When you were younger, you dreamed of the day you’d be old enough to be at home alone, stay up later, and not have a curfew. Those house goals turned into being able to drive or to vote.
You wanted your independence. You wanted to grow up and be seen as mature by your friends and family. Now that you’ve reached that age, you’re starting to feel a little differently about it. You almost wish that you could go back and not wish to grow up so fast.
Adulting comes with a lot more responsibilities than you imagined. You have to juggle your education, your career, your social life, and your relationships. On top of that, there are financial responsibilities like rent or your mortgage, groceries, meals, and your car payment just to name a few.
You’re tired just thinking about it all. Is it normal to feel anxiety about “adulting”? Let’s find out!
What is a Fear of Adulting?
First things first, what exactly is the fear of adulting? As with anything in life, change is hard. Going through the different stages of life is no different. Some transitions are easier to make like going from a newborn baby to a toddler. When you reach the age of adulthood, it brings on a lot of anxiety, stress, and uncertainty. Adulting means doing things on your own, having a sense of independence, and making a lot of mistakes to learn and grow from them. It can be a scary time. A lot of people may feel like they’re not ready for it, they don’t know how to do it, or they don’t want to even be an adult.
Why You May Not Feel Ready to Be an Adult
In the United States, there seems to be an unwritten rule and belief that teenagers will complete high school, go off to college, move out of their parent’s house, get their own apartment, graduate, and move on to their own careers. It can be a hard transition to go from living under your parent’s roof, having an allowance, cooking your meals, and doing your laundry to having to complete all of these items on your own with your own finances. When you’re in high school, you just have to worry about doing your schoolwork, studying, holding a job, attending extracurricular activities, and managing your social life. When you become an adult, you have to juggle all of those things, with the added responsibilities of being an adult. It can be a lot to deal with, especially if you’re new to it.
Is Anxiety About Adulting Normal?
Having a little anxiety over adulting is completely normal. Everyone can experience anxiety. It’s a common emotion just like happiness, sadness, and anger. You’re probably wondering: how do you know if you have anxiety?
Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of anxiety:
- Avoiding social gatherings
- Digestive issues
- Muscle aches and pains
- Panic attacks
- Quickened heartbeat
- Sleeping problems
How to Let Go of Anxiety
Although anxiety is common, if the anxiety you’re experiencing is starting to creep into your daily life and routine, it may be time to get to the bottom of it. Luckily, there are things that you can do or change in your personal life to try to reduce some of your anxiety.
Here are some of the most common ways to reduce anxiety:
- Create and follow a self-care routine
- Follow a schedule and routine
- Get comfortable with getting out of your comfort zone
- Move your body
- Practice mindfulness
- Start journaling
If you’re still struggling with anxiety, you’re not alone. Seeking additional support from a therapist may be exactly what you need to help you manage the signs and symptoms you may be experiencing.
About the author(s)
Karen is the founder and Clinical Director of Cohesive Therapy NYC. She earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University and has extensive training in Hypnosis, Anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Brainspotting, and DGBI. She is a member of the Institute of Certified Anxiety Treatment Professionals, The Rome Foundation, the National Association of Social Workers, The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, and the American Social of Clinical Hypnosis.