The midlife crisis is a cliché and fodder for 40th birthday cards, but it is also a very real thing that can cause great distress at a sensitive time in one’s life.
Many people suffer a period of anxiety and stress in their forties and fifties. It is a time in one’s life when there is a lot going on, and the causes of these negative emotions can be multiple.
This is typically when people first start to notice that they are aging. Men lose their hair, and women start experiencing the symptoms of peri-menopause or menopause. Both sexes suddenly realise that, in the eyes of the young people they see on the street, they are already ‘past it’. Reading glasses first make their appearance, and people often notice that their metabolism is slowing down and they gain weight more readily.
This is often a time of life when there are also many external sources of stress. Parents with teenaged children are trying to shepherd them through the hormonal years of puberty and young adulthood—and often dealing with the complex needs of aging parents at the same time. Money and time can all be quite tight.
Flashpoints in one’s life, such as birthdays, can be triggers to examining the decisions that we have taken in the past, and to experiencing regrets about roads not taken.
To put it bluntly, it can all be very hard. However, a midlife crisis is not just a challenge—it is also an opportunity.
Nobody can roll back the clock but if you are not happy about how you are aging, you will feel a lot better if you can improve your fitness levels and maintain or achieve a healthy weight. Try to carve out a little time to go to your local gym or pool, or even just to go for regular walks.
If you are not happy about the path your career has taken, the good news is that it has never been easier to find a night course or part time university course that will give you the intellectual stimulation you are looking for, and maybe help you to get into a different career.
If you are struggling with the competing demands of teenaged children and elderly parents, don’t be ashamed to admit that it is difficult and to reach out for help. Nobody will think that you are weak.
Navigating the ebbs and flows of middle age can be as tricky, in its own way, as navigating one’s way through puberty. Sometimes doing it alone all gets to be too much. Some people find it useful to have a few sessions with a life coach or therapist who can help them to figure out their priorities, make the changes they need to, and find a way to feel more comfortable with themselves.
Making your midlife crisis an opportunity instead of a challenge starts with reframing it as a period of new beginnings, rather than endings.
If you are lucky enough to live in the developed world, the odds are excellent that you still have many years of life left. Now is your chance to make sure that they are wonderful.
WHO CAN I SPEAK TO FURTHER ABOUT THE ISSUES IN THIS ARTICLE?
For help with the issues discussed in this article speak to one of our therapists here at Private Therapy Clinic for a free initial chat or to make an appointment.
How Can I Manage my Midlife Crisis? was last modified: January 15th, 2019 by Private Therapy Clinic
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