I go through a quarter-life crisis pretty regularly.
About two or three times per month, I question what I’m doing and I question my direction in life. I start listening to angsty, soul-searching music during my commute home. Once I do get home I typically pour a glass of wine, cuddle with my dogs, and ask them for life advice.
The quarter-life crisis normally hits when I feel too comfortable in my routine. After I graduated college, I found it so easy to get into a routine. Wake up, enjoy a coffee or jog before work, go to work, sleep, repeat. And honestly, feeling too comfortable in a routine makes me feel anxious. Feeling like every day is the same or similar really sets me into a quarter life crisis.
If you’ve read my story, you know that I’ve spent my life moving from place to place. Maybe that’s why I can’t settle down anywhere. I constantly search for something new in order to get out of this routine.
Do you ever question yourself? Question where you are in life. How you’re doing. Do you ever compare yourself to the way others are doing?
I’m guilty of it.
It’s human nature.
It feels like everyone expects so much out of me.
And yet, every day, I want to experience something different. I don’t want to live up to everyone else’s expectations. I want to live up to my own.
Do you feel stuck in a rut? Too comfortable in your routine?
Here are 10 ways to change your routine, and escape the quarter-life crisis.
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Get in control of your finances.
It sounds boring, but it’s true.
When you feel helpless and in a quarter-life crisis it might be easy to spend your savings away. But first and foremost you need to ensure you’re large and in charge of your finances.
Do you have student loans? Maybe you can reduce the interest that accrues to those large loan amounts by refinancing. If you are seriously considering refinancing your student loans, use LendEDU to compare interest rates from up to 12 respected student loan refinancing companies. Submitting your application to LendEDU does not affect your credit!
When it comes to tracking your finances, these three tools are my favorite:
- Betterment. Is the idea of investing totally over anyone else’s head? Same. But, instead of letting your money sit in a checkings account for practically nothing, you should invest it! How can you do that when the concept of investing seems like it’s totally another language? Betterment provides a simple investment service with no minimum balance required. They automate your investment portfolio management and give you investment advice when you need it.
- Personal Capital. Track your net worth for free using Personal Capital. You can link your checkings, savings, credit cards, loans, and even 401k accounts. I love it because it automatically shows your spending and you can track all your transactions from one central location. Plus, you can tag expenses as “Business” related so it helps to see expenses and income for your small biz!
- You Need a Budget (aka YNAB). YNAB is a $50/year budgeting software. I am a huge, huge advocate of You Need a Budget. For far too long, I kept track of my budget using equations in Excel spreadsheets. That became tedious, so I tried experimenting with other ways to track a budget online. I used Mint for a short period of time but really could not get accustomed to their interface. On a whim, I experimented with YNAB’s free trial. From there, there was no turning back. YNAB is efficient and effective when it comes to managing your expenses.
Related Reading: 5 Ways to Improve Your Credit and Start Adulting
Read something inspiring.
Sometimes, when you’re in a rut, all you need to do is read something uplifting or motivating.
I love following Quote boards on Pinterest (follow mine here!) because I enjoy regularly seeing motivational thoughts as I scroll down my feed.
These motivational books have really inspired me and changed my life after reading, too:
- Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg, an inspiring book that shows ladies they can live a purposeful life and succeed in their career
- You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day, a wonderfully written memoir that will inspire you to feel comfortable in your own skin
- The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino, an essential book for twenty-somethings to read when they feel lost and need a different outlook on life
Pick up a new hobby.
Maybe what you need is something new to look forward to. Like a yoga class. Or ballet. Even solo hiking.
Whenever I feel bored or uninspired (like I said, I go through a quarter-life crisis regularly), I grab my husky and we go on a jog.
Last week, my boyfriend took me golfing for the first time. By that I really mean, I hit the ball a few times and drove around in the golf cart for the rest. Still!
Just doing something new really helped me refresh.
Plus we walked away from the experience with some embarrassing stories. Well, Mike walked away with plenty of embarrassing stories about me to tell others.
Like the many times I swung for the ball and definitely missed.
Get away from your day-to-day and go on a staycation.
Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery. A vacation isn’t always possible. In fact, even if you’re traveling on a budget, it can take months to save up for one.
So plan a simple staycation to get away from your daily grind for a day or two and totally refresh yourself.
Related Reading: How to Plan a Stress-Free Staycation
Travel, in your 20s.
But make sure that you do set the time to travel. Planning a vacation gives you something to look forward to, and of course the opportunity to refresh and relax.
Many of us will eventually grow to become parents, tied down by the chains of a career, a mortgage, or a family.
Travel in your 20s before you have a family of your own to take care of. While you don’t have a spouse whose accommodations or opinions you have to consider.
Write, and start a blog.
It sounds silly, but it’s true. This blog has been my creative, and even emotional, outlet. When I felt my latest and greatest quarter life crisis, I knew I had to write a post to really deal with my feelings.
If you want to be heard, and you’re serious about blogging for an audience, you should start a self-hosted blog. You can follow my step-by-step tutorial here. Don’t forget to bookmark my blogging resource library for all your blogging needs and tools so you can build a beautiful, successful blog.
Related Reading: Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook
Apply for a new job.
Has anyone told you it’s totally okay to change careers in your 20s?
You might feel discouraged to take a risk if you are unhappy in your current field, especially if you spent a number of years studying something specific in college. Don’t let others tell you you’re crazy for trying to pursue happiness in another career field.
As we all come to learn, the real world is much more different than being a student.
If you’re in a rut, maybe it’s because of your current work environment. Take a few days to update your resume and fully assess whether or not you would be happier working elsewhere.
If you would be, don’t hesitate to apply for that new job opportunity. Your happiness should come first, especially in your 20s.
Related Reading: Why It’s Okay to Change Careers in Your 20s
Moving is certainly not the most inexpensive suggestion or solution.
But if you’re anything like I am, an entirely new change of pace is a great way to refresh.
I’m a little addicted to moving. I see it as a way to travel and explore the world, but also get really intertwined in a community. Last year alone, I moved from the islands, to the city, to the mountains.
And I spend my free time daydreaming of where I can move and explore next.
If you’re thinking about moving, but fear the expense, you can always ditch your material possessions and travel light.
Write a book.
This sounds silly. But, hear me out: by writing a book or designing an eCourse, you are declaring yourself as a leader in a field.
There are so, so many things you know about that others wish they knew.
Maybe you’re a star in customer service or sales. Trust me, even when I applied for my first retail job, I read up on as much literature as I could in providing stellar customer service. Write about your success story, and how others can reach the success that you have.
Or maybe, you’re freaking amazing at juggling household chores and maintaining a full-time job.
Certainly, you can write about it in your blog. However, you can go more in-depth about a topic by writing an eBook or designing an eCourse. You can walk your readers through the basics, and then walk them through the more complicated parts, too.
There are a number of ways you can publish a book. One way I’m experimenting with is via Sendowl. All you have to do is upload your book and market it. They take care of the transactions and will even set up an affiliate program for your book.
Do something that scares you.
When you get too entangled in a routine, sometimes you just need to get shaken up. Do something that scares you.
Go skydiving. Jump off that cliff into the water. Go scuba diving.
Think of something that intimidates or scares you, and do it.
You will amaze yourself at what you are capable of, and when you do something that scares you will gain a newly refreshed confidence to tackle your 20s.
Overcoming the quarter-life crisis.
Navigating your 20s is difficult. It feels like you have high expectations from everyone around you, and all you want to do is succeed.
Millennials definitely face external pressure: Negative headlines about our “lazy” generation (I don’t think so!). High expectations from your friends and family. Maybe extra stresses regarding climbing the ladder at work.
Remember that the most important person to please is yourself. It’s okay to put yourself first.
With all these external pressures, it’s so easy to question yourself and let the quarter-life crisis hit.
What I’ve found successful for myself is shaking up my routine and doing something different. Whether it’s picking up a new hobby or planning a vacation, just having something new to think about puts me in a better mood.
Now let’s hear from you! How did you overcome your quarter life crisis?