Area marriage and family counselor Sarah Halsey, M.A., L.L.P.C., recommends that women take periodic self-checks as to their current emotional posture with an eye on future life-planning and goal attainment patterns.

Halsey has noted that many women seek out advice and help on matters that may, at first glance, appear to be more overall healthful life practices rather than counseling-specific issues.

Ms. Halsey frequently finds herself in “life-coaching” scenarios where she asks counselees to evaluate their life patterns from a variety of facets and then encourages them to discover the most effective methods for achieving overall sound emotional, spiritual and physical health while simultaneously challenging them to discard ineffective and obstructive habits.

  1. Many women neglect making regular physical checkups, proper nutrition, and consistent exercise a priority. They fail to recognize their emotional well-being is affected by the health of their physical body. Surprisingly, women compartmentalize different areas of life and fail to see the connecting factors required to achieve an overall higher quality of life.

  2. Knowing how to manage stress effectively. Women struggle with feeling overly involved in the lives of others, placing upon themselves the burden to “fix” problems within their sphere of concern…not responsibility.

  3. Allowing relationships with children to overshadow relationship with spouse. The nurturing mom may unintentionally neglect the primary relationship with her husband as she cares (excessively) for children, forgetting that marital health will naturally spill over in positive ways to the rest of the family (and vice versa).

  4. Adopting the all or nothing approach of child training. This plays out as mothers attempt to overly shield children from the pain of natural consequences due to their poor decisions (too much involvement) or they refuse to discipline at all (no involvement).

  5. Isolating themselves from peers. When depressed or discouraged, women may pull back from normal activities and key relationships becoming increasingly self-absorbed while the opposite reaction (one of consistent relational interaction) in the midst of emotional pain is the healthier choice.

  6. Ceases to develop talents/gifts and/or refuses to set personal goals. Is resigned to a life of stagnancy and dormancy instead of seeking out ways to live productive, other-oriented, and interactive lives.

  7. Being unprepared to face grief (this becomes a recurrent theme after age thirty-five) due to divorce, death, illness, financial loss, or job restructuring.

  8. Lives with a put-off mentality in regard to monetary issues. Specifically, does not plan for the future financially by way of preparing wills, trusts, medical advocates, living wills, investments, etc.

  9. Lacks realistic expectations in caring for elderly relatives (and its potential negative effect on immediate family). Doesn’t seek out the necessary (and readily available) resources for medical aid, respite assistance, and hospice care.

  10. Defining themselves by previous life roles experienced before age thirty-five…it will change. Women often subjugate themselves and limit their future by past confinements or failures. Life is always changing; hope for change is always available for those willing to work at it and sacrifice for it.

Copyright 2014 Michele Howe