30S midlife crisis
Understanding The Quarter-life Crisis | Bradley University Online
Often, the 20s and early 30s are thought to be the best time of a person’s life. Individuals in this age range are generally in good health, have minimal responsibilities and are able to explore opportunities and take chances in both their professional and private lives. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that young adults are not free of the stresses that come later in life. In fact, many people in this stage of life experience periods of uncertainty and anxiety during which they question their goals, plans and even relationships. Professionals have named this occurrence the quarter-life crisis.
When young people experience a quarter-life crisis, they may turn to a trusted family member or friend for advice, but they often opt to seek professional counseling. It is important for counselors to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of this stage and be ready to respond appropriately to help clients navigate this season of life.
What is the quarter-life crisis?
Similar to the more widely recognized midlife crisis, the quarter-life crisis is a period of uncertainty and questioning that typically occurs when people feel trapped, uninspired and disillusioned during their mid-20s to early 30s. Clients may feel that they are stuck in a dead-end job while all of their friends advance their careers or wonder why they cannot seem to make a romantic relationship last when other members of their social group are getting married and having children.
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Common stressors that can lead to this kind of crisis can include:
- Job searching or career planning.
- Living alone for the first time.
- Navigating relationships.
- Making long-term personal or professional decisions.
The Harvard Business Review reported that a quarter-life crisis typically presents in four phases. First, clients feel a sense of being trapped in some form of commitment, either in their personal or professional life. Then, there is some kind of separation or loneliness, whether it is moving to a new city or leaving a romantic relationship. During this period of isolation, they will reflect on where they are in life and perhaps change their plans, before exploring new activities, social groups or career opportunities, and come out on the other side of the crisis.
One of the major problems with the quarter-life crisis is that clients who find themselves in this situation often feel that they have no reason to be struggling because these years are supposed to be fun and relatively easy. Consequently, either they themselves — or others in their life — may try to brush off the problems they are experiencing.
“As a culture, we all think that age 25 is the best stage of our life — these folks are happy, they’re doing everything they want and it’s a great time of life,” American Counseling Association (ACA) member Cyrus Williams told Counseling Today, a publication of the ACA. “We really need to acknowledge and not minimize this time period. ”
Although the midlife crisis is more well-known, that does not mean that it is more common. According to a 2011 study, British psychologists reported in The Guardian that people in their 20s are just as likely to experience a crisis as those who are middle aged.
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The counselor’s response
In most ways, working with a client dealing with a quarter-life crisis is not so different from a client of any other age who is working through a personal crisis. However, there is one advantage. People in this age range tend to value the services of mental health professionals and see the benefit of regular sessions. Clients in their 20s and early 30s may even be eager to attend counseling to discuss their feelings of anxiety and depression.
“This generation is not like generations in the past,” Williams told Counseling Today. “There’s not a stigma involved in mental health issues [with them]. They’ll come in to your office and they’re like, ‘Listen, I’m stressed out, I’m anxious. I need some help.’”
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The signs you’re having one & what to do about it! -
When we hear the term “midlife crisis” we always tend to think about a middle aged man leaving his wife and family for a hot young blonde and a red sports car, right? Well, more and more people are starting to realize that a midlife crisis can affect you at varying ages. You can experience a midlife crisis at 30, and it can be quite the shock – especially when you didn’t know this type of thing could happen at this age!
I actually work with a lot of people who are struggling with midlife crises, and their profiles vary quite a bit. The feelings associated with this period can really turn everything upside down and make a person feel extremely lost and confused, so I wanted to write this article today to go over the signs of a midlife crisis at 30, but I also wanted to provide you with some tips and tools that can help you to get to the other side of this period without your life having to suffer too much.
It’s not as uncommon as one might think, and if you’re looking for some tools to help you navigate through this challenging period in the best way possible, you’ve come to the right place!
What is it like to experience a midlife crisis at 30?
I’ve been working with one of my clients, Arthur, for a while now. He came to me because he felt that he was experiencing midlife crisis at 30 symptoms and he was worried about the impact it was having on his life.
