Being a Cannery in a coal mine.

I noticed this interesting allusion in my lecturer’s WhatsApp status and she evoked my curiosity to think about this from a cross-cultural perspective. She has extracted this allusion from Prof. Christina Maslach’s explanations regarding “Burn out”.

Earlier in the 19th-century miners used the Canaries as a life-saving strategy when entering coal mines. Canaries were the indicators of harmful gases inside the mine. When such gas was present, Canaries became sick before miners, and accordingly, miners avoided entering coal mines.

Canaries saved miners. It seems a great deed to save someone’s life. Isn’t it? From the collectivistic cultural perspective, yes it is. But should we die for the satisfaction of someone else?

Collectivism always tends to prioritize living for others, focusing on group goals than individual actualization. If we consider the family as the most miniature unit, the mother or father in a collectivistic society is a great example of a “Canary”. From the birth of a child till the early childhood of their grandchild they are extremely committed and lose themselves while nurturing offspring.

On the other way round, the Asian perspective sees that children owe their parents forever in their life.
Sri Lanka is one of the countries with the fastest-growing aging population. Most elderly people suffer from both physical and attention-needed mental disorders, such as delirium, depression, and dementia. Hence the health care need is being increased. Hiring a caregiver or boarding parents in a well-managed elders’ home even under children’s supervision is considered a sin or a misdeed in Sri Lankan culture. So they hesitate to get assistance and dedicate the rest of their lives to caregiving for their parents even through the hardships. This is better explained as a religious norm that has been engraved into Asian skeletons.

Canaries inside the Family

Another facade of Canary is the eldest child of a family. This scenario is mostly influenced by the Socio-Economic status, and parent’s education level. Many decades ago in rural societies, the eldest child had to stop schooling for the sake of caregiving for younger siblings since their parents were away for earnings. It is evident from the life stories of our grandparents who still says, “I stayed at home to cook and look after the younger”. Even today this scenario emerges in families where the eldest female child or one and only male child has to undertake all the responsibilities of the family. Sometimes they give up their academics, careers, and even marriage for the sake of their siblings’ well-being.

Canaries in Marriage

When it comes to marriage, most women in Asian regions are vulnerable. Some of them have to accept forced marriage despite their desire to save the family’s honor. Some of them have to continue their abusive marriages to avoid social stigma to the relatives and protect “parents” for their children. Regardless of their freedom, they tolerate all the difficulties and burnouts for the betterment of others. Even after the demise of a spouse collectivistic culture accepts staying as a widow rather than stepping into a second marriage. In ancient Indian culture, women had to do a ritual called “Sathi Pooja” which was to sacrifice their lives to fire after the death of their husbands.

Canaries in Employment

This “Canary” effect isn’t limited to family, it comes to the social level. In Asian cultures, people give/ have to give priority to their professions over their personal life. Most of the time, this happens with economical insecurities and overloaded responsibilities. The underlying purpose of working too much is to secure income in the sense of protecting dependants rather than reaching higher professional goals. When it comes to female employees many of them have to take a long break or terminate employment after the delivery of the child. The female is required to step back for a while from the self-achieving process since child nurturing is entirely based on her. Unless she gets support from her family she may have to stagnate in her life. Most of the time women sacrifice their career improvement to protect their family life. Another scenario is the probability of junior-level employees being targeted for mishandling by the executive level. Labor exploitation is another angle of being Canaries, so similar to miners’ intention of using the real Canaries.

What can be the reason behind this cultural variation? Is it all bad?

I believe it is because of our religious perspective. Mainly Hinduism and Buddhism are rooted in the South Asian region. Sri Lanka, as an example, our culture is mainly stemmed from Buddhist philosophy and Hinduism. Mainly Buddhist literature weighs more on devotion, sacrifice, and commitment to others. The best example can extract from Buddhist literature (Jathaka Stories) that says how Bodhisattva sacrificed his whole life for the sake of living beings. Bodhisattva gave up his super luxurious life to find and guide all living beings toward the ultimate peace of the Enlightenment. Hence, Sri Lankans immensely follow those religious and literary teachings while largely accepting sacrifices like the Canaries.

