Whether it’s been portrayed in the movies or it’s played out in real life, midlife crises can be a turbulent time. The term “midlife crisis” is not a new idea. It is a time people are forced to acknowledge their age and inevitable mortality.
However, contrary to its name, more and more people throughout the world are experiencing a three-quarter life crisis rather than a midlife crisis. This change of events could be in part due to greater life expectancy rates, which cause people to confront their mortality later in life.
What is A Three-Quarter Life Crisis?
The negative connotations surrounding the term “crisis” caused a lot of people to worry about it. When referring to midlife or three-quarter life crisis, though, this term doesn’t necessarily indicate a time of despair.
Rather, it’s more a turning point for people in their late 60s and early 70s who reassess their priorities with the wisdom they have gained through maturity. While people may enter the crises in a rut and unsure of their value, waiting on the other side is a sense of renewed purpose and new possibilities.
It’s also worth noting that those who endure the waves of such a turbulent emotional period often come out the other side refreshed and renewed. People may even pick up a new skill, quit their job, or change industries. While others may take up studying, immerse themselves in a new hobby, or plan a holiday.
These transitional periods not only help seniors but also work toward challenging ageist stereotypes. They help young people see older people as engaging with society rather than disengaging from it.
Is This Type of Crisis Common?
An in-depth study by Australian Seniors not only revealed this new type of crisis, but it also highlighted just how common this experience is amongst Australians between the ages of 54 and 73.
The study included 5,000 Australians reacting to senior care topics such as retirement, health, and technology and broader concerns such as ageism and public perception. On a number of levels, the results proved insightful.
Most surprising was that the stereotypical period of painful self-reflection reserved for a person in their 40s or 50s wasn’t that common anymore. Instead, the new generation of retirees experienced this phenomenon in their mid-60s and 70s.
One of the reasons why people are having three-quarter life crises can be put down to the increasing rates of life expectancy most people are experiencing. This increase in turn means people are having families, buying homes, and retiring later than ever before.
Managing The Crisis
A three-quarter life crisis is particularly evident in those who have retired or are looking to retire. This is quite normal given the retirement process brings with it a whole new set of circumstances to adapt to.
There are mental and emotional hurdles to conquer when a person clocks off for the last time. No longer a worker, a person’s purpose, routine, and social network must also adapt to retirement. There’s also staying healthy after retirement to consider.
By acknowledging things are going to change, retirees can go a long way toward preventing angst during the crossroads. Rather than stopping activity altogether, the routine and purpose that work brings should be replicated in retirement.
Dealing with the mental or emotional upset retiring may bring can be addressed with key steps. First, maintain adequate social interaction. Second, ensure there is a meaning or purpose to your life. Third, stay physically and mentally active. Last, strive for balance.
A Final Thought
While a transitional period may force introspection, sometimes a crisis doesn’t have to be so bad. Its power can be harnessed for good. Causing people to re-evaluate and take stock of what is important in life.
With a renewed sense of purpose, retirees or those looking to say goodbye to the workforce can plan the third act once beyond their wildest dreams. This may include things such as picking up new hobbies or planning trips and traveling the world.
With this new approach, seniors are more physically, mentally, and creatively challenged long after they’ve left the workplace. They are evidence that the older generation can still engage with the world while changing stereotypes one day at a time.
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