Challenges in Midlife: Do You Find Yourself Asking these Questions?
Wait, what happened to my body? I don’t recognize myself. Why am I so hot? Why do I have wrinkles suddenly? Why is my stomach bigger?
Wait, what happened to myself? Why am I so moody? Why I am so weepy?
Why am I thinking about when I was in high school and college? Why do I have these regrets?
Am I depressed?
I feel old. Am I getting old? How do I handle all this stress: my career, my marriage, my kids, my finances, my parent’s health, and retirement?
These are some of the questions I hear as women describe perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause. Let’s roughly agree that midlife for women is from 50 to 70 years old. Let’s consider some of the challenges of this period in our lives. As women, we are constantly getting societal messages to look and act young, youthful, thin, to be healthy and fit. We feel pressure to be successful in our careers, as mothers, as partners in romantic relationships, to be daughters to our mothers.
Challenges for Women in Midlife: Redefining the Experience
Can we be perfect and if not, are we failing? Why are we ashamed of our bodies and the changes that are happening to us?
Let’s redefine Midlife. Let’s embrace it! After all, it’s a necessary phase of development, as important as puberty and it’s guaranteed to happen to all of us. I am not trying to look at it through rose-colored glasses, that would be naive and too simplistic! I am not trying to put a positive spin on mind and body experiences that are very complex and often very difficult to understand and accept.
Women deserve to be respected and admired. We are resilient. Menopause is no different! We need to embrace our changing and yes, aging bodies along with our more compassionate sense of self, a more positive and accepting self. There is no shame in our bodies, it is our minds that tell us something different. What if we need to think in terms of healthy habits? What would this look like? Nutrition for the body and mind. Exercise for general wellbeing and for the mind and soul.
Acknowledge the Journey & Consider Options
What if we begin to consider our goals for midlife and how to achieve them. What if we acknowledge where we are and where we’ve come from. To frame our next chapter, we need to recognize our history and how it informs our present lives. These questions have led me to offer groups to midlife women. Connection to others is one of the most powerful tools we can offer each other in searching for answers.
Feel free to contact me if you’re interested in exploring a virtual group or discussing individual treatment.
Wishing you all the best in 2024,