Quarter Life Crisis: 5 Tips to Get You Through

quarter life crisis

 It’s Probably A Quarter Life Crisis

I didn’t even realize this was what I was going through when on the brink of 34 I felt a deep restlessness. This unsettled feeling that I needed to do more with my life. I was close to finishing my training to be a Family Physician, I loved my job; I already knew once I completed my training I would restart my first love; writing. But it wasn’t just about my career; I could feel it was something more, so I did what I normally do when I don’t have answers to a burning question I went and took a nap hoping to wake with inspiration. Over the coming weeks, my restlessness grew slowly becoming a deep frustration and a burning desire to go and find myself; I thought; not again! 

I picked up my notebook and started taking stock of my life, perhaps if I could see where I was at then maybe I could answer what this restlessness was about. Thereby knowing where I had to go.

Down a Rabbit Hole

On the page of my notebook I had words such as not rich, need to finish writing book, unmarried, living with family, and crap Uk weather! I was starting to feel even lower in my mood the further I dug into what this strange feeling deep within might be. Was this emotion dissatisfaction with my life? Surely not? If I compared where I was now to 25 for instance I had accomplished so much in my career and my personal growth. I looked down at the page with words written in my pink pen, I circled unmarried and added no children. This felt like my biggest failure, every day I saw the sadness in my mother’s eyes about my perpetual state of singlehood. I could hear our most recent conversation “What’s wrong with him? So what if he might be gay you can turn him straight!” No mum I really can’t; yes I have self-belief but not to this extent. But that nagging voice within replied, yes and no. Yes, I desire to have my own family and feel that love that I knew I deserved. But I also knew it wasn’t as simple as that, there was an unexplainable yearning to transform into the butterfly I was inside, that woman I desperately wanted to be.

I finally caved in and hit google. 

It’s A Quarter Life Crisis

It took most of my morning but I found more and more women particularly, in their thirties experiencing this phenomenon I was describing. The common features included

  • Desire to change one’s life dramatically
  • Feeling lost, out of funk so to speak!
  • A sense that you haven’t embraced fully the greatness within you
  • Of course, being 30 or above!

I identified with all the above. I was officially having a quarter-life crisis. Horary! One more to add to the bucket of millennial woes. I knew there was so much inside that I was either afraid to let rise to the surface or just wasn’t sure how. My biggest was the need to write, with studying and exams and one unfulfilling dating experience to the next I was always too tired to write. Forever making excuses not to finish any of my projects. I couldn’t risk another failure when I felt I had so many already to deal with. I also knew I needed to flee the nest, as a homebody I never veered far from family. They were my everything, they were also keeping me stuck; holding onto them was ensuring I wouldn’t grow beyond this point. I was too afraid of the alternative; imagined loneliness, having to make new friends and socialize! I was breaking out in hives just contemplating the later; what would I talk about? Was I cool enough? So not only do I need to date, but I also need to make friends! I was exhausted and my mind just wasn’t ready. 

But I knew with my recent know thyself work that procrastination was my go-to shield against anything that rocked my comfort zone. I pushed through and made notes on the questions I needed to explore more deeply. Questions and emotions that my now realized quarter-life crisis had brought to light,

  • How do I achieve my purpose?
  • Why do I feel unworthy of love and continue to make bad decisions?
  • How do I reframe these negative narratives?
  • I know I have greatness within me but how do I start believing this?

I won’t lie, it was tough; to be this honest with myself. To realize that the journey to self was a continuous process and I had only just scratched the surface. My search and deeper exploration of my quarter-life crisis ended with my retreat at St Bueno’s. I finally was able to accept what my soul needed; for me to start writing and to go on a solo adventure. I was terrified but filled with joy and knowing that this was necessary not only for growth but for my healing.

You might be wondering ok great I know it’s a quarter-life crisis but what do I do! I don’t write and  I am not keen on traveling; well I can’t do that right now. That’s ok the tips below can help you figure out what your quarter-life crisis is trying to bring to the surface.

QUARTER LIFE CRISIS

5 Tips to get you through your Quarter Life Crisis

 

1. Let go of the need to label what your feeling

I see it every day, I had a patient once asked me about a pain she had that lasted a few seconds in her finger a few months ago; if I could tell her what that was. She was deadly serious and I did my best in reassuring her that it didn’t sound life-threatening. All too often we need a label, a definite diagnosis to our problem. It’s a human need to know; the ego desires to control and in having a label we have the illusion that we can now control or rather resist a particular situation. Often the best thing you can do in moments like this is to let go and simply trust that your internal compass will guide you to the answers.

2. Self-compassion

Your quarter-life crisis does not have to be a rundown of your greatest failures. Seeing the fact that you are single, or not a millionaire yet as a failure will only keep you stuck. Instead, practice self-compassion, the pain regarding not being a mother yet, for instance, isn’t the problem it is often a manifestation of a deeper problem; that of I am not good enough to become a mother or the belief that your happiness can only begin once you have a partner and a baby. By practicing self-compassion which comes in the form of trusting that you are exactly where you need to be right now and that you can have abundantly what you desire. Allows you to take a key step towards a fulfilled life by loving and accepting the person you are today.

3. 30 is amazing too!

I spent a great deal of my quarter-life crisis period wishing I was 20 again. I dreamt about what I would do and wouldn’t do. Until I heard my sister’s friend talk about her boyfriend and he’s lack of appreciation for her but also of the fact she couldn’t see herself without him. At 30 we are starting to know better, we are comfortable in our skin; our tolerance for unappreciative boyfriends is pretty low and we can have fun solo or with others! Life has taught us a few harsh lessons by now and those of us who made it out in relative one piece are writing down what we learnt and figuring out how to move forward making better choices.

30 is for being unapologetic, we say NO comfortably; now realizing the importance of me-time. I regularly book myself in for a day at the spa or randomly take myself out; this is the beauty of being in your thirties. Authenticity becomes your baseline and all else just doesn’t make the cut anymore.

4. Trust in the process

I know during your quarter life crisis it feels as though that restlessness, that unease will go on forever! Especially when you can’t figure out exactly what to do, how to instantly fix things. That’s ok, start with accepting that this is how you feel right now then go to your place of stillness be it prayer or meditation and trust in the process your gut tells you.

5. Book A Retreat

I cannot recommend this enough. I also cannot wait for the day Soulful Pursuit can offer you a retreat. But if you can go on one; be it based on religion, nature, yoga just take one and if you cannot quite afford one or don’t have the time, do one at home. Right now this may be the only option we have for a while and that’s ok. All you need is to find a spiritual guide this can come in the form of a person or a workbook. My spiritual guide was based on The Spiritual Exercise Of Saint Ignatius Of Loyola. Using the works of St Ignatius you will be guided week by week, over the course of four weeks allowing you to examine your conscience through prayer and meditation. 

My retreat allowed me to unburden my worries, my pain to my creator, and to start believing in my hopes and dreams. I took my most accomplished step towards ridding myself of living for my ego and now committing to living a life in pursuit of my soul.

I am now at the other end of my quarter-life crisis. I know this because there is no restlessness just excitement.  I make better decisions being less defensive to any questions regarding previously perceived failures. I no longer see certain life situations as a negative but rather a part of life and embrace it trusting that it pleases the universe to give to me abundantly. Throughout this past year, my quarter-life crisis has taught me so much and has led me to reconnect further with myself both emotionally and spiritually. Embrace yours and trust that you have the strength to get through it; stronger, more curious, and excited about the steps uncovered to take.

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Hi! I'm Dr Jessica

I share my expertise as a Family Physician to provide you with the support and tools to a holistic lifestyle.

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