The Great Restart: How Midlife Crises in Women Manifest

midlife crises in women can manifest differently

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A lot is happening in the world, influencing how people live. Midlife crises in women now come with more factors to consider, including some.

The term “Midlife crisis” has been coined to describe the emptiness or confusion people recognize when they hit the halfway point. This occurs to people in their 40s and 50s who transition to a more “heightened life experience,” for lack of a better word.

People begin to have this level of introspection where they look back at how they’ve lived their lives, assessing whether they’ve done their best. This, and grappling with hormonal, psychological, and physiological changes, would likely cause them to shift their perspectives and routines. However, a midlife crisis is more than a simple change in how people go about their day. Instead, it’s characterized by consequential shifts caused by existential questions about their purpose and identity.

How Does This Pan Out?

Midlife crisis happens to people differently. As it’s highly dependent on the life they’ve so far lived and the thoughts they’ve harbored over time, it’s a case-to-case basis. But overall, this time is characterized by a pressing anxiety and discomfort. Author Brion K. Hanks has perfectly captured what this state entails in his book Tales of a Traveler in Poetry and Prose.

Knowing what can last
Provides a chance to be bold.
For it’s time to leave the fold.
– This Is My Life, Brion K. Hanks

In one of his excerpts, Brion K. Hanks writes about life’s ever-changing nature and people’s persistence in it. He details how life goes through different phases, black and white, and people go through them, riding the waves and allowing these to take them wherever. It is natural for people to be able to adapt to these changes and change their lives to accommodate them.

However, regardless of how enduring people can be, there would still be a point where something too consequential would happen. Without warning, there would be a point in one’s life when suddenly everything would look bleak, even to the eyes of the most optimistic.

This is what midlife crisis signifies – a period in one’s life when they’d feel trapped inside their body, relentlessly marching forward. Everyone experiences it as it’s a human phenomenon. However, with equality still in the picture, women experience a lot more psychologically and physiologically than men. They undergo many changes as they go through different phases in life.

So, how do midlife crises in women take a different route than men?

What a Midlife Crisis in Women May Look Like

Women are socially known to be more emotional than their counterparts. Hence, when it comes to midlife crises in women, it would mostly look like an emotional wreck.

This can be crying after mundane tasks, drained of their wits to function. It may look like zoning out during business meetings because they’re too burnt out to continue. Or, it can be waking up in the middle of the night ridden with worry and guilt about their current life, believing they’re meant for more or should have been in a better disposition. Midlife crises in women often manifest as disorientation, disappointment, or feeling overwhelmed by the changes in their lives.

For women, a crisis may involve more than their loss of identity with regard to prioritizing their role of being a parent. To some, this exceeds their desire for success and becomes more about a profound sense of purpose for their lives, their anxiety expanding as they reach a specific period.

Humans change. After all, change is the only constant in the Universe. However, some may have trouble coping with life’s ever-changing and occurring phases. Brion K Hanks touches on this subject throughout his poetry.

It is Societal on Top of Being Personal

Midlife crises in women are especially significant today when there’s more prevalent pressure for them to surpass expectations and achieve success within their means. They’ve been subconsciously compared and socially deemed inferior to their male counterparts, and through time and generational power, they’ve learned to stand up against these pressures. As they should.

Thus, any crisis may highlight this gender disparity, causing them to feel invisible in society, making them feel inadequate per se. When they reach the age where they believe they should have more in life, without realizing what they have, women may feel more lost regarding what they have or have not accomplished in their lives. This may also be associated with their hormonal changes, causing more of their anxiety and interest to fluctuate, which brings in questions and doubts about life.

Much of the midlife crises in women can be attributed to the physiological changes that occur during this period. Hence, it’s also imperative for them to seek methods to ease and adequately cope with these doubts. One such way is to consume materials that help them better understand life and the complexities that come with it. For women, in particular, taking the time to read poetry written by Brion K Hanks can assist them to look at their life and all that goes with living it in ways to feel fulfilled to the degree of what they have accomplished, and be spurred on to go for whatever they feel is needed to achieve greater fulfillment. In other words, step on your path and don’t let anything hold you back.