If you’re undergoing a mid-life crisis, you have our compassion. It may sound cliche, but there’s nothing trite about the intensity and overwhelming nature of this earth-shattering event. Most people experience sweeping changes like divorces, relocations, lifestyle shifts, and deep internal changes in attitude. Sometimes the crisis happens because of external triggers – debt, unemployment, health problems, and deep grief. It can leave you unsettled, apathetic, and questioning your place in life (and life itself).
Yoga and wellness studio Olotita offers some suggestions below on managing your mid-life crisis and coming through the experience intact, if not stronger than ever.
It’s Okay to Grieve
Often, a mid-life crisis brings with it a realization that your life isn’t what you thought it would be. You may have intended to accomplish many things or been many things but fallen short of your goals (or find that you don’t care about your old goals anymore). This can lead to a sense of loss, hurt, or even apathy. It can be compounded by any external traumatic events you may have experienced, such as the passing of a loved one, a divorce, or a career trajectory that didn’t pan out.
It’s okay to allow yourself time and space to grieve. Your losses are meaningful, no matter what they are. Grief is a process that will bring you healing, as SSM Health explains. When you get to the other side, you can begin rebuilding your life again – this time in alignment with who you are now, not who you thought you would be. If you’re unhappy with the way things are, you can change them – you have the power. If you’re having difficulty managing your grief, seek out the guidance of a grief counselor or therapist – you’re not alone.
Make Self-Care a Priority
A mid-life crisis can be turbulent and bring in a great deal of stress, anxiety, and pain. It’s important that you support yourself during this time. Treat yourself with kindness, surround yourself with people who care about you, and consider coming up with a self-care routine that will meet your various needs (mental, physical, and emotional).
Learn to Meditate
Meditation is one of the best natural medicines there is against feelings that we experience during a mid-life crisis, such as negativity, fear, stress, and the like. If you meditate daily, you’ll be in better control of your thoughts and emotions. Learning how to meditate isn’t hard – you could use an app, read an online tutorial, or use a real-world teacher, like Olotita. They offer sessions for breathwork and meditation that can get you on the right path.
When you meditate, be sure to find a comfortable position and wear comfortable clothes that won’t distract you. A soft t-shirt and lounge pants, or even a bamboo lounge dress can allow you to get comfortable quickly, so you can focus on your breathing.
Pick up a Spiritual Practice
You may be asking yourself many probing questions – most people who experience this crisis do. Some examples are “What’s the point of it all?”, “Why do I even bother?” and “Am I even good enough?”. While everyone needs to find their own answers (and conquer their own fears), picking up a spiritual practice or activity may help you find faith in life (and yourself).
Reconnect with Friends or Family
Reconnecting with friends and family can help you find meaning in your life again. Humans often go through fire for the sake of the people who care about them – for many people, their loved ones are why they continue when faced with challenges (like mid-life crises). You may need to remind yourself of that. Besides that, talking to your loved ones is good for your well-being and can help get your mind off the bad things (if any).
Find a More Rewarding Job
Sometimes we need to take practical action when faced with a problem. If your career isn’t where it should be, you can and should seek a more rewarding job (when you’re feeling ready). Think about the skills that you have and the things that make you happy. Then, try to find a job that combines those things. For example, if you have worked as a waitress or hostess and find yourself redecorating your home every few months, perhaps a career in interior design is a good fit. Take a look at a description of the position and you’ll see that customer service, people skills, and an eye for design are integral.
Believe in yourself and put your best foot forward. Having a stellar resume can help you get a foot in the door. You can make a professional-looking one using an online resume builder. You can use a professionally-designed template and then add your own copy, photos, and colors. Be sure to highlight your academic background, career experiences, and skills.
Start Your own Business
You can always strike out on your own by launching your own business. It’s easier than you may think, you don’t always need a great deal of money, and you could practically succeed. All you need is some seed money, a business plan, and the right business structure. You can learn how to create a business plan online. A business structure such as an LLC offers benefits like limited liability, tax benefits, more flexibility, and less paperwork. Every state has its own regulations around LLC formation, so check the local rules before moving ahead. If you’d rather not do the legwork yourself, you could use a formation service or a (more expensive) lawyer.
The period we call mid-life can be a time of reconsidering the paths you’ve chosen and what could have been. So if you’re feeling uncertain, be patient and give yourself time to navigate your crisis. Don’t be afraid of change, whether that’s external or internal. Seek out options that make you happy and bring you peace, like meditation with Olotita or a new career. It could take anywhere from a few months or even years to get to the other side. But once you’re there, you can expect more acceptance, peace, and a feeling your life is exactly as it should be.
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