Whatever it is beneficial, it confirms the accomplishment of individual survival needs within a group. For instance, the tightly knitted family network shares responsibilities and they undoubtedly present in need. Being like a Canary is another way of being pro-social. People in collectivistic cultures become great helpers than bystanders even costing their own life. Hence, these committed behaviors strengthen human relationships which are beginning from childhood attachments to social-level mutual connections. It also enhances empathy, compassion, kindness, and modesty.
But this doesn’t always flow smoothly. Spending a canary-like life is beneficial if the role of the “Canary” receives the same and equal treatment from others. But it weighs more on exploitation. Bridging the gap between the actual self and the ideal self is an individual responsibility. To achieve self-actualization each individual should set their goals and immensely commit to them. The space for that in a collectivist culture can be very limited due to norms and bonds associated with a “Canary’s life”

My Opinion

We have two extreme ends, either to accept burnout for others’ sake or respect ourselves by having individual focus. In my point of view, we should be wise enough to stay between those two extreme ends. As a culture that mainly stems from Buddhist philosophical teachings, we should carefully extract the core aspect of Buddhism, which is the central path not being extremist. Earlier when the resources are limited they used the Canaries as life savers. But in the modern era, there are a lot of alternatives. So taking risks, or facing burnout when there are many alternatives present, is irrational. Rational conclusions indeed threaten our emotional sense. But we should keep in mind that to confirm our existence we should change and adapt when it is needed. It is better than dying like a Canary in someone’s coal mine.

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Until reaching the therapist…

Never stigmatize and demotivate a person who shows symptoms of a mental disorder by saying,

“It is your weakness”
“You are thinking too much”
“Build your personality”
“It is your fate” etc…

The expression of symptoms is an indication that they are seeking help. Motivate and direct them to professional health care. Appreciate them for understanding their mental status, identifying the illness, recognizing the need for care, and expressing their grievance openly.

Don’t think too much” is not the way,
Great! you have thought a lot to understand yourself, let’s get help” that is the way.

Sympathy after decease” is not the way,
Unconditional empathy” is the way.

Bullying over the disorder” is not the way,
Educating about the disorder” is the way.

Let’s follow the right way.

Weather inside us…

Every day we see several posts on various social media platforms describing the nature of depression/clinical depression. Do they help you to understand the situation of a person with depression? Maybe yet you don’t have any idea. Just think about meteorological depression and how it affects us.

In a meteorological depressed zone, weather is uncertain and unstable. The rising air cools and condenses formulating clouds. Those clouds conceal the glamorous blue in the sky. Clinical depression is also the same. We are covered by something heavy like clouds but we don’t know what is that exactly. All around us is dimmed. It feels like all the heaviness in the world is on our heads. When the heaviness is unbearable clouds release rain. We shed tears. Rivers overflow from rain and break their own banks. We cry and harm ourselves.

The stunning weather is no more to be seen. Although it seems misty mountains are beautiful after the rain, the mist covers the glorious pinnacles. Only the mountains know that they are masked by mist. Our smooth smile departs from us and an artificial smile covers our dull faces. As well as people see the misty mountains as scenic, they believe we are happy too.

Tree leaves, branches and trunks are fallen due to scary storms. They physically block and mess up our roads. Without cleaning faces, brushing teeth or combing hair we spend days and nights, nights and days. Every path of pleasure is mentally blocked.

Sometimes, our sleep is far away from us. We roll side to side on the bed as the stones of a mountain, which are near to slip. Or we stay asleep for longer durations as the accumulated mud after an earth slide. The submerged disaster emerges when scooping the layer of mud. Similarly, with depression, waking up from sleep means stepping into hell. We wish to scoop that unidentified heavy feeling from our heads, we question, “why do I wake up?”

The sun rises to another area while a tropical depression devastates the other part of the world. We suffer and struggle with depression while seeing how others are on cloud nine.
“Why I? Why always me?”