He has a background in architecture and has been working in interior design since he finished school. He’s made good money, he was in a serious relationship with a girl from Brazil for a few years, and everything seemed like it was going well… Until he started to feel this form of an internal crisis begin to rumble in the back of his mind.
With time, he started to feel anxious, stuck and overwhelmed all at once, and the first major change he did was to break up with his girlfriend. He thought that perhaps the relationship was the problem and that he would begin to feel better after he did that. Well, he didn’t, and as more time went on, he started to feel panic at the thought of his job. He wasn’t sure if he had made the right career choice and he was starting to feel that he needed to get away before it was too late. He quit his job and started to isolate himself from his friends because he felt like he was so unhappy that he’d be terrible company.
He tried dating a few girls and going on a few trips, but nothing seemed to ease his mind. That’s when he came to me ask said, “Adrian, I’ve completely turned my life upside down, I think I’ve left the love of my life, and I’m scared that I’ve screwed up my career, and I don’t even know what I want or need to change. Am I having a midlife – or I guess quarter life crisis? Can you tell me what to do if you have a midlife crisis at 30?”
I recognized in him something that I’ve seen so many times before. He was showing all the signs of a midlife crisis at the age of 30, but he didn’t know what to do to get to the other side of it. So I started working with him and shared some of the same tips and tools with him that I’m going to be sharing with you momentarily.
But first, let’s take a look at the signs of a midlife crisis in men and women.
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Midlife crisis at 30: What are the symptoms?
For most people dealing with a midlife crisis, it’s accompanied by a sense of panic, and it is not unusual for people to experience a crisis in their late 20s/early 30s. This is the period when we are expected to have it all figured out and to have the rest of our lives all set up. It’s a lot of pressure to place on a person’s shoulders, so it’s no wonder that so many people are struggling with these crises today!
There are actually six stages to a midlife crisis, even at 30.
As you saw with my client Arthur, he was in the stage of shock, where it seems like everything was wrong and everything had fallen apart. When you’re in this stage, it usually feels like you just can’t believe this is happening, especially when everything seemed like it was going so well before. How did you end up here? Did you make the wrong choices?
Then you start to protect yourself against these types of thoughts by going into a period of denial. “Everything is totally fine, there’s nothing wrong and there’s nothing to worry about. I’ve made the right choices and I’m going to continue on doing what I’ve been doing. ”
It’s typically then followed by a period of frustration because you’ve worked so hard and yet you’re still feeling deeply dissatisfied and stressed out by your life. It usually then turns into depression, insecurity and replay, which is a period during which you think back on happier times and start to feel nostalgic, or feel regrets for not having done things differently. Once you’ve gotten to the other side of the midlife crisis at 30, you’ll start to feel a sense of acceptance.
Now, the better idea you have of the actually symptoms of a midlife crisis at 30, the easier it will be to put things into perspective and approach the situation in the best way possible.
What is a midlife crisis and are you experiencing one?
Existential crisis at 30: Anxiety over the direction and quality of your life
When I’m working with people who are struggling with an existential crisis, whether it’s a 40 year old woman, a 30 year old man, or a 75 year old, the theme is a panicked feeling. There is no specific “mid life crisis age”. It’s the moment someone begins to feel trapped by their choices. But this is especially heightened for someone around the age of 30, who is just really beginning their adult life.
They can start to feel an overwhelming desire to change the direction of your life – whether that’s professionally speaking, personally speaking, geographically speaking, or all of the above. It’s a period of anxiety, doubt and disappointment around your career, relationship or finances. As you’re reading this, if you’re experiencing a midlife crisis at 30, you might want to quit the commitment, job or relationship that makes you feel trapped and start completely anew.
It’s also rooted in various fears. For example, a person who is having a quarter life or mid life crisis might experience a fear of getting old, a fear of missing out on dreams, a fear of death, and even a fear of loss of swagger! When a person feels like their youth is slipping away, they begin to flirt with a crisis.
