7 Tips to Deal with Midlife Crisis

In the movie, Eat, pray, love the protagonist Elizabeth Gilbert (played by Julia Roberts), goes through a phase where she feels lost and dissatisfied with her occupation and lifestyle. She expresses her longing by saying that she wants to feel like a carefree teenager again. She decides to take a break and travels to Italy, Indonesia, and India to find her purpose and bring back the excitement to life. 

This movie provides a classic example of a midlife crisis. Have you also witnessed that you are slowly losing interest in things that you used to love, or do you feel that you are constantly obligated to fulfil responsibilities, and feel that you have changed!? There is a chance that even you might be going through one. Research suggests that 10-20% of adults report going through a midlife crisis.

What is a Midlife Crisis?

A mid-life crisis is a phase in life where an individual struggles with self-concept and self-confidence, typically between the 40s-60s. It is not a disorder but a psychological condition that affects both men and women. The problems and emotional turmoil during this phase could be different for each individual depending on various personal, environmental, and situational factors.

If you are going through a midlife crisis you might have regrets about the decisions you made in the past, you might question whether you like the job you have been doing for many years. You might feel that you are losing the spark in your life. During this phase, you might feel changes in your hormones. You might find yourself caring for your ageing parents and at the same time accepting that it’s time for your kids to move out of the house or be independent. Family dynamics gradually change during this time.

A mid-life crisis also has a significant impact on the relationship with the individual’s spouse. Individuals witness themselves craving for change, struggling to get intimate with their partner, stagnancy, and strain in the marriage, divorce, lower sex drives, and difficulties connecting to their partner. As the individual gets older, he/she might lose physical abilities, motivation, and agility. They also might start to feel less active, have less energy, and be prone to injuries and illnesses.

How do you know if you have a mid-life crisis?

As mid-life crisis is not a disorder there is no scientific diagnosis for the same. But here are some signs that individuals generally experience:

  • Feeling a sense of dissatisfaction or restlessness with one’s current life or accomplishments
  • Questioning the meaning and purpose of life
  • Experiencing a desire for change
  • Engaging in impulsive or reckless behaviour
  • Feeling a loss of identity or a desire to reinvent oneself
  • Struggling with feelings of regret or nostalgia
  • Questioning past decisions and wondering if there are missed opportunities
  • Feeling a sense of urgency to make significant life changes
  • Experiencing changes in Mood
  • Reflecting on mortality and the passage of time

Handling a Mid-Life crisis and Restoring the Zest for life

Even though difficulties during this phase of life are inevitable, their impact on an individual can be reduced. If the individual adapts healthy coping strategies, shows acceptance, and develops a positive mindset towards ageing, then he/she can have a good quality of life. It is important to note that self-care during a crisis is vital because individuals may not be making enough time for themselves.

Self-care is all about taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Prioritise your well-being and make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation. One can overcome a mid-life crisis in the following ways given below:

1. Accepting your Feelings 

It is important to know that you are not alone, there are a lot of people who are going through this. Suppressing your emotions might eventually cause more stress in the long run. Accepting your emotions might seem hard but understanding what you are going through will significantly help you move out of the crisis.


2. Staying Active

Developing an active lifestyle can help with overcoming negative moods. Exercising, playing a sport, jogging, yoga, or even walking can increase chemicals like dopamine and serotonin which are also known as happiness hormones. You can be active even during and after your 50s! You can start small and find activities that make you happy and keep you active at the same time. Exercising at this age can help you age better without attracting major physical ailments. Finding people who support you and share the same interests will help you stay motivated.

Read More: 9 Key Teachings of Budhha that will help you gain Inner peace

3. Finding a Sense of Purpose

Having a purpose in life can significantly contribute to achieving a better quality of life. Understanding what values align with you and which ones to let go of can be the primary step toward finding meaning or a sense of purpose in life. It can influence our choices, and give a sense of direction, something to strive for. An individual facing a mid-life crisis might feel dissatisfied with their life. Finding a purpose again when feeling lost can increase fulfilment and motivation.

4. Hobbies

Many individuals might lose touch with the activities they enjoyed previously because of life circumstances. Trying out those hobbies again or finding new ones can be a great way to enhance your mood, and unleash your creativity. Hobbies provide a way to be carefree and worry less about perfection when simply done to create joy.

5. Regulate your Emotions

Hormonal changes cause an imbalance in your mood and emotions. Finding ways to self-regulate can make you calmer. Journaling is a significant method for understanding your conflicting emotions and expressing them, it makes your head clear by bringing your thoughts on paper and reduces overthinking.  Being mindful and practising meditation activities can help you keep your cool even when situations that are out of your control trigger you.

6. Reconnecting with your partner

At times individuals might experience strain on their marital life. They might feel stagnant or bored with their partners. This is very common as you have known your partner for a very long time, the spark might fade off. But this can be tackled by getting to know your partner again.

You can start by taking small steps like communicating these feelings to your partner, making time for each other, spending quality time with each other, going out on dates, etc. 

7. Reaching out for help

If you feel that you are not able to navigate through this you can always consider taking guidance by talking to a mental health professional like a therapist, counsellor, etc. Reaching out for help can be a sign of courage and can help you be in a safe space to assess your feelings. Therapy can provide great tools to battle the hardships of life and help in reducing stress.

In conclusion, navigating through a mid-life crisis can be a challenging yet transformative journey. As depicted in various media, including the movie “Eat, Pray, Love,” individuals may find themselves grappling with feelings of dissatisfaction, questioning their purpose, and yearning for change during this phase of life. While experiencing a mid-life crisis is not uncommon, it’s essential to recognize the signs and proactively seek healthy coping mechanisms.

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