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How to Survive 4 Age-Related Crises That Happen to All of Us

We all are used to thinking that a crisis is a bad thing, and we should overcome it or die trying. However, is all of that really necessary? It's impossible to escape things that can happen to us unexpectedly.

We at Bright Side decided to figure out how to recognize an upcoming crisis, which questions to answer, and where to get the power to face a new chapter of your life. At the end of the article, there is an interesting bonus about a very important period in our lives.

18 years


Imagine a teenager in a state of total confusion having to answer a fundamental question. Add to that a truckload of emotional tension and a radical worldview, which is typical for this age.

Some families have a good solution for such a situation: a "gap year." This is a year off between graduating high school and entering university. This year can be spent working, traveling, and in self-discovery. It is probable that no miracles will happen in this year, but future choices might become more conscious and successful.


First of all, let's be honest: it's impossible to make a purposeful decision while experiencing stress before exams. The only thing really worth doing is thinking outside the box about limitations and rules. Ask yourself a couple of questions:

  • If I could do only one thing for my whole life, what would it be?
  • What would I do if I wasn't afraid of anything?

25-30 years

In her book The Defining Decade, Meg Jay describes a person in a state of a quarter-life crisis by quoting the words of her patient: "I feel like I’m in the middle of the ocean. Like I could swim in any direction, but I can’t see land on any side, so I don’t know which way to go."


Nowadays there's no need to spend all your life working at one place. Personal growth is the number one priority today. You will have a lot of time for strengthening your family values. The life experiences of our parents make us feel guilty for our unfulfilled plans and broken hopes.

A period of crisis is an opportunity to go to the bottom, calm down there, estimate future possibilities, understand your own wishes, relax, and recover. After this, you will be powerful enough to take a good push off the bottom and rush to the surface again.


  • First of all, stop comparing yourself to your peers, friends, former classmates, university pals, colleagues, and especially with "Mom's friend's kids."
  • If you feel that you don't want to fulfill somebody else's life plans, tell them immediately. They shouldn't have put any hopes on your life if they didn't want to be disappointed.
  • Throw spaghetti! In order to check if the pasta is cooked, you need to throw a piece at the wall. If it sticks, it's ready. If the piece falls down, it needs more time. The same principle works with everything in our lives. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Just try.
  • One is better than zero. Make plans. Follow them every day. At least a little bit.

35 years


It seems like you have been living incorrectly all your life. Too much compromise, too little time spent on fulfilling your own desires. Too much "I have to" instead of "I want to." Days go by, melancholy and depression take over, disappointment and stagnancy in all spheres of life are breathing over your shoulder. It seems that it is too late to fix things.

If you don't feel brave enough to start changing your life, try to visit a psychologist, read some literature about crucial points at someone's mature age, or watch some inspiring movies.


It's vital to take a break and spend some time on yourself so as not to protract the difficult period. It can be useful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • If I had $20 million and 10 years, what would I do?
  • What are my plans? What do I really want?
  • What do I want my children to learn about me?

45-50 years


Your job stopped bringing pleasure many years ago, love is long gone, the house is just 4 walls and nothing more, and your children are so busy with their own lives that they hardly pay any attention to your problems. It feels like your whole life was dedicated to the wrong thing, and you made a mistake at the very beginning and forgot to fix it, following somebody else's path. You don't dare to look forward because of the fear of death, a pessimistic mood, and a lack of desire to change something is preventing you from estimating your past adequately.

It may sound obvious, but you just have to pull yourself together. Step by step, get rid of negative thoughts. Start making plans. That's right, make plans. And pay attention to the most important values of your life.


  • If you understand that your career is coming to an end, think about retirement: find another job, or take a well-deserved rest.
  • Stay active. Sport and moderate physical activity improve blood flow and enrich your brain with oxygen.
  • Stay in contact with friends and children. They represent a connection with your young years and positive memories. Children and grandchildren are your future.

Bonus: Awkward years crisis

In their awkward years, kids want to try everything so as to look cooler in the eyes of their friends. It is important to help a kid not to get lost in a world of a thousand opportunities. Show them the way to the right choices.

Instead of offering help, adults often start a war with "teenage rebels." Unfortunately, nobody wins in this war. Trying to suppress the emotional storm of youngsters, adults often break their spirits, which triggers a chain of wrong choices in the future. It may include different things: from an inability to make a decision up to various addictions and psychological conditions.

Here are some tips that may come in handy helping your little rebel:

  • Set a good example for your child.
  • Show your interest in your child's life: ask, listen, encourage.
  • Keep in mind that at some point your child may be bullied at school. Be there to help, support, and resolve the conflict.
  • Control the presence of devices and social media in your kid's life.
  • Collaborate with teachers in the tough craft of dealing with teenagers.

What do you think about this article? Do you have any tips to add? Share your opinion with us in the comments!

Illustrated by Anna Syrovatkina for Bright Side
Bright Side/Psychology/How to Survive 4 Age-Related Crises That Happen to All of Us
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