Kids of all ages can be heard longing to be an adult. When that time arrives, they’ll have more freedom. Of course, with that freedom comes plenty more responsibilities and expectations. After years of waiting to turn 18, young people are faced with an increasing number of challenges. In fact, a 2021 study found over 70 percent of Americans believe today’s young adults have it much harder than the past few generations.
You see, your 18th or 21st birthday does not automatically mean you’re ready to fully start adulting. In some ways, the transition can feel natural. However, the overall process requires support, patience, and commitment.
Why is Adulting Anxiety So Common?
Social norms in the U.S. dictate that kids flip a switch when they “officially” become adults. Here are just some of the anxiety-causing factors that can prevent such a rapid transformation:
- There are so many adulting basics to learn, e.g. hygiene, laundry, doing taxes, writing a resume, finding a job, paying bills, pursuing a degree, and so much more
- Forming adult connections with friends, co-workers, bosses, teachers, neighbors, and romantic partners
- Pressure to succeed
- Competing with peers
- Loneliness from not living with your family anymore
- Navigating a heavily divided society
Adulting anxiety is real. You’re not alone and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. And fortunately, there are fundamental personal steps you can take to ease the transition.
4 Tips To Ease Adulting Anxiety
1. Resist the Temptation to Lose Faith
Anxiety is a persistent liar. It will bombard you with untruths designed to hold you back. Sure, when entering an entirely new phase of your life, you will be expected to take on new challenges. With those new challenges, you will have to deal with some setbacks along the way. Anxiety may tell you that avoidance is the safest choice.
Productive adulting requires you to tolerate some discomfort. This is how you learn new skills. It’s also how you discover what you do and don’t like, and what you’re good at. When adulting challenges arrive, view them as part of a process and not a final judgment on yourself. Don’t lose faith.
2. Follow Your Heart
Very well-meaning people may aggressively push you toward choices they deem to be “practical.” There’s value in hearing them out but nothing can replace listening to your passion. What lights you up. If you don’t yet know what drives you, be patient. Try lots of things and be extra cautious to not settle into a life that you didn’t choose.
3. Practice Self-Care
For any form of anxiety, self-care can serve as a bulwark. Fortify yourself against stress by focusing on elements like:
- Healthy eating choices
- Regular sleep patterns
- Daily exercise
- Relaxation techniques
- Practicing self-compassion
To sustain such a regimen, it can be quite helpful to keep a diary journal. Monitor your emotions, triggers, challenges, and solutions. Such a journal will come in mighty handy during your therapy sessions (see below).
4. Take Stock of Your Resources
Whether you are working or attending school, living at home, or living on your own, you have more resources than you might imagine. Anxiety can truly thrive when you feel alone and helpless. Create a support system and never hesitate to ask for help.
Speaking of Resources…
Therapy is a powerful option for this scenario. Your weekly sessions can serve as both a safe space and a workshop. Alongside a skilled guide, you are well-positioned to identify counterproductive patterns while exploring new approaches along the way. If adulting anxiety has you feeling overwhelmed, we urge you to reach out to talk. Let’s get you started with a free and confidential consultation soon for anxiety therapy.