The pressure of goals when you’re having a quarter life crisis
For many people in this situation, they end up falling into a midlife crisis at 30 (or around the age of 30) because the weight of their goals becomes overwhelming. For some of them, children and work (or lack thereof!) can become two of the main causes of stress. There is also a fear of not having goals, or that the goals you’ve set for yourself are unrealistic and unattainable.
It shakes the foundation of the life you’ve been building for yourself, so it becomes very easy to experience existential crises at 30. Fortunately, these feelings aren’t going to last forever and there are definitely things that you can do that will help you move out of this period.
Male and female midlife crisis at 30: Here’s what to do
When you are struggling with a midlife crisis at age 30, you’re going to feel like you need to redefine your values and the life you’ve been creating for yourself. It can last anywhere from three years to ten years, so it’s important to realize that you are in control of the situation and can make changes.
The key to getting to the other side of this is slowly starting to rebuild a life that is more aligned with your new values, interests and aspirations. That is why it’s so important to take some time to define what these things are.
You can start by going back and trying to understand why you made certain commitments and choices. Once you define the root of your actions, you can start to redefine goals and live out your newfound values without fighting the transformation.
If you are able to embrace these changes, it can become an incredible period of your life that paves the way to unparalleled happiness. It’s just important to keep in mind that these actions and changes will impact those around you, so be mindful of your loved ones. Be aware of how your decisions are impacting the ones you love, and be open with them with what you’re experiencing and going through.
A really helpful tool is to make a conscious effort to limit sudden, impulsive, big life changing decisions. It might feel like you want to make sizable changes in the moment because you’re willing to do anything to stop feeling the way you are when you’re in a midlife crisis, but I encourage you to always bear in mind how the decisions of today affect tomorrow.
In addition to this, make sure you distinguish selfless behaviors from the selfish destructive ones.
With time, things will start to level out again and these tumultuous emotions will subside – especially if you work to go through this period gracefully and in an organized and clear-headed manner.
When the crisis begins to pass, you will start to feel less and less extreme. You’ll start to take accountability, and you’re going to start to feel a sense of sustained peace of mind and it will start to feel easier to live in the moment. You won’t feel like you need more in order to find happiness. Like I said, this period is not going to last forever so don’t panic!
Working through a midlife crisis at 30
As this article comes to a close, I wanted to remind you that we are here to help you every step of the way. If you feel like you would benefit from one on one guidance through this period, all you have to do is click here to reach out to me or a member of my team. Join the Happily Committed Project and learn how to transform your life and your relationship in a meaningful and dignified way.
At the moment, you might be feeling a period of anxiety over the direction and quality of your life, and you might be experiencing a strong desire to change the direction of your life. It could be an identity crisis or a fear of getting old or not reaching your goals. You might be feeling too much pressure from your responsibilities or lack thereof, and you might be feeling like you need to redefine your values.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important to avoid making rash decisions and it’s crucial that you think about how today’s decisions will affect you and the ones you care about. It is possible to make it out of a midlife crisis period unscathed, you just need to keep your eyes open and make sure you get organized. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below and it would be our pleasure to respond to you.
I sincerely wish you all the best in life and love,
Your coach when you want to know how to survive a midlife crisis at 30
Midlife crisis: how to recognize and survive
September 06, 2021 read 10-12 minutes
After thirty, according to statistics, a midlife crisis threatens almost every second. Together with a psychologist, we figure out how to identify the symptoms of this emotional state, as well as help to survive it - to ourselves and others.
Many fans of the series "Friends" remember the series in which the main characters are experiencing a 30-year milestone. Each of the characters in the American sitcom showed the most expected reaction to a midlife crisis: Joe experienced a panic, Monica drowned her despair in wine, Phoebe summed up her years, and Rachel experienced depression, broke off relationships and began to make plans for the future. And, of course, Ross bought a red sports car. But does everyone experience a midlife crisis, and what is the average age? Is it worth it to repeat the usual scenarios and clichés? And, most importantly, how to deal with it?
What is midlife crisis
A midlife crisis is an emotional state that a person experiences at the age of 30-50, most often it is associated with a reassessment of life experience. It seems that many opportunities and dreams of youth have been missed, while old age (or death) will come pretty soon. For different people, the crisis occurs at different ages, it depends on individual characteristics.
