Prevent Your Midlife Crisis
There comes a time in every middle-aged person’s life when they realize they are, in fact, a middle-aged person. Perhaps that realization occurs while complaining about loud music or lamenting that they left their cardigan at home. Welcome to your midlife crisis.
This is a startling (and, unfortunately, reoccurring) revelation, which lends a new urgency to become the person you intended to be. Now is the time to make sure that the life you live is one you will look back on fondly.
There’s a reason the term “midlife crisis” exists. Although it’s most often used to define behavior that seems questionable, to re-evaluate your life and gather up the courage to make changes is a healthy and productive component of the aging process. It’s certainly one that you can do gracefully and with intention.
Eliminate the crises from your life with a midlife makeover, and explore all of the options of things you aren’t too old to do.
Make a Plan
A planning strategy major brands use to define their voice includes creating a “muse”. It’s a visualization or detailed character sketch of their ideal audience member.
They consider everything from where the person would live, the kind of career they’d have, the demographic of their friend group, where they shop, what they eat and how they spend their free time.
Borrow that strategy and be your own muse. Idealize yourself a little bit. If you could become any version of yourself, what would you look like?
Get specific and write it down, and then use that description to help guide your actions. To define your muse can help with decisions about your future, from what you’ll have for breakfast to major career goals.
The second part of becoming your own muse is to recognize your limitations. Don’t let “perfect” become the enemy of “good.”
Sure, the woman you want to be might go to hot yoga five times a week and drink kale smoothies.
If that’s a far cry from where you are now, take the baby steps towards getting there or close to it.
Take yoga twice a week and add more walks to your daily routine, choose water instead of soda and inch your way towards where you want to be.
Accept that it may take some time to get there—and that’s perfectly okay!
Leave Bad Habits Behind
The most difficult part of creating a new you when you’re not so new anymore is leaving bad habits behind.
Take an objective look at your life and evaluate what change is needed. Has that nightly drink evolved into several, with cocktail hour falling earlier and earlier each day?
If your habits interfere with your relationships, career, health or social life, it’s time to take a hard look of your pastime is now an addiction.
If you think you may benefit from therapy or treatment from any issues related to your past, see if you can find the right support group, program or doctor.
According to Dr. Riana Chagoury of Malibu Hills Treatment Center, many people who start treatment later in life report feeling more comfortable with others who are close in age. That makes it easier to relate since they share similar experiences and perspective due to their stage in life. It’s also a great opportunity to expand your social community.
The last step is both the easiest and most difficult to do. Joy is all around us. You can create and share it fairly easily. Remember to look for joy and appreciate it when you find it. That’s the difficult part.
Although self-care sounds nebulous, like something enjoyed by people with more resources than you may have available, it is as simple as a trip to the library to pick out a new book, a walk through a park or coffee with a new or old friend.
Take extra time to seek out the delights of the world. This helps bad habits drop away and make it easier to adopt new ones. Although it feels like happiness should come easily, it might not always come automatically. Work for joy and recognize its rewards.
With the right support and motivation, you can teach an old dog new tricks. And because you’re not old, or a dog, your potential is even greater than a few new tricks.
Redefine the kind of life you want to live. Make the most of it by challenging yourself to enjoy new experiences.