Moms of girls can have it pretty rough. There’s the awkward tween years, the drama-filled teens, and the inevitable friction between what you want for your daughter and what they insist is good for them (even when you know it’s not). Most moms think that once their daughter is grown and out of the house, it all becomes easier. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Some moms find that interacting a daughter who has entered her 20s is more difficult than parenting one who is still growing up. Maybe you’ve noticed she seems unhappy but can’t quite figure out what’s going on with her. Perhaps she doesn’t seem like herself anymore. If she’s out on her own, you probably don’t see her as much as you used to and it can be difficult to know what’s going on in her life. If you suspect she’s not coping well with life, you probably don’t know how to help as you can’t just make doctor’s appointment for her like you did when she was younger.
Remember when you were in your 20s? It can be a tough time. With so many life transitions occurring in this decade, many young women experience anxiety and/or depression as a result. I’ve created this list as a guide to assist mothers in helping their 20-something daughters struggling through this time.
To help your daughter:
If you believe your daughter may be experiencing anxiety or depression, please feel free to have her contact me to arrange for a therapy session.
Have you ever noticed that simply reading another person’s story about a struggle can make you feel better about your own personal challenges? Maybe it has to do with the camaraderie that comes from knowing you’re not alone or the chance to learn better coping mechanisms by seeing how others handled the situation. Whatever the reason, I believe it’s why blogs have exploded in popularity over the past decade. We all like to know we aren’t alone and that our problems (hopefully) aren’t as big as we make them out to be.
Women in their 20s have a lot on their plate. From college to starting their careers to getting married and settling down, this decade is full of change and possible triggers for anxiety. I’ve put together a list of my favorite blogs for women in their 20s that will help them laugh, cope, and in some cases, just feel a bit less alone.
With the motto of ‘College is hard. We make it easier!’, HerCampus attempts to do just that with articles on fashion, celebrity news, job board, relationship advice, and more. Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, and always helpful, HerCampus is the go-to blog for collegiate women trying to cope with campus life.
With everything from workout to fashion tips, travel to career and finance, The Everygirl is for the 20-something who’s ready to shake things up and get the most out of this stage of life. There are many great articles on mental health and wellness on this site and most women can find an inspirational article that can help them with their own struggles.
The Blissful Mind
The Blissful Mind is an online guide to help find calm in daily life! Joy is comprised of the little moments in our everyday lives, and it’s up to us acknowledge and appreciate them. This site encourages women to slow down, reflect, and take care of their minds, bodies, and souls. Whether you’re into mindfulness, self-care, personal growth, or intentional living, you’ll find them at your fingertips with this blog.
This is a positive online community for women (although men are always welcome!) covering the latest in beauty, fashion, lifestyle, female empowerment, culture, relationships, friendship, careers, and issues that matter most to young women’s lives. A platform for writers and artists to create and share, HelloGiggles welcomes reader contributions and publishes them daily. HelloGiggles was founded by Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer, and Sophia Rossi in 2011 as a place on the Internet to inspire a smile.
The Confused Millennial
The Confused Millennial is a community for other confused millennials to share, connect, learn, and grow together. Readers are encouraged to reach out, request a post, or ask anything. The goal with TCM is to help other confused millennials navigate the “adult world” (finance, career, business) while still captivating what fuels the soul (Netflix, traveling, and awesome lifestyle products. TCM is designed to help you live a balanced, purposeful, and fulfilling life.
When Life Gives You Rubi
Established in 2014 for soon to be upperclassmen collegiates, struggling post grads and confused twenty somethings, When Life Gives You Rubi is a fast growing community of women from all over the world in their most defining years. Both the writer and readers share witty, embarrassing and encouraging snippets of their everyday life to let others know that they aren’t the only ones trying to figure everything out.
These are just a few of my favorite, go-to blogs that I think you will enjoy reading. In a crazy, hectic, 20-something world, blogs are a great resource to let you know that you are not alone in this life and we are all going through similar experiences together.
If you question if you are experiencing anxiety or depression, please contact me and we can arrange for a therapy session.
Finding Your Tribe
The transition from your teen years and through your twenties is abundant with lifestyle changes. As I’ve discussed in previous posts, you launch from the home you were raised in, to your own home with possible roommates. You may change cities or even countries. You change schools, jobs and careers. You change partners. So it’s only natural that you change some of your friends as well.
It can be difficult to accept that some of the friendships you developed throughout childhood and adolescence may no longer be a fit for you any longer. Now that you’re transitioning into adulthood, you may find that your previous mutual interests with the friends you developed early in life have diverged. Feeling as if we are losing our primary support system can create a mix of emotions including loneliness and anxiety.
It’s my wholehearted belief that as we move through life we are conscious of creating what I refer to as “our tribe.” Our tribe is the group of women we surround ourselves with along our journey to help us find our way. Sure, some of these women will be ones you’ve known for years and others are ones that will enter your path along the way. And everyone’s tribe will look a little different depending on your personality. However, I’ve found that successful tribes usually consist of the following core members:
The Bestie: Your bestie is the one you can turn to about almost anything. She has your best interests at heart and will always lend a hand whether you need someone to pick up groceries for you or just listen for hours about your latest breakup. She’s seen you with hiccup sobs while snot bubbles out of your nose and she will still offer you a Kleenex, a drink, or just someone to sit with in silence.
