This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
Midlife crises are clearly common enough that they’ve become a popular term to describe a particular moment in the middle of life that may have us feeling completely overwhelmed.
A midlife crisis may arise from all manner of difficulties. These could be marital issues, parenting struggles, financial problems, or a fear of aging and mortality.
Yet no matter the exact cause of a midlife crisis—and, indeed, it can be a whole of things at once—they can be a huge challenge to surmount. We don’t have to accept a midlife crisis, however. If anything, we should actively try to overcome it so that we can get on with our life and be in a much better place.
In any case, if you’ve found your way to this article and are facing a midlife crisis, you’re in the right place. So, read on to learn different ways that you can work on getting through a midlife crisis.
Overcoming a Midlife Crisis
It can be easier said than done but try not to worry too much if you’re having a midlife crisis. You’re far from the only one! This is a term that has become part of our popular language, after all. And in middle age, our little concerns and problems can multiply and quickly become one giant overwhelming mess.
Adult responsibilities may become quite intense—car trouble, mortgage payments, soccer practice, a leaky roof, work problems, relationship problems, etc. etc.
It’s perfectly understandable to go through tough periods, whether or not life is throwing a lot at you. Don’t beat yourself up and instead try to focus on what you can do to actively improve the situation. Being proactive will go a very long way at getting you out of whatever rut you may feel like you’re in.
So, read on to learn some helpful tips that will help you—or help you to help someone else—with a midlife crisis. And if you could go for some additional guidance, you might want to check out the useful advice available online through BetterHelp.
Celebrate the Small Victories
To draw an analogy from the sport of baseball, you won’t always hit a home run every at-bat. Heck, even the best hitters don’t get a hit seven times out of ten. Coming to terms with failure and learning to celebrate the little victories can be huge when you’re struggling in life.
There is a lot about our culture that pushes us towards the idea of “success” and “achievement” and “perfection.” While it’s of course worth having personal and professional goals, it’s as much about the journey as it is about the destination.
And far too many people overly fixate on the result rather than making sustainable progress. Just think of all the people every year who have burnt out on their New Year’s resolutions after three weeks (if that). Losing twenty pounds in a month? That’s unrealistic for most people. Losing one pound per week? That’s much more sustainable.
So, be sure to start small and feel proud about all the little accomplishments you have each day. Just getting up out of bed may be a big win when you’re feeling really depressed. Take your time and recognize your little victories and over time they’ll become bigger and bigger ones as you get back on your feet.
Flip Your Perspective
Many of us are in need of flipping our perspectives. It can be so easy to get caught up in our day-to-day problems and not see the big picture. Think about how far you’ve come and how much progress you’ve made. Think about how many people have problems that are so much worse than your own.
By relativizing our own quotidian concerns, we can really renew our perspective and start feeling more grateful about all the things we have. For example, instead of getting super upset about traffic, work, family issues, etc., we can simply be grateful that we have a car, a job, a family, etc.
The simple act of expressing gratitude every day can really go a long way for your mental health. Plus, when you tell (or show) others that you care about them, you’ll be putting out love and positive vibes into the world, which tend to make their way back around.
From time to time, it’s quite easy to lose track of ourselves. After all, you may have a partner, an aging parent, kids, work, a mortgage, pets, etc. That’s a lot to stay on top of.
We all know that these kinds of responsibilities can really add up to a lot of stress. That makes it all the more important to learn how to compartmentalize these things and know how to take breaks for your own well-being.
Self-care is all about affording yourself the time to do things that benefit you. Try meditating, doing yoga, or practicing gratitude. You might play your favorite music while you do something simple like make your bed or fold laundry. Make some healthy, delicious food that will help rejuvenate you (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, etc.).
These are just a few ways that you can work on managing your stress during a midlife crisis (or any time). The little things in life that may be self-care for you may be able to help you turn the page on your crisis.
Re(Discover) a Hobby
Did you used to have a hobby that you loved? Or is there something you’ve been wanting to do forever? Whether it’s learning a language, learning how to play an instrument, collecting something, or anything else that brings you joy, hobbies are an excellent way to pass the time in a leisurely and enjoyable manner.
The other benefit about hobbies is that many of them have large in-person and online communities that you can join. Making friends over something that you’re passionate about is a great way to be more social and may help you break out of the slump you’re in.
Seek out Support
It’s completely normal to need help from time to time. When you’re in the middle of a crisis, it’s a good time to lean on others. While it may be hard to accept your midlife crisis, it’s important to recognize that it’s negatively impacting you in order to start improving.
If you have a trusted friend, spouse, or family member you can turn to, that’s great. But it may be best to seek the support of a licensed counselor, particularly if your problems are severe.
Midlife crises can build up slowly over time or they can explode out of nowhere with one event that turns your world upside down.
No matter the reasons for your midlife crisis, don’t forget to tell yourself that “this too shall pass.” Just be sure to keep your head up, take good care of yourself, and seek out the support that you may need. Before you know it, you’ll be out of the woods. Midlife crises can strike suddenly and make the whole world feel like it’s falling apart. Eventually, however, you’ll make it through. Keep your head up, take care of yourself, and get the support you need.