You're a senior in college. “Finally…”, you said to yourself, “I can be free!!!”
All those extra-curricular activities you did was said to be “beneficial” for your career.
Ah yes, you've interned for that big company? Surely, they'll hire me again after… or better yet, other better companies will hire me since I have experience working with the BIG guys.
You enter the #AdultLife, eyes gleaming and ready for your success.
But then, 6 months in and you're stuck with a job in a company you didn't want, getting entry level salary, a 9-5 work routine … and NO time for yourself.
5 years passed and you're STILL doing the same things!! Oh yeah, maybe you got a raise. From $13.25 an hour to $15… exciting.
“What the heck? What have I been doing with my life?” You ask yourself.
Friends are getting promotions, your colleagues are settling down. They own a property now, and are getting married soon. Some have children…Some are travelling all over the world!!! How can they afford that? Right??
And here you are. Feeling lost and confused. Some days you feel like a failure. Slowly, it gets to you and you start to feel empty inside.
Calm down. It's JUST your Quarter Life Crisis.
Listen, I'm not about to let you do that to yourself. All these false thoughts and crazy logic is messing up your brain.
First of all, know that this life crisis is NOT the end of the world… or at least the end of your future. The only way out is through it, not AROUND it
I had a very unhealthy way of coping with my QLC before. I binged on EVERYTHING!! That's so crazy because I didn't realize it was unhealthy.
When I got off from work, I immediately whip out my phone to play a game that's been sucking out the life in me. I would play it NON-STOP. Even when I was eating dinner, up until 1 am.
Binge-Reading was also my thing. It was non-stop! Binge-eating, binge-watching, and binge-SLEEPING??? Yes. I didn't know it was a thing. However, this was my way of coping then.
I would rather sleep longer on weekends, read, play or watch during ALL my free time, nd refused to talk to people. empty too! I tried escaping my sad, pathetic reality despite me having a good paying job that I do love, and awesome grades in school.
Fear just got me really good, and for a long time I thought I was missing out. That I wasn't as good as I thought I would be… Or that nothing's going to happen in my life after this.
What woke me up one day was a podcast I stumbled upon YouTube. It was a podcast about productivity by Brooke Castillo (check her out, she's really great.)
I realized that I had value I could CREATE and offer the world! It's not my job status, not my friend's achievements, or my salary that will give me the success i wanted. Those are just life bonuses you get.
I'm gonna be giving you 3 quick steps to get your butt off that bed and start pushing your way through your QLC and stop escaping it.
#1 KNOW WHERE YOUR BALANCE IS | be self-aware of what needs to improve in your life
It's really difficult to be walking on a tightrope. Balance is the key. You've heard of the money, time, and social life diagram where you can only choose two? … Well forget about that.
The balance I'm talking about is with your health, your work life, your leisure time, and your Feelings!
Are you taking care of yourself well enough? How is your health (physical and mental)? Over a 100 how will you rate your health for the past month?
What about work? Do you work non-stop? When you get home from your day job, do you still work and do house chores? Rate it again!
What about leisure? Are you having enough down time? Maybe you're having too much of it?? Rate it with honesty.
How about your feelings? I would like you to focus on your love meter (let's focus on the positive feelings this time)!! Are you giving enough love? Are you loving that artwork? Your cozy house? Your dog? That cute guy you saw at the pharmacy the other day? Rate how much love you're giving and receiving.
When I did this, mine was this:
H: 60% W:100% L:15% F:80%
I am working too much! Knowing that I don't have enough relaxation time and that my mental health (insomnia and anxiety) is causing an imbalance in my life helps me ask the RIGHT questions and find the RIGHT answers.
Some of the Questions I asked after:
Am I sleeping enough? No.
Why am I working too much? Because I have no sense of time and work until I feel tired.
One of my solution:
I scheduled all my work around a specific time. I won’t work after 10pm. After that, I used the remaining time at night to rest and relax — skin care routine at night, then finally a cup of tea.
Right questions, right solutions!!
This was an interesting tip I got from Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett! If you are interested, then please read it.
#2 WHERE ARE YOU GOING? | Dude! It says be the captain of your ship, not ride a captainless ship…
Right… Now that you know what you need work on, try to focus on that. But now you have a balance lifestyle and all is well but … do you still feel empty?
Probably because you’re not giving time for yourself to do things that you want to do. Usually this is the part that tears you to pieces.
This nail-biting anxiety is eating you up alive because you are not living the life you were “supposed to have.”
Number one issue is maybe … it’s because you’re living somebody else’s life.
You were not meant to be a nurse! That was your mom’s dream! You were not meant to copy the same lifestyle as that one influencer just because you want to be just as successful!
Do what makes you feel ALIVE. Where does your energy go? When do you get into “the zone”? when do you do the things you like doing?
Start with that!!
Listen, life is not meant to have one specific road for you to take. If you miss that road, there is another road… and another. Life is so dynamic, it’s AMAZING.
But if you start your life path with the idea that you have to accomplish that one goal, and ONLY that one goal.
Then buddy … you’re gonna feel STUCK for a long time. Your anxiety will thrive, your depression will eat you up, your subconscious will be so unhealthy, it could be rotting you inside-out! Okay… that last bit was too much, but you get the point?
Do what makes you feel in the zone, what gives you that flow, what you have the energy to do without being burned out!
DO. WHAT. MAKES. YOU. FEEL. ALIVE.
It’s a struggle, but it’s a start. Especially if you really are dealing with something heavy right now? The key is not to give up, okay?
#3 BE POSITIVE … NOT! | Saying no to TOXIC Positivity
Ever heard of this before?
“You’ll get over it!”
“Stop being so negative!”
“You should start seeing the good in everything!”
“We only welcome good vibes!”
WELL … nothing is worse than having all your real, raw emotions shut down by a single “be positive!”
You won’t feel nice when others do it to you, so why should YOU do it to YOU? Stop forcing yourself to be positive and STOP REPRESSING YOUR NEGATIVE EMOTIONS.
This is really fueling up your QLC Anxiety and it sucks. You’ll feel drained, you’ll feel like everything is falling apart even though you seem to be doing all these great things!
You’ve been positive, you’ve been forcing yourself to socialize and be happy! But you still feel drained, and empty… and unhappy.
You started this article feeling lost and confused, probably overthinking, and deep in your anxiety. Knowing these 3 steps will give you some sort of CLARITY so you can finally start living life with freedom!
Freedom from the unknown, freedom from yourself expectations, and freedom to just feel however you want to feel!!
Like I said, stop escaping your QLC.
Embrace it, acknowledge it… then do something about it. Understand that you’re having a problem and it’s TOTALLY okay. The sooner you realize that there is a solution to every problem, the sooner you will be at ease because now you know that you have the POWER to get through your own problems.
Quick Re-Cap, if you like scrolling all the way down and just read the conclusion part, here are the 3 Tips you need to know that will help you get through your QLC.
#1 KNOW WHERE YOUR BALANCE IS
#2 KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING
#3 EMBRACE YOUR EMOTIONS
Take a deep breath.
It’s just Quarter Life Crisis