Midlife Crisis in Women: Recognizing the Signs and How to Deal With It
With life’s unpredictable twists and turns, there comes a time when we might find ourselves at a crossroads, thinking about the meaning of it all. This juncture is what we commonly, and lovingly term, a midlife crisis. While we often associate midlife crises with men, women, too — more often than we think — find themselves on this transformative journey, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that we understand what this phase looks like for women.
A midlife crisis is a period of self-reflection that typically occurs in the middle years of your adulthood, say 30s to 40s. It’s a time when you find yourself with questions about your life’s purpose, life’s achievements, and overall life satisfaction. This midlife phase can be a catalyst for change for many, prompting one to rework their goals, relationships, and more.
But, does midlife crisis in women look the same as it does in men? Do women go through a midlife crisis? Let’s find the answers to these questions in this article, shall we?
Do Women Get Midlife Crisis?
Absolutely! Women are not immune to the winds of change that accompany midlife. Just like their male counterparts, women may experience a sense of restlessness and a desire for something more, pushing them to go on a self-discovery journey. In a woman, a midlife crisis can occur at any time in their life, however, their 40s mark the beginning of this period.
A woman’s midlife crisis is often an apex of many co-occurring stressors such as health, caregiving roles, and responsibilities, loss through death, divorce, or separation, and more.
Signs of Midlife Crisis in Women
If you’re curious as to what a midlife crisis in women looks like, then here are some common signs to watch out for.
- Women, in a midlife crisis, may feel a sense of restlessness or dissatisfaction with various aspects of their lives, such as relationships, career, or more.
- Desire for change. A sudden and intense desire for change may manifest, whether it’s a career shift, a new hobby, or a change in personal style.
- A reflective Mood. Women in midlife crisis typically find themselves reflecting on the past and questioning the choices they’ve made.
- The midlife period in women is a time when they experience menopause and depression. This time can make them feel empty and confused.
- Sleep troubles. Women might even go through perimenopause or menopause, and that can be a sign that a woman is nearing her midlife. These conditions can cause sudden hot flashes and restlessness, causing sleep troubles.
- Sense of boredom. It’s not always depression, but a sense of boredom that women may begin to associate their midlife with. This lack of motivation can be a sign of a midlife crisis in women.
- Feeling overwhelmed. Stress becomes a woman’s constant partner during her midlife. This stress she experiences can contribute to feelings of anxiety and overwhelming feelings in midlife.
- Changes in menstrual cycle. Another common sign of midlife crisis in women is perimenopause which can occur in her mid-thirties. These sudden hormonal shifts can be a sign that a woman is nearing her midlife period.
What Causes Midlife Crisis in Women?
Now that you know how to look out for midlife crises in women, here are some common factors that can kick-start a woman’s midlife crisis;
1. Major life transitions: Significant life events such as children leaving home, changes in marital status, or career shifts can trigger a midlife crisis in women. These transitions prompt women to reevaluate their identity and priorities.
2. Biological changes: Hormonal shifts, particularly during perimenopause and menopause, can contribute to emotional fluctuations, potentially intensifying feelings of discontent and prompting a search for greater purpose.
3. Other changes: Women, more than men, struggle with emotional changes. Other factors that can trigger a midlife crisis in women include feeling lonely, identity crisis, loss of fertility, regrets about past decisions, death of loved ones, caregiving responsibilities, apathy, and more.
How to Deal with a Midlife Crisis as a Woman?
With the right help and tools, you can learn to deal with midlife crises as a woman. Here are some tips to help you out;
Take time for introspection and self-reflection. Think about your values, passions, and goals. What brings you joy and fulfillment? Use this time as an opportunity for self-discovery.
2. Seek Support.
Talk to your friends, family members, or even a therapist about your concerns. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with people you trust can offer valuable perspectives and emotional support you need during this time.
3. Allow Room for Change.
Instead of resisting the change, embrace it. Be open to trying new things and experiences, whether it’s a new hobby, a career change, or a fresh approach to relationships — don’t be afraid to make room for new transitions.
4. Practice Self-Care.
More than anything else, prioritize your self-care. Listen to your body and take care of yourself by eating healthy foods, engaging in activities that bring you joy, and ensuring that you are getting enough rest amid your many responsibilities.
5. Find a Community.
You can also take this time to connect with other women going through similar experiences. This sense of community you’ll find will give you a huge sense of relief from your midlife experiences. Join a community or create your own where you can talk about being a woman with a midlife crisis.
6. Read Books.
It might not look like it, but you can find most answers in books. Pick books that are based on real-life experiences of women in midlife crisis. Reading such books will give you a perspective on life and help you learn more about your feelings and how you can cope with them.
A midlife crisis is a natural phase of life that can lead you to a transformative journey. In women, the midlife crisis looks way different from it does in men, and understanding this contrast can make a huge difference in a woman’s life and how she chooses to deal with midlife crisis.
Instead of taking a midlife crisis as a time to worry and dwell on the past, take it as a time to reassess, realign, and rediscover what truly matters to you.
With self-compassion, support, and finding a sense of community, women can emerge stronger and more resilient through this time of crisis. So, don’t be afraid to be strong and be you!
I hope this article helped you understand what midlife crisis is in women and how to deal with it. Let me know your thoughts on the midlife crisis and what it looks like in women in the comments below.
Keep fighting and take care of yourself!