Individuals face many highs and lows over the course of a lifetime. Time can seem to speed up when you get older, leaving you to wonder where the years have gone suddenly. It is common for those aged in between 40 and 60 to have somewhat of an existential crisis, also commonly referred to a ‘midlife crisis’. This term is thrown around a lot but what actually is it, how can you tell if you are in one and how can you overcome such a crisis?
Am I in a midlife crisis?
A midlife crisis can mean a number of things to many different people. It can be a period of reflection and regret over actions (or lack of actions) in younger life, or a feeling of emptiness, unfulfillment and stagnation in later life. On the other hand, a midlife crisis can be triggered by serious or unforeseen events like bereavement, divorce or redundancy. While you can try to define a midlife crisis, the thoughts and emotions of every individual are unique to their circumstance – sometimes making it a scary and lonely place. However, it’s important to remember that you can work through this period and emerge from the other side.
How can I overcome it?
You’ll certainly need to make a change in some way to get out of any rut you face in life, midlife crises included. If you can identify what is causing your feelings and emotions then you will be able to work on them. Below are some basic ideas that may provide some inspiration.
Explore a new hobby, venture or activity
Lack of purpose or motivation can be clear symptoms of a midlife crisis, so finding a new hobby or venture to invest your time and energy into is always a good start. You could start cycling, try a new sport or join a local group. Maybe you have a new business idea, and you can finally leave your 9-5 to pursue your own success. The stereotypical midlife crisis reaction for men is to buy a sports car like a Mercedes, which may be a good option for some.
Make a change in your life
Sometimes a bigger change may be needed to reinvigorate yourself. Events like divorces or the kids moving out can make your usual routine and environment untenable. Perhaps moving house, region or country will give you a fresh perspective on life? Or why not makeover your living space to signal a new chapter? You may even feel like you aren’t surrounded by the right people, in which case, you could seek to improve these relationships or separate yourself and turn over a new leaf.
Focus on the little wins
It can be so easy to get caught up in finding your ultimate purpose and satisfaction in life that you forget to live and enjoy the smaller moments. Try to appreciate going for a coffee, enjoy the times you get to spend with friends and family, and relish the chance to exercise and stay active while you still can. If you focus on the little wins and moments of satisfaction every day, you should subconsciously become happier and more present in your day-to-day life.