Everyone can recognize the symptoms of a mid-life crisis: splurging on a red convertible, longing for a career change, and hitting the gym way more than necessary. The end of a relationship or even quitting a job might be involved too in the more extreme cases. A quarter-life crisis is often very similar, but of course, it comes at a different time in someone’s life. The effects of the quarter-life crisis are just as impactful as the infamous mid-life crisis…except we have no money to spend on cars. Or anything else, really. Instead, we have to take out our feelings of inadequacy and stress in other ways. Here are some of the things that you’ve definitely done if you’re in the midst of a quarter-life crisis.
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1. Spend an entire day (or weekend) doing absolutely nothing
Sometimes when you’re overloaded, tired, and you don’t know how to process everything happening inside your head, it’s difficult to get anything done. Personally, during times of intense stress, I tend to shut down and avoid all my responsibilities. While it might not exactly be the best way to deal with things, sometimes taking a break is exactly what I need. Maybe you do, too! Practice self-care by treating yourself to an at-home spa day, girl’s night, reading some hilarious blogs, or Netflix marathon. Get plenty of sleep that night and wake up the next day ready to tackle whatever problem you face.
If you want to learn more about ways to use your days off to reduce stress, read The Stress-Proof Brain by Melanie Greenberg! It introduces mindfulness and neuroplasticity as tools to combat stress. Buy it on Amazon here!
2. Take a ton of BuzzFeed quizzes to figure out your true calling
If you don’t have all the answers, surely figuring out what type of LipSmacker you are will help…right?
There’s something so satisfying about BuzzFeed giving you a glimpse into your own personality. Even if the result you get is way off, they’re just so much fun. And they’re a great way to procrastinate.
3. Call your parents and pretended everything is totally normal
While you might feel like you need to talk to your parents and hear them say they love you, you absolutely do not want them knowing that anything is wrong. That would only make things worse because once your parents pick up on the fact that you might not be OK, that’s when the questions start. And right now, being asked all those questions will certainly only make things worse.
4. Cry to your best friend
You might be able to successfully hide things from your parents from time to time, but your bestie always knows when something’s up. Whether you’re long distance BFFs or you see each other every day, they have an extra sense that allows them to pick up on these kinds of things. When you talk about how your lives are going, the conversation is sure to involve tears because you just won’t be able to hold them in anymore. You’ll feel much better after, so don’t worry! We all have those moments when we need to let it out.
5. Go on a shopping spree
Nothing like a little retail therapy to soothe your troubles. Buying a new outfit always makes me happy. I look forward to doing something that gives me the opportunity to show off my new clothes, pulling me out of my slump. And I never have to spend too much money to have a successful shopping spree, nor do I even have to leave my house! Unless you need instant satisfaction, online shopping is a great way to go. Here are some recommended places to shop, including a sale that is happening right now!
- Forever 21: 10% off with email signup and free shipping on all orders
- Charming Charlie: Free shipping on orders $50+
- Dress Lily: Summer clearance sale
- Modcloth: Summer sale and free shipping on all orders
6. Drive around late at night with no destination
There’s something about going for an evening drive with all your windows rolled down and your favorite song blasting from the car’s stereo. Whenever I need to clear my head, this activity makes me feel cleansed. I’m able to focus on things such as the wind blowing through my hair, the music, and the road. It gets me outside of my own head for a little while before confronting my issues, whatever they may be.
7. Ask yourself many “Why?” questions
Why is rent so expensive? Why am I working this hard at a job I don’t even like? Why don’t I feel like a real adult yet? Why is pizza so yummy but so bad for you? Why don't I have answers to any of these questions?
It might be discouraging to feel like there are so many locks but no keys, but asking all these questions is how people learn and grow. Although it might be scary right now to feel like everything is so uncertain, try to embrace the unknown. Having all the answers can be so boring. Right now, you have the freedom to make some exciting decisions. Own it!
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8. Discover what you’re really made of
After all the tears, long drives, sleepless nights, nights with too much sleep, you will discover that you are strong and capable. It's in these times such as a quarter-life crisis that we have the opportunity to learn how resilient we are. You can not be defeated. Whether you need to find a new job, or get over a breakup, or adjust to a new city, you can do it!
9. Figure out where you see your life going
All of this questioning and stressing out will help you get to where you are meant to be. It might just take one hour of retail therapy or an entire weekend of silly personality quizzes, but you will get through this. This period of time can give you more focus and clarity than ever before. And at the end of it all, you will have the chance to decide how you want your future to be.
A quarter-life crisis is not the end of the world. Is it difficult to deal with? Absolutely. But all the struggles will only make you stronger, I promise. If you're in the middle of your quarter-life crisis, this is what I urge you to do: go through all these steps that I've mentioned. Take a weekend off to de-stress. Talk to your parents and your friends. Buy a new outfit. Do whatever you need to do to get back out there and kick some ass!
Which of these things can you relate to the most? Tell the story of your quarter-life crisis in the comments below!