Moms over 50 experience different challenges than younger moms do. It can be tough to deal with the stress of raising children, caring for aging parents, and managing a job during the prime earning years. Fortunately, you’re not alone. Many women are going through similar journeys and sharing their wisdom of mature motherhood. Here are 10 vital mental health tips for moms over 50.
Average Increase in Age of First-Time Mothers
When it comes to motherhood, women have been waiting longer to have their first child:
- In 1935, the average age was 21 for a first-time birth.
- In 2014, it was 26.3.
- In 2022, it is age 30.
Because of advancements in fertility treatments (IVF), it is much more common today to see women becoming pregnant in their 40s and even 50s.
The Physical and Mental Health of Moms Over 50
Physical and mental health are interconnected. When you are physically healthy, you tend to feel better mentally – and the opposite is also true.
A key part of maintaining both physical and mental health is living a wellness lifestyle.
1. Therapy Helps You Feel Centered
Therapy provides a solution to this conundrum.
Talking to an objective professional who has been trained to hold you in positive regard while creating a safe space for you to explore, out loud, your own thoughts and feelings can be immensely helpful.
Therapists also help with strategies for improving spousal compatibility. Arguments between spouses about parenting are most often about scheduling, screen time, and sugar. Experienced therapists are very accustomed to helping parents find solutions to these common sticking points.
If you’re experiencing challenges with mental health, seek the services of a licensed therapist. There is no shame in receiving guidance. In fact, seeking help is an empowering act of self-care. A mental health professional can help you develop coping mechanisms and provide support.
2. Take Time for Yourself Away from Motherhood
It’s important to make time for yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes a day. Doing things that help you feel happier – such as reading, taking a bath, or going for a walk – will improve your mental health.
3. Exercise Consistently
4. Consume a Healthier Diet
Just like exercise, what you eat can also impact your mental health. Eating nutritious foods helps to improve mood and energy levels. Conversely, eating junk food often makes you feel bloated, sluggish, and down.
5. Sleep More Deeply
Getting enough quality sleep is critical for good mental health. When you’re well-rested, you’re better able to deal with resistance and pet peeves. If you’re having trouble sleeping, there are a few things you can try, such as reading before bed or investing in a more comfortable mattress.
6. Pause to Connect with Other Moms Over 50
Spending time with family members and loved ones is an effective way to improve your mental health. Whether you stay in touch via text, social media, or in person, quality time with those you care about can help promote positive emotions. Taking time out from your busy life to just have tea with a friend – particularly if it’s another mother close to your own age – can do wonders for your mental state. A healthy life is bolstered by strong relationships.
7. Go on Periodic Technology Fasts
It’s important to take breaks from technology and disconnect from the outside world every now and then. Staying glued to your phone or laptop can increase stress and anxiety.
Make sure to take some time each day to disconnect from technology and relax in nature or with a good book.
8. Find a Fun Hobby Well-Suited for Moms Over 50
Doing things that you enjoy can help improve your mental health. Whether it’s painting, hiking, biking, or gardening, taking part in activities that make you happy can help reduce stress and improve your mood.
9. Tap into Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that involves focusing on your breath and being present in the moment. It can help to lessen stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts.
10. Volunteer with Other Moms Over 50
Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community and help others. It can also be beneficial for your mental health. Volunteering has been shown to reduce the severity of stress, anxiety, and depression. It puts you around other positive people with whom you can share the goal of making a beneficial difference.
Synopsis for Moms Over 50
It’s vital not to take mental illness lightly. Mental health is important at any age but it is especially important for moms over 50. If you think you may have a mental illness, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Generally, mental illness is treated with medication, therapy, or a combination of both.
The wellness lifestyle has been proven to help improve mental health for moms over 50 – this can mean eating an anti-inflammatory diet, improving the quality of your sleep, modifying thought patterns to move from more negative to more positive, and engaging in consistent workouts.
It’s also important to find time for activities that you enjoy and make you feel good. This could be spending time with friends and family, reading, or doing something creative. Volunteer work can help lessen anxiety and depression. Lastly, mindfulness can help you focus on the present moment and reduce the pressures of everyday living.
Additional Sources on Mature Motherhood:
Mean Age of Motherhood Is on the Rise – https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db232.htm
Generational Childbearing Differences – https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db68.pdf
Deferred Motherhood – https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2022-05-06/motherhood-deferred-us-median-age-for-giving-birth-hits-30
On Screen Time – https://centerforanxietydisorders.com/how-much-is-too-much-technology-screen-time-and-your-mental-health/
The Brain/Food Connection – https://www.provisionliving.com/blog/brain-food-essential-nutrients/