Midlife Crisis in Women: How to Crush a Midlife Crisis in 7 Practical Steps
If you’re reading these words, you might be a woman between 40-55+.
Maybe you’ve googled words like- midlife crisis, what is a midlife crisis, a midlife crisis in women, how to deal with a midlife crisis, or a midlife crises.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read disclosure here
A Sh*t Storm or Two.
No matter how you’ve found yourself here and now, I am so glad you are here!
Let me start by saying I am not a doctor and don’t pretend to be one on the interwebs. 🙂
With more than half a century of experience under my belt, I’ve learned a thing or two about a thing or two.
My journey hasn’t been without challenges and obstacles which is a nice way of saying I’ve been through a sh*t storm or two in my life and have by the grace of God made it through.
Tough Love and Truth Bombs
There’s a really good chance that I may sprinkle a bit of tough love throughout this article,
And the odds are pretty darn high that I may drop a truth bomb or two. #truthbomb
I love me a good truth bomb. Don’t you?!
Are you in?
Buckle up and let’s roll!
Midlife Crisis in Women + How to Crush a Midlife Crisis! (In 7-Practical Steps)
What is a Midlife Crisis?
Many times when we think of a midlife crisis, we imagine a middle-aged man buying a red sports car but a midlife crisis is a lot more than buying a flashy car.
According to this article, the definition of a midlife crisis is a stage of life or a period of transition in life where someone struggles with their identity and self-confidence.
What Causes a Midlife Crisis?
A variety of different factors can cause midlife crises in both men and women.
Common triggers include major life changes such as divorce, the death of a parent, empty nest syndrome, regretful life choices, and the loss or diminishing self-worth that can arise from mid-career plateaus.
Causes of Midlife Crisis in Middle-aged Adults
- The aging process: Undesirable physical changes
- Divorce: Divorce rates climb after 50!
- An empty nest: Kids are gone, now what?
- Financial issues: Worries about retirement.
- Health Problems: Changes in Physical abilities
- Hormonal changes (this is a biggy!)
- The death of a family member or friend.
Midlife Crises Can Become Very Serious
Midlife transitions (a midlife crisis) can be a dark time. It can lead to destructive behavior, lousy decision-making, spiraling out of control, and severe depression.
There are many instances where people feel so unhappy and out-of-sorts that they make impulsive decisions and even “blow up their lives” based on their emotions during a midlife crisis.
If you find yourself struggling and perhaps even depressed-seek professional help.
Find a therapist, a pastor, a life coach, or a close friend to talk to.
Don’t try to white-knuckle your way through it alone.
Signs and Symptoms of a Midlife Crisis in Women
Symptoms of a midlife crisis vary as the midlife experience is different for everyone.
Symptoms of a female midlife crisis can be brought on by biological changes, physiological changes, and lifestyle changes.
Signs of a midlife crisis in a woman:
- Inner turmoil: The feeling of restlessness or boredom.
- Panic attacks + Heart Palpitations
- Mood swings + Increased irritability
- Sleeplessness or over-sleeping
- Increased use of drugs or alcohol
- Loss of sex drive (erectile dysfunction in men)
- Obsessive concern about physical appearance
- Lack of concern about physical appearance
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Symptoms of Depression + Anxiety
- Low energy levels
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Lack of focus (brain fog) and Memory Loss
- Loss of interest in things once loved
- Obsessive regrets of the past
- Impulsivity + lousy decision making
Does Midlife Have to Be a Crisis?
While middle age can be a really stressful time in a person’s life, but does it have to be a crisis?
I’ll go ahead and throw this out there and see where it lands.
Maybe we can make a choice. We can view this time in our lives as an opportunity for personal growth and not as a crisis.
Could it be that midlife doesn’t have to be the beginning of the end? But instead, a new beginning!?
It can be a time to start dreaming about what you want for your life—a time of personal enlightenment and freedom.
Growing older can be a good thing!
Midlife Crisis In Women: Your Ultimate Guide To Crushing a Midlife Crisis
If you’re a middle-aged woman experiencing signs of a midlife crisis then this guide is for you. I urge you to look at this turning point in your life as the best opportunity to do just that. Pivot, turn around, change. Make moves.
The best way to start is by taking small steps, making small tweaks, and working up to making more drastic changes if necessary.
I’m starting this guide off with what I believe will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
Hormones. Oh yeah.
1. Get Your Hormones In Balance.
Middle-aged women typically experience midlife crisis symptoms when they start to experience hormonal imbalances caused by perimenopause and menopause.
Perimenopause is the transitional period before menopause.
During perimenopause, levels of estrogen start to decrease. As Estrogen decreases, it throws off progesterone levels as well.
You may begin having menopause-like symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, and a significant change in periods.
Perimenopause begins about eight to 10 years before menopause. It usually starts in your mid-40s, but it can start earlier. (source)
Menopause is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility in women. It marks the natural limit of a woman’s reproductive years and typically occurs between 45-55 years old.
