Four Tips for the Anxiety-Ridden Young Adult

How to be a Functioning Adult.

That. That’s the class everybody else attended but for some reason you missed. Maybe your alarm didn’t go off. Maybe you missed the bus. Whatever it was, you skipped “Adulting 101” and now everybody else is walking around knowing what to do while you’re still trying to figure out how to work the water machine.

Here’s a well-known secret: we all overslept.

We all missed the class.

It’s the 21st century, and time will keep running even if you lose your watch.  More and more, you’ll find yourself thinking too much. For some, overthinking will only exacerbate what is already a stressful transition from to filling out colouring books to tax return forms.

From one constantly anxious young adult to another, here are four tricks to help alleviate your mind from the idiosyncrasies of adulthood.


  1. Get Two Bank Accounts


Student debt? Check. Utility payments one after the other? Yup. Late rent? Hell yes. If you’re somebody who feels an impulsive need to spend, or who has so many direct debits that checking your account is always a game of economic roulette, this is a good way to separate daily use from savings.

It’s simple: use one card as you normally would (including to set up direct debits with), and then keep your second card at home so you make sure to never use it. Yes, you’ll probably be able to access mobile banking wherever you are, but the hassle of transferring money from one account to the other will make you think twice before spending.


  1. “Worry Time”



If you’re an anxious person, chances are you spend most of your time worrying –these worries overrule your day and interfere with your peace of mind.

Instead of worrying about something that you can’t do anything about at the moment, “postpone” that worry until a designated time (when you actually have nothing else to do but worry). “The fact is that you can learn to control how often and when you worry – through practice.”

The goal is to reduce ‘worry time’ a little every time, so that not worrying eventually becomes a state of mind. It’s an easy way to suppress worries that serve no purpose but to slow your mental capacity down.


  1. “Treat Yo-self”


Set aside some money or time (or both), and once a month indulge in something that will allow you to think of anything but of stress. Go shopping. Go to the park. Book yourself a spa day.

It’s important to reward yourself, and more important do so without having a guilty conscience about it afterwards.

“There are a lot of people today working 50, 60 plus hours a week in order to put food on the table. But are all of those people truly taking care of themselves the same way they are taking care of their wallets?” 

Of course, it’s important to have your affairs in order, but it’s also important to reward your accomplishment and change up your routine.


  1. Be Positive About The Job You Hate


No, we’re not gonna hold hands and sing kumbaya; but it’s always good to try to turn things around, especially when you’re stuck in an “unideal” job.
Telling yourself that everything happens for a reason, or that you always have to look on the bright side of things may be a hyperbolic cliché, but it’s more about the way of thinking (e.g anticipate success rather than failure).

Every experience is an experience: if you’re around difficult people, see it as preparation on how to deal with the big names you wanna work for (or with!). If the customer is always right (although that’s not always the case), take it as training for when you have to negotiate mega deals with people with short tempers.

At the very least, a horrible job now is an incentive to get out there and actually try to make it into the ideal one!



Remember that everybody was forced to experience the difficulties of adulthood. The problem is that to the naked eye, everybody else seems to have their stuff together. Friends getting married. Friends buying houses. Friends getting grown-up suit-and-tie jobs. And here you are, finally filled with the courage to talk your local council to ask for an exemption to this month’s payment.

But believe it or not, those friends who seem to have found the missing piece to this puzzle of life are looking right at you, and secretly wondering how the hell you keep it together.

It’s relative.

Take a deep breath.

Adults don’t even really know how to adult either – they just learn how to hide it better!



Xiomara Meyer is a drama and creative writing graduate with an interest in psychology and the slightly bizarre. Samples of her work can be found here

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