Changes in life phase may also be a trigger for midlife crisis feelings. A woman who was an at-home mom, may find herself in a quandary of what to do next once her children are ready to leave home. A woman who has moved due to her husband's job transfer, may find herself in crisis once her world has been turned upside down. Symptoms of perimenopause may contribute to emotional highs and lows.
The search for greater life purpose is a common goal for most individuals, but the search can be even more urgent for women during the midlife years. Psychologist Erik Erikson coined the term identity crisis to describe a time when individuals feel the strong need to reorganize their sense of individuality. A person can have an identity crisis many times throughout life, and the midlife phase is one of those times.
In midlife, a woman may look back to evaluate where she's been and grade how happy she feels about her choices. Some women decide they aren't happy and decide drastic changes are in order. Some women set out to demolish all they've built in search of greater life meaning.
Demolishing what you've built, though, may be no cure for your crisis feelings. You may actually dig yourself into a deeper trap.
For Christian Women
Since I coach Christian women, I like to remind them of several things. First, God knows their beginning and their end, and has a plan for the in-between. Staying in relationship with God, gained through prayer, Bible reading, and mediation will help a woman sort walk through her confusion.
Finding God's answers can be a long process for some women. He sets most of us on a journey of discovery.
I urge women to be cautious of the temptation to make drastic changes. Leaving your husband, moving out, quitting your job without something else lined up may not be the best course of action. God should always be consulted and changes should be methodical.
In order to help women in their midlife journey, I suggest a few tips:
- Look to God to walk through your journey with you.
- Do an analysis of who you are in this stage of life.
- Let go of things that no longer work for you.
- Embrace things that grow areas of your life you are already involved in.
- Refuse to fall into despair.
- Keep moving forward a day at a time.
- Look for professional help and resources for your issues.