Michelle Rupp: Hello and welcome into this week’s edition of AFMC TV. We’re glad you’re joining us. I bet you’ll be able to think of at least one person as we explore today’s topic. Joining me now is Dr. Chad Rodgers and we are here to talk about an important topic. Well all the topics we talk about are important, but this one I love so when we see a young man or young woman, adult male adult woman um all of a sudden can peeling it into the parking lot at work in this brand new fancy red convertible. What’s the first, what’s the first thing you think of?

Dr. Chad Rodgers: Midlife crisis.

MR: That’s exactly what I think of. So, we’re going to talk about midlife crisis today first of all, is that really a thing or do we use that as an excuse?

CR: It really is sort of a thing. You know, So it’s not well described, it’s sort of something that’s very common to our culture, the American culture. Uh, some people say that it’s not really a real thing. Is it really a crisis that’s the big debate because it’s yeah, I mean it’s a time of your life where things do kind of change and things do kind of turn over but it’s not necessarily a crisis and it depends on how you handle it. It makes it a crisis or not, but it’s actually kind of a normal developmental step in our lifetime. Um we all live long enough now to get into our fifties. And so sometime in your kind of early, late forties, mid-fifties, even in your early sixties many people will go through a period of time where they’re just you know reflecting on what happened in the past, what the future looks like You’re kind of seeing in the end, which is sort of morbid, but it’s sort of the reality of life and then people are kind of doing a lot of introspection and reflection and then I think it’s also kind of a time where you begin to think about what do I want to do with the last part of my life. So, it is a big time of change.

MR: And I would think to some of that as you are reflecting and you see what, how the past has been and what the future and then maybe even fear on multiple levels, but including I didn’t save enough or my 401-K is totally tanked. You know and so it’s not always just fancy sports cars trading in the minivan for the you know convertible, There’s a lot of emotions and maybe even some mind games that take place.

CR: So it is perfectly normal to feel kind of sometimes discontent. I mean we’ve all experienced that at some time in our life and sometimes maybe it’s just your career, maybe you’re not where you thought you would be or maybe you’re not where you thought you would be financially or maybe you’ve gotten a divorce and you’re starting over. So, you know, sometimes it’s kind of that reflection life and realizing that you’re, you’re not where you want to be. So the big, the big driver there is anxiety so and which is a normal response to stress. Uh people get worried about things you can, but you know, it’s kind of how you handle it, how you approach it, how you think about it and then where you’re going next, It’s going to kind of take you out of that.

MR: So talk a little bit about that mindset shift and kind of how to get through that maybe feel the feels and go through the emotions, but then, but then how do you come out of that on a positive note?

CR: Right, Right. Well, so usually some people have had some sort of significant change in life, maybe they lost a parent, lost a spouse, Sometimes it’s the kids leaving for college, but there’s a lot of things happening physically too. We’re changing. I mean our physical appearance, but also our joints and our muscles and things ache and you know, it’s not as easy to run five miles and then get up and do it again the next day because it takes longer for our body to repair. Sleep is really important and it sometimes becomes disrupted at this age group So there’s a lot of things that you can do, number one don’t isolate yourself relationships are very important and and I think talking about it and sharing about it and kind of normalizing a little bit because a lot of people are going through it too. I think people feel like they’re they’re going through it very alone Um, but it is something that other people are going through. I think it’s good to talk through, maybe talk about some specific things. I think sometimes it’s a good time to talk to your doctor or even a psychologist, you know, sort of about what you’re going through so that you can kind of get some skills to kind of help deal with that stress, but I think it’s you know, I think it’s a good time in life to say, hey, it’s time to push the reset button. You know what worked in my twenties and thirties and forties is not going to work. in my fifties and sixties and seventies and so I need to think about how I’m going to sleep different, how I’m going to eat different, how my activity is going to be different, how I’m going to spend money differently. But I think it’s also how am I going to do some self care so that I’m so that for the last part of my life that I am good and we do actually see that people do go through some time where they are unhappy. Maybe have some discontentment have maybe even go through a little depressive phase But most studies show that by your 60s, most people are beginning to feel happier again and some people kind of relate to that at some of the times the most happy part of their life. So it’s a real crucial time to sort of address the issues. Don’t kind of push them down, don’t go crazy, you know, don’t go buy the sports car, leave your wife, you know, buy a yacht, bad idea, you know, talk to your friends pull people in and if you need to engage a professional. So two final questions. Um does everyone experience this and how long can this crisis last? Right. Right. So it doesn’t happen to everybody. They say about one in 41 in five people will have a midlife crisis. And so it’s not necessarily something that everybody happens and again it’s something that happens very commonly in our in our culture. So um it’s sort of um a time to kind of begin to think about what you’ve done what your strengths are and kind of build on those so they can kind of move out and to kind of begin to do things a little bit differently. And like I said, most people report after this phase and after this time of change, that happiness actually does improve. So you are sometimes at a point in your life where you’re not as worried about income, which is nice because you’re you’ve kind of worked and you’ve saved if you have saved appropriately and you can really enjoy time with your Children and your grandchildren and with friends. Um you know, and also it’s a time to reengage your spouse. So Children living in the home is a big deal, it totally changes the dynamic between your spouse sometimes. you have to kind of get to know each other again, but if you’re going to ride out the rest of life together, you need to kind of work on that relationship. So those are really important.

CR: And it can last?

CR: It can last most of the time people start to move out in their mid to late fifties, early sixties,

MR: Ok, so not, not so bad,

CR: And it can be good

MR: And not everyone experiences it.

CR: And so and I think the thing is it’s a normal lifetime developmental milestone step. So don’t feel like you’re going crazy

MR: Doctor Chad anything else you’d like to add?

CR: That’s pretty much it. I think the biggest thing is, you know, make sure you’re eating well, you’re sleeping well and exercise is so crucial to overall happiness and just longevity. So having that routine, you don’t have to run an intense fight. five miles anymore, but you might want to make sure you’re walking a good 30 minutes or 20 minutes a day just to keep your health up.

MR: Just being outside and breathing that fresh air makes all the difference. Ok? Doctor Chad, thank you so much.

CR: So glad to be here.

MR: And thank you for joining us. We’ll see you back here next week for more AFMC TV.