If you are dealing with midlife crisis symptoms, take comfort. You can use this time of introspection and questioning to propel you into a productive, mindful latter half of your life.
Many people experience midlife crises when they lose a parent, send a son or daughter to college, celebrate - or mourn - a 50th birthday, realize they are showing visible signs of aging, experience sexual difficulties or go through the hormonal changes that affect all of us as we age. If you find yourself restless, depressed, contemplative or thinking about doing reckless things as you pursue your fleeting youth, consider taking time to use your emotional energy for good purpose.
Learn to Value Healthy, Not Gorgeous
One of the hardest things that comes with aging is the loss of a youthful appearance. You may feel as if many parts of your body are aging all at once - suddenly you have poor muscle tone, you injure yourself easily, your balance is not as good, your coordination is failing and your energy is fading. You may see new wrinkles every day or feel as if you gain weight just by walking past a bakery. Clothes that used to fit you may now look inappropriate.
To stay emotionally healthy, you'll need to buck the unrealistic standards put forth by Hollywood and the media and realize physical aging is natural and inevitable. Embrace the fact that you will be valued less for your looks and more for your personality, accomplishments and intellect. Focus on eating, exercising and behaving in a healthy manner, not focusing on your appearance for vanity's sake, but rather for health. Notice the people around you who exude healthy living and confident, graceful aging. Dress to accentuate your new figure instead of trying to have the figure of a 20-year-old.
Invest in Your Relationships
Now is the time to evaluate your relationships and invest in the friendships and partnerships that work for you. Many people experiencing midlife crises become convinced their current relationships are not satisfactory and find themselves searching for younger, more virile partners. While this may be a good decision if you have been in an unsatisfying relationship, it can also be a bad decision if boredom, fear of aging or self-doubt is the real problem.
Use this stimulus to motivate you to invest in your relationships-and to dump destructive or negative relationships. Friendships and long-term relationships built on the foundation of shared history can help you recognize your value
Evaluate Your Career Path
Now is a good time to take stock of your retirement fund and decide if your job is really the job you want to spend 40 hours a week performing. Is there another career path you'd find more fulfilling that will fit into your budget? Do you want to start your own business or invest in a career that is more environmentally, socially or emotionally beneficial? Is there any way you can merge a hobby into a career or side business?
Schedule an Appointment With a Therapist
If you're having trouble figuring out what to do with your negative emotions, consider seeing a therapist. An experienced therapist can help you or a spouse with depression. You may find you need an anti-depressant or a calm, professional sounding board can help you make it through this time if you are having trouble making positive decisions. If you can recongnize the midlife crisis symptoms, you will can try to take steps to alleviate them.
Common midlife crisis symptoms are neither myth nor embarrassment. In fact, you can transform a midlife crisis symptom into a positive life change.
Ladies: has your 35-50 year-old man suddenly begun acting even more weirdly than he usually does? Has he hatched plans for giving up his sales job, taking all your savings and going to South America to find a cure for cancer?
Does the thought of turning 40 bother you? What about turning 50 or 60? Is it getting you down just thinking about it? Do you feel you are in a rut and you have accomplished little or nothing in your life?