What is the quarter-life crisis?
Most people have heard of the mid-life crisis, with the stereotypical narrative of a man who starts a new relationship with a younger woman and buys a sportscar. The reality is far more complex and involves changing roles and identity struggles. Dr Julie Hannan at Morency specialises in Midlife issues and more information can be found at www.drjuliehannan.com.
People in the middle stage of their lives are not the only ones at a milestone though and many people in their early twenties find themselves with similar issues relating to identity and direction. This quarter-life crisis is currently common among millennials (those born in between the early-eighties and mid-nineties), especially those in their mid-twenties who may be finishing university or experiencing an emotional lull after the first few years in a job.
Millennials are often cited (and sometimes criticised) for their apparent unconformity to the blueprint their parents and grandparents did: school, job, marriage and children. Many millennials go to university and some go because they are not sure what else to do. Others are struggling with a feared permanent singledom or a dread of never being financially stable or able to get on the property ladder.
Overcoming the quarter-life crisis
If you are currently experiencing a quarter-life crisis regarding the decisions you have so far made or you are supporting a daughter or son through this period then try the following strategies:
- Be confident in the decisions you have made so far. Even if they seem unwise or confused now, remember that you made them for a reason at the time.
- Be reassured that many people experience an aimlessness at various points in their life.
- Remember that your 20’s are about finding out who you are and what you want to do. You’re likely to live longer than your grandparents so it’s ok to spend more time trying to figure out what you want to do!
- Change what you need to change – if you feel trapped by your career, relationships or other commitments then take steps to change them.
- Try new things and say yes to new experiences.
- Return to hobbies and interests you loved in your childhood and teenage years.
- Work out what your values are and always act in line with them.
- Avoid comparing yourself to others or even to your own childhood expectations.
- If social media makes you anxious then limit your usage.
- Seek support – initially from friends and family. If your crisis is impacting on your mood, anxiety or another aspect of your life or mental health then seek help from a professional.
- Make a realistic plan and research how to achieve it. Ensure you set yourself small goals that are achievable in a short time span.
- Seek appropriate professional help from career counsellors, life coaches and financial advisors.
Overcoming a quarter-life crisis may seem incredibly difficult and the therapists at Morency can help you to start making realistic plans to address your challenges. If you would like to discuss the quarter-life crisis more then please contact Dr Julie Hannan now on 07530 854530.