If you’re in your twenties, you have probably started feeling the symptoms of a quarter-life crisis. Sure, many middle-aged people will look back at their time spent as twenty-somethings and probably regret being so melodramatic. I don’t yet have the wisdom of a middle-aged person, but I can tell you that this period is more common than you think. Whatever the cause of your “crisis,” be it moving out of your parents house and finding yourself lost, or experiencing the “what now?” after getting your bachelor’s degree, here are some tips to make sure you journey through this phase and come out of it better than you were before it started:
1- Take up a hobby
Many of us are intimidated by the idea of starting a new hobby at this age. We’re held back by the misconception that you can only start learning to do the splits when you’re 5, or that you’ll never become fluent in a foreign language unless you pick it up from infanthood. A sure-fire way to feeling down is to limit your routines to going to work or school, coming home, spending hours refreshing your Facebook news feed or binge-watching your favorite TV show. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t take the time to unwind with whatever you please, but subjecting your daily routine to a gradual change (or a sudden one if you’re more of a risk-taker) may be the starting point of a budding passion. Whether you decide to take a knitting class, learn Spanish, or go trekking at an Everest base camp, you’ll get the opportunity to expand your social circle and learn something new about yourself.
2- Talk to someone who isn’t in their 20’s
Spending all your time with people who are also in their twenties may be emotionally and mentally exhausting at times, especially if they are all from the same social circle. Although people undergo this phase at different times and with varying degrees of difficulty, don’t forget that your fears or doubts might just be developing as a response to you being around people who are stressed out by similar things. Make some time in your schedule to open up to others who have been where you are now. Advice from a teacher, boss, family member, or neighbor will surely do you good.
3- Spend some time alone
And for that matter, you should also spend time being alone with nothing but your thoughts. This is something that young adults often take for granted, especially since this is a point in life when many leave behind old lifestyles to build new friendships and immerse themselves in new communities. At first, it may seem scary or weird to, for example, go to a movie or travel on your own. For those of you who are more skeptical about this idea, start small with something like designating a portion of your time per day to take a walk on your own. There’s something exceptionally gratifying about knowing that you don’t need anyone else’s company to feel comfortable with yourself.
4- Remember that life isn’t a race
You may have reached the age where half of your friends are still party animals and the other half are getting married and having babies. It will take time to realize and accept the fact that you’re not living life for anyone else except yourself. Sure, it doesn’t help when your news feed blows up with photos of that one guy’s engagement or that one girl’s weight loss transformation. These things stress you out because they trigger thoughts that you’ve lost track of your life goals or that you’re not comfortable with the direction you’re headed towards. Situations like these can be opportunities to reevaluate things or uncover things you want in your own future- just make sure to live life at your own pace. Once you stop comparing your milestones to those of others, your happiness will be much more genuine.
5- This is a transition period, not a crisis
Try to harness the energy you use when comparing yourself to others, worrying, or complaining, and use it to find where you’re supposed to be. Really, forget whatever the person was thinking when he coined the term “quarter-life crisis.” At the end of the day, this is really just an inevitable stage (not crisis) that most of us young adult will go through. And just like puberty, it’ll hit some of us harder than others.
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