How to Cope with Your Quarter-Life Crisis

Can’t sleep at night due to quarter-life crisis. Source:
Can’t sleep due to quarter-life crisis. Picture by

Does your mind been wandering far from the present recently? You hardly get to sleep almost every night, busy finding the answer to all those stinging questions in your mind.

You are in your 20s or early 30s but you often feel like the older you get, the less you know yourself. You may frequently ask yourself “who am I? Who can I be? What do I really want?”

The majority of our society thinks that the 20s and early 30s are the greatest time of a person’s life. People tend to think that individuals in this age group are usually in good health, feeling happier, have fewer responsibilities, able to explore opportunities, and take risks in both their private and professional lives. How do you think about that?

Some of us could disagree with the statement above. Many of us in this stage of life experience periods of anxiety and uncertainty during which we tend to question so many things, such as life goals, plans, and relationships. Experts have named this condition the quarter-life crisis.

What is quarter-life crisis?

According to the Bradley University, the quarter-life crisis is a phase of confusion and questioning that usually happens when people feel stuck, uninspired, and disillusioned during their mid-20s to early 30s.

Besides, based on published research in Frontiersin, the quarter-life crisis usually revolves around a struggle with either feeling locked out of adult commitments (unable to find a job or love) or feeling trapped into life roles that experienced as a bad fit to one’s personality.

The common life situations that lead to the quarter-life crisis:

· Dissatisfaction about work or career path: You might wonder if you’re on the right career path, whether you’d be happier doing something else, and what the broader meaning of your work is.

· Doubts about life purpose: spending too many times wondering about the meaning of your life and how your actions and choices contribute to a bigger purpose can often lead to a quarter-life crisis.

· Concern about romantic relationship: You might be worried about finding the right partner, rethinking a longstanding relationship, or considering marriage.

· The responsibilities in the family: Having children, supporting aging or ill family members, and dealing with the financial supports for younger siblings can bring up questions of role and life priorities.

How to cope with a quarter-life crisis?

So, if you often drowning in your midnight thoughts and feeling related to the quarter-life crisis, read on these tips to cope with that!

1. Limit your social media consumption

Spending too many times on social media sometimes could make you feel more anxious as you tend to start comparing yourself to others. Most people would likely only show their “shining, shimmering, splendid” life on social media, not their frustrated face after getting scolded by their boss.

If you try to compare your real life to people standards, you may abandon your own goals in favor of impressing others.

Don’t automatically save your social media passwords on your phone or computer. Uninstall social media each time you start feeling anxious or jealous of the happiness of others. You have to stay focused on your own path, your own pace, and your own goals.

2. Talk about it

Most of us often feel really ashamed about feeling stuck and instead choose to put a fake smile on and pretend like everything is alright. Don’t let the problems only stuck in your head. Be brave and talk about your quarter-life crisis.

You don’t have to talk about it to everyone, but try talking to your best friend, your significant other, or a family member. If that doesn’t help, you could find a life coach, a career mentor, or a therapist. It will be a helpful way to cope with your challenges.

Changing your life on your own is hard. You are not alone in this. Let people around you help, support, and offer advice for you.

3. Practice on self-care

Take time to recharge yourself by practicing self-care each time you feel overwhelmed or anxious. By taking good care of yourself, you’ll get yourself ready to tackle the bigger issues that might be the root of your quarter-life crisis.

Here are some forms of self-care you can do:

  • Eat your favorite (healthy) food
  • Try to get to sleep earlier, make sure you get enough sleep
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Practice any forms of exercise you enjoy. It could be a 5 minutes workout or a short morning jog.
  • Spend more time with your loved ones
  • Practice meditation or any kinds of mindfulness
  • Let yourself enjoy your hobbies. Read a novel, binge-watching on Netflix, gardening, or whatever that makes you happy. Don’t judge yourself for taking attention away from your quarter-life crisis

4. Explore your passion

Lack of purpose or direction is contributing to your quarter-life crisis. Take an active approach to explore your passion and help you find or elevate your purpose in life.

If you still have no idea what’s your passion yet, try to get to know yourself more. You can take some personality tests online such as Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, and The Big Five.

The personality tests could open the doors to explore who you are, what you love, and where you thrive. These tests do not absolutely define you, but they give insights into strengths and weaknesses, careers path, relationships, and more.

Besides, you can try out new things that sound interesting. Starting a new hobby or taking a new language class could help you find passion, purpose in life, and even new opportunities.

5. Don’t be so hard on yourself

The quarter-life crisis relates to thoughts of what you “should” have achieved or what you “should” do with your life at this stage. You often pushed yourself too hard to accomplish the social standards and expectations. These thoughts will lead you to compare yourself to others, and in the end, give you so much anxiety or even depression.


You are going through a transitional stage of life. Remember that your 20s are essentially a life lesson. You don’t have to be perfect at everything. Take one step at a time. Embrace your 20s or early 30s more serenely and confidently.

Are you ready to overcome your quarter-life crisis?

The quarter-life crisis may be more challenging than your previous life stages. But, just like other past hard times, this shall pass too.

The quarter-life crisis will bring you closer to your true self. Try to overcome this phase and grow better and brighter than before.

Good luck!

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