Ladies: Your Quarter Life Crisis is REAL! (And How to Fix it)February 26, 2018
I tried to kill myself when I was 29. My story is not uncommon.
I had gone through a quarter, or more, of my life and what did I have to show for it? I was unmarried, I had no children, and my career wasn’t going how I wanted it to. I could feel the dreaded 30 coming at me like an oncoming train.
My actions to stop the feelings of failure and desperation were drastic. But the feelings themselves are all-too-common with women in my age group.
In a recent study, it was revealed that a whopping 75 percent of people ages 25-33 have already experienced a quarter life crisis – with women citing the feelings 51 percent more than men.
44 percent stated that they feel “stuck in a rut,” while 59 percent were simply unsure what the heck to do with their lives or their careers.
So What Causes a Quarter Life Crisis?
In the study above, it was revealed that the main reasons for a quarter life crisis, and the anxiety surrounding one, stem from two sources:
- Career choices. Namely, finding a job you’re passionate about.
- Comparing yourself to your peers.
These concerns affect both genders, but women reported feeling more of the anxiety factors surrounding them (over 50 percent of women, compared to 40 percent of men).
The career anxiety makes a lot of sense. As women, we’re pressured to “have it all.” The significant other, the progeny, and a fulfilling career that earns us money AND makes us happy. We’re expected to have lives that make others envious when we post pics of ourselves on Instagram.
Not to mention we’re expected to have all of those things QUICKLY. Not only do we have ticking biological clocks, but, from the moment we leave school (age 18-22, generally), we’re expected to easily transition into a job that may become our lifelong career. Whew! It’s no wonder women in our age group feel overwhelmed, panicked, and STUCK.
This is undoubtedly why one-third of the study participants reported switching industries once they hit their quarter life crisis. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, so long as you do some soul-searching first. In fact, I wrote an article about painlessly changing career paths here on the 133T blog.
As for the second issue? I get it. I struggled with comparing myself to others as well. But, you know what? People’s lives aren’t as “perfect” as they make them out to be on social media.
Think about it this way: Have you ever posted a picture of yourself when you were having a bad hair day and your face was riddled with acne? No? Then why would your peers?
People don’t boast about their failures. They trump up their accomplishments. But, in the long run, that can end up hurting us. In a recent study, it was revealed that scrolling through Facebook and seeing everyone else’s “My life is SOOOO great!” posts can lead to feelings of serious depression.
That’s one of the reasons why I try to goof off on my Instagram once in a while. Like posting a picture of myself before and after putting on makeup (the “real” me has bad skin, messy hair, and plenty of eyebags!), or posting THIS oh-so-flattering image of me before and after photo filters.
Your friend who took a trip to Hawaii may have come home to a cheating boyfriend. Or your gal pal who always seems to have her life together may have crushing self-doubt. You have no way of knowing.
People are people wherever you go. If YOU feel confused and anxious, there’s a good chance those around you are too. Never make assumptions about another person’s life – no matter how “perfect” it seems online.
How to Fix Your Quarter Life Crisis
The first step is getting your head on straight.
If you’re feeling severely depressed, like I was, then it may be time to seek a doctor. If your depression has been lingering around and will NOT go away no matter how hard you pray or how positively you try to think, then it might be time for medication. You could have a chemical imbalance. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. And don’t be afraid to call an emergency number if you’re feeling suicidal!
Even if you don’t have clinical depression, I would advise that you seek out professional help. If your body were injured, you would go to a doctor – why not do the same for your aching mind?
Talking to a therapist, even for a short timeframe, can be immensely helpful when you’re in the midst of a quarter life crisis. He or she can help you sort out your career fears, tackle your self-doubt, and even make you realize why you always cry in the shower while humming “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. (What? Just me? Okay, then…).
The second step is to take care of your physical body. Or, if you prefer, this can be step number one. Point is: your mind won’t work right if your body isn’t working right.
Eat right, exercise when possible, and get enough sleep. Shower. Take care of what I call “the basics.”
Pro tip: right after you shower, get dressed in something you feel good in. Put on some makeup, if you’re a makeup-wearing kinda gal. When you look good, you feel good. And I’m not the only one who says so! This was actually an assignment from one of my therapists. I had to get up early and make myself up EVERY DAY for a month and see how it improved my moods. Did it work? You betcha!
As for your career…? Well, that can be a bit trickier.
Take care of yourself first and then worry about your work. Once you’re in a better mental and physical state, you’ll be more equipped to make a decision about whether or not you want to make a career shift. Or, if you’re now feeling well enough to stay where you are.
If you do decide you need a change of jobs, you can always count on us here at 133T. By signing up for the BETA version of our job application platform, you’ll be well on your way to finding your dream career!
Hang in there, girl. It’s only going to get better from here!