In our second act, at aged 50+ we often find ourselves navigating a unique set of challenges and transitions in our lives. Juggling various responsibilities while experiencing physical fluctuations and changes in personal circumstances can impact our mental health.
An exciting revelation is that the other side of menopause, you emerge standing in power and magnificence and it’s a great place to thrive.
In this blog, we’ll explore three significant aspects that could affect the mid-life you and we’ll delve into some of the most proactive ways to address them.
What are some of the most common events that can push us off track?
As we reach midlife, we frequently face competing responsibilities and demands, both at home and at work, if we’re lucky enough to have parents, we might be part of the sandwich generation and many of us have teenagers and they need you in a different way. My son’s currently taking his GCSEs, it’s stressful to watch from the side-lines and I need to be here and support and feed him.
Menopause is a natural phase that every woman goes through as we transition out of our reproductive years. It’s a time of hormonal fluctuations that can have an impact on mood, energy levels and overall mental health and symptoms like hot flushes, anxiety, insomnia and mood swings may arise.
Are you experiencing brain fog? A nice glass of wine doesn’t go down so well and you’re becoming more anxious? It’s hard to self-diagnose, I know an Occupational Therapist who didn’t recognise she was in perimenopause, I did!
It’s crucial to see your doctor in the first instance and explore various coping mechanisms which might include hrt. It’s also time for a complete reset, powering through isn’t an option anymore and self-care becomes compulsory rather than optional.
Exercise, healthy eating and practicing stress reduction techniques become essential. Slowing down is the new speeding up and you need to be kind to yourself and learn to work with your body. Do what makes you happy, I have always mountain biked, walked, done yoga and Zumba and now it’s an essential part of my week, without any of this activity and I struggle.
Children Leaving Home and Rediscovering Your Identity
As children grow up and leave home, we often experience a mixture of emotions, including joy, sadness, and even loss, it’s a huge transition. It can be a time of new beginnings, self-discovery and personal growth. My children haven’t left home yet but they’re teenagers and they’re doing their own thing. Engaging in activities that bring you joy, pursuing further education, or embarking on a new career can help you redefine your identity and find purpose beyond motherhood.
So now you’re aware of some of the key triggers of adverse mental health, let’s look at what can be done to mitigate the impact these events might have…
Now can be a great time to reassess your values, desires, and life goals. Finding a sense of purpose can contribute significantly to happiness, and it may involve volunteering, pursuing a new career, or engaging in creative endeavours. Discovering what brings personal fulfilment and aligning your life choices with your purpose can greatly enhance your wellbeing.
A Job That You Love
Having a job that aligns with personal values and brings a sense of satisfaction is crucial for mental wellbeing. Now is the time to evaluate your professional life and consider making changes if necessary. This might involve seeking new career opportunities, developing new skills, or transitioning into a different field altogether. Being happy and fulfilled at work is vital for positive self-esteem, increased motivation, and overall mental health. Career priorities shift with age and life stage, so in our 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond, we might want to leave a legacy or do more meaningful work or we might want to upsize our career and get back on the career carousel.
Creating a Work Life Mix
Whilst finding a role that fulfils you is important, it’s also essential that that work situation accommodates your lifestyle needs. Flexible working options, such as remote work or flexible hours, can provide a better work-life balance. Additionally, exploring job-sharing arrangements allows women to share responsibilities and commitments, reducing stress and promoting mental wellbeing.
Having a 2 way conversation with your boss or HR partner and exploring available options is crucial to crafting a work situation that meets the new you.
If you would like some help discovering the next steps in your career, do not hesitate to drop me a message. As an experienced Career Navigator, I specialise in helping midlife midcareer women live and work happily ever after.
This article was written by Sarah Taylor Phillips, one of our partner coaches, who helps mid-life women find a new role, get promoted, work more flexibly, get a pay rise, secure an assignment, reduce burnout, keep well and love life. You can get in touch via her profile page.
May 31, 2023