In the middle: 13 ways to survive a midlife crisis
Buying expensive “toys”, changing clothes for bright clothes and accessories, too keen on cosmetic procedures … All this can be a sign of middle age.
A crisis can occur in both men and women aged 35 to 55 years. Most people manage to overcome this crisis without any problems, but for some it is very painful, completely upsetting the balance of life.
What is a middle-aged crisis?
The phrase ” middle-aged crisis” was first introduced by Elliot Jacques in 1965 and was widely used by psychologists. This period was described as a normal period of life when a person passes from a generation of young people to a generation of older people. At this time, people evaluate their achievements, goals and dreams, compare them with what they aspired to in their youth, and analyze what they have achieved.
Men more often focus directly on their achievements and the desire to prove their success to others, while women tend to fix their appearance, sexual attraction and what they can do after the children grow up.
People who live with aspirations and goals are less inclined to worry about a midlife crisis, and those who live on autopilot at this time begin to realize that they are getting older, a lot of time has passed, and very little has been achieved.
The term “midlife crisis” is also known by the names mid-life transition, personality search, life change, empty nest syndrome, identity verification, or identity assessment.
The main causes of the manifestations of the symptoms of a midlife crisis may be (but are not limited to):
- Thoughts about old age and death: This may be your first pair of reading glasses, hair loss, menopause or death of an older person.
- Deterioration of health.
- A sense of dissatisfaction with your career.
- The end (or lack thereof) of a meaningful relationship in your life.
- The growth of children and their care in independent life.
- Regret for not achieving life goals and achievements.
How to cope with the crisis?
To begin with, determine whether the midlife crisis is a problem for you.
Men may want sudden or radical changes in their lives – in their careers, in their families, in their place of residence. Women may feel less motivated to advance in their careers or may begin to question the appropriateness of any efforts they have made before, whether in the family or at work. Sometimes the condition that you may take for a midlife crisis is actually a stage of psychosocial development called productivity vs. stagnation. And volunteering with the younger generation or mentoring can help solve this problem.
Accept the problem
You may feel that you are stuck in an existing relationship, want to move to a new job or change your position. Think about what exactly makes you unhappy, and then try to find a solution. For example, if you feel unhappy in your marriage, it doesn’t mean you have to break it down. There are often difficulties in living together and you have to work on them. Try to talk frankly with your partner or talk to a professional together. Track your thoughts – how often you think about hopelessness, about the bad. Learn to catch them and change them to positive ones.
Find new goals
Appreciate your real aspirations. Perhaps they are too unrealistic. Reject what you cannot achieve and find new goals that will bring you satisfaction. You may never write a book or become an astronaut, but there are surely many other achievements in your life. Make sure you do not compare yourself to other people. If you do, take a break from social networking – many pictures in them are just a beautiful picture, not a reflection of the essence.
Appreciate your life
You are an adult and you are responsible for your life. Instead of remaining dissatisfied with your roles and responsibilities, find something you can be grateful for. Think about the fact that there are many people in the world who only dream about what you take for granted. Start a daily thank you diary to see how much good there is in your life and get used to happiness.
Make a conscious choice
If you think that making a sharp decision is the only way or the only thing that will make you happy, think again. There are other options, most likely. For example, if you are dissatisfied with your job, think about moving to another department, job or branch in another city. Do not let impulsive decisions get the better of you. Gather information, analyze all your options.
If you buy a lot of “unnecessary” things and think it’s a way to achieve happiness, think about how you can do it differently. For example, start growing flowers, sign up in a dance studio, do some drawing. Make a habit of waiting 24-48 hours before buying what you supposedly really need.
Ask for advice
If you feel ready to make important decisions, ask for advice from someone you trust. Listen to him, even if you don’t like what he says. You may hear a thought that you haven’t even thought about. If you plan to quit your job, divorce your partner, make a big purchase, talk to someone before you act.
Move forward, not backwards
Many people who are in a midlife crisis think that turning back can be a move forward. Your problems will not be solved by constantly communicating with young people, buying sports car or bright, trendy clothes. It won’t turn back time. The best thing you can do is to admit your age and try to enjoy it. Everyone gets older and no one will avoid old age. It is important how calmly you accept a number that reflects the time you have lived on earth until today. Nobody prevents you from investing in your appearance in healthy non-invasive ways, such as working with a personal trainer or using a good salon.
Spend some time alone
If you’ve spent most of your life caring for your children and family, constantly communicating with your colleagues and management, start making time only for yourself. Do it every day. Let your mind disperse and reflect on how you live your life. Give yourself some space to think, feel and live on your own terms. Go out, spend time in nature, meditate…
Chat with your friends
Time spent with friends can be a good cure for stress. Every week, take time to hang out with a friend, have lunch or walk together. Meet those you feel comfortable and relaxed with.
Avoid alcohol and psychotropic drugs
No exciters can solve your problems, they can only add new ones.
Work with depression and anxiety
Some people experience these feelings in the middle of their lives. You may be sad that you didn’t achieve your desired goals or get what you expected. Concerns may also arise because you begin to notice physical changes and feel old age coming. Do not ignore your feelings and do not turn them off. Admit them and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Keep a diary
Writing down your thoughts, feelings and experiences can help you think about the life you live and the life you want. Reading your diary allows you to see situations and events from several perspectives.
See a therapist
Choose a therapist who will help you through the crisis, not try to end it as quickly as possible. Be honest and honest with yourself and allow yourself to express your thoughts and emotions during the therapy.