25! The magical number. An age when you actually feel like a mature, responsible, adult. When you can even pay for all the parties your friends try to get out of you on your birthday.
Unfortunately, it’s also the time when you sit back and question all your life choices. The fact that all your peers seem to be racing ahead doesn’t help either. So, a normal pondering turns into a full blown panic attack stretching into a bout of stress and anxiety. You find that you’re not where you’d hoped to be by now. You also find that you’ve no clue where you want to be or What you want to do. Not even what’s best for you. Worst of all, you have no clue as to what you’re currently doing. From then on, it’s just a downward spiral into depression.
I was surprised to find out that there’s actually a term for this. The quarter-life crisis. No applause for guessing when I discovered it. (And yes, I was stupid enough to write a post on the ‘mid mid-life crisis‘ when I was 24, but we all make mistakes. I am a year older and, arguably, wiser now)
Thus, to help kindred souls, I’ve compiled a list of life hacks that are aimed at getting you through this tough period and keeping your thoughts in perspective. I hope it helps.
Here it goes:
- A Person- For all you Grey’s Anatomy fans, there’s no need to describe what having ‘a person’ or ‘your person’ means. For those oblivious to Shondaland, your person is that first human you turn to in all your times of need. When you’re happy, when you’re sad, when you’ve majorly messed up, when you need to be saved. There’s this one person who will take one look at you and know what’s up. There’s that one person who cbs decipher all your garbled, alcohol induced and distorted-by-tears words with unerring expertise. It can be a friend, a family-member or even a colleague. Identify who that person is for you, then put in an effort to divulge your worst fears. Talk to him or her about your life plans. Just discuss. It’ll not only make you feel lighter but I’ll also give you a much needed respite once you get it all out of you. Even the best of us have the tendency to bottle things up when it comes to our careers, dreams or aspirations and never reveal our worries to the closest people. So, talk to your person.
- Comfy PJ’s – No I’m not kidding, please hear me out. Anxiety and stress can make you lose sleep. Especially when nearing this age, your mind refuses to rest. Find a pair of comfortable pyjamas in which you can get a nice spell of sleep. Let it be a reminder of the fact that even if you don’t have anything sorted, it’s okay. You’re not supposed to. As long as you’re doing something, as long as you have a rough idea of what you like. Or, most importantly, you have a fair idea of what you don’t like and would much rather not be doing, you’re on the right track. So get your trust PJ’s and get a good night’s sleep. Life can be figured out tomorrow but now when you’re functioning only on a caffeine induced high.
- A Pair of Blinders – You know how horses and some more animals are outfitted with a pair of eyes patches that give them a tunnel vision? So that they don’t look right or left but move on straight ahead? Yes? Get a metaphorical pair of those for yourself. Don’t look at what others are doing. Don’t judge yourself by their standards. Don’t assess your progress by the pace they’re proceeding at. Do what you’re doing, diligently. Do not be affected by peers. One can never actually walk in another’s shoes. Our own are prickly enough. Stick to those. You never know what another is going through. But you sure can make your own life better by concentrating only on it. For a clearer understanding of this concept, read my previous post defining successes and failures and how to not let them define your worth. Because, these mountains that you’re carrying, you were only supposed to climb.
- A Full-Length Mirror – If you have a Full-Lenght Mirror at home, well and good. If not, I suggest you invest in one. Take out five minutes daily to look at yourself. No, I’m not trying to fan your vanity. Just take a good look at yourself. Take in all your battle scars, take in the glimmer of hope in your eyes, take in the look of determination in the set of your jaw. Take it all in and then breathe out. Deep. Look at yourself, accept yourself and then, maybe, love yourself. Give yourself a small pep talk everyday. You know you’re doing the best you can. Make sure you tell yourself that. If you really think you’re doing something you should or that you’re not doing enough, tell yourself that too. But what you shouldn’t do is undermine yourself. We’re already our own worst critics. Let’s not let that intimidate our faith in ourselves. So, look at yourself and let your confidence grow. Remember, you’re the only person who can set the roadmap and tracks on which your life will follow through.
- One Day of the Week- Set aside one day of the week to pamper yourself. Not the weekend but a work day. By pampering, I don’t mean our weekendly ritual of grooming. This is about pampering your confidence. Step out on that day with your best foot forward. Wake up early. Get dressed impeccably. Your best formals. Put on makeup or your best cologne or aftershave. Look your best. Have a healthy breakfast. I know it’s difficult to put in so much effort everyday when we’re trying to catch up on lost sleep or scrambling to get to work on time. Hence, reserve this extravaganza for any one day of the week, without fail. It’s true when you like how you look, when you have a good, satisfying start to the day, it does wonders for your confidence. I remember distinctly how just even adorning a pair of high heels adds oodles to my self esteem since I’m short and heels also give me an amazing posture. So I seem so much more confident to my own self. Do that for yourself. You know you deserve it. One day of the week, let it be your day.
Now I’m no expert on self-help but all the hacks detailed above have been tried and tested by me. I always write from my own learnings. I hope these help you too. Let me know in the comments sections if you’re going through a crisis like this or if you’ve already undergone one. Feel free to add to the list. Let me know if I’ve forgotten something. Most of all, share messages of positivity to help our fellowmen get along.
We all have places to go, we’ll get there when we’re ready. Be ready to hear the bang of our arrival!