The Nurturer: This is the friend who is like a mom. She could be your mom or an aunt or someone near your own age. She’s the one who takes care of everyone and makes sure you have a shoulder to cry. The one who can see the expression on your face, puts out her arms and embraces you so you can have a good cry while she rubs your back. When you’re really down and out, she makes you eat and shower and will even help you clean up your place.
The Party Girls: These are the friends you can go out with and have a good time. They are the ones you turn to when you need a break or when you want to celebrate something big like getting that big job offer. They are the ones who call you after a breakup or failed presentation and tell you to pick yourself up, put on the little black dress, and dance the night away. They are the ones who are willing to tell their partners, “Sorry. Not tonight. It’s ladies night and you’re not invited.”
Of course, there are plenty of others who can make up a tribe, and how large your tribe is depends on your personality (introverts tend to have smaller, closer-knit tribes than extroverts), your lifestyle, and external circumstances. Here are a few of the ‘usual suspects’ that often show up in extended tribes: The Comedian (always available to make you laugh), The Eternal Optimist (she believes unicorns exist and will always see the glass as half full), The Realist (she’ll tell it to you straight whether you want to hear it or not), The Always (the one you’ve known the longest), The Colleague (everyone needs a partner in crime at the office), The Mentor (she selflessly shares knowledge to help you succeed), The Wise Woman (she’s been through the fire and can always give you direction) and The Therapist (the one who helps you work things out along the way).
Anxiety can occur when a young woman experiences a huge shift in her tribe (this often happens when she relocates for college or her career). However, what we all must realize is that life is not meant to stay static. As your life evolves, your tribe will take on new members and others will fade away. The important thing is to keep close ties with at least a few core members of your tribe and realize that your changing tribe means you are growing toward the life you truly deserve.
If you question if you are experiencing anxiety or depression, please contact me and we can arrange for a therapy session.
Every mom knows the joy and sorrow of sending her daughter off to college. Even if college happens to be located in the same city, it’s still a transition that means your daughter isn’t a little girl any longer. All moms want their daughters to start out on the road to life with hope and happiness, but sometimes that’s not the way it works out. And what’s even more unfortunate is that moms often don’t even realize their daughters are struggling because the signs are not always easy to recognize.
For all those moms who have college-aged girls, here is a list of seven signs that your daughter may be struggling.
Changes in Sleep Patterns, Appetite, Hygiene
If your daughter still lives at home or you see her often, you may notice a change in her sleeping patterns, appetite, or hygiene. She may sleep all day or be up all night. She could stop eating meals or eat much more than usual (usually junk food). She may stop putting on makeup or doing her hair in the morning. If these changes go on for more than a few weeks, it’s probably a good idea to ask her what’s going on.
It’s not unusual for any college student to have some irritable moments as they struggle with loads of schoolwork, lack of sleep, and stress. However, if your daughter seems to be much more snappish than usual and can’t seem to relax, this could be a sign of anxiety. Try not to react to her irritability with anger (or more irritability) and instead ask if there is something she’d like to talk about.
Difficult Focusing or Making Decisions
Has your daughter mentioned she’s having trouble studying? When you ask her a question does she seem to have trouble making a decision? These are both signs that her thinking skills could be clouded by excessive worry or anxiety.
Does your daughter seem to be unable to sit still? Does she get up to go somewhere or do something, then stop midway through? Restlessness can be a sign of anxiety or depression. It may be more difficult to spot this one if you don’t see your daughter often, but you may be able to pick up hints in the way she sounds on the phone.
Isolation and Loss of Interest
Is your daughter staying home while all her friends are going out to concerts, parties, or events? Does she seem uninterested in books, movies, or hobbies that she usually loves? If she’s isolating herself or displaying a lack of interest in things that used to make her happy, it could be a sign of depression.
Change in Relationships
Has your daughter abruptly broken up with a boyfriend or formed a completely new group of friends? Though some changes in relationships are inevitable when she goes off to college, sudden or drastic changes could be the sign of an inner struggle to find peace.
Change in Performance
Has your daughter gone from an A student to a C student? Is her normally clean room now a disaster area? If you’ve noticed a marked change in performance in your daughter’s school work, extracurricular activities, or other areas of her life, this could be a warning sign.
If you spot one or more of these red flags, the first thing you should do is try to talk to your daughter. Without being accusing or getting upset, gently inquire if everything is going okay or if there’s something she’d like to talk about. Don’t push if she resists confiding in you. If you really get concerned, you can suggest she talk to a school counselor or a therapist and that you’ll set up the appointment for her.
Transitioning to college is a big change for your daughter and it’s not unusual for her to experience some anxiety as she eases into her new life. However, spotting warning signs before they become full-blown emergencies is important so that you can get her help when she truly needs it.
If you question if your daughter is experiencing anxiety or depression, please have her contact me and we can arrange for a therapy session.
Jessica is a mental health therapist who specializes in helping women free themselves from anxiety, depression, and other stress-related conditions. She is honored to witness the experiences of her clients and work with them toward meaningful lives.