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Millennial Women, Welcome To Your Quarter Life Crisis

Written by: Sofia Sevilla, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

That feeling that you're experiencing, that state where nothing is wrong, but nothing feels right, that situation you're going through has a name: quarter-life crisis.


Based on my professional and personal experience, I would define an existential crisis as a moment in your life when you feel trapped, disillusioned, confused, or even anxious about your present moment.

It's called the quarter-life crisis because usually, individuals experience this sensation between their mid-20s and throughout their 30s. Anyone can experience an existential crisis at any stage in life and by any gender, but this time, I want to talk specifically about a women's quarter-life crisis.


Since we were little, women have craved giving and receiving two essential things from our external world: validation and approval. As women, we are taught to please our surroundings and learn how to be the 'nice girl.' We understood the assignment when we acted to match what others wanted instead of learning to appreciate and connect with our inner world. And we felt happy and complete until we got to that point where we questioned ourselves and our true essence.


When we get to our twenties, and as the feminist wave expands, we are one of the first generations to hear: "you can be and do anything you want" or "you can have it all: the job, relationship, family, body, everything… " So, this mixed message between our 'nice girl' background and joining the current feminist wave is the beginning of the quarter-life crisis.


Women's societal expectations and roles have continuously changed throughout the decades, primarily through this last century. Now the role of women is entirely different from the role that our grandmothers and even our mothers had. Currently, we have developed expectations where the woman must be a mother, maintain a home, be financially independent, have a stable job, find a partner to accompany her in the process and besides all this, have a "perfect" body. It seems that there are not enough hours in the day, nor days in the week or months in the year to meet all these expectations.


We can visualize this crisis by using the metaphor where we compare the modern woman's life to a cycling class (like Soul Cycle). Imagine that our personal, family and social expectations are the peak moment of the class, where the music is loud, lights are out, and you feel unstoppable. But what if this high-intensity moment never slows down? Feeling unable to meet all these expectations is like reaching that moment in class where you feel out of breath. Interestingly, we think we have subjective control of our lives when riding a static bicycle. Still, this notion disappears once we realize that we depend on satisfying unrealistic expectations and beliefs.


During our twenties or thirties, we usually try to define our identity by what we do in our daily lives. And so, we put all our worth and value into trying to be a perfect woman. It is important to emphasize that before, only the media (movies, magazines, and tv shows) had the power to communicate what a perfect woman looks like, but now we are at a critical moment where users themselves can create content on their social media platform. Therefore, the comparison between reality and life is no longer only with models and actresses, often seen as unattainable, but now the comparison is with our social circle. And we crash once we understand that our identity and worth as women are defined by superficial, irrational, and dysfunctional masks.


A quarter-life crisis might feel and seem as if we were lost in the middle of an ocean, surrounded by hungry sharks waiting for us to commit a mistake. And to avoid feeling the uncomfortable feelings that come with a crisis, we try to find an immediate solution. We try to go back to what causes us to enter the loophole of an existential crisis. And this can go on for years until we understand that the unexpected, a change, or a crisis is a gate to awakening the authentic self.


If you feel that you're going through a quarter-life crisis, here you have three tips that will help you navigate through this moment until you reach your authentic essences:

  1. Stop overthinking, over-explaining, and looking for validation. As we begin to acknowledge our crisis as a moment of awakening, we challenge our expectations and idealizations of a perfect woman. Then we realize that we base most of our beliefs and expectations on fiction. We can recognize our fictional thoughts and expectations when we become aware of all the "shoulds" that we find in our internal language. Whenever our overthinking starts with the word "should," we can immediately recognize that we are distant from our reality. Once we accept our reality and understand that we are in a transitional moment, we start thinking about ourselves rather than continuously fighting to achieve the unattainable. And this empowering moment, when we honor our present moment and our current situation it's the moment where we start creating our authentic path towards a true self.

  2. Change, be like a chameleon. We think we need to have everything figured out by a certain age, and it shouldn't be that way. Every situation comes with a lesson and hence with an opportunity to grow. Adapt, challenge, and modify each belief and expectation. Adapting to any problem is one of the most beneficial and crucial abilities to help us grow, change, and find what best aligns with our true essence. It's always important to remember that if it feels good, then continue through that path. If it doesn't feel good, then you have the absolute power to change until you understand that you're living for yourself.

  3. Understand that productivity is not the same as being busy all the time. As simple as that.

Talking about a women's quarter-life crisis is one of my favorite topics in therapy and my daily life. Let's connect and start your therapeutic process towards your true essence.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Sofia Sevilla, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Sofia Sevilla is a clinical psychologist with a focus on cognitive behavioral therapy and specialization in third-generation therapies, such as mindfulness, body therapy, and emotional wellbeing. She is also a Certified Yoga Teacher. In October 2020, after a few months of being confined because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sofia decided to join the wave of psychologists willing to work on improving the collective welfare of society. For which she developed a practical program with the purpose of improving the quality of life of her patients using scientifically based methods and tools. The program was designed to explore four areas of a person's life: the cognitive, emotional, bodily, and spiritual consciousness. Her purpose as a psychologist is to guide her patients through a path that leads to lasting wellbeing.

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