If you are at the point in life where there is very limited fun at play, there can be a number of reasons for this. Changes can occur every few years that seem to throw us off course, especially when we start to think about how much time is left on the old odometer. A midlife crisis, whatever it might be for you or someone you know, is about navigating the unknown and is full of introspection, desires for change, and a yearning for something that you may not fully grasp. As daunting as a midlife crisis can be, this is the ideal opportunity for growth and self-discovery. But what are the best ways to explore and, indeed, to understand the concept of a midlife crisis?
Knowing the Clichés
The way it used to be, midlife crises were typified in popular culture with a sports car or some form of monster truck with some massive tires, and while there’s something that men of a certain age may get out of the right on or off-road vehicle, we’ve got to look at if we’re making these purchases to compensate for something else. Understanding those typical midlife clichés can help you to get to the root cause of what your particular problem is. It’s about asking yourself the right questions and looking at what is necessary to get over this hump. There could very well be the fact that just starting to see people all around you make massive changes, perhaps it’s divorce or death or a job change, and all of these things can spur some form of knee-jerk reaction that is putting abandon over this emotional wound.
Knowing if a Change is Needed
They say “a change is as good as a rest,” and if we think that we’ve been stagnating for so long, a change may be exactly what the doctor ordered. Change is something we can all fear, but in relation to the concept of the midlife crisis, we have to understand that this is a natural part of the human experience, and as intimidating as it could be, it can lead to so much more personal growth, especially if you’ve been on autopilot for so long. We should all learn to embrace change, but it’s never as easy as just jumping off the edge but about making sure that we recognize that sometimes a little alteration to our existence can be just what we need to shake things up and renew some form of enthusiasm for this thing they call life.
Understanding Your Mental Health
If you are losing enthusiasm for something, you also need to get to grips with your mental health. There is now the phenomenon of the male menopause, and symptoms can vary such as depression, erectile dysfunction, or a combination of other physical and emotional symptoms. There can be a number of underlying symptoms that fall under this umbrella of male menopause but are typically associated with a decrease in testosterone levels. If you are feeling in a funk and have been for some time, it’s certainly worth getting your T-levels checked. Even if you don’t believe it’s the male menopause, you still need to get to grips with your overall mental health. It’s at the age of the late 30s and early 40s where suicide rates are very high amongst men, and this can be for a number of reasons. Some struggle with the burden of parenthood and life, but it can also be a feeling of inadequacy stemming from what an “atypical” man is meant to do. Therefore, getting to grips with your mental health is a slow but steady progression that is all too essential.
Understanding Your Goals (and if They’ve Changed)
When we make changes in life, we have to see if the goalposts have moved. When we understand what our goals are now or if we have not actually changed any goals since our early twenties, it’s now time to have a long period of self-reflection and figure out if the goals you’ve set for yourself have gone unfulfilled. Short and long-term goals are an essential part of the life we live, and if you’ve now started to recognize that so many aspects of your life have gone by the wayside, you should take this period of self-reflection to ponder your life’s journey. Cliché? Yes. Grandiose? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.
Strengthen Your Bonds
Now might be the ideal opportunity to strengthen relationships and reestablish your communication channels. You may have spent so long on the treadmill of life that you’ve been on autopilot for what seems like years. Family ties can bind, and recognizing that if you’ve been trapped by your career responsibilities or if there’s been so much that you’ve unwittingly ignored, now is the perfect time to reinvigorate purpose and fulfillment through the right channels.
Our physical health plays a vital role in how we perceive ourselves, and as we get older, we can succumb to the misconception that we just get weaker. Now is the right time to look at how you can enhance your clarity and overall mood. A healthy lifestyle is one of those solutions for a whole matter of ailments, but if you don’t give yourself the things you need, either in terms of your nutrients or your emotional well-being, you will invariably get weaker over time.
Handling a midlife crisis involves practical steps, but it also means making the necessary changes to ensure that as you step into the next phase of your life, what you are doing is lining up with your goals and your lifestyle. This is undoubtedly an incredibly challenging phase of life that you are not alone. There are many practical ways to navigate all of this effectively, and as a parent, learning to take hold of the things that have been hurting you will help you to look after yourself but also make this the perfect opportunity to become the version of yourself that you’ve always wanted to be.