Aging Gracefully: Tips for Navigating a Mid-Life Crisis
Updated: Feb 8
As we reach our mid-lives, it’s common to feel a sense of despondency and stagnation. Many people come to question what they have done in their lives and if it has been meaningful enough or truly brought them joy. But instead of seeing mid-life as a time of turmoil, turn it into an opportunity to rediscover parts of yourself and push yourself outside of your comfort zones. Here, Marie's Art EST2017 shares a few strategies for finding fresh inspiration and getting back to where you belong.
As we get older, our kids mature, our parents age, and our lives settle into a predictable routine. It can be easy to feel like we’ve been unlucky in certain regards, but if we look holistically at the basic privileges in our lives - clean water, a roof above our heads, and hot food on the table - we can shift our thinking to one of gratitude.
Focusing on gratitude not only makes us feel less negative, but it also boosts the immune system and improves mental health. Healthline suggests trying activities like a gratitude journal, prayer, meditation, or volunteering to increase the amount of gratitude in your life.
Care for Your Body
Even as our bodies begin to wear, it’s important to strengthen our bodies with the right exercise and diet. Here are some guidelines to help you keep your body healthy and strong.
⦁ Sleep: adults require at least
⦁ eight hours of sleep per night (although this number can fluctuate). Try to make sure you’re getting into bed with ample time, switch off screens in advance, and drink plenty of water.
⦁ Diet: as we grow older, we should begin to carefully consider what we’re putting in our bodies. Consuming
⦁ more fresh produce (especially fruit and veg) on a daily basis helps us to avoid carcinogens and improve mood, energy, and focus.
⦁ Exercise: when it comes to protecting your body, there are few habits more important than exercise.
⦁ A sedentary lifestyle can result in heart issues, increased blood sugar, and weakened bone/cartilage. Try to get moving, even if this simply means a morning walk or cycling to work.
Reevaluate Your Career
Considering how much time we spend working, it’s no surprise that an unenjoyable career correlates with feelings of dissatisfaction. Fortunately, our mid-lives present the perfect opportunity to switch things up, and there are now plenty of viable professional alternatives to a standard 9-5 job. You could, for example, research how to start a business. Start by writing a business plan that describes your venture, outlines a selling strategy, defines your structure, and includes any financial projections.
It’s also a good idea to get ahead of marketing. Online tools make this process much more streamlined than before. Online logo makers give entrepreneurs the ability to create their own designs without prior expertise — simply choose a style and icon, add text and adjust fonts/colors to your liking.
If you aren’t interested in starting a new business, consider changing jobs or even careers. Think of something that you enjoy doing and how your previous work experience might combine with it to make a great new endeavor. For example, if you have worked in customer service for years, but come home and get excited to redecorate your home every few months, then perhaps you should look into how to become an interior designer. If you feel like you would have more credibility with some design or art courses, then pursue them, too. There are plenty of credible online programs that will allow you to pursue your passion while you hold your current job.
Pursue New Hobbies
It is easy to lose sight of hobbies when life gets busy, especially if your 20s and 30s were filled with children, college courses, or building a career. But it is never too late to reconnect with old passions or find new ones. If you love being outside and caring for things, perhaps gardening will make you happy. Home Garden Hero has great resources to help you find the right plants for your area and how to care for them.
Perhaps you’ve always had an eye for art, but haven’t explored what it would take to create it yourself. Find a local artist, like Marie's Art EST2017, and read about their processes and what inspires them. Then try out a few mediums (like clay, watercolors, or woodworking) to see if any spark inspiration.
Embrace Mid-Life with Openness and Joy
Hitting mid-life can be an eye opening experience. It doesn’t have to be all bad though. In fact, if you approach these years with an open mind and a gracious spirit, you may find new and surprising ways to be happy. But remember to care for both your body and your mind, and face your emotions head on to discover more about who you truly are.
Photo Credit: Valeria Ushakova via Pexels