Just imagine if all these bursts pop up in one’s head… That is it, that is the way of clinical depression…

No one can uproot bad weather conditions from this world. But there are strategies to reduce the bad impact. Rather than worrying to eliminate clinical depression, try focusing on managing its impact. As well as we focus on disaster management related to extreme weather, build your mental resilience and bounce back from harsh weather inside you.

My flower vase 🏺

This begining is a ten-year back story. It was the time I was a school girl. Our class teacher always wanted us to decorate her flower vase with fresh flowers. Picking fresh flowers in the morning, and decorating the vase before 8 am; oh god! it was a top nuisance 😕 We had some plans even to break the glass vase. Ha ha. Great fun, isn’t it? 😉

Now I am about to finish the first 365 days after marking my 3rd-decade last year. (Why do I say my age directly 🤪) It took more than 15 years for me to understand how soothing decorating a flower vase is. It was our bad luck to miss or intentionally we missed such a marvellous routine. And… Now it has become one of my free-day routines. Whenever I am not going to my workplace, I arrange a fresh flower vase which I have made from an old jam bottle. (In the picture you can see)

Decorating a flower vase is not an easy task if you are truly committed to it.

🌺 You have to carefully arrange those flowers with soft petals
🌺 Should give a suitable place for flowers with rough petals
🌺 Some tiny, shy flowers always tend to hide behind others, we have to carefully hold them up.
🌺 There may be some flowers with broken petals, removing them is not the solution. We can lift them and arrange them appropriately.
🌺 We should practice how to harmonise variations of colours, smells, size, and other characteristics of flowers, together as a bunch.
🌺 Flowers are not our slaves. Their poses may not fulfil our imagined bunch. Don’t fuss, let them enjoy their freedom.
🌺 Let them live in your vase as far as they look good rather than removing them on the very next day.
🌺 When you remove them, Keep in mind their seeds are ready to sprout a new generation.

Those are not flowers, they are our reflections, another facade of humans.

Victorious Ants 🐜

A lot of ants can move a giant’s hand
Tickling from their soft running feet
They don’t need sharp stings
To halt that giant’s walk for a minute

The giant throws his breath back
Aiming the ants to blow away
So he forgets to gasp for his life
While the ants do a smart play

Banging hands and stamping feet
Sudden slaps to the own arms
But the giant fails in throwing ants
Nothing but he insanely scrams!

The Diathesis-stress Model:

Is it fair to judge people in stressful situations?

Stress is considered as an individual’s response to environmental stimuli and these responses vary between a huge range. Also, the depth of responses varies from person to person and situation to situation. Similarly, we do react differently to the same stressful events. For instance, students in the same class may exhibit different behavioral responses to the same examination even though all other factors such as syllabus, subjects, and learning-teaching methods are similar. What can be the reason?

The Diathesis-stress Model clearly answers for this.

The diathesis-stress model is a psychological theory that explains how our behavioral responses are determined by predisposition or vulnerability by working together with various life situations. These susceptible factors can be genetics, biological, psychological, personality, or situational.
The situational factors are external life events such as examinations, marriage, divorce, workplace changes, demises of loved ones, etc. Genetics and biology are internal.

Let’s take the above example. A, B, C are students who are going to face the A/L examination, that is the stressor here. Let’s give a percentage for each to indicate their vulnerability and consider the threshold limit as 50%. Keep in mind that exam stress is equal for all. So it is indicated as 10%. After the accumulation of the 10% of exam stress, A and C remain below the threshold limit while B has exceeded it. So B may exhibit negative reactions mentally and physically which we refer to as “stressed”.

This happens due to the predisposition of internal factors such as brain structure, and brain chemicals which we consider as genetics and biology. For instance, people with a low amount of brain chemicals such as Serotonin and Norepinephrine are more likely to get depression after facing a stressful event. Some personality types are also vulnerable to developing mental disorders. Psychological factors such as the number of past traumatic incidents and their severity cause a potential risk of vulnerability. These are the reasons why some people suffer from prolonged stress that leads to depression, even suicides due to traumas such as the deaths of beloveds, life changes, and losses while others quickly overcome sort of events.

