Quarter Life Crisis Signs: How To Spot Them & What To Do About It

We’ve all heard of the mid-life crisis, but the quarter-life crisis is a very real thing, too. In fact, it’s not unusual for people in their mid-twenties to thirties to find themselves questioning where their life is going, or feeling unsatisfied or stuck with where they’re at.

Positive psychology coach Elle Mace describes a quarter life crisis as “a period of confusion, stress and anxiety typically experienced by young adults in their mid to late twenties as they struggle to find their place in the world and define their identity”.

It is often associated with “self-doubt, restlessness, anxiety, and depression as one transitions from the relative security of school or college to the uncertain world of career, university and adult responsibilities where one has to deal with the physical and situational changes but also the emotional ones as well, relationships, social media pressures and friendships.”

While this might sound daunting, Mace says it’s a pretty common experience. “These can be the biggest, most transformational years of someone’s life, so that instantly comes with pressure,” she says. “Historically people have found their career, bought houses and started families in their twenties – however this is very different now. But that old fashioned timeline can still add pressure to those still feeling lost or ‘behind’ in life.”

So if you’re feeling a little lost in life right now, you’re not alone – and there are plenty of practical ways you can deal with a quarter-life crisis.

Expert tips for dealing with a quarter-life crisis

Find your passion

When work and stress overtake our lives, it’s natural to feel a sense of meaningless. However, this can be a great impulse to “explore your passions and find something you’re truly excited about,” says Mace. She advises: “Consider trying out different hobbies, classes, or areas of study to see what resonates with you.”

Seek professional help

It can be tempting to try and deal with all these feelings on your own but sometimes a little professional help can go for in help you feel unstuck, says Mace – particularly a therapist or life coach who specialises in this particular area. “If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unable to make sense of your feelings, it can be helpful to talk to a professional, who can help you work through your anxiety.”

Reflect on your current situation

“Take an honest look at your current situation and identify any obstacles that might be standing in your way,” says Mace. Are you self-sabotaging by using social media too much, or putting time and energy into the wrong kinds of friendships or relationships? An honest evaluation of your life might be a crucial step to turning things around.

Take care of yourself

Self-care is important when you’re feeling at your lowest ebb. This doesn’t have to be expensive – simply taking care of your sleep regime, for instance, can go a long way, says Mace. She says: “Don’t forget to take care of your physical and mental health during this time. Make sure you’re eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, drinking water, go back to the basic foundations.”