If you ask different individuals what life means to them, you will get different analogies. It will depend on the person’s experiences and relationships that shaped such perspective. However, some life stages were universally acknowledged to occur among the majority of people. These stages are even termed crises based on the age range one is currently in.
Let’s look at these stages and how you can cope and handle them well so such a life crisis can turn into bliss.
These episodes of developmental crisis occur from 18 to 30, wherein people in this age group start questioning their identity in terms of roles and relationships. Such questions are often answered through trial-and-error and exploration. According to a study, 70% of subjects in the United Kingdom reported they experienced at least one quarter-life or early adult crisis in their 20s. This challenging life stage is also a popular, topical discussion in self-help literature and media.
- job hunting or career planning
- first time of independent living
- handling relationships
- developing long-term personal plans and professional decisions
This is similar to a quarter-life crisis but with a different age range and stressors.People are generally considered in their midlife once they are in their 35 to 55.
- relationships and roles are changing
- some people begin to be sandwiched with caring for their own family and their old parents
- aging becomes more apparent due to a decline in physical ability
- lost of opportunities
- working in the same industry for too long and every aspect of work-life is familiar and routinary
At this stage, people are already in their late fifties to late sixties. Some people are happily playing with their grandchildren already, while others might need home nursing care.
- loss-inducing events
- inability to do things due to old age
- personal illness or injury
- increased awareness of fatality
Life crisis into life bliss
Don’t faint. The data science team atHappifyfound among the 88,000 participants that people experience a drastic increase in stress levels in their late twenties and early thirties. These continue to increase moderately during the thirties and forties and persist for about 2 more decades, and then sharply drop during retirement. Although the stress levels seem to go higher, people’s emotional response to it declines. And people start to view the experiences in a positive light.
1. Introspect and determine where you are at today.
Having an honest self-assessment is important so you’ll know what to work on. Audit your days and see which activities you enjoy and which drains your energy and time. If you determine the source of why you are experiencing a quarter-life crisis, you can act on it.
2. Start making bold decisions.
It isn’t easy to decide since each choice can determine your life direction. Of course, don’t do drugs or other obvious wrong decisions that will spiral your life downward. What I mean is, if you want to take a second course but you are afraid you are already in your twenties, thirties, forties, even sixties, guess what? Whether you take that course or not, you will still be four years older in four years. If you don’t make decisions, you’ll prolong the agony of feeling stuck in indecision.
3. Stick with your decision.
Making a decision is hard but sticking with it is even harder since opting for a certain track means giving up other possibilities. Feeling such a loss can trigger doubts about whether you made the right choice. But as Robert Frost pointed out, we can not traverse two roads at once. You’ll only see in hindsight. Your narrative will also depend on your perspective.
4. Be gentle with yourself.
The world is already in a global crisis, so, understandably, it is even more challenging to create plans and back them up with actions since the quarantine limits us or, if in late-life, old age. However, it is also important to be patient with yourself. Discomfort with the self-identity you are building is totally understandable-practice compassion towards yourself as you would to someone you love.
5. Focus on a brighter tomorrow.
Get enough sleep. Exercise daily. Do what you can to help yourself. Many people have and are also going through the same phase. But treat it like it is a phase.
It may be difficult to handle a life crisis amidst a world crisis. One factor that makes it even harder is the perception that you are all alone in this. A study found that people experiencing a life crisis developed an enhanced curiosity about themselves and the vast world around them. Such curiosity paves the way to new ideas, insights, creative solutions, and new opportunities. As long as you are breathing, there’s hope. Someday, you’ll laugh at the things you are stressing about now.