Even though genetics is beyond our control we can manage the biological predisposition. Having blood relatives with depression is a clue of genetic tendency to develop depression. Sometimes past traumatic exposures are clues of a tendency to develop stress, anxiety, or depression. As an example, a woman with a history of depression may be vulnerable to developing depression after baby delivery (Postpartum Depression). People who have traumatic experiences such as Tsunami, floods, or war have a risk of prolonged stress and developing some other mental disorders. If you have such clues, should always try to maintain the balance of brain chemicals for an optimal level of functioning. It can be done through behavioral changes such as exercise, hobbies, meditation, and diet.

Hope now you can understand why we should avoid judging and comparing people through their behavioral responses in stressful situations. Everyone may have a vulnerability, but they are not equally vulnerable to developing mental disorders. They may not even be aware of why are they going through such difficult circumstances. It is our internal vulnerability. Rather than judging them, our assistance is needed to find the cause for their stress and direct them to professional help.

Note: the percentages are used to demonstrate the model and no any scientfical connection with those percentages. 

Stress; the hidden belessing

Kasun, Ravindu, and Nimali are classmates who are about to do the Advanced Level examination. Their class teacher noticed some behavioral changes in each individual. Kasun seems to do nothing in preparing for the exams while Ravindu answers for past papers as much as he can. Also, the teacher identified a higher absenteeism rate of Nimali during the last three months.

Their teacher talked with them and below are their expressions.

What is “Stress”?

According to Dr. Hans Selye, stress is an individual’s response to environmental stimuli. He further explained those environmental stimuli which cause stress as stressors.
If you carefully analyze the above scenarios, you may notice they are connected with “Stress” somehow. But there are clear-cut differences. Also, two cases are at extreme ends. Further, Dr. Hans Selye stated that stress is two types such as positive and negative that refer to Eustress and Distress by terms.

Eustress

The stress in Ravindu motivates him to practice more for the exam. That behavioral change helps to remind his lessons, organize answers, manage his time, and finally achieve better performance at the exam with confidence. Hence, a certain amount of stress is needed to activate the necessary hormones to function at an optimal level. This type of positive stress is called “Eustress”

Distress

By the name, you know this is the negative type of stress. Nimali’s story is critical since her inability to cope with the challenge. Her optimal level of functioning deteriorates due to exceeded stress level. Her behavioral expressions prove that the existing stress is harmful. That kind of negative stress refers to as “Distress” That can lead to chronic/ long-term stress if not treated effectively.

Is life effective without “Stress”?

Just think about Kasun’s story. He is free of exam stress and does not have any fear or confusion about the exam. It makes him keep away from studying. Even though fearlessness seems like a healthy reaction, refraining from studies leads to poor recalling of memory, lack of practice in writing answers, and managing time. Eventually, an unbearable load of stress may emerge at the time of the exam.


The same can apply to our daily life. We are dealing with many stressors in our day-to-day life. If we don’t have stressors, our lives may become flawless but boring. Each step from getting out of the bed to getting on it again are challenges or stressors. The “term” completely depends on how we perceive it. We can either avoid stressors, live with them or accept them as challenges. Avoiding stressors is not a good practice or a solution since we cannot avoid them always. Living with stressors is also not a good option. It can badly affect our normal functioning and lead to chronic/prolonged stress. At that point, we are no longer able to cope with stress. But we can accept those stressors as challenges by effectively managing them at the initial stage they emerge. If we know what are the triggers of stress and observe ourselves closely we can have the blessings of stress while avoiding its curse.

References

American Psychologoical Association - https://dictionary.apa.org/eustress

British Psychologycal Society - https://www.bps.org.uk/blogs/dr-funke-baffour/stress-good-bad-and-ugly#:~:text=This%20type%20of%20stress%20is,challenging%20moments%20or%20danger%20ahead.