Crisis is often defined as a period of emotional upheaval and associated with a thirst for change. At the moment of his experience, people try to fight thoughts of old age. Many may forego duties in favor of entertainment. That's why the term "midlife crisis" is often associated with buying a sports car or starting a new relationship. But middle age is also a time of reassessment, summing up and self-determination, psychologists say.
Aging causes anxiety and depression in a person. And the midlife crisis is the phase that makes you feel young again because you don't want to put up with the fact that life is half over. However, the emotional upheavals that people experience at this age do not always lead to major lifestyle changes associated with the desire to stay forever young.
The term was originally applied only to men. He explained the fear of death that they experienced during this period. Today, the definition covers the physical, psychological, social problems faced by both men and women. At the same time, many do not associate the midlife crisis with aging. So, in one of the surveys, men talked about problems at work or in the family, and women - with health and personal relationships.
Causes of midlife crisis
For many, middle age is a time when relationships and social roles change. Some people begin to care for their aging parents, others feel lonely because adult children began to live separately . For others, this period becomes a time of regrets about missed opportunities.
Middle age can also be a time of deep reflection. People look back on the years they have lived and wonder what their life would have been like if they had taken a different path. Some begin to regret that they did not choose another career or did not accomplish what they once dreamed of. Others recall happier days of their youth.
Fall of happiness
One theory why some people go through a midlife crisis is that they experience a decline in happiness. Research shows that the feeling of happiness can be depicted as a U-shape. Where a gradual decline in happiness levels begins in late adolescence and continues until age 40. Happiness begins to grow again at 50. This hypothesis was confirmed by the data of half a million Americans and Europeans. During the survey, people in their 60s reported that they had never been so happy in their lives. While forty-year-olds felt very miserable. However, the U-curve is not an axiom at all.
You can read the continuation of the article at the link to RBC Style.
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What is a midlife crisis and how to overcome it
Many fans of the TV series "Friends" remember the series in which the main characters are going through a 30-year milestone. Each of the characters in the American sitcom showed the most expected reaction to a midlife crisis: Joe experienced a panic, Monica drowned her despair in wine, Phoebe summed up her years, and Rachel experienced depression, broke off relationships and began to make plans for the future. And, of course, Ross bought a red sports car. But does everyone experience a midlife crisis, and what is the average age? Is it worth repeating the usual scenarios and clichés? And, most importantly, how to deal with it?
- What is a midlife crisis
- When the Crisis Comes
- Symptoms and signs
- Male midlife crisis
- Women's midlife crisis
- How to Survive
- How to help those in crisis
The article was checked and commented by Elena Fiveyskaya, psychologist, GMS Clinic coach
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What is a midlife crisis
A midlife crisis is an emotional state that a person experiences at the age of 30-50, most often it is associated with a reassessment of life experience. It seems that many opportunities and dreams of youth are missed, while old age (or death) will come pretty soon. For different people, the crisis occurs at different ages, it depends on individual characteristics.
Crisis is often defined as a period of emotional upheaval and associated with a thirst for change. At the time of his experience, people try to fight the thoughts of old age. Many may forego responsibilities in favor of entertainment. That's why the term "midlife crisis" is often associated with buying a sports car or starting a new relationship. But middle age is also a time of reappraisal, debriefing, and self-determination, psychologists say.
Middle age is a time of reassessment, reflection and self-determination
Aging makes a person anxious and depressed. And a midlife crisis is a phase that helps you feel young again, because you don't want to put up with the fact that life is half over . However, the emotional upheavals that people experience at this age do not always lead to major lifestyle changes associated with the desire to stay forever young.
The term was originally applied only to men. He explained the fear of death that they experienced during this period. Today, the definition covers the physical, psychological, social problems faced by both men and women. However, many do not associate the midlife crisis with aging. So, in one of the surveys, men talked about problems at work or in the family, and women - with health and personal relationships.
