A midlife crisis can strike at almost any time, you know, when you realize that your life is not what you want it to be. It might not meet up with your previous expectations and you may even feel a little panicked.
Here are five signs that you may be entering a midlife crisis, but don’t worry! We’ve also given you solutions to get out of your rut. Just because you shouldn’t spontaneously buy a hot car doesn’t mean that you should get out and have some fun!
Midlife Crisis Symptom: Restlessness
- Midlife Crisis Symptom: Restlessness
- Midlife Crisis Symptom: Excessive Nostalgia
- Midlife Crisis Symptom: Feeling Trapped
- Midlife Crisis Symptom: Wanting to Pick Up Old Hobbies
- Midlife Crisis Symptom: Disinterest in Everything
- Final Thoughts
You suddenly look out the window and picture yourself running along the road or driving down it at high speeds. You suddenly think that it would be a fantastic idea to head for the mountains or to suddenly move to Greece.
The problem is that many young adults spend their twenties and thirties on the move. In your middle years you are often more settled–you have a house or a stable dwelling–and that can feel strange and foreign to you. We spend so much time being told that “settling down” is a good thing that we never think about what it’s really going to be like.
Fix: No Sudden Changes
First, don’t make any sudden changes in your life. The quicker you make a decision and the less thought with which you make it, the more likely it is that you are going to regret it. Take the time to think out what you are feeling and to consider what you need versus what you want. You may feel as though you are drowning, but the truth of the matter is you’re not.
Second, don’t stay in your rut. While you don’t need to make a huge change, think about making several small ones. Start going out more often, whether you want to go to more movies or you want to go hiking. This is something that can make a huge difference to the way that you move forward.
Remember, a small amount of movement can go a long way.
Midlife Crisis Symptom: Excessive Nostalgia
You find that you keep looking back at “the good old days.” Maybe you dream of when you were a star athlete in high school, or maybe you remember how it felt to be without responsibilities when you were in college. Do you remember a time when you were more free to be yourself and to pursue creative goals? That’s okay, we remember, too.
Fix: Be Realistic and Explore
The good old days probably weren’t all that great. Do you remember the stress of trying to make ends meet and feeling like every problem was going to overwhelm you? Or, being alone when it seemed like all of your friends were paired up? Think about what was really good about those days, the things that made you feel fulfilled and happy, and remember that you should try to capture that, instead.
Midlife Crisis Symptom: Feeling Trapped
When you feel like the room is constantly closing in on you and that you will never go anywhere again, this can make it difficult to enjoy your life. For example, you may feel as though your job offers you nothing, but you’re afraid that you cannot do better. Or, you may even feel like you are trapped in your relationship with your spouse and your family. While these are normal feelings, they are a cause for shame for many people, and sometimes, it results in drastic and unnecessary action.
Fix: Find Ways to Feel Free
If you do not like your job, think about what it would take to get into another one. While schooling and training are not an easy thing to get, you will find that if you are patient and search for the best road to get you where you need to go, that they are not impossible.
Also, talk to your family and get to know them again as people. When was the last time you really had fun with them instead of being burdened by family life? You’ll find that reconnecting with them is something that can free you again.
Midlife Crisis Symptom: Wanting to Pick Up Old Hobbies
Do you find yourself gravitating towards the things that made you happy when you were younger? Do you wistfully pick up your guitar or your paints? The truth of the matter is that we do let go of dreams we had when we were younger, and some of those dreams have an inordinate amount of staying power.
Fix: Pick Up Your Old Hobbies
If you were an athlete, start working out again. If you were an artist, buy a paint set. It really is that simple when you want to learn more about how you can recapture what you had before. Those days are not lost to you; often times, they are just sleeping inside you.
Midlife Crisis Symptom: Disinterest in Everything
Sometimes a midlife crisis occurs and all you can do is sigh. Nothing seems doable and nothing seems worth doing. You may feel as though your life’s excitement is over and that all that is left is a long slide into oblivion.
This depression may be coupled with weariness, with irritability and with weight loss (or gain), and it is something that can pervade everything that you think about and do.
In some cases, a midlife crisis swings so badly that you end up falling into a deep depression. At this point, help in the form of therapy is something that can help put you back on track. At the very least, an outside perspective is something that can help you get where you need to be. Look for a counselor, therapist or even a life coach who can help you get the kind of motivation that you need.
Life throws us plenty of curve balls, and we need to be ready for them. When you are faced with a midlife crisis, take it as a chance to learn more about yourself. Avoid doing destructive things and make choices that will keep you happy later.