Are you feeling restless in midlife? You’re not alone! Research shows that about 26 percent of people experience a midlife crisis. A midlife crisis is often triggered by a significant event, such as a divorce, loss of a job, or relocation. Even if you don’t feel like you’re going through a life crisis, midlife can be a challenging period.
Midlife is often a period of change, which can lead to a midlife crisis.
Changes made in the midlife period can set you up for success and happiness in your later years.
Happiness increases with age; embrace the process!
Many things change when we reach our middle years, and these changes can make us fear the future or look back on past decisions with regret.
At this point in life, many of us reevaluate our lives and begin confronting our mortality. The good news is that midlife isn’t always a time of crisis. Many people have a positive midlife experience! While the common belief is that midlife should be wrought with inner turmoil over your identity and life choices, it doesn’t have to be this way. In this article, we explore some steps you can take to not only survive but thrive in your midlife.
1. Make a career change or start a business
If you’ve been working the same job for a long time and you’re itching for something new, consider changing careers! Exhaustion, chronic stress, and boredom are all signs it’s time for a career change. Think about where you want to go from here. Will you go back to school to upgrade your skill set? Find a mentor in a new industry? What about starting your own business?
Launching a business is a great way to focus on something positive in midlife. If you have an idea for a business, go for it! Create a business plan to increase your shot at success. Your business plan will outline how to structure your company, what you’re going to sell, who you’re going to sell to, and how you will get the word out. Writing a business plan will also help you determine how much funding you’ll need.
2. Move for a fresh start
Besides changing careers, moving is another great way to enjoy a fresh start in midlife. Think about a place you’ve always wanted to live. Whether you’re dreaming of year-round Florida sun or a home in the wild Pacific Northwest, moving can help you get closer to the lifestyle of your dreams.
Start preparing your home for sale to ensure a speedy home-selling process. Be sure to make necessary updates and repairs, like fixing leaking pipes and cracked windows to avoid turning away potential buyers! By making the proper preparations, you’ll sell your house and move into your dream home in no time.
3. Make improvements to your diet
There’s no time like midlife to start caring about your diet. Following a healthy, balanced diet can increase your longevity significantly! A good diet will also help maximize your number of disease-free years. Focus on getting plenty of fiber, protein, omega-3s, fermented foods, and antioxidant-rich phytochemicals in your regular diet. Plant-based and Mediterranean diets are ideal! At the same time, try to limit your consumption of added sugars and alcohol. Following these dietary tips - will help you sleep better, have more energy during the day, and reduce mood fluctuations.
4. Learn a new skill
Learning new skills will keep your brain sharp in your middle years and beyond! Better than simple brain games, learning skills will challenge your brain with real-world problem-solving tasks. As a result, you’ll strengthen your short-term memory and cognitive processing speed. Pick up a new instrument, learn a new language, or teach yourself how to write code on the computer. Learning stimulates growth in the brain, creating new neural pathways and slowing the atrophying process that naturally occurs with age.
5. Spend more time outdoors
Spending time in nature is a great way to cope with difficult emotions. Seek out some forested trails and spend time alone soaking up the calming effects of nature. Being in nature can soothe an anxious mind, reduce anger, and trigger pleasant feelings. Getting outside will also tear you away from your devices, giving your eyes a break and getting your body moving. Breaking up sedentary periods with movement is essential for maintaining your health and well-being in middle age and the years to follow, so try to get in the habit of walking whenever you can!
6. Lean into your authentic self
Midlife is an excellent opportunity to surrender to your authentic self. Stop trying to be someone else or fix things you think are wrong. Honor yourself as you are right now. This might mean finding the courage to say “no” to people and activities that don’t serve you. Now that your kids are grown up and independent, you can finally put yourself first and acknowledge your needs. Ask yourself what you want, listen to your body, and say what you need to say.
7. Look forward to the future
According to the University of Southern California, research shows that happiness follows a U-shape, declining around middle age and increasing afterward. At the same time, negative emotions like anxiety, anger, stress, and frustration tend to steadily, decrease as we age. People in their 70s report higher overall happiness than 30-year-olds! And that’s something to look forward to.
Navigating midlife can be challenging. Whether you’re going through a mood slump or an all-out life crisis, take steps to ease the turmoil. Consider making a career change and starting a business, moving for a fresh start, learning a new skill, or focusing on your needs. However you feel in midlife, remember that things will get better!