During menopause, hormone levels decline significantly which can lead to physical changes such as hot flashes, night sweats, and weight gain.
Additionally, there can be psychological changes such as anxiety, depression, and mood swings.
Symptoms of perimenopause and menopause!
- vaginal dryness
- Hot flashes
- weight gain
- depression and anxiety
- low sex-drive
- loss of fertility
When I hit what felt like a midlife crisis at 53 years old, I dug into the symptoms I was experiencing (hot flashes, insomnia, weight gain, migraines, low libido) and decided to get my hormones checked.
Related article: BHRT: Bioidentical hormones (my story)
It turns out my hormones and my thyroid were all out of whack, and my adrenal function, along with my cortisol levels, were in the tank.
No wonder I was miserable.
I got some hormones (BRHT pelleting) and thyroid meds and added some essential vitamins and supplements that I was missing.
Within two months, I felt like a completely different human being!
You may be dealing with similar issues if you are a midlife woman over 40.
Never underestimate the power of hormones. Let me say that again for those of you in the back. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF HORMONES.
2. Make self-care a priority.
Self-Care is a buzzword these days.
But, by definition, Self-care is the practice of actively protecting one’s well-being, health, and happiness! LOVE IT!
Midlife is the perfect time to start taking better care of yourself.
Put on Your Oxygen Mask!
It’s the whole oxygen mask on an airplane thing. You’ve got to help yourself first before you can be of any help to anyone else.
Practical Ways to Practice Self-Care
- Learn to meditate. Practice Mindfulness.
- Take long walks, enjoy sunsets, etc.
- Do what you love as much as possible.
- Take mornings slow. Enjoy the time set aside for you.
- Start a gratitude journal. Gratitude is everything.
- Update your skincare routine. It needs to happen.
- Work on Sleep Hygiene. Good Sleep makes all the difference!
- Move your body. Find a way to exercise that you enjoy
- Eat well. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Take Vitamins and Supplements for your age range.
- Spend quality time with friends and family members.
- Take breaks from social media.
Related article: The self-care alphabet: Self-care 26 ways
3. Make some changes (big and small)
As I mentioned earlier, midlife is an opportunity to make some tweaks and changes!
It could be as simple as rearranging your living room and organizing your closets and drawers (and that garage!)
But, simplify, simplify, simplify.
If it doesn’t bring you joy or serve a purpose, it’s GONE!
Maybe it’s time for a plot twist!
Could it be high time to cut ties with that toxic friend? Or downsize to a smaller home?
Or perhaps you need to make a complete career change?
It’s been two years since we downsized from a two-story to a one-story home.
Moving is a pain, but it’s been so worth it!
No more clutter weighing us down, less time dusting, and no more stairs!!!
Related article: How to Reinvent Yourself at 50!
4. Let Yourself Dream
Dream up some dreams for your life.
Do you want to travel the world? Learn how to paint?
Maybe you want to learn how to play a musical instrument or chess? Always wanted to learn how to garden or perhaps to play tennis?
You get the idea.
Have you let yourself dream? If not, it’s high time that you do.
Make a Vision Board
Creating a vision board is a creative and fun way to put those dreams and goals front and center.
Set aside a few hours and get ready to get crafty! Pull together a poster board, old magazines, scissors, markers, stickers, and a glue stick.
Cut out pictures of things you love, would love to have, do places you want to go, etc.
Maybe it’s that white Tesla, that beautiful flower garden, and that sassy haircut- Then, add one piece at a time, creating a collage.
Voilà! A one-of-a-kind vision board!
Put it somewhere that you will see it daily. Spend time focusing on your vision board, and keep dreaming!
Related article: How to Make a Vision Board for the New Year!
Create a Dream Journal + a Goal Planner
Journaling about how you feel and what you want in life is powerful!
Grab a journal just for your dreams. Use your morning quiet time and allow your dreams, wishes, and desires to pour out on the page.
Once you’ve sorted your dreams, you can develop an action plan!
5. Set goals. Take action.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
It’s helpful to break down a dream or a goal into bite-sized pieces or action steps.
–Start a bullet list of goals + action steps (Example: Goal: Set up a studio: Action Steps: Gather art supplies, buy work table and chair, find an online art class, etc.)
–Block out time for your goals on your calendar and guard the time with your life.
-Tackle action steps one step at a time, + as you cross them off your list, you will become motivated to cross off the next and the next, building momentum.
-Get closer and closer to your dream every day!
Give life everything you’ve got!
Related: Healthy Habits: Things to do the first thing in the morning
6. Do Your Best & Don’t Half-ass It!
One of my favorite life values is the idea of always doing our best. No matter what. Some days our best is outstanding and goes well beyond the status quo, and other days we fall on our faces.
The idea of success or failure is not the point.
The point is to give it everything you’ve got.
You didn’t come this far only to come this far!
Matthew McConaughey says it better than I ever could. This quick video is worth the watch. I
t’s so convicting and motivating and makes perfect sense. And I love me some Matthew McConaughey, don’t you?
