How to deal with quarter-life crisis

A general view of the Marina Bay Financial Centre and central business district in Singapore on May 6, 2018.
A general view of the Marina Bay Financial Centre and central business district in Singapore on May 6, 2018. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Here are signs that your quarter-life crisis may be something more, and how to deal with it. You should seek help when:

• You feel anxiety, frustration and sadness about everything, including things that are not work-related;

• When the anxiety and distress affect your ability to perform daily tasks;

• You experience feelings of emptiness and not fitting in, low motivation, prolonged depressed mood, loss of interest in activities that you once enjoyed, inability to sleep, extreme fatigue, difficulty in thinking and concentrating.

Tips on how to better deal with the anxieties of quarter-life crisis:

• Take time to understand the source of your anxiety, be it wealth, health, ability or time, and determine your priorities. Think of achievable milestones that will get you there and take steps to move towards the goals.

• Take stock of how you are coping with your emotions. If you are engaging in unhealthy coping strategies, such as alcohol abuse, smoking or compulsive spending and eating, consider other activities, for example, sports or outings, and build these new habits into your schedule.

• Talk to people about your challenges, be it family, friends, counsellors, career coaches or mentors, and allow yourself to be supported by them.

Sources: Ms Leow Lilyn, principal clinical psychologist at the Institute of Mental Health, and Dr Christopher Fong, principal consultant at Psych Line Consultants

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2018, with the headline 'How to deal with quarter-life crisis'. Print Edition | Subscribe