Somewhere between the ages of 40 and 60 years old, many people experience a midlife crisis. But instead of going all-in on that panther tattoo or buying a motorcycle, there are actually ways to turn your crisis into one of the best moments of your life.
A midlife crisis has been deemed a mental health issue and is a phase that surpasses ordinary feelings of depression, remorse and anxiety about aging.
Experts also describe the youthful boost of energy one often gets during their midlife crisis, and suggest ways to channel that energy away from dangerous (or just embarrassing) decisions and towards life changes that can turn your crisis moment into an opportunity for increased confidence.
Focus on you
Through years of hard work and family obligations, it’s common to experience burnout as you age. This can be a time to focus on your own personal goals and desires and to imagine how those things can start to play a more central role in your life.
Learn something new
The old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is nonsense. You certainly can continue learning at any age. Getting in touch with your artsy side, learning a new language or picking up a new out-of-the-box hobby are all good ways to boost morale and fight off depression.
Reconnect with friends
We all love our families, but sometimes it’s good to be around others who know what it’s like to be where you are. Having a community around you and getting into new activities can help you learn to celebrate yourself — and each other.
Talk to a professional
Since midlife crises and mental health go hand-in-hand, talking to a professional about what you’re feeling has many benefits. A therapist can help guide you groups and classes, and even give insights on how to talk about your feelings with your loved ones. Most importantly you can get your emotions out without judgment.
It’s common to want to turn inward and shut out the world when depression hits us. Experts say that getting outside and staying active will help calm our depression — and you can get fit while doing it.
Finish that project
From an untended garden to those dusty golf clubs, a midlife crisis might be the perfect time to reconnect with a hobby you used to love. Nostalgia can help with depression and chronic pain.
From making new friends, to finishing your project and learning a new hobby, there are many ways to help tackle the lonely feeling on a midlife crisis.
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About the Author
Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com