How To Balance "Adulting" And Your Mental Health

Dear millennials,

Does it seem like everyone has their life together, except you? Do you joke about "adulting" on the regular? Welcome to my life. These days it seems like all my friends are either getting married or having kids: aka "adulting". If you're like me, you're just trying to figure out what to do next week, let alone for the rest of your life. So, how do you balance growing up and being an adult, all while taking care of your mental health?

According to Urban Dictionary:

Adulting (v): to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups. 

You hear the term "adulting" in half-serious conversations between millennials, or in Instagram captions about not wanting to deal with real life responsibilities. On the surface this term is used very light heartedly, but is “adulting” bad for your mental health?

For the people trying to figure out their life (like me) talking about "being an adult" can be stressful. We try to conform to what everyone else is doing, because we see that timeline as normal, and if we fall behind and don't have our sh*t together, then it can have a negative impact on our mental health. We get caught up in what we "should" be doing with our life, and not necessarily what's right for us at the time. 

But taking on more responsibilities can also be good for your mental health! How? Because it gives you structure.  Here's some tips to help you feel more adult when your life is falling apart:

It's all about the little things

- Get a few plants and take care of them regularly
- Make dinner for yourself or a group of friends
- Do some laundry or take out the garbage

Small things like that can help you feel grown up, even when the rest of your life is uncertain. Adulting doesn’t have to be stressful!

If everyone around you seems to have their lives together and you're feeling the pressure, listen up:

Nobody knows everything. That friend that just got accepted to a prestigious school or an amazing job? The one who's getting married and having kids? They honestly probably feel just as scared about things as you do. Nobody knows everything, and no one's life is perfect. Even if they look like they've got it all together, chances are they're scared of "being a real adult" too. 

Everyone is different. Yeah, we all joke about "adulting" but what it actually means can be totally different between two people. If your definition of an adult is someone who doesn't forget their keys in the morning, but your friends definition is having kids... That's okay. You do you. 

You’re not the only one. You aren’t the only one who isn’t married and having babies. And just because you ate Kraft Dinner for the third night in the row, doesn't mean you're hopeless. It means you're human. And not everyone will admit it, but we're all trying to figure out this thing called life at our own pace. 

What’s the rush? Being young is awesome, so why rush it? Literally any real adult will tell you: “stay young as long as you can, and enjoy it” So do just that. You don’t have to stress over becoming an adult, because it's going to happen either way. You might as well try and enjoy your youth in the meantime. 

Remember, you’re pace doesn’t matter; forward is forward.


By Kelsey Schroeder 
Edited by Kayley Reed

1 Response


August 17, 2016

I’m 51 years old and found this article helpful. Adulting at my age is scary, too. Family and friends complain about maintaining a summer home. I’m worried about my one mortgage and getting medications for PTSD, asthma, and hypertension. I Appreciate everything about your messages TY

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