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  • Writer's picturePracchi Sachdev

Rediscover Your Spark: How Women Over 45 Can Reignite Their Zing for Life

Entering my late forties, I thought I had life figured out. How wrong I was. For someone who believed, "It’s just one life. It should be enjoyed to the fullest." This phase of my life hit me hard. I looked forward to traveling more, reading and writing more, and chilling every evening with my chai latte on the front lawn of my three-bedroom apartment in a quiet neighborhood. But destiny had other plans. Transitioning from a housewife to the family's breadwinner, I lost a lot. As I dug deeper, I realized that whether a housewife or a working professional, many women were fighting the same battle – losing their zing for life.

Two women bonding over a cup of chai
It's just one life. Enjoy it to the fullest.

Understanding the Loss of Zing


Go down memory lane, when you were not married and there were no responsibilities of family and children. Now answer this question: “What made me happy?”


Close your eyes and think. I know, you smiled and then your eyes were filled with tears. You smiled because you found your source of happiness. And the realization of not being able to hold on to your essence made you cry. Isn’t it?


What’s more shocking is that a lot of women facing these symptoms do not even realize or acknowledge there’s something wrong with them that needs immediate attention. One can easily defy the signs of loss of enthusiasm and zeal for life to growing age. 


After a little research and talking to my female buddies, here is a list of tell-tale signs that’ll help you recognize if you have given up your passions and your zest for life.


1. Hormonal Changes

The onset of menopause brings significant hormonal changes, including a decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels. These changes can lead to symptoms such as mood swings, depression, fatigue, and decreased libido, all of which can impact a woman's overall interest in life.


2. Empty Nest Syndrome

As children grow up and leave home, many women experience a sense of loss and purposelessness. This transition can lead to feelings of loneliness and a lack of direction, especially for those who have dedicated a large part of their lives to raising their children. Earlier this time came at a later stage in life, when children left home for higher studies or were working in a different city or country. The use of smartphones, iPads/tabs, and new technology has confined our kids to the world of screens. Even when all the family members are at home, many a time each one is locked up in the virtual world. The physical presence that doesn’t amount to emotional bonding is equally painful as when children leave home.  


3. Career Stagnation or Transition

Balancing work, family, and personal needs can become overwhelming, leading to burnout and a diminished enthusiasm for life. Some women might face career stagnation or may be contemplating retirement. The lack of career advancement opportunities or the prospect of leaving a long-held job can cause a loss of identity and purpose.


4. Health Issues

Aging often brings health issues such as chronic pain, decreased mobility, and other medical conditions. These physical challenges can contribute to a sense of decline and reduced enthusiasm for life. Most of my girlfriends are going through this phase. Despite regular exercise or a health regime, they are not able to cope with joint pains and other physical ailments. This has been a major contributing factor in their life to staying confined to the comfort of their homes. Anxiety, frustration, and depression are also common during midlife, influenced by both biological factors and life circumstances.


5. Social and Cultural Factors

Midlife can coincide with cultural shifts such as changes in societal roles and expectations. We might struggle to adapt to these changes, feeling out of touch or left behind. Society often places pressure on women to maintain certain roles and appearances. As we age, we may feel undervalued or invisible, leading to decreased self-esteem and interest in life.


6. Personal Losses

Losing parents, spouses, or close friends becomes more common as people age. These losses can lead to grief and a strong sense of emptiness. For some, marital dissatisfaction or divorce can significantly impact their emotional well-being, leading to a loss of interest in life.


7. Unfulfilled Personal Goals

We are habitual of overlooking our achievements and reflect critically on our unachieved goals, personal or professional. Unfulfilled dreams and goals can lead to a sense of regret and dissatisfaction. We may feel we’ve missed out on opportunities for growth and fulfillment.


8. Lack of Self-Care

Many women spend years prioritizing the needs of others over their own. This neglect can lead to burnout and a diminished sense of self-worth and enjoyment in life. Aren’t we habitual sacrificers and usually the first ones to compromise? Ideally, we should be the most important person in our life. If we aren’t happy, we cannot be a contributor to other people’s happiness.


Three women standing at a point of transition in life
Transition at any phase in life can be scary. Do not hesitate to reach out to your friends.

9. Monotony and Routine

The routine and monotony of daily life can sap enthusiasm. Without new and stimulating activities or interests, life can start to feel dull and uninspiring.


If you feel you’ve lost the zing for life, it does mean that you have! Don’t trust every Tom, Dick, or Harry who says, “O’it’s age! You are growing wiser and quieter. No need to worry.” At the first sight of an opening run as far as you can from such an i-know-it-all kinda breed. Find support from friends and family who will help you get back on track rather than ridicule your feelings. 


Changes in the Body Leading to the Loss of Zing


Our body is alive and smart. Every seven years, each cell in our body regenerates itself. This means we are a new person after a cycle of seven years. Slow down, listen to your body. It will tell you, show you signs of discomfort, and force you to take action, Most of the time we fail ourselves. Taking care of others becomes our priority and we keep our health: physical, mental, and emotional, at the last on the priority list. Believe me, we never reach the end of the list. Don’t make that mistake once you’ve read this piece.


So, what are some common tell-tale signs that your body and mind give out as a cry for help? Let’s check the list below:


Physical Changes

Physical changes such as hot flashes, weight gain, and changes in skin texture are commonly associated with menopause. However, symptoms like fatigue, joint pain, and sleep disturbances may be misattributed to aging rather than hormonal changes. Regular check-ups with healthcare providers can help women understand these changes. Doctors can explain the impact of menopause and aging, providing clarity and guidance.


