We’re all familiar with the constant stress associated with figuring out our lives.
Whether it’s lying awake in bed at 3:30 am or having a mental breakdown in middle of the grocery store because you can’t decide what you want for dinner — let alone what you want to do with your life —, we’ve all been there.
Family dinners have turned into passing the mashed potatoes around the table along with a thoughtless, “So what major have you decided on?” or “Do you know what career you want to go into?” or “Are you even dating?” or “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
And, like me, you’d probably shove potatoes down your throat in hopes of clogging your airways so you don’t even have to answer.
The future is and always will be a scary concept, regardless of your age. Holding back a panic or refraining from pulling your hair out isn’t just a teenage, "where is my life going?" moment.
I’ve noticed though, through my classmates, friends, peers and coworkers, that it’s a panic plaguing our generation.
The constant worrying about your future endeavors does more than just stress you out — it takes over your entire mood. When lashing out at your cashier or crying when someone eats the last of your mac and cheese become usual things, people will start to question your sanity.
So, in response to your life feeling like it’s disintegrating into a big pile of sh*t, try to breathe. It’s stupid to advise, I know, because how are you alive right now? I’m not talking about the unconscious ins and outs.
Transform you’re breathing into an exercise that is active and strong. Breathe in slowly; hold for a beat (obviously don’t suffocate yourself, whatever is most comfortable for you), then release your breath, steadily and calmly.
Do this when you’re overwhelmed, if you feel like nothing is going right or if you have a thousand things to do and not a clue as to how you will start. Calm yourself down.
When you look at your planner and there are 13 different things that all require your complete attention and you feel close to imploding, just chill out.
Close the planner; there is no reason for you to try and battle all 13 things with a clogged mind because you’ll just waste your own time and struggle to accomplish them all.
If you’re a tea drinker, grab a packet of Lipton, milk, sugar and honey and stir up a nice hot cup. If you aren’t into tea, coffee will get you caffeine high, but tread lightly.
Don’t quickly chug cups upon cups because it will accomplish nothing beyond raising your stress levels even higher, along with giving you the feeling of being cracked out.
Better yet, go to the grocery store and buy some gummy bears because they bring about happiness on all levels.
Worrying about the future and stressing about what to do with your life is a dismal feeling that all of us will eventually experience. The best thing for you to do is look at the big picture and realize that the thing about which you’re most stressed is solvable.
When you stop trying to force a career on yourself, you'll begin to figure out what you actually want. When you stop trying to force crap relationships to work, you begin to appreciate yourself more, too.
You can be 40 years old and still wondering what you want to do — and it’s okay. Nobody has it figured out and if it looks like they do, they’re f*cking lying.