Are some of your friends engaged/married/having kids while some of your other friends are still day-drinking and struggling to find their lot in life? Are you feeling completely lost and constantly struggling to stay afloat? Are you disappointed with how life has been post-college? If any of this sounds familiar, chances are that you’re in your mid-twenties. I thought I was the only one feeling stuck in a rut, until I realized that literally everyone else around me was feeling the exact same way. Even though we have different feats to overcome and even though some of us planned more for the future than others, we all are struggling with this awkward balancing act of our early adult lives. The ultimate battle of leisure versus responsibility starts to take full effect and it can make us all a little nutty. These are some of the key takeaways I’ve learned recently about how to stay sane during this unstable part of your life!
Don’t Fall for FOMO
It’s incredibly difficult to not fall for FOMO (fear of missing out), especially when the majority of us are incredibly active on social media. Whether it’s the latest couple shoving their engagement photos down your throat, the rich kids posting pictures of their wonderful vacations, or just someone bragging about their latest achievements, it can just take a major toll on how you feel about your own life. Facebook has been one of the main tools that has facilitated my feelings of being lost more than anything else. I’ve found that I’ve had to ignore my phone for hours at a time, just so I don’t completely lose my mind.
Get in Touch with Old Friends
Friends are wonderful for many reasons! Recently, I’ve gotten more in touch with some of my old friends and it’s really helped my mental wellness. I’ve found that not only are many of us in a similar boat of feeling completely out-of-sorts, but that we’re also a healthy distraction for each other. Sometimes just getting outside and preoccupying your mind with funny stories and group activities is the perfect escape from that pesky FOMO we were just talking about.
Spend Your Free Time Wisely
Okay so honestly, this has been one of the hardest things for me to digest. I’ve found that I’ve been going out lately a lot more than I should, considering that I now work full-time Monday through Friday. I’ve been so focused on distracting myself and not letting those dark thoughts creep in, that I probably need to tone it down just a little bit! It’s hard to have that balance of “me time” and fun when we’re at this age of ours. Even though I definitely think it’s good to get out the house and socialize, you do need to know how to be alone. If you wear yourself out too much, especially if it’s purely out of fear of being left to your own devices, you’ll see the consequences start to effect other aspects of your life. I’m still trying to find that perfect balance, but at least I’m aware of what I need to do!
Come to Terms with Not Being Able to Control Everything
ACTUALLY, this has been the hardest thing for me to understand. You will never have full control over your life, you just won’t. I personally got used to being able to control how I did at work, how good of a student I was, and how I prioritized my life for a few years there. Don’t get me wrong, things were still very difficult, but I was able to get through things much easier when I had more control. Right now, for the first time in a long time, I feel like I have absolutely no control. It’s been terrible! I’m slowly starting to see some of the more stable things in my life fall apart and I’m wondering what the heck is happening?!? Am I in some parallel universe all of a sudden?!? No, as it turns out, I’m learning one of the many downsides of adulthood is you barely have control over anything. You can do your best to have a good foot in life and be prepared, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll have the same kind of control that you might have had at one point.
Listen to Advice, but Trust Your Gut
Advice from others is extremely valuable, but at the end of the day you need to do what’s best for you. Everyone has reasons for the advice they give. They’ve either learned from their own hardships or they’ve seen what has worked out for them. Even though a lot of advice is generally transferrable from one person to another, not all circumstances are universal! Other people have no idea everything that you’re dealing with. Some situations can seem simple on the surface, but are extremely complex underneath. In my opinion, the best thing to do is smile, thank the other person for the advice, and then decide internally whether you’re going to take that advice into account or not.
Find Happiness in the Little Things
This is extremely important! There are so many different things in this period of our lives that can bring us down, but there are also a lot of things that show us why life can be so great! Now’s that time to be adventurous! Go take a cooking class, go on that gnarly hike, or go to the new trendy club. Honestly, it’s so easy to become jaded by everything going wrong (trust me, I know this first hand), but there’s so much happiness to be uncovered out there. It’s healthy to get a fresh perspective on the good things out there.
Many of us are struggling with the whirlwind that is our mid-twenties! Just remember, you aren’t alone in feeling completely discombobulated. Each day can present itself with a new set of challenges, but it’s nothing that us strong millennials can’t handle! If it does feel too overwhelming remember to reach out to others and to focus on the small things that continue to make you happy.
Infographic of the Week:
Question of the Week:
What is a lesson you’ve learned in your young adult life?