“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it” – Sydney J. Harris
Emotional Wellness can seem an elusive goal for a woman in mid-life. At this time, she may be going through hormonal fluctuations that are affecting her mood. She may also have a number of responsibilities weighing heavily on her mind, such as taking care of ageing parents, University Fees, or trying hard to climb the career ladder.
It is a common fact that during the peri-menopause or menopausal years, hormones may cause feelings of irritability, and intolerance. In addition, there may also be physical symptoms present such as sleeplessness, fatigue, hot flushes, and night sweats.
With all of this going on, is it any wonder that a woman does not feel at her peak emotional best? And most of all how can she feel more in control of her feelings and her emotions? Is this possible? The answer is yes, with the correct information and specific lifestyle tweaks.
There is no point in tackling rollercoaster emotions with advice such as:
- Pull yourself together
- It happens to every woman
- You will feel better in a year or so!
- We women have to suffer
- Get on with it
- Get busy
- Stop feeling sorry for yourself
Believe me, I have heard all of the above from my clients and more of the same. This type of advice does not work and is very disempowering and unhelpful for a woman to hear. This advice is also not true.
I am sure you have had the feeling when you feel “off” and you don’t know why. You just don’t seem to be able to identify where the feeling came from. You just know that it feels uncomfortable and you are not at peace with yourself or the world.
There are many ways and approaches to how you can deal with these feelings. The first is to acknowledge that all does not feel well in your emotional state. Reflect on your life at this time, what is happening within and around you, and how it is affecting you.
The first thing you may wish to address immediately is your diet and lifestyle. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my alcohol intake? Am I drinking more to numb my emotions?
- Am I smoking more?
- Is junk food featuring in my daily diet?
- Do I spend any time doing what I love and enjoy for myself?
- Am I giving all my time and energy to other people?
- Do I have workaholic tendencies?
- Am I feeling overwhelmed?
- Do I feel stuck in a rut?
- When was the last time I learned something new?
- Have I lost my passion for life?
The answers to the above will highlight certain areas of your life that you may wish to address.
Mid-life is another phase in the journey of your life and is full of possibilities and opportunities if you are willing to open your eyes and see them. It is a time of new beginnings.
Yes, you may say that it is a time when you feel you are losing your looks, and you are experiencing the aging process, but it is also the time where you have more wisdom and life experience and a much more blasé attitude to life. Some women say it is a time when they stop caring so much about what others think of them and realise it is more important what they think of themselves. Very empowering indeed.
You cannot control the events that happen in your life, you can only control how you respond to them.
The above is a true statement. The only person in charge of how you feel is you. Every day, on waking, you have a choice to feel happy and positive or sad and negative. Sometimes it is not easy to stay upbeat, but it is worth it as life responds to that energy in a more positive way. You attract what you are focusing on, so choosing to stay as happy as you can be in the situation you are in allows more happiness to flow towards you.
You are what you choose to think
If the above seems impossible then why not start to practice being grateful? Being grateful for:
- Your health
- Water and food to eat
- Healthy children
- Loving and healthy partner
Being and staying grateful helps to keep life in perspective. Yes, you may have known sadness, loss, disappointment, betrayal. You will also have known happiness, joy, laughter, and excitement. In which of these does your mind have a tendency to dwell?
The following also damages your emotional wellness:
- Self criticism
- Negative self-talk
- Gossiping about others
- Seething and stewing on events out of your control
- Holding onto unforgiveness
Science has shown that our thoughts affect our health. Negative thinking causes too much cortisol and adrenalin in our body and this compromises overall health. Positive thinking gives us oxytocin and serotonin and this makes us feel good.
Emotional wellness needs an approach that is inclusive of:
- A healthy diet
- Regular exercise
- Effective management of stress
- Good work life balance
- Time for self
- Positive self-development techniques
- Adequate rest and relaxation
- Support by experts when needed
Keeping and maintaining a sense of humour is also helpful. Laughter is good medicine. A good healthy dose every day allows you to remember the feelings of happiness that are rightfully yours and lightens the load a little. Laughter boosts the immune system, helps to lower the blood pressure and reduces stress.
Have a wonderful day.
Founder of Flourish Beyond 40
If you have enjoyed this Emotional Wellness Blog and would like to learn more. Why not download the Emotional Wellness Module in the Flourish Beyond 40 Shop? Packed with wonderful tools, exercises and information to help you navigate the ups and downs of life’s emotional rollercoaster.