Understanding Midlife crisis and 10 effective ways to cope with it

Understandably, acknowledging the crisis is not always easy. But, let's face it, the midlife crisis is a phase of life that everyone experiences. Although, everyone experiences life in unique ways. While some people may manage to transition through their midlife crisis with ease, others may find it challenging to gain a balance. If this crisis is a phase we must experience, then, it's important to properly understand what it means and how to cope with it effectively.


As a psychology concept in the discourse of Freudian scholars, the Midlife crisis was first introduced by Elliot Jacques in 1965. Initially, it meant the normal transition of identity and self-confidence from youth to adulthood during a lifetime. It's typically common among middle-aged individuals between 35-55 or 45-65 years olds. Essentially, it's the period of life when we take inventory of our lifetime achievements, goals and aspirations and compare to our wishes and expectations. The results reveal to us the reality of our current situations and the fact that we've been getting older, not younger. Naturally, this feeling could trigger regrets and depressions over some of our life decisions and failures. Again, it's important to understand that this is generally true for everyone. We all have regrets in life.
Now, let's look into how we can cope with this essential phase of life.


1.  Acknowledge that it's happening

The first step in our mental health awareness on the midlife crisis is to notice the transition. This means accepting the reality that life has taken us this far, and that we've had ample experiences on how to survive even this phase. Blatant denial and refusal to accept this crisis will only compound our problems. So, let's acknowledge and face it!

2. Refocusing

Focusing is what makes midlife crisis quite challenging. Oftentimes, we focus on the failures, setbacks, and difficult moments in our lifetime. While this is relatively understandable, it's important to also evaluate and acknowledge our achievements, undaunting efforts and enduring commitments. Our focus must be balanced between these two realities. Our achievements make us more grateful, while our regrets make us get better. No life is absolutely perfect or extremely bad. It can always be better, or worse. We always have a choice on how to refocus when we are overthinking our difficult situations.

3. Avoid Negative Lifestyle

In escaping the reality of a midlife crisis, some may choose to indulge in negative lifestyles that would only create additional problems. Such lifestyles like alcoholism, drugs and other substances abuse can neither help to solve the problems nor even cope with, the challenges of midlife crisis. Midlife crisis is not abnormal, so a normal lifestyle is enough to address it.

4. Avoid Big purchases

Pricey and unnecessary purchases are parts of the signs of going through, and even compounding the midlife crisis. To the illusion of many, buying expensive things are not guarantees of happiness. Rather, they are often a waste of resources, and oftentimes end in more regrets. It's easy to be obsessed with expensive, trendy things; but first, it's important to be sure that they're extremely essential and needful.

5. Talk to someone

Talking about our current situation and sharing our experiences, especially with those we trust is extremely essential during a midlife crisis. As it's a transition period and we are not the first and only one experiencing the circumstances, talking about it- but not complaining - makes it easier to understand and cope with it. We should denounce the illusion that there's no one to share our innate thoughts with, and that no one cares. This is not always true. We must avoid feelings of inadequacies and realize that there's always someone in our lives that is ready to care and listen, even among our friends and family. If need be, we can as well reach out to experts on certain issues.

6. Adapt to your Current  Reality

Middle-age is a remarkable turning point in life when we realize that many things have changed over time. With the celerity of life, it's difficult to keep up with these changes. Sometimes, we are left to either remain conservatives to old lifestyle or be obsessed with these changes. To ideally cope with Midlife Crisis, however,  it's important we don't throw away our entire life and past while changing to new realities. We must learn to be creative and adaptive by selectively leveraging the best of our new realities while valuing our old assets. In a sense, we're actually upgrading and transforming our lives for the better.

7. Turn to key relationships

With the pressure of Midlife Crisis, it's easy to abandon key relationships and give in to regrets and depression. At this moment, it's crucial we develop connections to our key relationships. According to research, key relationships of people are broadly categorized into five: Relationship with the Creator, God; Relationship with Oneself; Relationship with family; Relationship with other people; and finally, Relationship with things generally. We must have deeper connections and prioritize to set our affairs in order. Rationally, we must value our relationships with God, Oneself, Family and other People over things. During Midlife Crisis, we need every help we can find. We must be kind to ourselves. We need to eschew disbelief in God and value the other gifts of life!

8. Exercise and Be proactive

Engaging in physical activities and mindfulness would be very helpful in adapting to our bodily changes, preserving our energy, and maintaining our vitality. However, this exercise doesn't have to be rigorous or extreme. In fact, research shows that aerobic activities of just 30 minutes are essential for our cardiovascular and other body functions. We must be kind to ourselves and engage in everything that will keep us fit and healthy. We can also leverage the benefits of Cycling to reduce our carbon footprint and exercise at the same time. We live life once, we must live it well!

9. Meditate in Solitude

Self-reflection, meditation, and solitude are essential for understanding ourselves and gaining clarity about our affairs. Having peace and tranquility has become much more difficult with the noises around us due to our obsessive connection to things and people generally. For instance, technology has made it more difficult to have privacy to properly understand ourselves. We are constantly washed with tonnes of issues, news, updates, trends that constantly compete for our attention. This is our modern-day paradox. At least once in a while, we need to detach ourselves to have personal freedom and think critically about our lives, pray genuinely and meditate about other issues. With these, our inner voices will not be drowned in the noise of other's opinions.

10. Be Abundantly Optimistic

Being positive about our lives, irrespective of whatever situation is extremely important. This is because our thinking affects our other life experiences and outcomes. If we are optimistic and confident, while focusing on the bright sides of our situations, we'll navigate through life with less pressure and clearer view. Positivity also involves evaluation and creativity in transforming circumstances to the best outcomes, no matter what.

Finally, the midlife crisis as a crucial phase of life needs strategies and mindfulness. As life is moving, our pace is unique and experience is different. We must do everything necessary to live a happy and peaceful life to have the best experience. If you have other information on how we can help ourselves in addressing the midlife crisis, please do not hesitate to add a comment. We all need to join hands in having our best moments in life.
Whatever you're experiencing, I wish you peace and the best moment in life!


Friday 6th of December 2019

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