Who am I? What do I want? What are my talents? Where do I want to go? How do I want others to see me and is that really who I am? These are all examples of questions that you are dealing with when you are in a quarter life crisis.
Since the early 60’s, the quarter life crisis has been created. It occurs mainly in a somewhat younger age group, approximately between the ages of 18 and 30. A quarter life crisis is often seen as a luxury problem, a buzzword. But don’t underestimate the phenomenon, because it is more common than you think.
What is the quarter life crisis?
The quarter life crisis is the moment you start doubting about a lot of things in life during your twenties, you don’t know who you are anymore and everything that comes at you is overwhelming. These days it is not exceptional to encounter a quarter life crisis in your 20s or 30s.
Quarter life crisis vs Midlife crisis: what’s the difference?
As a generation, we twenty-somethings have been assigned many labels. Millennials, Generation y, the clipped wing and burnout generation. But why? Because we have been lovingly spoon-fed that we can achieve anything we set our minds to and we are encouraged by social media to share as many milestones as possible (Go Instagram!).
If you think you are the only one who regularly wonders in mild panic what you are doing, well, you are not alone. Insert The Quarter Life Crisis. The young, hip cousin of the Thirties Dilemma.
The quaterlife crisis occurs between the ages of 18 and 30 and is a typical first world problem. Just to be clear, it is something completely different from the mid-life crisis.
The quarter life crisis starts at the moment when you suddenly think, “is this it? is this all?”. And what do you do? You grab your phone and start scrolling on your favorite social media channels, the highlight reel of other people’s lives, thinking they have it all figured out.
Quarter life crisis symptoms
I am not a psychologist but there are symptoms that you are getting close to a quarter life crisis. This is not something to take lightly! If you have had a rough week, this doesn’t immediately mean that you are in a quarter life crisis. Do you have this for an extended period of time, then maybe you are getting to that point.
These are some symptoms people experience during a quarter life crisis, they:
- Have no idea who your are
- Have no idea what you want (in life)
- Don’t have any goals
- Feel like you are living on the auto-pilot
- Feel empty
- Suffer from hyperventilation and or anxiety
- Have the feeling others have it better than you
- Are emotional vulnerable
- Often feel stressed
- Are overworked or have a burn-out
- Already find it an obstacle to choose a Netflix movie
Changes are big that you’re not in a quarter life crisis, so don’t worry. However, if you check line six and line ten I would start talking to friends and family and see if they notice the same things. In that case, seek professional help, there is no shame in this! You can read more about signs of quarter life crisis here.
What can you do to overcome the quarter life crisis?
Maybe you feel like you are on the verge of a quarter life crisis and check some of the boxes above. What can you do about it? Here are some tips that can help you right away. But most importantly, whenever you feel depressed, talk to your family or find professional help!
Relax and reflect
This kinda feels like telling a stressed person to stop stressing, if it only was this simple… However, by relaxing I mean taking time for yourself. We live in a world where we run from appointment to appointment or from work to the gym without ever taking the time to relax and reflect on what is happening.
Take a few moments per day, five minutes or so, to just do nothing and relax. Focus on your breathing and reflect on what has happened. You can even download an app so that you get guidance, whatever floats your boat!
Learn to accept
A lot of stress and anxiety come from the fact that we have difficulty accepting things as they are. Since a young age we have been told that we can change everything and do everything we want. However, in the real world this is not the case. Learn to accept certain situations and pick your battles.
Exercise on a daily basis
Making sure your mind stays in the right place is not only a mental exercise, it is also physical. Plan regular moments in the week where you go for a run, gym sessions or even only a walk. You will immediately feel the effects and your body & mind will be more in balance.
A lot more people in their twenties are experiencing a quarter life crisis, the numbers have even gone up since the pandemic. A lot of young adults are spending more and more time alone and are also depressed because of social media. You can find more about this in my blog about social media depression.