Quarter-Life Crisis: What Is And How To Deal With It

If you ended up reading this post there are high chances you are a millennial (roughly defined as someone born between 1981 and 1996, but actually much much more) struggling in his or her journey to adulthood.

This is my personal and definitely down-to-earth definition of what the Macmillan Dictionary suggests as a quarter-life crisis: “strong feelings of worry and doubt that some people have about their lives when they reach late teens to early thirties”.

As a what-am-I-doing-with-my-life young adult (year of birth: 1991), I feel you. Really. I know the distress of comparison (how come that others look always so successful / fulfilled / happy?), the sorrow of broken expectations, and the deep and merciless fear of the future.

Worry and uncertainty can make decisions hard

For this reason, I would like to share with you 5 tips which may help you to tackle your quarter-life crisis and hopefully win over it.

1. Accept your worries and fears

Face your worries and accept the fact that they are there. Problems do not disappear if you ignore them. It may be painful (it will), but you will get back in your life’s driver’s seat with a sense of greater control over your uncertainties.

2. Don’t feel ashamed

You are not your quarter-life crisis. And you are anything less than your multifaceted self just because you are going through a difficult time. Forgive yourself. And forgive the others, whether they don’t get it or – worse, maybe? – they do understand your pain and pity you. They just want to be sympathetic.

3. Express your feelings

Yes. Do it. Speak about what keeps you awake at night. Not only it will help you to sort out your thoughts, but it may also provide you with new insights into what is going on in your mind. You reject the idea of disclosing your deepest fears to someone else? Fair enough. White notebook or Word pages are waiting for you on your desk.

4. Take action

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop,” ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius knew a thing or two about life. And he was right. Keep going. Do take your time to think and acknowledge what is happening (see points above), but don’t indulge in self-pity and don’t let worry or fear freeze you.

Involve in “active activities”: actions that make you feel better but keep your mind or body engaged and give you a sense of purpose. It may be sports, attending a cooking class, or simply reading a book. Your mood will be lifted and you may find out unexpected passions or end up undertaking new projects for the future.

5. Don’t think it will last forever

It’s a crisis: its life span is limited by definition. It will pass. Just remain focused and walk through it. Being myself a representative of the group at the time of writing, I don’t have a clear view of the aftermath. I’m just looking forward to it.

Over to you – have you experienced or are you in the midst of a quarter-life crisis? Do you have any additional tip to share?

Published by Nadia Musumeci

Copywriter. Millennial. Expat. And a lot of questions.

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