Verywell Heath - https://www.verywellhealth.com/general-adaptation-syndrome-overview-5198270#:~:text=General%20adaptation%20syndrome%20(GAS)%20describes,physical%20and%20mental%20health%20problems.

Note: There are a lot more things to know about stress. Let’s talk about them in separate posts.

Why Midlife is Stressful?

Midlife is a Period that Individuals Experience Both Gains and Losses. Life Can be Stressful for Them Since They Face Different Stressors.

Humans pass significant milestones throughout their lifespan. Generally, midlife commences in the early 40s and expands till the age of 60-65. As shown in figure 1 it is a transitional period between young adulthood to old age (Midlife, n.d.). According to Levinson’s seasons of life, transitional tasks in this period are, ending early adulthood, modifying present life if needed, and reconciling conflicts or contradictions in own life. (Psychosocial development, n.d.).

As shown in figure 2, Eric Erickson’s theory emphasizes that midlife emerges with a conflict between two extreme ends called generativity and stagnation (Cherry, 2021). When middle-aged people failed to make their mark in the future generation by nurturing, contributing, or committing, they may end up with stagnated feelings which lead to midlife stress. “Stress” is a general adaptation syndrome that physiologically responds to life-threatening situations/ stimuli (Selye, 1936). Those stimuli are called “stressors”.

This report describes, two negative life events and four methods to cope with stress in midlife by using two fictional case studies within the same family.

Figure 1

Midlife as a Transitional Period

Note. From Panic at Midlife [Drawing], by Isha, 2015 (https://isha.sadhguru.org/us/en/wisdom/article/panic-at-midlife)

Figure 2

Generativity vs Stagnation: Psychosocial Development in Midlife

Note: From Generativity vs Stagnation [Drawing], by AllAboutFnaf, 2017, Deviant Art (https://www.deviantart.com/allaboutfnaf/art/Generativity-vs-Stagnation-702035224)

Case 1: Sanjeewani’s Story

Sanjeewani is 40 years old working-mother of two children below age 10. Recently she got a transfer to a distant area with an executive-level promotion. This new gain in her career led to a negative change in her lifestyle due to working distance, new workload stress, managing household work, child-rearing concerns, and physical health issues.

Case 2: Siripala’s Story

Siripala is Sanjeewani’s father and 64-year-old retired teacher. Recently he faced two losses due to his wife’s demise, and the youngest daughter’s (Sanjeewani’s younger sister) leaving of the parental home with marriage. Then on he started living alone as a widow. But a few days after the youngest child’s marriage, he attempted suicide by pain killer overdose.

Two Negative Life Events That may Produce Stress

Lifestyle Changes due to Work-Related Promotions/Transfers

             Midlife is the age that most people reach the pinnacle in their professional life (Papalia et al, 2008., as cited in Booso, Bulathwatta, & Menikdiwela, 2018). Hence, work-related changes are common struggles in the midlife work domain (Lachman, 2004). Sanjeewani’s case emphasizes that some gains initiate negative life events. Traveling long distances spends a substantial time. It reduces her sleeping duration and regular exercise. Consumption of instant diet due to time management leads to obesity and unhealthy BMI (Coccia, Darling, & Senatore, 2012). With an obese appearance, she gets more depressed. The conflict between newly assigned workload and unchanged responsibilities as a mother and the spouse becomes a major reason for stress (Dr Babu, et al., 2021). Moreover, adjusting to a new workplace and competitive younger employees become stressful (Paljug, 2018).     

Emptying of the Nest

This is a psychological phenomenon with worried feelings that parents experience due to the vacuum created in a home after launching their children to spend independent lives (Hasan & Mansoor, 2019). Mostly, this occurs when the last child moves away from parents (Empty nest syndrome, 2020). For instance, Siripala was severely depressed with the last child’s moving. The empty nest syndrome is also associated with the retirement and demise of the spouse (Mbaeze and Ukwandu, 2011, as cited in Hasan & Mansoor., 2019). In Siripala’s case, loss of interactions with school children, termination of control over the youngest child, the confusion of whether he has done everything for the child amidst the mother’s demise may cause more depressive and stagnated thoughts (Morin, 2021). Similarly, emotional loneliness and lack of emotional support due to the spouse’s death may cause suicide (National Center for Health Statistics, CDC, 2002., as cited in Relationships, n.d.)

