26 Sep 2023

70% of midlife women spend less than five hours a week on their own needs, self-care & hobbies

“I feel like everyone wants and needs attention and time, yet who gives it to us?”

A new poll by The Midlife Festival and The Latte Lounge has found that the so-called ‘sandwich generation’ lifestyle is leaving the majority of women over 40-years-old with little time for their own self-care and wellbeing.

The Midlife Festival is our free, week-long women’s health and wellbeing event (held entirely online to empower women to a healthier, happier life over 40). It returns for a third year from 9 - 13 October 2023 with 25+ expert speakers.

Headlining at this year's event are: TV presenter Louise Minchin, Emmy award-winning television journalist Tamsen Fadal, Beauty journalist and broadcaster Ateh Jewel and some of the UK’s leading medical experts, including Professor Guy Leischenzer, Dr Nighat Arif and Dr Naomi Potter.

midlife festival

Free tickets are available at: themidlifefestival.com

In our survey of 1,309 women over 40-years-old, we found that:

  • 69.8% of women spend less than five hours a week on their own needs, self-care and hobbies - less than an hour a day.
  • Just 11.7% of women say that they spend more than ten hours a week on themselves
  • 69% of women spend less than three hours a week socialising with friends, and 71% spend less than five hours a week socialising with their partners.

Instead, women are dedicating themselves to the responsibilities of parenting, looking after ageing parents and work. They told us:

  • “The emotional tug-of-war for scraps of ‘me-time’ is overwhelming, and you feel like you're constantly failing someone you love.”
  • “It really feels like you're pulled in different directions - kids, parents, partner, work; I have to prioritise so carefully.”
  • “It is so hard as the melting pot of family, work, and perimenopause has all come up at once and leads to burnout and exhaustion. This needs addressing urgently for the millions of women burning out, which is impacting their mental and physical health.”
  • “It’s a pressure pot between work, an ageing (and recently widowed parent), two children under five and everything else. Like many, my own needs just have to come last.”
  • “We are busier than ever with no time for ourselves. I think we are still the generation that does it all. I’m the one who does pretty much all of the chores; I cook all of the meals & I do everything the children need. I work also.”
  • “It’s harder to find time for rest, relaxation, joy, and connection, all whilst having to deal with the challenges associated with perimenopause/menopause transition”.

Katie Taylor, founder of both The Midlife Festival and The Latte Lounge community for midlife women, said: 

Our data shows that women are putting themselves at the bottom of the household to-do list.

“Once you add perimenopause and menopause into the mix, I know from personal experience that this can leave many of us feeling burnt out and struggling to cope with the many demands placed on us."

“That’s why it’s critical for women in the ‘sandwich generation’ to spend more time looking after their own needs so that they can not only be there for their loved ones but also personally thrive through midlife, menopause and beyond. 

“It’s one of the reasons we created The Midlife Festival, which is back for a third year this October - a free, online Festival bringing together some of the UK and World's leading women’s health and wellbeing experts. 

“We wanted to create a week that is unapologetically dedicated to midlife women. An opportunity to take a few hours out of our busy lives to reset, get inspired and informed.”

Last year, more than 13,000 women attended the festival, describing it as ‘positive and uplifting - which is not how life for women over 40 is usually portrayed”.

The Festival was created in 2021 by The Latte Lounge - an online platform for women over 40, founded in 2016 by Katie Taylor after her own debilitating perimenopausal symptoms were misdiagnosed as depression.

Forced to give up her career, she set out to ensure that no other woman would suffer in the same way that she did.

the midlife festival loop

More about The Midlife Festival:

Our 29 speakers at the free five-day event include:

Louise Minchin - Live life fearlessly! The pursuit of adventure

Prof Guy Leschziner - Sleep unlocked; the secrets to good slumber

Dr Nighat Arif - The past, present and future of women’s health

Dr Naomi Potter - Menopause 101 - All the info you need to know

Dr Laura Flexer & Dr Kuki Avery - The secrets of bone health (and why you really do need to care about your bones)

Dr Kate Bunyan - All you need to know about HRT (if you’re considering using it!)

Dr Wendy Molefi - Coping with anxiety in midlife

Dr Alison MacBeth - The journey through breast cancer and menopause

Dr Saliha Mahmood Ahmed - The Kitchen Prescription: food for gut health

Dr Claire McCauley - How to get your sex life back on track 

Nigel Denby - Nourish your body: Nutrition for weight management

Sophie Medlin - The good gut connection: gut health and nutrition

Fareeha Jay - Simple steps to prevent diabetes as you age

Reena Voukan - Fit foundations: Strength training and movement

Dinah Siman - The Power of Pilates in Midlife 

Jacqueline Hooton - New routines and finding time for fitness

Julianne Miles MBE - Your second act careers: returning to work after 40 

Zoe Hendricks - The next step: Career change post-40

Gayle Rinkhoff - Feeling amazing with midlife fashion

Athena Lamnisos - What you need to know about gynaecological cancers

Tanith Carey - Why do I feel so blah?!

Ateh Jewel - Glow guidance; Beauty tips and tricks for 40+ skin

Sarah Graham - Rebel Bodies: The gender health gap

Alison Jensen-Goodall & Marie Schmid - Make-up and skincare secrets post 40

Tamsen Fadal - Single Life, dating and why you need to say ‘yes’ to you first!

Clio Wood - Postnatal to perimenopausal: without losing your mojo

And last but not least, our founder:

Katie Taylor - How to manage your menopause at work

Get all the details here

The Festival is proudly supported by Clarins and YES®.

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