“I feel so ready for my 30’s!!!” Said my naïve, optimistic 29-year-old self. And I did! I finally felt comfortable in my own skin, and was able to avoid the plethora of relationship mistakes I made in my early 20’s. I was onnnnnn tracckkkkk.
Little did I know, I was about to shed that skin and grow a new one that suddenly weighed 20lbs heavier than my 29-year-old skin; and when I shared my newfound relationship goals with the men-children I dated, they scratched their heads in confusion.
Thus, my early mid-life crisis commenced.
It began almost the exact day I turned 30; my gung-ho positivity began to crumble. Suddenly, my career, love life and financial state seemed sub par; so much so that I actually packed my bags, quit my job, moved out of my over-priced apartment in Los Angeles, and back in with my parents.
After months of dealing with the fall out, I launched my free-lance writing career and managed to save enough for a for long-term traveling (which I am doing presently.)
Thanks, early mid-life crisis!
This is not to say that I think the answer to facing your mortality is to upend your entire life, but I do believe (and have the proof) that there are beautiful moments on the far end of your early mid-life crisis.
Here are a few ways overcome your mid-life crisis, that I learned the hard way.
Treat yourself… to some therapy!
Talking things out with a therapist can definitely help you work through an early mid-life crisis.
It can be a pain in the butt to find the right therapist for you, at a price that works for your budget, but it is definitely possible! See if your insurance plan covers mental health. If they don’t, there are typically centers for student therapists and interns that are pro bono, as well as therapists that offer sessions on a sliding scale.
Therapy has the ability to lead to breakthroughs in your life and can make you feel exponentially more fulfilled. A therapist can act as an accountability buddy, as well; and, if nothing else, it provides you with a designated a trustworthy person and a safe space to bring issues up that you would otherwise be suppressing.
Related Content: How to Choose a Therapist
Start exercising. Easy does it!
It’s not going to get any easier to establish healthy habits the longer you wait! And you can’t expect the results you want to happen over night.
When I turned 30 it was basically like I had gained my “freshman 15” all over again, but it was much more difficult to shed the extra pounds. Picking up exercises like yoga and barre were definitely not as easy as I approached mid-life as it was in my 20’s. I spent a lot of classes, especially at the beginnings, laughing at myself while falling out of poses and not completing sets.
Don’t worry if it’s hard, or if you’re not where you want to be. Just do what you can and keep doing it.
When it comes to diet, being aware of what you’re putting in your body is as easy as it is crucial.
Try to intermit heavy carb days with veggie forward meals. If you have a sugary breakfast in the morning, consider holding off on dessert that evening.
At this point, there’s no need to be extreme, you’re just trying to build healthy habits that are sustainable, so you can approach mid-life like a champ.
Screw everything else. Look inward.
Part of human nature is to care about what people think of you. We care about what our families think, our friends, even strangers we pass on the street. We worry about whether we’ve achieved the “timeline” we set up for ourselves in our younger years.
STOP. Get all of the judgmental voices (especially your own) out of your head. It’s time to get quiet with yourself, look inward and find out what makes you happy.
As you approach mid-life (which is technically considered 35-years old, which is pretty much BS anyway) it is a great time to check in with yourself, because you now have the wisdom and experience to reflect on what you want more of and what you want less of in your life.
It’s way too easy to rip yourself apart. Whether it’s when you look in the mirror, or take a day to lay in bed instead of work, we have a tendency to speak to ourselves in a way that we would NEVER speak to the people we love.
I was majorly reluctant to say affirmations to myself at first, worried about whether it was cheesy or desperate, but the truth is, being kind to yourself takes practice. If it’s hard for you to give yourself a compliment, or even just not be a d*ck to yourself, then look in the mirror and practice.
It might seem artificial at first, but with time is will feel more authentic, and it will make you more mindful of when you start to go down a negative loop.
Related Content: 27 Self Love Affirmations and How To Use Them
Change the narrative.
There is a lot of fear surrounding aging. Some of it is regarding mortality, because, ummmmmm, yeah, death is pretty scary. The truth is, the fear we deal with on the day-to-day has a lot more to do with society wanting to sell us products and keep women in line.
So, say it with me. WE ONLY GET BETTER AS WE GET OLDER. All of those wrinkles and changing curves are proof of our years around the earth, like a tree stump has rings for each year it survived. We look at other forms of life on this planet with awe when they achieve a long life span, yet we don’t give ourselves the same respect.
Aging grounds us, and should be looked at as a beautiful phenomenon that we are fortunate enough to take part in.
As your early mid-life crisis approaches, take a breath and welcome it because, as it turns out, aging is not a “crisis.”
It’s okay if we’re not exactly where we want to be, because that’s what helps us grow. Life rarely works out the way we plan, but that’s what makes us who we are.
With a strong sense-of-self, happiness will become something that resides within us, making us feel great at any age.