Causes of midlife crisis
For many, middle age is a time when relationships and social roles change. Some people begin to care for aging parents, others feel lonely because adult children began to live separately . For others, this period becomes a time of regrets about missed opportunities .
Middle age can also be a time of deep reflection. People look back on the years they have lived and wonder what their life would have been like if they had taken a different path. Some begin to regret that they did not choose another career or did not accomplish what they once dreamed of. Others recall happier days of their youth.
Decline in happiness
One theory why some people experience a midlife crisis is that they experience a decline in happiness. Research shows that the feeling of happiness can be depicted as a U-shape. Where a gradual decline in happiness levels begins in late adolescence and continues until the age of 40. Happiness begins to grow again at 50 . This hypothesis was confirmed by the data of half a million Americans and Europeans. During the survey, people in their 60s reported that they had never been so happy in their lives. While forty-year-olds felt very miserable. However, the U-shaped curve is not an axiom at all.
When does a crisis occur?
According to research, not everyone experiences a midlife crisis. Some scholars believe that the concept of crisis is a social construct. It is the belief that some kind of crisis must occur at 40 that makes people think that they are experiencing disappointment and breakdown.
People feel lonely when their grown-up children start living separately
© Yan Krukov/Pexels
The US National Midlife Survey found that approximately 26% of participants experience a midlife crisis . At the same time, the majority of respondents reported that it occurred in the period before 40 or after 50 years. These data cast doubt on the axiom that such an emotional state is directly related to age, since the average is usually considered to be 45 years. In addition, the vast majority of respondents said that the crisis was caused by a serious event in life, and not by age. These include divorce, loss of a job, loss of a loved one, or relocation.
Today, the age range of the midlife crisis has expanded, as men and women under the age of 30 and over 50 can experience it. And its onset is often due to personal characteristics and significant events in life.
Symptoms of a midlife crisis
Psychotherapist Elena Elfimova in her book "Crisis of Personal Relationships" describes in detail the symptoms of a midlife crisis. Here's what you need to pay attention to:
- there was a need to improve physical fitness and appearance;
- there was a desire to actively move: running, cycling, dancing, extreme sports: racing, skydiving;
- made drastic changes in the diet or went on a diet, started taking vitamins or dietary supplements;
- buy new clothes and spend more time on appearance;
- change your hairstyle, color your hair due to natural changes in color, thickness and quantity;
- drastically change your social circle, which is replenished by younger people;
- feel dissatisfied with your own achievements;
- compare yourself with other people of your age who have achieved more;
- what used to bring pleasure is boring; there was a desire to quit a successful career;
- experience irritability, sudden fits of anger;
- you get tired faster, there are problems with memory, new diseases, the consequences of bad habits have accumulated;
- the need for sleep has changed: you want to sleep more or, conversely, less;
- became more prone to stress;
- like listening to other music, suddenly want to learn how to play a musical instrument;
- have a sudden interest in painting or writing;
- awakened interest in religion or philosophy;
- think about death more often, talk about its nature;
- trying to give new life to things that you bought 20 years ago;
- often remember your childhood;
- think about the future.
Midlife crisis in men
Men most often associate the crisis with life values and the search for oneself. At the same time, the search can imply both a change in profession, changes in family life, and cardinal changes in lifestyle. At this point, men often look back on their past years, question their achievements and begin to look for themselves in something else.
Men most often associate the crisis with life values and the search for oneself
© Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels
Signs of aging also play an important role: as a rule, health and physical abilities begin to deteriorate in middle age. Thoughts that you can be happier if you change something can cause men to have an emotional crisis and an acute desire for speedy change.
A midlife crisis usually involves changing lives in a hurry, says Calvin Colarusso, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego . As an example, he cites the case of his patient who wrote a note to his wife, withdrew money from a bank account and moved to another city without warning. But, according to Colarusso, this type of crisis is rare, more often men go through it less impulsively.
Signs of a midlife crisis in men:
- You are over 40 years old. Colarusso most often sees men struggle with a midlife crisis in their 40s and 50s.
- You are concerned about the main areas of your life. This may include dissatisfaction with career, marriage, health, as well as a desire to change them for the better.
