By: Dr. Erica Wollerman
I personally absolutely love that the word “adulting” has come to be commonly used. Using a verb to describe what it is like to be an adult really makes sense to me, possibly because I am a millennial or maybe because I remember feeling like I was most definitely not an adult when I turned 18. Sure, I loved the privileges of being an “adult” but I certainly have never loved the responsibility. As I’ve gotten older and am now a mom, wife, business owner, employer, and a new home owner, this has not really changed. I still remember when they let us leave the hospital with our son and my reaction was like, “wait, are you sure? We’re the mom and dad now, uh oh?” Now that our list of grown up tasks grows with our responsibilities, it is nice to have a verb to use to describe those things (I need to do some adulting) rather than to describe a state of being (I am an adult).
Anyways, needless to say, this word resonates with me and seems to resonate with a lot of my therapy clients who struggle with being overwhelmed with the adult tasks in life. I thought it would be helpful to put together a list of tips to help us all through our more adult days!
1. One thing at a time
This has to be one of the most important pieces of advice I ever give as a therapist. So often, we feel overwhelmed with the massive number of tasks we might find ourselves with when in essence, it is not even possible to do them all at once. Make a list and just start moving down the list. If you are overwhelmed, take a deep breath and focus on just one thing you can do, even if it is small, it’s a start!
2. Remember, no one truly feels ready for adult like responsibilities
Most people feel overwhelmed when you look at the enormity of what we take on in our lives as people. We go from having things taken care of for us, to being the ones taking care of things for others either in our personal or professional lives. There is this false belief in childhood that our parents and the adults around us truly have it all together that perpetuates our feelings of not being ready or feeling inadequate for the tasks we have ahead. However, we have to remember that adults are just people who have learned to have more things they are responsible for and most likely use different tools to help them remember to do them. For example, it can be so helpful to put reminders in your phone for things like paying bills, rent, taking the trash to the curb, etc. It’s important to remember that you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed and that there are lots of tips and tricks to help you figure out how to “adult” successfully.
3. Talk to people who have already done what you are working on
I believe it takes a village, not just to raise kids but to live our lives effectively. It is so incredibly important that we learn that we can reach out and ask people for advice and ways to accomplish the things we are trying to accomplish ourselves. For example, when I started my private practice and later expanded it into Thrive, I asked so many colleauges about their practices and experiences to help me understand both what I was taking on but also how to go about it in a way that would hopefully work for me. If you are a more private person, reading books, blogs, or listening to podcasts can be helpful too!
4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
I have found that people can be so generous in the sharing of their knowledge both in regards to business situations and personal situations. If you are unsure of how often you need to pay a bill or what the process is to do something, go ahead and call the office you need to call and ask questions. It’s okay to admit you have no idea about something and would appreciate an explanation! Many people are happy to walk their customers through these kinds of steps if you are kind about asking and thank them for their time.
This one may be a bit redundant as I mentioned it in the above comments, but reminders on our digital calendars or on paper calendars can be so helpful. In our current culture, we are all balancing so many different things and it is truly easy to forget due dates or appointments. Putting a reminder in whatever kind of calendar you use can be extremely helpful in staying on top of things!
I hope this is helpful information for you! If you have other tips or strategies that help you stay organized in your “adulting,” please feel free to comment on this blog or reach out to us at Thrive!
At Thrive, we take a positive, client centered approach to therapy that is focused on creating a genuine connection with our clients. If you would like to talk with a Thrive Therapist about yourself, your child, or teen attending therapy, please reach out to us by phone at 858-342-1304.
As always, thanks for reading and comments are always welcome regarding any issues around child or teen psychotherapy services in San Diego by Thrive Therapy Studio.
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"Watch your thoughts,
They become words.
Watch your words,
They become actions.
Watch your actions,
They become habits.
Watch your habits,
They become character;
It becomes your destiny."