Presented by BetterHelp.
There are many stereotypical images that come to mind when discussing a midlife crisis. For example, maybe you envision a man buying a sports car or a couple getting a divorce and dating younger partners. Though many people may do impulsive things during a midlife crisis, the fact is that this is an important phase in life and should be treated with more respect than is given by these stereotypes.
If you are experiencing a midlife crisis, you may be overwhelmed by particular emotions. For example, maybe you feel shame for not performing as well as when you were a young athlete. Or perhaps you are ready to try new hobbies or want to change your career. Whatever the case, navigating a midlife crisis can seem daunting and overwhelming. So here are a few tips to help you through this phase.
Acknowledge And Process Feelings
Experiencing a midlife crisis can be an emotional transition. You are grappling with the fact that half your life has passed and that you are no longer the person of your youth. Many emotions can come about during this time, including fear, anxiety, depression, and self-doubt. All of these emotions are normal and should not be suppressed or shamed.
Therefore, to transition through this period with minimal emotional pain, you should acknowledge and process what you are feeling. Try a therapeutic activity such as writing in a journal, or you can discuss your emotions with a trusted loved one or a therapist. Any activity that allows you to express your thoughts and emotions will be crucial for your mental health during this time.
Take Care Of Your Body
Some people let themselves go and develop bad habits during a midlife crisis. Others turn to extreme athleticism as a way of combating bad habits in the past. However, neither extreme is healthy for your body. Though it is important to get plenty of exercise and eat well, remember that your body can’t do the same things it did in your youth. Therefore, make sure you are still caring for your body with exercise, nutritious food, and plenty of sleep, but don’t do anything that will hurt your body or negatively affect your health.
Make Peace With Aging
Aging is a normal part of life. Entering your middle years does not mean you are inadequate in any way. Though it can be a scary or stressful time, please know that this is normal, and almost all humans go through this.
It is essential to understand that you will not find any peace until you accept that you are aging. Fighting reality will only make this transition much harder. Therefore acknowledge your fears with a journal or therapist, but learn to make peace with the transition.
Furthermore, view this period of your life with positivity and optimism. Yes, you are no longer a teenager, but you still have so much more life to live. If you don’t like where your life has led up to this point, you still have plenty of time to do what you want and create a far more satisfying life.
Surround Yourself With Loved Ones
No matter your age, life is best when surrounded by people who love us. One of the revelations that people may have during a midlife crisis is that they don’t enjoy the people they spend time with. Maybe they don’t love their partners as much as they thought, or their friends are not supportive. If you have relationships that no longer serve you, this is a great time to transform them or end them to make room for better ones.
If you already have a great support network, spend more time with these people to experience the love and support you need. If they are the same age as you, they may be going through a midlife crisis as well. Being surrounded by loved ones can make this phase much easier to bear and may lessen some of the emotional pain that comes with it.
Find Soul Satisfaction
A midlife crisis is a perfect time to figure out what brings you true satisfaction. With less time on this planet, people in this phase begin to focus on what is truly important and not what society wants them to do. Therefore, they may change their careers, divorce partners they don’t love, or take up new hobbies that give them new meaning and purpose.
Therefore, in order to experience more joy in the second half of your life, figure out what will bring you soul satisfaction and then pursue it.
For more general information about midlife crises, as well as more tips for navigating them, you can find more resources here.