7. Get Your Affairs in Order
Now is the time to get all the things that you’ve been putting off done! It will feel so damn good and will give you a sense of accomplishment.
Here are a few ideaas to help get you started:
Contact A Lawyer
It’s high time to have a livng trust drawn up.
Of course, nobody wants to think about this stuff. But, it has to happen. It will make things easier for your loved ones who are already grieving.
I know some people go as far as to plan their funerals. If you are into this, great-but, I’m not there yet.
A Your Passport
If you don’t already have one, get one! Or renew the one you’ve got! (you may need it for that trip you’ve always wanted to take!) Of course, you will also need to get one of those fancy driver’s licenses!
Talk to a Financial adviser
Whatever your financial situation, you need to know where you stand and your options. (knowledge=power)
Make health appointments.
Make those medical and dental appointments that you’ve been putting off. You know the ones.
- Dental appointment (every six months)
- See the dermatologist (if it grows, it goes!)
- Have an annual mammogram and check your breasts monthly
- Get a yearly physical and have your labs checked
- Have your eyes checked and update your glasses prescription
- Don’t forget your pelvic exam + Pap smear (I know)
Getting our affairs in order puts us in a place of power and gives us a sense of security and safety.
Having a sense of order and secureity brings a feeling of safety. And feeling safe can do alot for those fears that keep you up in the middle of the night.
Conclusion: Midlife Crisis in Women: Ultimate Guide to Crushing a Midlife Crisis
The bottom line is life is hard. Midlife is hard. But as Glennon Doyle says, We can do hard things!
Just remember to be kind to yourself. Take one day at a time. Put one foot in front of the other. Do the next right thing and then the next, and so on.
Everything will be ok, and if it’s not OK-then, it’s not the end. Keep going. Don’t quit. Believe in yourself and your dreams.
You’ve got this!
This was so helpful to read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 💙
Excellent post, very poignant and some great points made. Thank you for sharing this.
Pastor Natalie 😊
Wow girlfriend that is good! You can write!!
I’ve been stuck in a rut for quite some time. Depressed. Anxiety. Working on making a change!
I just love this article! So much I can take from it! I saw this first thing this morning and it has motivated me. You are awesome! Thank you!
Lots of good helpful points! Thank you for this post
I don’t think I’ve gone through this, but I’m sure it’s coming. Thanks for the great tips!
Lots of great ideas here! Thank you for sharing.
Great post, Christine! Some of these things can just sneak up on you and you don’t even realize what is happening. Midlife can be a wonderful time in a woman’s life!
Such great info and tips here, Christine. Been there. done that and think I’m past it. Terrific read!
One thing that is very important you’ve mentioned is to get your hormones checked! That is very essential to life balance.
it’s a game changer indeed!
I do think you hit on a great point Christine. I always love the quote, “You can’t pour from an empty cup” and I think that’s where our self care really sets in.
Christine, I think the is great advice to prevent a midlife crisis! Many of us spend our thirties and forties taking care of children and parents, and I think it all adds up. Great post! xo Nipa
This is probably the best post I’ve ever read! Thank you for sharing this. It’s so hard at this time-kids gone, life so very different, but it can still be great once I get out of my head! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
WOW! Thanks so much! I really appreciate that! I love your blog as well and visit often! XO
Really enjoyed reading! I love “don’t half ass it!”. Making plans and seeing things I want to do for the future is something I do. I also know what you mean about hormones. Mine is a different situation, as I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and hypermobility, so I have been on continuous BC pills for years. Once I am off, my doc suggests 55, then I may need hormone replacement. I have been wanting to get them checked for awhile.
I think everyone had the idea for doc appts etc now but it is important to keep up with your health and stay on top of those appts. Making plans are so important for feeling secure, like you said.
Enjoy your week!
LOL. DON’T HALF ASS IT is my favorite! I’m glad you enjoyed this article and thanks so much for stopping by. I’m going to hop over to your blog now!
I started to have a midlife crisis when going through menopause and the doctors here were not much help, unfortunately. No hormone replacement here in Spain. Luckily it only lasted for 6 months and then I was back to normal again. It did make me more aware of taking care of myself. This was a good read and chock full of information.
Thank you for this post. I’m already 30+ and the approaching midlife crisis is terrifying me.
Taking things into m own hands has really helped me to move from a part time side gig, to creating what will help me through retirement. I have a good plan in place. Great topic
Love this! I went through a similar phase, but I also had over 100 pounds to lose. I found that adding water, eating what I call the “Complete 3”, and adding movement balanced everything out naturally. That started at 42. Now at 51 1/2 I have maintained over 120 pound weight loss for about 8 years, and I feel better than I did in my 30’s.
I love this article, so well sought out and put together. The health tips are a great bonus!
You and I are definitely singing from the same choir book on so many points here!
What a fab post – there are so many great take aways and I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog!
Thanks so much! I am a big fan of your blog as well. XO!