Redefining Midlife Crisis: How to Navigate Existential Questions

Lately, I’ve been questioning my purpose, my identity, and the meaning of life. I grew up in the 60s and 70s where the adults in my life smoked pot, drank alcohol, partied, and contemplated the meaning of life. I thought the days of dropping LSD, meditating, living in communes, and having deep existential conversations had stopped. Nope, midlife is when a lot of us question our achievements versus our aspirations.  Now, I ask the BIG question, “how do I want to live the rest of my life?”

Love, Dr. Z, Doctor of Disruption

Midlife Crisis

Middle age is defined as the period of life between the ages of 45 to 65.  It’s also the time when things like losing a job, separation, aging parents and having older kids at home, death of a loved one, and/or health problems can occur. This is also the time when most of us go through menopause which can exacerbate mental health issues like anxiety and depression, physical issues like weight gain and cognitive issues like “brain fog.” This can lead to a “midlife crisis,” where we struggle with identity, purpose, and self-confidence. And know this, a midlife crisis is NOT a disorder, it’s psychological. 

Stop Calling it a Crisis

This can be a shitty time in our life BUT it doesn’t have to dictate how we live the rest of our lives.  We can reframe our midlife crisis to a midlife movement.  Embrace this time as a launching point full of opportunities to focus on you and what you want. Here are ideas to deal with a midlife crisis:

  1. Find or create a community
  2. Start a journal or memoir
  3. Exercise
  4. Involve your partner
  5. Learn something new
  6. Reconnect with nature
  7. Read books
  8. Keep a gratitude journal
  9. Join a group or a meet-up
  10. Practice joy
  11. Talk to a therapist
  12. Reaffirm your values
  13. Practice meditation

We need to disrupt the story that a midlife/existential crisis is negative.  Instead, it can be a time to live our best, most authentic lives. 


Andrea Cole “I’ve lived in survival mode and fight or flight status most of my life. My 40’s is where I’m discovering my true authentic self and embracing security, safety, confidence, purpose and just being. I’m not sure that is an existential crisis.”


Find Andrea Cole

Midlife Crisis in Women

6 Ways to Overcome an Existential Crisis