Women often seek out counseling for what seems like depression. Having unusually low energy, feeling easily irritated, losing interest in normal pleasures, and withdrawing from friends and social life are typically viewed as a budding mental health concern.
But many times it turns out that these experiences are indicating a deep-soul yearning for something more in life that we aren’t sure how to get to.
It can literally make mind, heart, and body ache to feel like your own life has passed you by while you’ve been busy raising a family.
Breaking away from a status quo of managing family life can be a scary prospect. Change is rarely easy when it voluntarily shakes up one’s comfort zone. And that in itself can provoke anxiety or fear.
Depression-like symptoms, anxiety and fear can be normal responses to transitions. Even when you want change, to make room for something new can require letting go of something old. And letting go can feel like loss. The reality is, though, that it’s more an adjustment than a sacrifice.
So what should you do?
Well, that can depend on a lot of different factors. When I counsel women in the achy angst of transition, we’ll look at factors of personality and learning styles, resources, and support systems. For example, I might ask:
- Are you a careful planner before taking calculated risks?
- Do you prefer to step out in faith, leap first, and trust that all will be fine?
- What information have you already gathered?
- How have you researched what your heart is urging you to do?
- Can you afford some household help to free up your time?
- Will your spouse and kids be as supportive of you as you are for them?
- What first steps make sense to you?
- Where are you stuck?
Every woman and her circumstances are different. The path and process that will be best for you may be different from what your sister, neighbor or friend has chosen.
Taking the leap from the plateau of your status quo into the transitional phase of the life you yearn for will – if nothing else – be a grand adventure. If you’d like a sounding board or guide to aid in the process, I’m here to help and am happy to offer a free, 15 minute phone consultation to see if I can help.