- You feel that there is little time to choose a new direction.
According to a psychologist, many men are in dire need of change when:
- appearance and physical form change;
- grandchildren appear;
- parents or friends die.
Ph.D. and psychologist from Boston, Lynn Margolis, believes that at this stage, men can experience "teenage rebellion." “A sure sign of a midlife crisis is that you feel trapped and strongly tempted to change your life,” she says. Attempts may include:
- addiction to alcohol;
- novel on the side;
- leaving the family, breaking up a long-term relationship;
- desire to add thrills.
Midlife crisis can lead to both growth and destruction of personality. If you look for the causes of your unhappiness, and then make thoughtful decisions to eliminate them, this is growth, says the psychologist. And making impulsive decisions, such as walking away from a familiar life, having a relationship with a younger partner that ends quickly, or buying a car that is too expensive, leads to destruction.
A sure sign of a midlife crisis: you feel trapped and strongly tempted to make a radical change in your life
The psychologist encourages you to remember that feelings and impulsive impulses are not commands to act. After all, the desire to run away from home, work or family does not mean that it really needs to be done. These feelings may indicate problems that need to be addressed. In addition, over time, they may disappear altogether. Men make many successful changes in their 40s and older: get an education, travel, start their own business. It is important to make sure that the new goals are practical and accessible.
Midlife crisis in women
Contrary to popular belief, the crisis affects not only men. Recent studies have shown that a similar emotional state is also characteristic of women from 40 to 65 years old . During this period, they face not only physiological changes, but also problems at work, in family relationships, and in achieving financial and personal goals. The stress can be so intense that women may experience sleep disturbances and health problems.
To avoid backlash, a midlife crisis is best viewed as an opportunity to reevaluate your life, a chance to pause and spend time and energy figuring out what's important to you, says Dr. Susan Albers, PhD in Psychology.
Hormonal changes are the main difference in these situations, notes the psychologist. As women enter menopause, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease and cause physiological changes, including disturbances in sleep, mood, and sex drive . During perimenopause and menopause, hormone imbalances can also cause memory loss, anxiety, weight gain, and decreased interest in things you used to enjoy, according to Mayo Clinic doctors .
Signs and symptoms of a midlife crisis in women:
- depression and anxiety;
- lack of motivation or desire to devote time to certain activities;
- dissatisfaction with career and other life choices.
Emerging experiences can direct women's attention inward. And since they are more likely to care about the feelings and needs of others, such self-reflection can provoke an emotional crisis. In the role of mother, women may be more visible in society or have a strong bond with their children, psychologists say. But one day the children grow up and stop needing them. And when women do not devote all their attention to the family, they have time to think about their experiences.
Stress can be so intense that women may experience sleep disturbances and health problems
How to Survive a Midlife Crisis
1.Embrace the Change
Not only gray hair and wrinkles show age, but also fatigue. Therefore, the question of how to feel younger is increasingly being asked by psychologists and psychotherapists. Try not to attribute changes in appearance to age. They are also caused by unfavorable ecology, hard work and stress.
Maintain mental activity: enthusiasm and a positive inner attitude are good for appearance.
2. Take care of yourself
Look for ways to reduce stress, whether it's asking loved ones to share your experience or using stress management techniques such as meditation or mindful breathing. Take care of yourself, eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep.
3. Take care of your health
Talk to your doctor or gynecologist to help you understand what is normal in your condition and what is depression or anxiety. Consulting a therapist can also help you cope with negative emotions.
4. Train your brain
Age also manifests itself in increased fatigue and forgetfulness. Over time, the brain loses the ability to adapt to new situations. Try to diversify the usual course of life: change the route to work, give up the car, walk more often and arrange interesting events with family and friends. Stop using the calculator and start training your brain with mental counting. You can also give up diaries and entries in your mobile phone: try to remember phone numbers, memorable dates and a to-do list.
5. Get new emotions
Traveling is one of the common tips of psychologists. Sometimes a week spent in an unknown city or country can give more impressions than a whole year of measured life.
