Has anyone else hit that point in their twenties or thirties where you can not help but feel an almost existential dread and lack of interest in everyone and everything?
Every day you wake up to go about your normal routine and fall asleep to do the same thing tomorrow and can’t help but wonder if this is it. Is this the life I’m meant to live? I want more. These daunting feelings amplify our dread, angst and loneliness and leave us feeling like we are not doing enough, that we are behind in life or that we should have achieved more by now.
These feelings are not only exhausting but damaging and incredibly unhealthy. But what can we do if we can not help but feel behind, deeply confused and lost? Especially when it looks like everyone else around us is living these wild, tantalising lives with the financial and social freedom and joys we thought we too, would be revelling in. It is almost inescapable. We are inundated with people’s lives and experiences every day, and it seems like everyone has it all together. Everyone. Except us. It seems that everyone else became who and what they wanted, except us. And so we can not help but feel stagnant and behind.
No one talks about how daunting adulthood is, especially when navigating a new age and ever-changing world. We live in the age of the internet, the age of comparison, of everything in excess, and it’s a lot. Everyone has everything and more, and you can’t help but feel like a loser when you don’t. It feels like there are endless opportunities out there, but just not for you. We want more, but for the most part, we don’t know what more looks like. We don’t know what it is that will bring us peace, joy and the all-important feeling of contentment. But we know we want it.
Those feelings of monotony and being stuck are more common than you would expect and are extremely valid. Regardless of whether you know what’s making you feel stuck or uninterested, the change you would like to see or whether you know what will bring you peace and happiness, your feelings are valid. If you don’t feel content, happy or at peace with where you are, you should not dismiss or invalidate those feelings.
This unrelenting, difficult quarter-life crisis can be overcome, and we want to help! We want to share the steps that help us when we feel overwhelmed and stagnant, and by taking these steps, you can overcome these feelings and move forward in your journey towards happiness and contentment.
Determine What You Want
When you hit a quarter-life crisis and can’t help but agonise over your current situation, it’s important to take steps to overcome it. With overwhelming anxiety, dread, and confusion, it can be hard to determine what is making you feel this way and how to overcome it.
An important step to take is to first validate and prioritise your feelings. In validating your feelings, you understand it is ok to feel unsettled and to want more than what you have. In prioritising your feelings, you choose yourself. You choose your peace, happiness and contentment rather than upholding social constructs and accepting the boredom that may come with this. From this, you can determine what you want from your life and actively work towards it. In doing this, you can fill the void that you have been feeling and work towards your peace and happiness.
In determining what you want, you actively make choices that allow you to thrive. Because you have prioritised your feelings and are choosing yourself, you are creating a life that you want and know that you will enjoy, regardless of the opinions, feelings and beliefs of others. Determining what you want means you work towards having it all and becoming the person you want to be.
Determining what you want allows you to overcome the feeling of being lost or confused and encourages you to work towards the changes that will bring you happiness and joy.
Make a Plan
Upon determining what you want, the next step to help overcome a quarter-life crisis is to make a plan. In making a plan, you put steps and actions into motion to create the change and growth you want to see. Now, we’re not saying that it needs to be an elaborate 20-step plan in which every moment of your day is scheduled. The plan can be simple, including small changes to your daily routine. For example, it could be that you wake up an hour earlier or sleep longer, just something small to make that initial change and feel the benefits that come with it.
The repetitive nature of our every day contributes to feelings of monotony and angst, and in changing this, you can see how small changes can make a big difference in how you feel. If you feel like you have lost your lust for life and feel like a robot just going through everyday motions, take up new hobbies to explore your interests and passions. In doing this, you can determine what brings you joy and fulfilment. While this can be a daunting, difficult time, it is worth exploring your interests and passions as you might discover new hobbies or a potential career path that brings you a feeling of greater satisfaction and purpose. It’s okay to make mistakes along the way and try new things. Don’t be afraid to take risks and step out of your comfort zone. This can lead to personal growth and new opportunities.
In creating a plan, you create a schedule and routine that means you can hold yourself accountable in a healthy way. The plans you make should encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and provide a fresh perspective.
Comparison is Cruel
When going through a difficult time, it is very easy to compare your progress, experiences and life to others. It is important to remember that everyone is on their journey and not to compare yourself to others. Social media, people’s stories and our understanding of things often present an inaccurate portrayal of someone’s life and situation, so you must not take everything at face value.
An easy way to overcome this is to regularly acknowledge your growth and progress, even if, to you, they are small. It can be beneficial to reflect on your progress and growth over time. Ask yourself, What do I know now that I didn’t know a year ago? and compare where you are now to where you were in the past. Acknowledging your growth and learning can help you feel enlightened, thankful for the journey, and more positive as you look ahead.
You should also regularly celebrate the progress you have made. Celebrating your progress, whether it is a small achievement or a milestone, is encouraging and can create a more positive outlook on your journey and help you move forward. Acknowledging your growth and progress can motivate you to do more and move forward in your journey towards happiness and contentment.
When you stop comparing your progress to others, you can change your mindset and take the time to reflect on the things in life that you are thankful for, including the progress and steps you have made, even if they are small. In doing this, you can shift your mindset to focus on your progress, feelings and growth.
In summary, overcoming a quarter-life crisis takes time, effort, and a positive mindset. It’s up to you to choose to look at how far you’ve come. By validating your feelings, determining what you want, making a plan, focusing on gratitude, and prioritising self-care, you can move forward in your journey towards happiness and contentment.
Remember to have faith in yourself and your abilities, and don’t be afraid to try new things and take risks. You got this!