Navigating Midlife Stress as an Engineer: Tips for Finding Balance and Fulfilment

Feeling stuck and midlife stress is a common experience for many engineers and other head-based thinkers, especially as they navigate the ups and downs of midlife. The demands of work and career, coupled with the pressures of family and personal responsibilities, can make it challenging to find balance and fulfilment. But here’s the thing: it’s not so much about being stuck or stressed that matters; it’s what you do about it.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Recognise that it’s normal to feel this way and that you’re not alone. Sometimes we may all feel this way, and that is ok.
  2. Identify the root causes of your stress, such as overwork, lack of autonomy, or feeling undervalued in your career. 
  3. What initial steps are within your control that you could take today? It might be about boundaries, developing new habits and routines, or trying something different – create small experiments for yourself.
  4. Prioritise self-care and find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as regular exercise, mindfulness practices, working with a coach, or seeking support from other health professionals.
  5. Seek a supportive community of peers and like-minded individuals who can understand and relate to your unique challenges and talk with them.  You don’t have to struggle alone.
  6. Remember that midlife is a time for reflection, growth, and change. Embrace this as an opportunity to re-evaluate your priorities and create a more fulfilling and satisfying vision for how you want your life to be.  

If you’re an engineer or technologist feeling stuck or stressed in midlife, choose to take back your control.  Break free of the default to continue spinning faster and faster on the hamster wheel of life and take action to build the life you want instead.  As you do, remember that progress and growth often come from pushing through difficult times.