figure out the whole picture. You ask yourself deep, probing questions. You may think you’re old and life is over, but this is just the 50 yard line, the midway point, the second act.
This isn’t the grand finale and we don’t have to start writing the eulogy just yet. Think of this stage as pretty much a revelation. From here you choose your next 50 years. It’s a starting point, not an end. Once you reach this point you are ready to mentally process the final step.
You have officially and metaphorically been cleansed of all your transgressions. You are now free! In your mind anyway. The people nearest and dearest to you during your midlife crisis might not agree. And that’s why you may encounter a “you owe me” type of response to some of the questions regarding anything you may or may not have done during your previous stages of your midlife crisis.
You aren’t ashamed of what you’ve gone through, and you shouldn’t be. But you’ll be damned if you let someone else shame you either! You worked hard to get to the end of this maze of emotions and turmoil. You’ve moved mountains and screamed to the heavens and cried your eyes out and pointed crooked little fingers at everyone you felt trapped you in this hell hole of a life.
You’ve finally found some form of peace and no one will take it from you! All the sudden, as quickly as it all started, you’ll allow yourself to settle down and stop rebelling against nature. The tornado starts to slow and you’ll find things normalizing. Everyday tasks are once again enjoyable.
Yeah, maybe the future snuck up on you. But what that really means is you were so busy living life before your midlife crisis you hadn’t really noticed everything changing with time. It means you had joy and love and laughter. You had family and friends and found enjoyment in the big and little things; so much so you didn’t have time to stop and be afraid of the upcoming years.
The good news is not all of these stages hit every single woman. Every woman is different and will handle situations her own way. If you take nothing else from this entire piece, know this much: You Are Not Crazy!
This is a normal phase of life. You aren’t the first female on the planet to experience a midlife crisis and it’s a pretty sure bet you won’t be the last. Learn from it. Get to know yourself. Grow from it.
You might also consider buying chocolates and flowers for the people you alienated and threatened to harm. And then make this next 50 years the best ever!
With all this information, many people are searching for more answers to helping them live healthier and with less stress. After reading this report, if you are indeed looking for more info, we have a special opportunity for you.
We have created a health and wellness consultation to help people dealing with stress and health issues. You have the opportunity to answer a few simple questions, and get the opportunity to speak with a physician about your particular health issues.
You can access the survey by clicking HERE!