I am no philosopher or psychiatrist. I don't have a magic mantra to tackle a quarter-life crisis either. But what I do know is that I have been going through one, just like most people in their 20s. The symptoms are the same for all of us - life seems unfair, you feel stuck, you want to do so many things at once that you actually end up doing nothing and feel miserable about yourself. Ways to tackle a crisis could be different for all of us, but here are some tried and tested ways that worked for me:
1. Tech detox
You will only be as worried as often as you check your Facebook! The website has become a medium of boasting the good things and tucking the bad ones in a deep dark corner. If you find yourself constantly worrying about how you are nowhere compared to your so-called friends, it is time to take a break for good.
2. Take the first opportunity to get away
Running away from something might not be a good option, but sometimes it is the best way to recharge yourself. So travel not to escape life, but for life to not escape you!
3. Reflect on your actions
You have just been running around, working, thinking and doing things. It is time to sit back and reflect about where you are going wrong.
4. Talk it out with a mentor, parent or whoever you are comfortable talking to
There is nothing that cannot be sorted out by talking. Sometimes, a pep talk is all that is needed to cheer you up and show you the right direction.
5. Write down your confusions
If you ask me, writing down your confusions and possible outcomes really helps. If nothing else, it helps to clear the mind and usually that is what you really need.
6. Do something that you love
Keep the confusions aside and spend time on something that you really love and are certain of. It will definitely help you look at the brighter side and lighten up your mood.
7. Don't be afraid to try different things
If Plan A is not working for you, try Plan B or Plan C. You are young and it's never too late to try something different.
8. Know what you don't want
While knowing what you want might be a herculean task at our age, knowing what you don't want works better! This way, at least you are sure of one thing.
9. Meditate or pray or do both
Now this might not sound doable to a lot of people but trust me when I say that it helps.
10. Spend time with nature
Nature has been scientifically proven to make you feel better. Sit in the sun or get wet in the rain, look beyond your problems and observe the beauty around you.
11. Stop expecting things
One problem that we all have that leaves us miserable is expectations. You feel disappointed when you have expectations from life. A post-grad degree by 23, a steady job by 25, and marriage by 26 - that is not how life goes for everybody. Stop expecting things.
12. Concentrate on your achievements
What have you done in life that made you really happy? Think hard and be proud about yourself. Don't just think about what went wrong, cherish what didn't.
13. Volunteer to teach underprivileged kids
When you see people living happily with less than what you have, you realise how vile the things that worry you are. They might not know the formulas of trigonometry or the rules of grammar, but they will definitely teach you a thing or two about life.
14. Save money
No matter how much we say that money can't buy happiness, we all know that being secure definitely makes one happy and tension free. Open a fixed deposit or invest money in some scheme (take your parents advice if, like me, you don't know much about it). The feeling of having some money on a rainy day is always reassuring.
15. Live in the present
Nobody knows what's going to happen tomorrow? Then why waste time fretting over it? And why think about the past? You know you can't change it. Live in the present. You will automatically have less things to worry about.
16. Have fun in life
And last but definitely not the least, relax! You are not the only one going through all this. Meet your friends, dance, sing or grab a drink - do whatever makes you happy!