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ADULTING: Does it have to be difficult?? 5 tips to EASE the anxiety of this Life Journey

Updated: Jun 3, 2023

You can reach the age at which you are considered an “adult” but still not feel like one. This reality feels particularly relevant for millennials and Gen Z. So much so that they coined a new term: adulting. Generally speaking, someone who is adulting is someone who performs the daily tasks and functions we associate with grown-ups. See: “easier said than done.”

Just because there are clearcut expectations for adulthood (independence, job, marriage, parenthood, etc.), it does not mean such transitions are either smooth or easy. In fact, they can cause intense and chronic stress. With this in mind, let’s explore options to ease this anxiety.

Adulting Basics

Here is just a small taste of what is suddenly piled on your proverbial plate:

  • Domestic chores, e.g., cleaning, shopping, cooking, laundry, home/car maintenance, and more

  • Having less time to indulge in interests, hobbies, social time, and future goals

  • Scheduling your daily life

  • Caring for your own health needs

  • Paying bills, managing money, budgeting, etc.

On top of that, you have the added pressure of choosing and pursuing a career. You may scroll social media and compare yourself to others in your age range—wondering why you’re not keeping up.

Adulting in the Digital Age

Forty years ago, about one-third of 21-year-olds was financially independent. Today, that number is less than one-quarter. The playing field has shifted. However, not enough folks have adjusted the expectations to match. Young people today have a tougher road but are not being cut any slack. As a result, adulting anxiety is a growing issue.

It’s long been assumed that young adults will become responsible, financially independent decision-makers. Perhaps the trickiest part of that equation is the financial component, and it’s enough to squash other assumptions. How can today’s new adults navigate this shifting landscape?

5 Ways to Ease Adulting Anxiety

1. Do Not Engage in the Comparison Game

Everyone is different and is influenced by unique factors. Just as importantly, never forget that people carefully curate their online image. You are probably measuring yourself against fiction. So, a big suggestion: take regular tech breaks (especially social media) to regain personal perspective.

2. Don’t Live Beyond Your Means

Once you stop with the comparisons, this becomes a little easier. It’s tempting to put on a show for those around you, but you’re the one who has to pay the price. The irony is that by spending less and budgeting smarter, you’ll have more of the financial independence you crave.

3. Define and Own Your Values and Goals

We live in a culture that pushes us to follow accepted templates. And then there’s all the family pressure as parents impose their visions on their children. A major step in adulting is to think for yourself. Allow your decisions to be informed by your needs, desires, and dreams. Only you know what inspires and excites you.

4. Step Up

Not everything is society’s fault. Take stock of your situation and identify where you need to take responsibility for your current situation. Recognize what is under your control and commit to making the changes you can make now.

5. Feel What You Need to Feel

The adulting transition involves grief. You are losing your childhood and teen years. You’re also losing a version of your innocence. Do not underestimate the need to sit with your emotions. Adulthood will provide you with many positive changes and experiences, but it’s okay to also miss those carefree days behind you.

Ask For Support

It’s okay if you don’t have everything figured out, but you must seek guidance. Therapy is the ideal venue for such an exploration. Connect with us soon so one of our clinicians can assist you.

(248) 2-EMERGE (248-236-3743)

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