Are You Having a Quarter-Life Crisis? (& 5 Ways to Stop It)
Some of your friends are getting married, some are still in school, and others are going out to clubs every night.
You scroll through Instagram to see a flood of engagements and vacations, seeing announcements that people are moving back to your hometown or buying their first apartment in a big city.
It’s easy to play the comparison game when you see everyone around you experiencing different things - and it can be hard to feel satisfied if you aren’t happy with where your own life is heading.
Here at KMA Therapy, we know how hard it can be to figure out your next steps when you still don’t know where you want to go. For over 14 years, we’ve been helping our clients figure out their passions and find the motivation to pursue them.
We're here to teach you how to navigate a quarter-life crisis - and let you know that you're not alone if you’re having one.
After reading this article, you'll know what defines a quarter-life crisis, signs you may be having one, and how to stop the spiral and find your passion again.
What is a Quarter-Life Crisis?
A quarter-life crisis is when you become overwhelmed by questions about your life. From your mid-twenties to early thirties, you may feel confused about your life’s purpose or unsatisfied with the way you’re living.
In other words, you feel like you don't know where you want to go - you just know that you aren’t happy where you are.
5 Signs of a Quarter-Life Crisis
Everyone questions their life path once in a while - and checking in with yourself to ensure you still want the things you’re pursuing can be healthy. However, when this questioning gets out of control, your second-guessing can spiral into a quarter-life crisis.
5 signs of a quarter-life crisis are:
- Having a lack of direction in your life and choices
- Feelings of jealousy when you see other people’s lives
- Feel apathetic or indecisive about making big life choices
- A sense of hopelessness when thinking about your goals or dreams
- Feeling unable to see the point of your job, passions, or relationships
While these signs can be unsettling, it can actually be a good thing to have a quarter-life crisis. You know you want to experience a change, and now you’re ready to make it happen.
But how can you stop a quarter-life crisis and move on to the next stage of your life?
5 Ways to Stop a Quarter-Life Crisis
When you’re having a quarter-life crisis, it can seem like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.
But following these five simple strategies can help you re-ignite your passion, figure out what you really want in life - and create a plan to get it.
1. Understand Where You Are to Find Where You Want to Go
Having a quarter-life crisis lets you know that something needs to change in your life - but now you need to figure out what that is.
Take inventory of what you like and dislike about how your life feels right now.
If you’ve been feeling jealous of things you see other people experiencing, you don’t need to feel bad - this can be a great way to recognize what you want.
Making a list of what you want to bring into your life and what you want to leave behind can be a great way to figure out your larger goals and then break those down into manageable next steps.
2. Explore the Things that Light You Up
Remember when you were a little kid who had a million hobbies?
As we get older, we can feel pressured to do things only if they are productive or make us money. But you're allowed to have hobbies as an adult, too - and they can help you feel more fulfilled.
Find the fun in your life by:
- Signing up for a creative class, like art or dance
- Exploring a new city you’ve always wanted to visit (even if it’s not too far away)
- Buying yourself something you always wanted but were never able to have as a kid
Whether you want to sign up for a fun class, explore a new city you’ve always wanted to go to, or buy yourself something you were never allowed to have as a kid, let yourself follow your passions without judgment.
This can help you re-align with what you truly want in life and how you want your life to feel.
3. Stop Comparison in its Tracks
It's fun to keep up with your friends' lives and live vicariously through strangers on TikTok. But just because you're at different stages than the people around you doesn't mean you're missing out on anything.
Everyone's timeline is different - and that's okay.
If you often compare yourself to others, remember that what you see on social media is only a snippet of people’s lives. And while there’s been a positive movement recently of creators being more honest about what their lives look like, most people still most the “highlight reel” of their lives.
Resist the temptation to compare the worst moments of your life to the best moments of someone else’s life.
If you’re struggling with this, one great way to break out of a comparison spiral is to write a gratitude list.
4. Make a Gratitude Inventory
A lot of your quarter-life crisis is probably fuelled by focusing on what you don’t have. All you can think about is missing out on the relationship, job, or vacation of your dreams - and it leaves you feeling terrible.
But you don’t only have to focus on the things you want to bring into your life - it helps to take inventory of what you already have.
Whether you have an amazing best friend or an adorable dog, or you really love the cup of coffee you make every morning, there are bound to be things in your life that bring you joy.
Creating a list of all the things you’re grateful for can help you remember the good that already exists in your life and help you see what you want more of.
5. Find Professional Support
These tips can be helpful - but you don't have to navigate a quarter-life crisis alone.
Seeing a therapist or counsellor can be a great way to explore your life’s purpose and learn whether underlying issues may make your situation feel worse.
If you’re interested in exploring life’s big questions, seeing an Existential Therapist may be the best next step to soothing your mid-life crisis.
Next Steps for Resolving Your Quarter-Life Crisis
After reading this article, you know what a quarter-life crisis is, the signs you may be having one, and how to move forward and out of crisis mode.
Here at KMA Therapy, our experienced team of therapists is here to help you navigate life's most difficult paths. We’ve been helping our clients re-ignite their passion for life for over a decade.
We offer life coaching, existential therapy, and more to help you get out of crisis mode and live life to your full potential.
If you're not yet ready to book an appointment, check out these resources to learn more:
- If you’re struggling to find passion at work, read: Why Burnout is More Than Just Stress - and How to Fix It
- If you think you’re getting in your own way, read: What is Self-Sabotaging Behaviour - and How to Stop It
- If you’re still deciding whether therapy could be helpful for you, read: 5 Signs it’s Time to See a Therapist