Look for ways to reduce stress
© Marcus Aurelius/Pexels
But going to the ends of the earth in search of new experiences is not an option for everyone, given the current pandemic. Previously unknown tastes and smells will help to get emotions and create neural connections. Try new dishes or buy an unusual perfume. In addition, you can diversify your leisure time with new hobbies.
6. Be grateful
Take time to be grateful for the parts of your life that make you happy, psychologists advise. Try keeping a journal and write down what you are grateful for. Go back to your notes to see what you can change in your life.
7. Discuss your emotional state
Find accomplices. It is important to know that you are not the only one experiencing a crisis. Talking to others about how you feel is supportive. Those who have already gone through this state can share useful ideas and tips. Also, before making important decisions, discuss them with someone you trust. A friend or psychologist may have a different opinion about the correctness of your choice.
8. Do a self-evaluation
Try to understand what is important to you, what you spend time and energy on. Find out what takes energy instead of filling it. This process may involve restructuring relationships, getting rid of toxic people, finding new friends or hobbies. Let go of guilt and don't get discouraged by introspection. Realize that this is a necessity and allow yourself to explore the important questions of life.
When to ask for help
Sometimes going through a midlife crisis doesn't require professional help. Perhaps, in order to feel that life has been filled with meaning, a new hobby is enough. But this emotional state can affect well-being. A midlife crisis should be treated like any other emotional crisis. If you are experiencing unpleasant symptoms that worsen your condition, it is best to seek help from professionals.
Psychologist's consultation will help to cope with negative emotions
Here are a few times when you should consult a doctor or see a psychologist:
- emotional stress interferes with sleep or affects appetite;
- cannot concentrate on work;
- stress or mood affects relationships with loved ones;
- lost interest in entertainment and hobbies;
- are thinking about major life changes: ending a long-term relationship, changing careers, or moving. At the same time, the desire to make changes is born from the internal upheavals associated with age.
How to help those who are in crisis
Experiences during this period can be quite strong. So much so that it becomes difficult to endure them not only for a person, but also for his family, friends, colleagues. At this moment, people begin to splash out their emotions and aggression, or, conversely, to withdraw into themselves.
If you suspect a friend or family member is having a midlife crisis, you can help them.
- Become a good listener for your loved ones, let the person talk about their experiences. Try to listen without judgment and refrain from giving advice. Let a friend share how they feel and let them know that you are there.
- Express your concern, concern more often. At the same time, it is better to avoid exclamations from the series: “It seems that you are having a midlife crisis ?!” Instead, try asking probing questions like, “You haven't looked like yourself lately. Are you all right?"
- If needed, talk to your loved one about the importance of getting professional help. Suggest talking to a psychologist or doctor. Keep in mind that the changes you see in a person may indicate health problems. For example, a thyroid disorder often causes mood swings. The specialist will help to rule out medical problems and determine if a psychologist is needed.
- When someone close to you refuses to seek help from a specialist, you can consult a psychologist yourself. A therapist can help you develop a plan to support the other person and set healthy mental boundaries.
- Get help right away if you notice that a loved one could harm themselves or others. If necessary, take him to the emergency room for examination. If a person refuses to go to the hospital, call an ambulance and do not leave him unattended.
Elena Fiveyskaya, psychologist, GMS Clinic coach
What is the difference between midlife crisis in women and men?
Any age crisis is a turning point, a transitional moment that has its own stages and patterns of development. In this midlife crisis in men and women is the same.
First of all, both of them will definitely have it: it will affect almost everyone. Secondly, it is directly related to its name - namely, it comes in the middle of life (median). This means that both a man and a woman will begin to compare their expectations from life with what has been achieved, can still be achieved, and with what has been lost forever.
But there are differences. The first is the age difference. If we do not take into account the tails of the distribution (for example, genes that allow a woman under 40 to look 20), then a woman begins to observe the first heralds of age-related changes by the age of 30.
If a woman has not yet given birth, then thoughts about the mythical biological clock sometimes fly into her head, becoming more insistent. Men have fewer such restrictions, at 30 they, for the most part, firmly believe that everything is still ahead.
