7 Ways to Stay Healthy During a Challenging Midlife Crisis
Midlife Crisis! Did you ever think you’d have one? What is a midlife anyway? It happens to different people at various times. Some reach it at 40. Others don’t get a hit until their 70’s.
Most women don’t have a chance to even think about it until they hit their 50’s. In most cases, the first one can happen when your kids leave for college or re-locate because of job or marriage. We know that as the “empty nest” syndrome, but you might think of it as abandonment. When you realize you are “alone” (whether you have a spouse, partner or not), depression can set in if you have nothing else to look forward to.
If your “being” is wrapped up in your role as wife and mother, and half of that is taken away, you may find yourself with extra hours on your hand and feeling a little lost.
It’s interesting that at one time you wished for those extra hours and now that you have them, you wish that past activity was still swirling around you. Maybe that’s sending you a message saying your happiness depends on other people rather than yourself.
That “happiness” message is an important one. You must love yourself and be happy with your own image to survive any crisis, let alone a “midlife” one. Health begins with positive self-esteem. If you look in the mirror and don’t like who you are, then it’s going to be a tough road to wellness. Here are 7 things you can do to keep the mind, body and spirit functioning:
1. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
Through the good times and the tough ones! If you have a terrific code of ethics and a value system that doesn’t quit, your belief system is intact. It will be sorely tested at times, but if you stand firm and keep your cool, you should end up right where you’re supposed to be.
2. FIND A NEW GOAL
It can be overwhelming when change happens. It’s not usually viewed as positive either. It can happen from restructuring at work, the loss of a spouse or partner, death of a parent or responsibility for one, and even a move to a new city. You need something else to concentrate on.
3. HAVE A WELLNESS PLAN
Whatever it looks like, Are you more slow paced enjoying Pilates or Yoga? Do you like the stimulation of kick-boxing or step aerobics? Perhaps resistance training with machines, bands or ropes? Or perhaps a blend of all three? You may be a vegan, enjoy a macro-biotic diet or even like a daily glass of red wine and a steak. Again, it’s a steady, healthy blend. We all know workout fanatics who have survived cancer and people who eat meat daily and have low cholesterol. It’s a crap shoot, but a “well” person has the ability to fight back more easily.
4. FIND A SUPPORT GROUP
They may be friends, family, an actual support group, or business mentors. To be well and avoid a “midlife crisis” you need to be around people who support and encourage not those who pull you apart and down. By the way, support means exactly that. No judgment, only encouragement but perhaps some guidance and definitely some hand-holding.
5. TAKE A TRIP
It can be one day, one weekend or one full week. But sometimes going to a new destination can totally switch your viewpoint. You may discover you have a lot more available to you than you thought. You may find a sense of peace come over you or the opposite. It could be so exciting that you discover a passion or new hobby. Just getting out of the same environment can change your thought process.
6. KEEP YOUR “CRAZYTIME PLACE” APPROPRIATE
Although people understand what you are going through, they don’t want to hear about it all the time. Eventually you could turn into a “pity party” and that is not an option to get well—it’s a re-enforcement to stay dormant.
7. FIND YOUR OWN SPACE
Just breathe. Take time to appreciate everything around you. Look at the picture that makes you smile. Read the thought or passage that lights your soul. You need to take 15 minutes each day just for you. If you don’t have them, something is wrong.
All my life, there are two things that have always fueled me—water and animals. I have chosen to live on and around water and have had tons of dogs and cats. They’re work, but oh boy, do I light up when I see them.
What’s your trigger? Find it and you’ll never go through another midlife crisis.