Managing Moods in Midlife

It's easy for midlife women to be overcome with emotion.  I've said in my midlife crisis ebook that sometimes it is helpful to label our emotions.  

Last year I recall becoming emotional putting away Christmas decor.  I was able to label it as melancholy.  This year I became emotional due to stress from about five different situations.  Knowing the source of my emotional meltdowns has often helped me walk through them.

I want to describe one of these emotions for you today. 


Melancholy is different from sadness or depression.  Because it is reflective of happy times mixed with a realization those happy times are over, melancholy is dual in nature.  This duality creates chaos in the rhythms of pleasure, joy, and peace.  

At times, a person's environment plays a role in this mood.  You might be in your old home town which forces you to go back in the past in your mind.  Putting Christmas decor away, of course you see all the decorations the children used to enjoy hanging on the tree.  

In each of these situations, we can choose which direction our minds go. Knowing the potential for melancholy, we can divert our thoughts.  We might even remove ourselves from the troubling environment. 

If your mind tends to go back in time too often, stop it from focusing on the negatives.  Try to remember there were probably many normal and calm days and happy moments sprinkled in there too.  

It can be helpful to provide context too.  It's easy, for instance, to look at old photos and think, "What was I thinking wearing that outfit?" 

Maybe in that era that outfit was fine.  Maybe the photo is just a bad shot of you. I've looked at photos of people taken at the same event and just the angle or lighting makes them appear as though they are two different people.    

When you get through a period of melancholy and move on, the next time one comes, you can be assured it is a phase to walk through.  The same with stress.  Sometimes we need to lay low during periods of stress.  We can ask the Holy Spirit to pray for us.  We can hang on to hope and faith.  

Here are a few verses that may be comforting to you:

Romans 8:26 (ESV) English Standard Version

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."

"Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. 
I'll give you strength. I'll help you. 
I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you."  

Matthew 11:28-29

King James Version (KJV)
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, 
and I will give you rest."

1 Peter 5:6,7

New International Version (NIV)

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, 
that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety 
on him because he cares for you."

2 Corinthians 13:9

New International Version (NIV)
"We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; 
and our prayer is that you may be fully restored."

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