Stress is stress. It really doesn’t matter whether you are 20 years old or 50 years old there will be stressors in your life. However, each period of our life will bring different challenges that can create feeling of stress. There are several stressors that are unique to someone approaching or in their 50’s.
Bam!!! You are turning 50 and you are wondering what is next. Like many women you may have been running for years with the gas pedal pushed all the way to the floor. Your life has been busy. Maybe you have climbed that corporate ladder or stayed at home raising three beautiful children or even a combination of both. If you have been playing Super woman for a long time it may be starting to catch up.
Check Your Hormones
Pre-menopause-or peri-menopause can start in your early 40’s with some women not experiencing full menopause until the mid-50’s. The symptoms vary but stress plays a big role in the severity of your symptoms. If you are experiencing anxiety, forgetfulness or brain fog , as some women call it, you may be having a hormonal imbalance. In addition, there are the more common symptoms of night sweats and hot flashes.
And yes gentlemen, they are real! Question the reality of these symptoms and you may be sorry. Mood changes and behavior swings are also a common symptom for many.
“My poor husband” Catherine told me. “I was biting his head off for the smallest things. But when he commented that I may be just imagining I was hot…well let's just say I lost it!” That’s when I knew I needed to get help.
After reading a book “The Wisdom of Menopause” Catherine felt better about what was going on. She made an appointment to see her doctor. Within a couple of months after starting a bio identical hormone program her doctor recommended she is feeling much better!
Get Help To Make Major Life Changes
This is definitely a time when many women experience major life changes. Your first or maybe your last child going off to college is a major life change. For many, especially those who have been stay at home moms there is a feeling of loss. “It’s almost as if someone died” Shauna told me. “I know that sounds weird but I think I am grieving.”
Going through a divorce? You are not alone. According to Pew Research the number of people over 50 who were divorced has doubled since 1990.
Suddenly becoming the caregiver or care manager for aging parents is another life change. This is one most people never thought about until it happened. “I feel like my whole life has been turned upside down”, cried Susan. “Mom has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. There is so much to take care of and I haven’t a clue. I am trying to work and take care of my own family also”
“I have been laid off!” This is a cry that is not uncommon to many people in their 50’s. Their company may have recently merged and the job they have had for 15, 20 or maybe even 30 years has suddenly disappeared. What now? This is a major life change.
Trying to muddle through these changes without a support system is asking for trouble. If ever there was a time when you needed to reach out for help and support, now is that time. Find a support group, hire a therapist or get a life coach to help. You will be glad you did.
Make Time For You
Taking time to do the things you love to do will help you move through this period of change in your life. Did you love art when you were young but haven’t picked up a brush in years? Maybe now is the time. Enroll in an art class at a studio or maybe even Lone Star Community College. They have a whole selection of fun and interesting classes for the 50+ age group in their Lifelong Learning Section. Is there something you would like to learn? Choose from technology, health and wellness, financial planning, community service projects, literary discussion groups, genealogy, arts and crafts, an insider's view of Texas history, and more.
Get Your Financial and Legal House In Order
When we are young many of us feel that we are invincible. As we age and experience loss we realize that is not so. Worry about the future is common in people over 50. How will I age? Will I have enough money? How long will I be able to work?
Take the time to visit with an Elder Law Attorney, a Financial Planner and A Long-Term Care Professional. Some of them even offer free workshops. Make sure you understand how much long-term care costs if you need it and have a plan in place to cover you. Likewise wills, a power of attorney, and trust accounts should be set up. You will be amazed at how the stress will roll off your shoulders when you have everything in place. Knowing that you are covered will give you peace of mind.
As Certified Long-Term Care professionals since 2003, and members of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, both Sue and Allison have the training, knowledge, and experience to help you understand your options.
With over 20 years of experience, both women are committed to ensuring that their client’s long-term care needs are met while their wealth is protected.
Sue Myers, CLTC and AllisonYounger CLTC