The story of the broken phone booth - How to survive midlife crisis


Standing outside a broken phone booth with money in my hand ... I read Robin Sharma's bestseller Everyday Hero Manifesto at the end of last year and the author was listening to this massive 90s USA AC hit from the Primitive Radio Gods as background music while writing one of the chapters. You can rightly ask how this scenario has made it to the beginning of a 2022 post of a coaching/ self-help blog. Well, the solution is midlife crisis, the phenomenon that inspired the song's authors and that has made the life of many of our fellows difficult in Hungary and around the world recently. You can hear the term itself many times in your everyday life, but what are the most important details to know about the problem? Everything will be revealed in today's post - just stay tuned!

Midlife can be the most unhappy period of a person's life. A related nationwide survey in the USA, Midlife in the United States has assessed what percentage of the population has been affected by the crisis. Well, in the States about 26% of those surveyed report having encountered the phenomenon in their lifetime. Hungary is in a slightly better position, according to one of the leading psychological centers, approx. 10% of adults aged 30-50 are affected.

At what stage in life does the crisis usually come?

According to research, after reaching the age of 18, our level of happiness begins to decline steadily, and until the middle of our sixties it will not reach our youth's level again. The midlife crisis itself is affecting the 35-60 age group, but of course not everyone and not everyone is equally impacted. In general, we are the most unhappy around the age of 47.

What reasons can lead to mid-life crisis?

It cannot be generalized, as the phenomenon is unique for everyone, yet there are some typical causes. These can be:

  • the death of a loved one
  • negative changes in your appearance over the years
  • questioning the purpose of your life
  • career crisis
  • deterioration in your family relationships
  • if you are a parent, the growing up of your adult children.

What are the most common symptoms of the crisis?

Many people think that a midlife crisis manifests itself primarily in fear of death or a longing for past youth, but in reality, its symptoms are not much different from the problems of any other stage of life. What tells you that someone is going through a crisis?

  • they neglect body care
  • their sleeping habits change dramatically
  • their weight significantly increases or decreases
  • their mood fluctuates, more often they become unreasonably angry, sad or their fears become more offensive
  • they often feel emptiness or boredom
  • they are dissatisfied with their life
  • they get into a nostalgic mood too often
  • they give up their previous favorite habits or damage their social relationships
  • infidelity in a relationship.

What are the stages of the crisis?

The midlife crisis typically has 6 main stages:

1. Denial: You are not willing to admit that you are getting older.

2. Anger: You feel that life has not treated you well, so you are hostile to the people around you, often to your closest loved ones.

3. Repetition: you're trying to bring back the good old days, you're busy with things you used to love a lot.

4. Depression: Although midlife crisis is not an illness, in the fourth stage you realize that nothing can be the same as it used to be, so you get in a bad mood.

5. Retreat: you close yourself, disconnect from your environment.

6. Acceptance: You come to terms with the fact that you are getting older and see it as a natural part of your life, you no longer want to look younger than your age.

Covid-19 and mid-life crisis:

The coronavirus epidemic has accelerated the appearance of symptoms among both men and women. Alcohol sales have risen, divorce rates are also skyrocketing, and domestic violence is on the rise. According to a recent survey by YouGovPoll, 33% of men don't have a best friend and 44% feel lonely. Their family and friendships have deteriorated, they feel trapped and anxious. Women have often studied at home with their children in the last 2 years, in addition to everyday work and housework. In many cases, they also have to take care of their elderly parents. That is, the Covid-19 epidemic brought about a midlife crisis in the lives of many men and women alike.

How can you avoid the crisis?

  • Nurture your most important relationships and focus on what makes you really happy.

Don't cancel your loved ones' birthday party just because you're tired after a whole week of work. Spend more time with your hobbies,

  • Let go of unrealistic expectations of yourself.

Accept your strengths and focus on them and put your weaknesses in the background.

  • Connect as much as possible with your friends.

The others are likely to go/have gone through this difficult time as well, but together you can help each other.

  • Live for the present.

Recognizing your future limitations will help you set more achievable, realistic goals.

How to turn lemon into lemonade, that is, what to do if you have reached the crisis?

  • Focus on yourself.
  • Keep up with the changes in your life.
  • Start something new.
  • Leave time and space for your privacy.
  • Stay active - do sports. (The best antidote is skateboarding!)
  • Find a new healthy habit.
  • Go outside.
  • Spend your time with something that is your passion.
  • Visit a coach or psychologist. (If you're lucky, the expert himself has already gone through the crisis, so he will be able to help you get over it with close-to-life examples.)

Do you have any questions left? If yes, or if you are going through such a stage of life, please do not hesitate to contact me, I will be happy to answer your questions.

Friendly regards,

Károly Vizdák

lifestyle change & career coach

motivational advisor

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