Mid-Life Crisis – How to Beat It.
Health and Wellbeing
When we are younger, we tend to take good health for granted and it can come as a shock to realise that even in our 40s and 50s, our bodies are starting to change and that we need to look after our health a little more closely. Taking a holistic approach is so important, as our physical and mental health are dependent on each other. The old saying “you are what you eat” is worth remembering and a healthy diet goes a long way to maintaining our energy and wellbeing. Around this age, a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement will top up those vital reserves. It’s also essential to take an Omega 3 supplement, in the form of a high quality fish oil, as well as having oily fish such as salmon, 2/3 times a week. Research shows that western diets have high levels of Omega 6, due to heavy use of vegetable oils such as sunflower and corn oil. Too much Omega 6 has an inflammatory effect on the body, which can lead to cardiovascular disease and joint problems. Omega 3 reduces inflammation in the body and therefore lowers the risk of heart disease, as well as reducing inflammation in the joints.
We all know that regular exercise is good for us, but its only too easy to fall out of a routine, especially in the winter, when our bodies just want to go into hibernation. The type of exercise we need is also different from what we might have done in our 20s and 30s. Moderation is the key and building up and maintaining core strength is what we need to aim for. Pilates and yoga are both very good for toning and stretching muscles and joints, as well as relaxing our minds and bodies. Try and maintain a regular routine of outdoor exercise, even in the Winter. As we get older, it’s really important to maintain good levels of Vitamin D. Another name for it is the Sunshine Vitamin and so getting out and about will top up your Vitamin D. Taking up a new outdoor hobby such as hill walking, cycling or running, could be one way of getting you out into the great outdoors.
Mindfulness and Meditation
If your idea of relaxation is lying on the sofa with a glass of wine watching TV, think again. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, but it won’t relax your mind and body in the way that they need. You probably already know that alcohol is a depressant, so although it might make you feel better in the short-term, the long term effects will be more negative. Although it may not always feel like it, TV stimulates the brain, even if it’s just looking at the bright screen. Mindfulness and meditation allow the body and mind to relax naturally and give them time out from all the every day stresses of life. Mindfulness and Meditation both need to be practised regularly in order to make a difference. Research shows that repetition is the key to re-educating our brains. If you learn to think of it as part of your everyday health routine, rather than something you have to fit in,then it won’t feel like a chore. Ten to twenty minutes every day is advised by most practitioners.
It’s not just the younger generation which is hooked on Social Media, such as Facebook, Twitter etc. Although they are a great way of making connections and keeping in touch with friends and family, you can’t beat face-to-face contact. By the time we reach our fifties, we may have lost contact with friends from years ago and find our circle has shrunk. It’s really important during this time in our lives to make time for ourselves and maybe we need to think about making new connections and finding new interests. Perhaps there is a charity or cause which you feel passionate about, but have never had the time to get involved with before. This could be a great way of making new contacts as well doing something which makes a difference. Feeling that sense of achievement can go a long way in improving your mental wellbeing.
If you want to keep your relationship healthy, you need to nurture it and that takes time and effort. You might actually need to consciously make time for each other on a regular basis. For more tips on this, please see my blog on How to Make Your Relationship Work. If you feel unsure about the future of your relationship, it might help to talk to someone outside family and friends. See the section below for more information.
If any of the above resonate with you, you may find it helpful to talk to someone about the issues which are bothering you. Family and friends can be a great support during difficult times in our lives, however, sometimes we don’t want to burden them with our worries. This is where counselling can provide a safe and confidential place to express your worries and anxieties. Often, we feel trapped and feel there is no way out of our situation Talking to a counsellor is very different from talking to family or friends in that he/she will not offer their opinion and will allow you to talk through your issues at your own pace. The counselling process can open up choices you didn’t realise existed, as well as helping you to see things from a fresh perspective.
If you want to find a counsellor in your area and you’re not sure where to start, please see the links below.