Are you slowly approaching your 27th birthday? Do you feel like everything is spinning out of control? Have you lost all sense of life direction?
If so then you, my friend, are in the midst of a quarter-life crisis.
According to a study by LinkedIn, 72% of young professionals in the UK have experienced a crisis at 26.9 years old, which has left them reevaluating their career path and life choices.
So if you thought you were over the hump at 25, think again.
It’s thought that this mental collision is mainly down to worries that we’re not in a profession that we’re passionate about (57%), stress about getting onto the property ladder (57%) and the pressure of finding a life partner (46%).
In fact, more and more of us are experiencing quarter-life crises, thanks to the financial difficulties our generation faces – as well as the omnipresence of social media.
‘Nowadays, twenty-somethings are under intense pressure to get themselves onto the housing market, navigate the increasingly complex professional landscape, struggle to maintain relationships and are commonly subjected to a distorted notion of life through social media,’ says clinical psychologist Dr Alex Fowke.
‘Literature suggests that key challenges faced by people aged from between 18 and 35 can include identity confusion, internal conflict (failing to reach the expectations set for themselves) and uncertainty.’
He describes a quarter-life crisis as ‘a period of insecurity, doubt and disappointment surrounding your career, relationships and financial situation’, which can ‘stem from a period of life following the major changes of adolescence, when a person starts to doubt their own lives and begins to face the extent of the stresses associated with becoming an adult’.
But if you think this is just a blip, think again.
The average crisis lasts for 11 months – almost an entire year.
And your likelihood of having a quarter-life crisis is also apparently determined by where you live, with Liverpool (82%) being the top spot for meltdowns, followed by Cardiff (78%).
So, what can you do to get through one?
First off, acknowledge what’s going on – admit to yourself that you’re worried or anxious about the path you’re heading in. Then reassess options. The majority of the time, you’re never actually tied to anything (unless you have a family or a mortgage – LOL) so if you really do want to jack it all in, chances are it won’t be the end of the world if you do.
Self-care is important, particularly if you’re going through a difficult mental patch. Making time to look after yourself while you work things out is key.
Talk to people, go out of your way to find those who are doing the job you want to or be open with your pals about how you’re feeling. Chances are, they’re feeling exactly the same. And when you realise that it’s not just you who is thinking of backing a knapsack to go and live off-grid in the middle of a forest, the mental angst suddenly becomes less.