Four Methods/Strategies That Help Mid Adults to Reduce Stress

Rather than stress, mid-adults experience conflicts (How to cope with a later-life crisis, n.d.). Hence it is more likely midlife stress may depend on the way that how it is being handled. The following four strategies have effects in alleviating midlife stress.

Volunteering

            It is proven that volunteering decreases the risk of later depression (Li & Ferraro, 2005, as cited in Ensminger, et al., 2011). Religion-based volunteering has a positive impact on growing life satisfaction and health (Gil-Lacruz, Gil-Lacruz, & Saz-Gi, 2019). In Siripala’s case if he used to engage in volunteering such as teaching in a Sunday school, welfare donations, and organizing Poya day programs would have a great impact on dealing with empty nest syndrome and suicidal thoughts. Moreover, it helps to move with new generations in the sense of generativity. Eventually, deliver a holistic positive outcome for society.

Family and Social Connectedness

Mid-life is vulnerable to social isolation that is identified as a risk factor for mortality (House, Landis, & Umberson, 1988). When considering Siripala’s losses, and Sanjeewani’s gains isolated themselves most of the time from families and friends. Having an understanding person to share similar feelings is a good coping strategy for decreasing depressive thoughts (How to cope with a later-life crisis, n.d.). Considering the Sri Lankan context, Sanjeewani can claim the benefit of trustworthy caregiving from her father while Siripala as a grandparent can obtain emotional well-being and reward through caregiving (Moen et al. 1995., as cited in Choi, 2020). Having family time to refresh connections between far-off members is a strong stress management method (Scott, 2020).

Physical Well-being

            Middle-aged individuals like Sanjeewani who have busy schedules are more likely to struggle with maintaining physical well-being. How much they ignore this matter they may experience stress. A healthy diet, exercise, and sleep are important determiners of stress management. Sugary, fatty, and salty food consumption triggers adrenaline and cortisol, then urges eating more (Relationship Between Food and Stress, n.d.). A healthy diet is connected with reducing tendencies of depression (Attia, et al., 2014). Exercise boost brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine that affect mood and behavior (How exercise helps balance hormones, n.d.). Also, frequent exercises decrease the symptoms of depression and level of cortisol (Arita, et al., 2006). Simultaneously, workouts help in weight loss and overall body shaping. It improves self-confidence in middle-aged people. Sleep is also vital since it alleviates the severity of symptoms when environmental stress is present (Hu, Kaiser, & Visser, 2019).

Positive Communication and Understanding

            This is a bidirectional aspect. Both middle-aged individuals and people around them should grasp the significance of good communication. Understanding that the gains and losses are expectable in midlife or convincing middle-aged people to understand it, would be a good coping strategy. Sharing solitary and stressful thoughts improves emotional strength rather than regretting or imprisoning them. Reframing the scenario of getting old and accepting stressors as challenges are extremely helpful (How to cope with a later-life crisis, n.d.). For instance, case 1 and case 2 situations such as job promotions/retirement, child-rearing, losing intimate relationships/limited time with family, are stressful but can manage through positive communication.

Conclusion

            In brief, midlife is a transitional period individuals need to be prepared for various negative and positive life events. Better awareness about adapting and coping methods may facilitate in reducing stress levels and healthy aging.

References

AllAboutFnaf. (2017). Generativity vs Stagnation, [Drawing]. https://www.deviantart.com/allaboutfnaf/art/Generativity-vs-Stagnation-702035224

Arita, M., Junprasert, S., Miyai, N., Nabkasorn, C., Sootmongk, A., & Yamamoto, H. (2006). Effects of physical exercise on depression, neuroendocrine stress hormones and physiological fitness in adolescent females with depressive symptoms . European Journal of Public Health, 16(2), 179–184,. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/cki159

Attia, J., Bisquera, A., Hiles, S., Hure, A. J., Lai, J. S., & McEvoy, M. (2014). A systematic review and meta-analysis of dietary patterns and depression in community-dwelling adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 99(1), 181–197. doi:doi:10.3945/ajcn.113.069880

Booso, K., Bulathwatta, B. D., & Menikdiwela, K. R. (2018). Physical and cognitive development in middle adulthood. In Lifespan Development (pp. 23-33). The Open University of Sri Lanka.

