Ok, so maybe the title is a little alarming, but according to Oprah.com (and you know if Oprah says so, then it is so!), women of Generation X are just beginning, currently knee-deep in, or just leaving behind a mid-life crisis. Generation X consists of people born from 1965 to 1984. Yes, this is a very large age range with a very wide range of life experiences that can go down in an almost 20 year span, which has led some to carve out micro-generations within that. I, being born towards the end of X range, fall somewhere in between the two. Nevertheless, women in either category are stressed out more now than ever before and have been earlier and for a longer time period than those before us. In fact, the Oprah.com article even says that women’s happiness hits rock bottom by late 40’s! That’s definitely not something I’m looking forward to!
So, what’s the cause you ask? You name it. See the graphic above? All of those things PLUS the pressure of being a wife, or not being a wife but wanting to be one; being a mother, or not being a mother and desperately hoping to become one before all of your eggs dry up; financial worries because even though women still don’t make what our male counterparts make, we are still expected to get those bills paid; lack of career satisfaction; and the list goes on and on and on…
Is there any hope?!
Yes, there is. Hope lies in the choices we make. There are some things that can’t be changed. Although we wish like hell we could, we can’t stop those bills from showing up in the mail every month. We can’t stop the external pressures that are put on us from family and friends and the stranger that’s silently judging us. These things are all out of our control. And things that are out of our control should not be given more power over us than is warranted.
Do you choose to get swallowed up by doubts and insecurities over things that you can’t change or put energy and focus on the things that are in your ability to change?
- Feeling overwhelmed and stressed? Try exercising. Working up a good sweat is a good way to get the happy hormones flowing.
- Feeling put out by your kids? Schedule some grandparent time or play dates with the neighborhood children.
- Feeling perpetually frustrated at co-workers that don’t pull their weight? Change the way you think about it; them not doing their job is allowing you to shine as you do yours!
- Feeling sluggish and heavy? Put down the french fries and pick up a cucumber (preferably chopped up in a bowl with tomatoes, vinegar, salt, and pepper!).
- Feeling that your life is completely out of control? Seek out a therapist because there’s no shame in asking for help.
Do you get where I’m going here? You will never, ever be able to completely eliminate stress. And honestly, some stress is actually good for us. But you can make a huge difference in how you let stress affect you. You CAN choose your happiness. It’s all up to YOU to decide.
What’s YOUR choice going to be?