CASE STUDY > Mid-life crisis
A midlife crisis is a transition of identity and self-confidence that can occur in middle-aged individuals, typically 45 to 65 years old. The phenomenon is described as a psychological crisis brought about by events that highlight a person's growing age, inevitable mortality, and possibly lack of accomplishments in life. This may produce feelings of intense depression, remorse, and high levels of anxiety, or the desire to achieve youthfulness or make drastic changes to their current lifestyle or feel the wish to change past decisions and events.
Am I having a mid-life crisis?
You, or someone you care about could be experiencing:
a strong desire to hold on to youth, or younger friends, at whatever cost
frustration or annoyance with people who are happy and 'in a rut'
out of character changes to lifestyle - the classic motorbike purchase without a licence
a sense that you have not lived up to your expectations, that life hasn't quite worked out
an urgency about resolving any past 'mistakes' or experiences in life
a feeling that you need to alter the course of your life, immediately
confusion or disconnect from your identity and role at work or home
shame about your life compared to your peers, wanting to avoid some people
over-indulgence in drink, sex or drugs or hedonistic activities
a sense of a lack of meaning in your life, or purpose - 'is this it?'
Research is pointing to less of a ‘mid-life’ crisis, but more of a natural life cycle that can happen to anyone, at any point in life, with the chance to reflect. This can bring a greater sense of fulfilment and happiness as you can take the time to rethink and intentionally create a more meaningful phase in your life. You can bring your skills and knowledge gained throughout your life to support a renewed purpose in life. This new phase can be motivated by both a fear of letting go of the past, or a desire to hang on to it.
How to get over a mid-life crisis
Finding meaning in work, and in life
“I was xxxxxxxx
Try this at home:
The Wheel of Life
Draw a clock face with 10 segments. Write in areas that are important to you, to cover all aspects of your life. The ones shown here are:
Money & Finance, Career & Work, Health & Fitness, Fun & Recreation, Home environment, Community, Family & Friends, Partner & Love, Growth & Learning, Spirituality (purpose in life).
Score each area from 1-10, with 1 being the lowest in the middle, and 10 being where you'd ideally want to be.
Add activities in each area with SMART goals to help you achieve them. Some daily, weekly monthly or even seasonly. eg. Start training for park-run every Saturday, Volunteer with local charity every month.
Review each week, and focus on getting the lower scores increased in all segments for a balanced life.