PEOPLE in their 20s to early 30s usually face self-doubt and/or lack of motivation. This is especially highlighted amidst the pandemic when most of us stay at home. We have more time to overthink, to worry, and to scroll through social media. As we might know by now, social media both have negative and positive impacts on young professionals. For some, it could be a source of inspiration. Others, on the other hand, look at their friends’ posts online and begin to question their own capacity to reach for their dreams as well.

This is the time when some of our friends get married, engaged, promoted, or start a business. Those who are still struggling to be young adults may find this a trigger to self-doubt and eventually, quarter-life crisis.

Gabriel Sebastian N. Lizada, RPm, Center of Psychological Extension and Research Services (Copers) External Director defines quarter-life crisis as a possible experience of an individual in the period we call as ‘emerging adulthood’ -- it is a period wherein an individual is in transition between adolescence and adulthood. There is an internal struggle happening to the individual between independence and commitment.

Although an individual may possibly go through his or her 20s and 30s without going through a quarter-life crisis, there are still quite a number of young professionals who do experience this. From the online interview with Lizada, we've come up with different ways to determine if you’re going through a quarter-life crisis and how best to face it. Here’s what he has to say:

1. Questions will come. They’re normal.

It’s normal to ask yourself whether or not your current job, for example, is for the future. For us Filipinos, it’s very common that we stay in the house of our parents after graduation until we are confident enough to live on our own. So that question you ask yourself, “Should I leave my parents’ house and start an independent life?” is a very common thing we ask ourselves.

One of the signs that you're experiencing a quarter-life crisis is beginning to question. Quarter-life crisis is questioning identity, job/occupation. The feeling of emptiness is there. There’s a feeling of something lacking.

2. Social media could trigger positive and negative impacts on a person going through a crisis

If you see your friends and your peers succeeding, how will you react to it? Will you see it as a motivating and a driving force? Or do you feel self-pity and think they’re living better lives than you?

Exposure to social media decreases their self-esteem. But for some, it serves as a driving motivation. They see that their peers can do it, they challenge themselves to also do it. It depends on how you approach the situation. But generally, social media can do little more harm than good especially if you begin to compare yourself with other people.

3. Sometimes the only help we need is to be listened to.

Sometimes listening is enough. When someone approaches you and tells you their problem, our default mode is to provide answers and solutions to their problem. But sometimes being there, listening to that person, just allowing them to express what they feel, is enough help for them.

This is because not all problems are meant to be solved by you. Sometimes problems can be solved on their own just by being there for that friend.

4. Asking for help is not a bad thing.

Be honest with yourself. Are you having this quarter-life crisis? Understand what triggers it. Is it finances, relationship, work, feelings of being stagnant? Be honest with your parents and friends. They might be able to help you.

Ask yourself the difficult questions. The feelings of stagnation, lack of motivation may keep on recurring because you fail to confront the difficult questions.

And if your self-interventions are not working, seek help. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Let’s normalize asking for help. Seeking help from a mental health professional is not bad. It doesn’t make you crazy. On the contrary, it implies strength.


COPERS offers online counseling for those who feel like they need it. Visit their Facebook page for more details.