The second difference is the goal that a woman and a man want to achieve. There is an opinion that it is more important for a woman to realize herself in a family, and for a man - in a career. But, in my opinion, this stereotype is outdated, and many men today dream of a child, and women put their career first.
The third factor involved in the reassessment of one's abilities in middle age is related to the sexual sphere. These are menopause in women and erection problems in men. And here again we can note the difference in age limits (as well as with procreation).
But the main difference that I want to point out as a psychologist is what avoidance strategies (instead of accepting current changes) are used by men and women in the midst of a midlife crisis.
In men, trying to regain youth by committing reckless acts is the most common behavior. As they say, gray hair in the head is a demon in the ribs. They are trying to emotionally return to the pre-crisis state.
A woman, on the other hand, makes attempts to do it bodily: she decides on braces, plastic surgeries, rejuvenation procedures - all this is a multi-million dollar business that is based on the midlife crisis of the beautiful half of humanity.
Once again, I want to emphasize that the differences between men and women are changing these days. A woman can run to buy a new Porsche, a yacht, or get a lover younger than herself, just as a man can maniacally improve his appearance.
Women do not lose the ability to receive the same vivid emotions as in their youth. In men, the emotional sphere fades, everything becomes boring, and life becomes like a “Groundhog Day”. Therefore, often men look for emotions in a new marriage, re-participate in the birth of children, experiencing this process in a different way, more consciously, as it seems to them.
A woman is more masochistic by nature, it is easier for her to devote herself to something else: a man, a child, projects. Because of her nature and ability to be a mother. Without the masochistic part, the stage of childbirth and postpartum care for the baby seems rather difficult. Therefore, this is inherent in a woman.
How long can a midlife crisis last?
Long enough if the person does not advance to the next level. In especially severe cases, such a crisis can break a person.
Perhaps you have come across or even among relatives there are elderly people who are stuck in the past, have lost the meaning of life and do not expect anything more from this world. Usually they say about them: “She was never able to start a family, he never recovered from losing his job, etc.” Missed opportunities remained in the past, and the person did not set new goals for himself.
But there are also opposite cases, when a crisis pushes a person to his destiny, to what he always wanted to do, but for some reason did not do it.
Is there a complex treatment, crisis therapy?
The main therapy is a visit to a psychologist. A crisis is not a disease, but a transition from one phase of development to the next. If in adulthood there are difficulties in accepting some new circumstances, this is work with the psyche and defenses. A psychologist will help you understand what is stopping you and how to deal with it. In some cases, you will have to burn yourself out, in others - to change the strategy, and thirdly - to set new goals.
How to help yourself with signs of a crisis?
It is extremely difficult to get out of the crisis on your own. I already wrote about the defenses of the psyche, which will not allow us to move on if we have not closed some specific goals, desires, our “wants”. There will be attempts again and again to get what you want, even if it is impossible. It also depends on the actual achievements of a person in comparison with his expectations. In this case, perfectionists will have a particularly hard time.
The only thing I would like to advise is not to compare yourself with others, everyone has been given a different amount of resources (both external and internal). So, even a successful businessman will be a loser compared to a person on the first line of Forbes. Another recommendation is to explore new areas, opportunities, everything new as much as possible, because the old is either unattainable, or has already been achieved and interest is lost.
How can loved ones help those who are in crisis?
Everything is very individual and depends not only on the personality of loved ones and the one who is going through a crisis, but also on the specifics of the relationships that have developed between them. If even before the crisis the relationship was not trusting, and the personality was closed and secretive, then attempts to abruptly change course can unsettle even more.
It is important to pay attention to the reduction of possible criticism, to shift the focus to achievements. Notice the destructive thoughts of your loved one and challenge them. Talk if possible. Engage in new events, activities.
Are there any consequences of the crisis? Which?
Of the negative ones - the destruction of the personality (family, career), which may be accompanied by alcoholism, drug addiction, loss of self-confidence or severe mental illness. Of the positive ones - new opportunities, a surge of energy for their implementation, another opportunity to turn your life in the right direction.