How To Keep Your Cool When Adulting Is Hard

When I imagined what being in the late twenties was like when I was in high school, or even college, I thought of people who had it all: a solid career, balanced relationships and just a general sense of having it all together with a great life. Now I find that comical and naive that I thought being an adult was so wonderful. Not to say there aren’t a lot of good parts, but let’s be real: adulting is hard.

Recently I started a new job, moved apartments and got engaged, in addition to other standard life events that pop up when you aren’t expecting them. Though a majority of these occasions are joyous and reasons for celebrating, I am terrible with change and found myself quickly feeling overwhelmed.

How was I supposed to dedicate myself to my new job and find the wedding cake flavor that would please both my mom and soon to be mother-in-law!? Decisions like that (spoiler, we aren’t having a cake) plus other larger life stressors can easily get you down and feeling out of control – if you find yourself in a time when it seems like you’re trying to do too much and aren’t doing anything all that great, see if one of these tactics works for you:

Know You Aren’t Alone

Sometimes it seems like you’re the only one who doesn’t have it all together. Especially if you spend any time on social media, the perfection that is portrayed can be overwhelming. explains the “compare and despair” effect  that comes when you start to feel anxious because your life isn’t as perfect as how your friends’ appear to be. Stepping away from the edited world and talking to your friends will provide perspective. Everyone goes through times when they aren’t sure of themselves, and it’s ok to acknowledge that you aren’t feeling your best. Getting support from others can turn your day around and give you energy to tackle what’s ahead.

Clean What You Can

When the space around me is messy, that generally means my life is a bit messy too. Though I wasn’t the ultimate biggest fan of the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, author Marie Kondo did have some good insight into how maintaining order and simplicity can have a positive effect on your emotions. If you have the time, try purging and doing an overhaul clean of your closet. I personally let my gmail inbox get out of control with endless ads from Old Navy and Conde Nast – to help, I used which helped me easily unsubscribe from stores I haven’t gone to in years and ultimately resulted in my feeling less overwhelmed by the number of new messages in my inbox getting uncomfortably high.

Focus on What You’re Comfortable With

Though taking risks may be great for personal growth, doing so at a time when you’re already feeling a little out of control might not help the situation. Try going to a class you know you love and can kick butt at, or get coffee with an old friend. Relishing in what you know you do well can help you realize that not everything is lost, and may motivate you to get back on track.

Take Time to Breathe

It is easy to get lost down the rabbit hole of anxiety. Like every mom ever says, “when it rains, it pours.” But if you take a second to reflect and gain a better perspective on the situation, maybe it isn’t really pouring. YogaSix has an awesome Deep Stretch class that provides the time to literally do just what the name says: sit deeply in stretches that I personally found to really allow time for me to breathe and relax.  This could also be a time to start saying “no” to things you aren’t passionate about to allow time to excel at what you do really care about.

Has there ever been a time when you didn’t feel like you’re the adult you imagined you would be? How did you grow from it?

Mindfulness Think & Feel

About Catherine Toupin

Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Catherine is a proud graduate of two great Midwestern schools: the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Notre Dame. After receiving a degree in English and Communication, Catherine chose to take a risk and teach teenagers in Florabama for two years. Living in a location with warm weather year-round rekindled Catherine’s love of long outdoor runs (and of relaxing on a beach). Catherine has since taken a Meeting Planning job in Chicago, and though the views are slightly different, she still enjoys runs along the lake shore path and being outdoors as much as possible.