'Quarter life crisis’ defines as “a crisis that may be experienced in one’s twenties, involving anxiety over the direction and quality of one’s life.” Some will say it happens after leaving college, but believe me, I have already had plenty and am sure to have some more internal dilemmas in my post grad life. It’s as if you’re lost in a sea of people who have found their calling and are insanely happy. Why does it feel like you have been cheated in life? You spent hours looking at your vision board and list of goals and think, what are you doing? You have two choices when you're dealing with this crisis: You can get frustrated, enraged, and become a slave to your own demons or you can view it as life’s way of giving you a guilt-free breather from rushing, and spend that time daydreaming, preparing, or appreciating all the little things you have right now. The first choice will raise your blood pressure, can make your moods all over the place and stress yourself. The second choice will raise your consciousness.
Quarter life crisis can be great teachers and there are certain helpful things to remember when you are in the midst of one. Here are some things I’ve been told and also learning along the way:
1. First things first, wake up in the morning having a positive attitude.
- Smile when you start a day. Another day to be thankful for, right? You are alive and therefore you matter. Your dreams, aspirations, and goals matter. When you started smiling when you woke up it would actually start your day on a really good note. I know, I know. It's hard to smile when you're not a morning person and actually a grumpy one. But we need a little boost to lighten up our day, right? And it just another reminder not to take things too seriously! Carpe diem your way in life. (Ha. I should've read this one over and over again.)
2. Appreciate all the little things and be grateful.
- Cliche might it sound but it's the little things that make up for the big things. Small things that spoke volume. Be grateful that you still have one more day to enjoy all those little things, the comfy bed, the breakfast waiting for you in the kitchen and you're lucky enough that you still have your loved ones who love you deeply. It’s these little things that make us who we are, and without these little things, we actually wouldn’t be where we are at this very moment. Life could be way worse, you know? But it’s really not. It’s good, Life is so damn good.
3. Don't be too hard on yourself.
- It seems like the world is practically pressuring you to go out there and find yourself and your passion, create something out of it, focus on your next steps, go shoot for the stars, etc. If you don’t know what you want to do yet, that is okay. Your life is just starting out for you and you don’t have to figure everything out at once. I can assure you that no one has it figured out at all. Like you, everyone is simply trying out their best. Everyone has their own pace. You have yours. I know that with the wave of updates that we see from strangers each day, we can’t help but live in a world of constant comparison. Chill, life is too precious to constantly wasting your time being too hard on yourself. Someday, you will achieve all your life goals in life and that would be worthwhile.
4. Start taking small (very few) steps.
- It's the small steps that get you there. Remember that small achievements each day means success too. It’s finishing a paper before the deadline, remembering to water your plants, finishing a book, buying yourself that thing you’ve been eyeing for a while now, making yourself a nice iced coffee. There is no need to push yourself to have everything all at once. Big goals are achieved through small goals.
5. Remind yourself that it's already an achievement to just live. Celebrate it!
- You don’t have to do something worthwhile each day to become the person that you want to be. Sometimes, you just need a day. Sometimes, you just have to take pleasure in the little things, like making yourself the perfect cup of coffee in the morning, doing 20 sit-ups and 30 jumping jacks for your work out, cleaning your own room, catching up with your virtual and real life friends, spend quality time with your loved ones. Even if you feel like you’re not doing enough, know that you already are. Try to be kinder to yourself.
6. Above anything else, B+.
- Honestly, I myself have always been focusing on the pain of life a lot. But I’m not all about the pain. I think there is goodness in life that is beyond language’s ability to explain. And we try to explain it the best we can. But it is mostly felt, mostly experienced, mostly lived. When you change your negative thoughts into positive ones I guarantee you, that even though life is hard having a positive vibes around us can change our moods. This is something relatively new for me, if you can make the active choice to be more optimistic than negative, I promise you a vast difference will take effect in your life and I agree to that. Being positive is one of the biggest practices I need to achieve. I need this to cope with negative people in my life. That step of self-awareness is to nurture and harness positivity. It's absolutely human to have negativity comes into our lives. The crucial hing here is learning to be self-aware and making the active choice to stop it instead letting these negative vibes eat us alive.
- When someone is affecting you negatively be brave to stand up for yourself. Remember that pessimism is contagious so you must surround yourself with positive people. These kind of people only lift each other up, while negative people weigh down everyone else around them. You always have your choice.
To end this note, don’t let your fears get in the way of what you really want, whatever that is. In the end, we just need to focus on what feels good: the kind of good that gets inside your soul and makes you remember why this is all worth it. Whatever that is for you, find it and follow it. And if you haven’t found it yet, that is more than okay. It sometimes finds you when you least expect it. Smile, you are one tough cookie. :))