Turn Your Midlife Crisis into a Positive Kickstarter
Why is my body changing? Why do my knees hurt when I run? Am I old? Does life even have meaning anymore?
The Midlife Crisis. While it occurs most often to people in the 40-to 60 year-old-age range, it is somewhat misleading. Whether we’re twenty or eighty, at some point, we are all experiencing it. But why does the midlife crisis carry such a bad connotation? This shouldn’t be a negative word; let’s embrace the change! Instead of feeling regretful and unhappy about the experience, transform your midlife crisis into something positive. We need to understand we are not alone in this process and there are better ways to adapt than purchasing a Porsche or dressing like the younger generation. While these stereotypical coping mechanisms feel fun in the moment, they are exactly that: short-term. They will not make us feel fulfilled. The better approach is for us to turn our crisis into a kickstarter.
How can we achieve this?
First and foremost, we need to get the proper amount of rest. A good night’s sleep can be transformative. To get the proper amount of sleep, I actually track my sleep on an app that came with my Sleep Number 360 bed. For most of us, it’s primarily getting onto a regular sleep schedule. Once you’ve settled into your sleep schedule, follow the 3 tips below to help pave a path to success.
1. Journal Your Feelings Away
Buy a physical notebook. And yes, I’m talking about good ol’ pen and paper. No need to break the bank, since a $5 journal will do the same trick as a $50 journal. I find it very therapeutic to spend time each day journaling, or at least most days. I like to list my thoughts, dreams, or anything else that comes to mind and feels paramount to write about.
Research shows that journaling relieves stress and allows you to express yourself. It’s also a creative avenue. Most importantly, you can journal anywhere you’d like. If journaling can lower anxiety levels, build confidence, and even raise your IQ, why wouldn’t you want to give it a try?
2. Ponder Life’s Happiest & Unhappiest Moments
At the end of each day, think about the one thing that made you the happiest. Now, think about the one thing that gets you down. Take your journal, write these feelings and ponder them for a minute. What was it about this happiest moment that made you feel so alive? What’s the reason behind the unhappiest moment? What can you do differently so it won’t happen again tomorrow? Recognizing what makes you happy and unhappy can help identify a pattern and allow you to build up happiness within your life.
Personally, my happiness resides in helping others, growth, and most importantly, my family. Coming home to my kids is typically my favorite moment of each day. Having a flight delayed, which eliminates time at home and interrupts my sleep schedule, can really get me down. How do I avoid this from happening next time? Some things may be out of our control but perhaps use the time waiting at the airport to FaceTime with your kids, send them a quick video message, or plan an extra special weekend with the family. I’ve started looking at flight data to see which flights have better on-time records and selecting those.
3. Schedule Your Happiness
Once you recognize what you are most passionate about, make time for it in your daily life. Hold yourself accountable. Schedule your life like you would schedule a business meeting. This way, you can ensure that you won’t run out of time or make useless excuses. If you love yoga, schedule a time each week or every morning to do it. If you enjoy going to your son’s baseball games, put these times on hold so a business meeting or call won’t get in the way. Whatever it may be, scheduling will help make time for the things that actually matter to you. I schedule 5-8 p.m. at night to put my devices away and be present with my wife and daughters.
You will see immense changes in your mood by implementing these small changes into your lifestyle. Add a few extra steps to put yourself into happiness overdrive. Express your feelings, ponder on how to change or sustain an occurrence in your routine, and schedule time for your happiness. Being happy is the best way to break your midlife crisis in half.