Cherry, K. (2021, April 18). Generativity vs. Stagnation in Psychosocial Development. https://www.verywellmind.com/generativity-versus-stagnation-2795734

Choi, S. E. (2020). Grandparenting and mortality: How does race-ethnicity matter? Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 61(1), 96–112. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/0022146520903282

Coccia, C., Darling, C. A., & Senatore, N. (2012). Women in midlife: Stress, health and life satisfaction. Stress and Health, 28(1), 31-40. doi:DOI: 10.1002/smi.139

Dr Babu, K. V., Chandrashekarappa, S. M., Gopi, A., Kumar, J., Rajgariah, R., & Ramaiha, N. M. (2021). Parenting stress and coping strategies adopted among working and non-working mothers and its association with socio-demographic variables: A cross-sectional study. Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health, 9, 191-195. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cegh.2020.08.013

Empty nest syndrome. (2020). https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/empty-nest-syndrome/art-20047165

Ensminger, M. E., Fothergill , K. E., Green, K. M., Juon, H. S., Robertson, J., & Thorpe, R. J. (2011). Effects of social integration on health: A prospective study of community. Social Science & Medicine, 72(2), 291-298. doi:doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.10.024

Gil-Lacruz, A. I., Gil-Lacruz, M., & Saz-Gi, M. I. (2019). Benefits of older volunteering on wellbeing: An international comparison. Front. Psychol. doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02647

Hasan, S. S., & Mansoor, A. (2019). Empty nest syndrome and psychological wellbeing. Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 17(1), 55-60.

House, J. S., Landis, K. R., & Umberson, D. (1988). Social relationships and health. Science, 241(4865), 540-545. doi:doi:10.1126/science.3399889

How exercise helps balance hormones. (n.d.). https://www.piedmont.org/living-better/how-exercise-helps-balance-hormones

How to cope with a later-life crisis. (n.d.). https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/how-to-cope-with-a-later-life-crisis

Hu, Y., Kaiser, S., & Visser, M. (2019). Perceived stress and sleep quality in midlife and later: Controlling for genetic and environmental influences. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 1-13. doi: DOI: 10.1080/15402002.2019.1629443

Isha. (2015). Panic at Midlife, [Drawing]. https://isha.sadhguru.org/us/en/wisdom/article/panic-at-midlife

Lachman, M. E. (2004). Development in midlife. Annu. Rev. Psychol., 55, 305-331. doi:doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.141521

Midlife. (n.d.). https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/mid-life

Morin, A. (2021). 5 signs and symptoms of empty nest syndrome. https://www.verywellfamily.com/signs-of-empty-nest-syndrome-4163787

Paljug, K. (2018). Midlife career change: How to make a smooth transition. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7123-midlife-career-change.html

Psychosocial development. (n.d.). https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-hccc-ss-152-1/chapter/psychosocial-development-during-midlife/

Relationship Between Food and Stress. (n.d.). https://oldnwise.com/health/mental-health/relationship-between-food-and-stress/

Relationships. (n.d.). https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-hccc-ss-152-1/chapter/relationships-during-late-adulthood/

Scott, E. (2020). How to Have Healthy Family Relationships With Less Stress. https://www.verywellmind.com/healthy-family-relationshps-and-stress-relief-3144541

Selye, H. (1936). A Syndrome produced by Diverse Nocuous Agents. Nature, 138(3479), 32–32. . doi:doi:10.1038/138032a0

 

Note: 
There are many more life events that make midlife so stressful. Since this report is one of my academic activities, only two life events have discussed here.