Mental Changes

There is often a stigma around mental health that can prevent women from acknowledging these issues and seeking help. Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and mood swings may be subtle and gradually worsening, making them harder to recognize as part of a larger pattern. Education and awareness campaigns about mental health can help us identify and understand these symptoms better.


Emotional Changes

We, women, may have difficulty expressing or even recognizing our emotions, particularly if we are accustomed to prioritizing the needs of others over our own. Emotional changes can be complex, influenced by both hormonal shifts and life circumstances. Ever wondered how that 5 minutes of crying alone in the car or locking yourself up in the washroom just to vent out made you feel? We all need moments like these to release the emotional burden.


However, there are a few more steps we must take when facing emotional challenges: phone a friend and just spit it out, or step out of the house with your girl gang. Personally, phoning a friend is at the top of my list. 


Combined Factors

The overlap of physical, mental, and emotional symptoms can make it challenging to pinpoint specific causes. For instance, fatigue could be due to hormonal changes, depression, or both. A holistic approach, considering the interconnected nature of these changes, can aid in better understanding. Comprehensive health evaluations and counseling can be beneficial.


Importance of Seeking Help


We women are naturally wired to help others in need. Sadly, when it is we who need help, we ignore or try to deny our emotions many times. Some women may be reluctant to seek help due to feelings of shame or the belief that they should be able to handle things on their own. It rarely happens. Like each physical ailment has a different doctor for its treatment, our emotional turmoils need external support from time to time. A good friend, a loving family member, an understanding neighbor, or a colleague, can be our go-to person. If talking to someone close isn’t an option, seeking professional guidance from a therapist, a counselor or a psychiatrist can provide the necessary understanding and support.


However, constantly self-educating ourselves through reliable resources such as books, websites, and seminars on midlife changes can be crucial in recognizing and addressing the symptoms.


How I Found My Zing for Life


As a content writer, I write, research, read, and write all day at a stretch sometimes. I create new and engaging content. Professionally, I am sorted. Personally, with a few ups and downs, I am in a better place than I was a year ago. Yet, trying to keep a balance between my parallel lives of being the breadwinner and a mother, the primary caregiver, I lost the enthusiasm to live. Somewhere down the line, I stopped enjoying things that I once loved. I was always anxious, and in a hurry to reach my destination, and while I had everything, getting myself out of bed was challenging on most days.

Prachi Sachdev, Founder of JustBeingMe.in
The journey to reignite the passion for things I once enjoyed was not easy. Nevertheless, I did it! So can you!

Initially, I spoke to my friends at length. Then came a day when I became silent. There was a storm running through my mind yet finding the right words seemed impossible. I tried melancholy shopping, didn’t work! I sat for days glued to my smart TV and binge-watched Netflix. I failed! There were days, and there still are, when I can’t control the overflow of emotions and I cry hysterically. The only difference is I sought help. More than that I made an effort to write again, for myself.


Writing for me has always been therapeutic. The day I promised myself to write one page a day, I found my happiness compass working again. I started painting again, singing again, and most importantly, I started living again. Honestly, I haven’t mastered this skill. It’s a long journey from grief to healing. But the thrill is, that my journey has begun.


If I Could Do It, So Can You! Let’s Help You Find the Zing of Your Life.


These are a few tried and tested methods that helped me come out of my grief. Everyone's journey is unique, but I believe that sharing what worked for me can offer valuable insights and inspiration. Below, I’ll outline several strategies that helped me rediscover my passion and joy for life. Remember, it’s never too late to make positive changes and embrace a vibrant, fulfilling life.


1. Self-reflection and Acceptance

I started keeping a journal to reflect on my feelings and thoughts. Writing down my emotions helped me understand and accept them, providing a clear picture of what was holding me back.

2. Being in the Present

Practicing mindfulness helped me stay in the present and reduce anxiety. It allowed me to connect with myself on a deeper level, get clarity on my situation, and appreciate the moment. I am not a meditation person but I like mindful walking. Many spiritual practices encourage meditation as part of daily routine. It helps to calm the mind and ease anxiety.

3. Setting New Personal and Professional Goals

I am not a fan of big goals. I set small, achievable goals both personally and professionally. This gave me a sense of purpose and accomplishment, reigniting my motivation and drive. You can also create a vision board with your dreams and aspirations to keep you focused and inspired. It serves as a daily reminder of the possibilities ahead.

4. Exploring New Activities and Upskilling Myself

I explored new hobbies and interests. There’s a thrill to do things out of our comfort zones. Moreover, I enrolled for short-term courses on Udemy. I believe age is just a number. One must never stop learning. If you are someone who loves to help people. Get involved in community service. It provides a sense of fulfillment and connection with others. It is incredibly rewarding to make a positive impact in the community.

5. Building a Support System

Reaching out to friends and family for support was crucial. Sharing my journey with loved ones helped me feel less alone and more understood. You may also like to join local and online support groups where you can share experiences and gain advice from others going through similar challenges.

6. Prioritizing Self-Care

I committed to taking care of my physical health through regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep. This significantly improved my energy levels and overall well-being. I sought professional help from a counselor to address deeper emotional issues. These sessions provided me with tools to cope with stress and develop a healthier mindset.

7. Embracing Change and Growth

Adopting a growth mindset allowed me to see challenges as opportunities for growth rather than obstacles. This shift in perspective was transformative. I enrolled in online courses and attended workshops to learn new skills and stay intellectually engaged. This not only boosted my confidence but also opened up new possibilities.


Rediscovering your spark and reigniting your passion for life is a journey that takes time, effort, and patience. By embracing these methods, I was able to move past my grief and find joy again. I believe that you, too, can find the zing of your life. Remember, if I could do it, so can you! Start today, and take the first step toward a brighter, more fulfilling future.




 


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