The Silent Suffering of Professional Women in Midlife: Anhedonia and Its Impacts



We’ve all had those days where we just want to stay in bed and binge watch our favourite shows, but what happens when that lack of motivation becomes something more? What happens when you can no longer find joy in the activities that once brought you happiness?

Enter anhedonia – a condition characterised by a loss or decrease in the ability to feel pleasure from activities that were once enjoyable. It’s more than just feeling bored or unmotivated – people with anhedonia often feel like nothing can make them happy anymore.

If you’re feeling down and struggling to enjoy the things you once did, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Here we’ll explore what anhedonia is, what causes it, and what you can do to start feeling better. So, grab a cup of tea and let’s dive in!

Causes of Anhedonia: Understanding How It Affects Your Brain and Body

Anhedonia, the inability to experience pleasure, can be caused by a variety of factors. Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common culprits, but physical health conditions can also contribute to anhedonia. In addition, women in midlife or those going through hormonal changes like menopause are particularly susceptible to anhedonia.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to mental health, there are many evidence-based techniques that have been shown to improve mood and overall well-being. Here are some of my personal favourites:


Ways to improve your mood and spirit

If you’re struggling with lack of joy and finding pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable. There are ways to improve your mood and boost those dopamine levels.

Here are my favourite mood-enhancing practices.


Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for our physical and mental health. Not getting enough sleep can leave us feeling groggy, irritable, and unmotivated. So, if you want to feel your best, here are some simple tips to help you get better sleep.

Firstly, try to stick to a consistent sleep schedule and avoid caffeine and sugary snacks before bedtime. Secondly, create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading a book or taking a warm bath, to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down.

Social Connections

Social connections are an important aspect of our lives and can greatly impact our mental health and happiness. Even if you’re not feeling your best, reaching out to people you feel safe with can help strengthen those connections and improve your overall well-being. You might be surprised at how much a simple message or phone call can brighten someone’s day, as well as your own. Plus, socializing doesn’t have to be a big event or party – it can be as simple as grabbing a cup of coffee or going for a walk together.

Being in nature

Studies have shown that being in nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, while also improving our attention span and cognitive function.  Whether it’s taking a hike through the woods or simply sitting outside and enjoying the sunshine, walking in the rain, spending time in nature can have a positive impact on our mental and physical health. Cultivating a habit of being with mother nature is a wonderfully healing way to process feelings and lift your mood.

Daily gratitude

Research has shown that actively focusing on the things we’re thankful for can have an incredible impact on our physical and mental health. By taking just a few moments each day to reflect on the good in our lives, we can shift our attention away from negativity and cultivate a more positive outlook.

So, take a moment to thank someone who makes your life better today. And don’t forget to focus on the little things, like a warm cup of tea or the sound of birds singing outside your window.  So, what are you grateful for today? Write it down, say it out loud, or share it with someone you love. Cultivate a habit of gratitude is a wonderful way to help your mood and spirit.

Seeking professional support

It’s important to note that everyone experiences things differently. For some, it may be a temporary reaction to a stressful situation, while for others, it may be a persistent symptom that’s been around a while. Regardless, seeking professional help can be a helpful step towards and finding joy in life again and it’s also a true act of self-love.

Working with a psychotherapist not only offers a safe and supportive environment to explore your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. But a skilled therapist can help you identify patterns and triggers that might be contributing to your symptoms, such as underlying causes and provide personalised coping strategies to help lift your mood.  It’s important to remember that seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but it’s a form of self-love.

Know there are many effective strategies to help you feel better and to improve your mental and spiritual health. Seeking professional support can also help you overcome these challenges, reclaim your joy, and start enjoying and living life.