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Over forty. Overburdened. Overwhelmed. Over-committed. Overworked. Tweet This!
Life really does start at 40, but it gets complicated!
Research shows that women are happiest in their early and later years…but something happens at 40.
We experience our most challenging, stressful years in our forties and beyond.
That’s when we face the greatest challenges in balancing work and home. Challenges such as juggling caring for both children and aging parents, and coping with major life transitions.
That’s when we most need solutions to stress that can help us better control our lives and balance our priorities.
If you embrace and apply these solutions to stress you should see some immediate benefits in alleviating tension and stress in your life.
Solutions to stress #1 – Face your stressors.
What’s giving you stress?
It’s important to be honest and thorough about this subject because we often have a tendency to ignore certain problems rather than deal with them head on.
You don’t want to think about that unproductive, negative colleague! He never has a anything positive to contribute to the team.
No one wants to think about a teenager that might be dabbling with drugs. Who wants to think about a spouse that might be unfaithful?
We don’t want to think about that bad test result from the doctor. What about what the our aging parents are soon going to need? Who wants to think about that – or what help we will need as we see the years go by as well!?
You need to be honest about what is giving you stress and why you find this person or situation so stressful. Facing your stressors is the first step in finding effective solutions to stress.
Is your stress self-induced?
Remember, a big part of your stress might be self-inflicted, caused by your own expectations and demands.
If you can be honest about why things give you so much stress then you may realize how you’re making things worse for yourself.
This reflection doesn’t necessarily need to be shared with someone, at least not yet.
Realize that this is something private. You just need to think about it in your own head. Give it some serious thought without worrying about how your spouse or parents or anyone else will react.
If you must confront someone or have a conversation with them, that’s later. For right now, just doing some thinking on your own is important. Think about what’s going on in your life, the good, the bad, and the ugly!
Solutions to stress #2 – Choose what you can change.
You may want to change anything and everything that’s giving you stress, but obviously that’s just not possible. So you need to focus on what you can change.
Just about everyone needs to work so you can’t quit your job from one day to the next. Chances are your mother-in-law or other family members aren’t going to go away anytime soon. And… of course just about every marriage is worth saving.
So you need to be honest about what you can change and what can’t be changed.
Part of this honesty will also include yourself. What changes will you need to make in order to alleviate your own stress?
Think about some of the following solutions to stress:
- Being more realistic. Are your expectations and demands for other people or for your life in general just unrealistic and unreasonable?
Do you think you somehow deserve a perfect job, family, marriage, and life?
Is your thinking balanced in this regard?
- Putting things into perspective. This might mean your job, your family life, your health, your finances, or anything else. Things might be bad but could they be worse?
Do you still have a roof over your head, food in your pantry, and clothes on your back?
That’s more than many have today. If you dare to put things into perspective you might find that some of your stress is gone because of that simple step.
Things that cannot be changed!
Of course there are things that will just not be changed no matter what.
If you have a serious health crisis, you’re simply going to need to learn to take care of yourself and get through it.
If you’ve lost someone in death or have gone through a divorce, that person is just not going to come back.
Some major stressful events in life that often happen during our forties are not going to change simply because of their nature nor because of your thoughts or actions toward them.
That’s why focusing on what we can change is one of the best solutions to stress for ambitious women over forty.
It’s good to be honest about these things because often stress is caused by that internal struggle we have of trying to force change when it is simply impossible.
I’ll continue with part 2 of this 3-part series next week, so look out for my post next week.
But…in the meantime, I don’t want your education on easy, effective, enjoyable stress management activities to end here, so I’ve created a FREE guide revealing my TOP 50 simple stress management activities.
Click here NOW to download it! It’s FREE.