How To Survive Your Quarter-Life Crisis
What’s A Quarter-life Crisis?
You may have never heard of a quarter-life crisis, but you may have very well experienced one. It’s a millennial term described as that time in your mid 20’s to early 30’s where you feel anxiety, stress, and overwhelm with the direction of your life. So much so that your self-doubt causes you to become dissatisfied and makes you feel like a failure.
This may cause you to engage in some deep soul searching while also feeling like you’re on the verge of ruin because you haven’t found your dream job, the perfect man, or a life you feel you can brag about. Don’t worry this is a normal emotion. It can begin as early as 18 and last well into your ’30s.
Before spiraling out of control in a whirlwind of frustration, step outside of yourself and consider what’s actually happening. You have to be intentional about how you’re going to address this. Managing a quarter-life crisis is easy. Essentially, we’re allowing society’s standards to cause us to have full blown panic attacks that can be avoided.
If it’s your job that you hate, make a plan to get away from it. If it’s a man you can’t find, let finding one be your last thought. Work on yourself and it’ll fall in place. In the words of author Marie Forleo, “everything is figureoutable,” if you decide that it is.
As you inch your way through what may be the most traumatic time of your life, here are a few tips that will help you change the trajectory of your future.
Be Honest With How You Feel
For far too long in the black community we have been taught to be strong black women, accept whatever happens, and move on. If you do this, stop! It creates a toxic-ness in you as a friend, significant other, and person in general. Need proof? Your parents are probably perfect examples of this or someone in your family.
There’s surely some habit they have that you can tell requires some time with a therapist to heal. Do not ignore your feelings. Feel them. This is going to be the most important step in learning how to manage your quarter-life crisis.
Be the chain breaker of intergenerational trauma. Allow vulnerability and go into the places that make you uncomfortable. Once you know where it hurts the most, you can start to process and heal. Find someone who can coach you to a path of self-liberation.
Have A Support Squad
We all have friends that we can talk to about anything. While it’s good to have an immediate shoulder to cry on, you have to level up your go-to crew based on where you are in life. Identify who can talk to about what. Your mom, aunt, or a trusted mentor will probably be the best option.
Some friends don’t have the capacity to guide you the way you need in times like these. You will have to find those who have gone through “it” themselves. They’ll be that needed motivation to help you step into your happiness.
Stop Comparing Yourself To Those Who Are “Doing Better Than You”
You know that timeline of life milestones we’re supposed to hit by a certain age? Throw it away!
There are people who got married at 25 and divorced by 30. Others find their soulmate at 43 and live a true happily ever after. Some start a minimum wage job at 17 and work their way up to retire early. And those who started a “dream career” at 28 but grew unhappy and started over at 34. Not everyone has kids anymore either. “Rich aunties” are out here living their best lives with no regrets!
Society’s timeline that we internalize is not real. Let life happen in its own perfect timing. If you want to start your quarter-life crisis early, keep trying to live up to those imposed standards that probably won’t work out. Having to start your life over is a recipe for anxiety that can turn into a depression so remove the pressure by removing the cut-off date. It’ll happen when it’s supposed to.
Get Your Side Hustle On
If you have to say a prayer before you walk into your job every day, you could probably benefit from a side hustle. Doing something you love has the potential to become that “dream job” you want and even allow you to walk away from the one you hate. You’re at a stage in your life where you can have a 9-5 and a 5-9. Grind now, shine later. Leaving that cubicle you can’t stand has to be a deliberate act.
Set Realistic Goals
Know what you are working towards ultimately but have small goals that are manageable until you get there. Having too many irons in the fire can kill your productivity. And if you try to do too much at once you’ll get nothing done at all.
In addition, don’t make too many plans. Don’t be so rigid. Always be open to change. Have you heard the phrase “if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans?” Refer to it often as you consider the ins and outs of how to manage your quarter-life crisis. Be able to bounce back when things don’t go as you expect because this will happen.
Life is not about playing someone else’s game. Run your own race at your own pace. Remember, the tortoise beat the hare. You will have more satisfaction and less frustration going with the flow. Focus on the type of growth you are seeking and what types of relationships you truly want, not the ones you are told to.
If you need additional tips on managing a quarter-life crisis, check out this article for more. The first steps of it all are the hardest but when we do things the civil way, they can be the most rewarding.