anxious young adults

Independent Living for Anxious Young Adults

One reason that young adults are taking longer to reach adult milestones is the level of anxiety they experience around doing new things, especially things they perceive as hard or beyond their abilities. As rates of anxiety have skyrocketed, so have rates of risk aversion. Young adults have widened the net of things outside of their comfort zone to include many traditional adult roles and responsibilities. Independent living programs for anxious young adults provide structure and support as they begin to navigate independence.

Anxiety Around Independent Living

Growing up, many parents take care of household responsibilities without teaching children how to contribute. Their generation has been sheltered by spending more time indoors, less time on their own, and more time turning to Google for answers for their questions instead of relying on their experiences. Many young adults struggle with expecting their parents to continue to support them and make decisions for them after they’ve graduated high school. Parents are often eager to do whatever they can to help their child, especially when they recognize how their anxiety has gotten in the way of them confidently pursuing their goals. However, this can make it difficult for young adults to establish independence.

The following tasks may be too overwhelming or seem out-of-reach for anxious young adult:

  • Moving out of their parent’s house
  • Attending postsecondary education
  • Finding a job
  • Working with others
  • Forming intimate relationships with others outside the family
  • Cooking and cleaning 
  • Paying bills

The Power of Mentorship

Staff at independent living programs understand all too well the “fear of adulting” that many young adults face. The residential staff at Journey Home Young Adult play a significant role in guiding young adults through establishing a productive routine and developing healthier habits. Their role is to empower people to find personal motivation for making these lifestyle changes and taking on more responsibility, rather than to tell them what to do and enforce rules. Through a mentor dynamic, they can relate to the students on a more personal level by reassuring them that their fears are valid, but that they are capable of developing the skills to manage what may feel like impossible tasks for them. 

Transition Programs Teach Interdependence

The reality is that most independent adults are not fully self-sufficient. While young adults are taught to value taking care of themselves and not needing others for emotional support, some people internalize this as that they are not supposed to ask for help and end up feeling more isolated from others. 

In a transition program, many young adults realize that one of the reasons they have struggled to launch into independence is that they have not considered what interdependence might look like. The aim is to connect emotionally with others in a meaningful way while setting boundaries. Living in a home-like environment with other girls and assigned female at birth that working on similar independent living goals helps teens develop a strong support system outside of their nuclear family. 

Programs, like Journey Home Young Adult, help teens overcome their anxiety about independence by: 

  • Integrating weekly therapy with professional licensed therapists
  • Assisting students in setting goals, and then helping track and achieve them
  • Helping them navigate college courses or vocational options
  • Helping them find and maintain part or full-time work
  • Teaching them practical life skills associated with finances and independent living
  • Assisting students in setting relevant interpersonal or other life goals, and then tracking and achieving them.

Journey Home Young Adult Can Help 

Journey Home Young Adult is a transitional living program for teens ages 18-23 struggling with emotional, behavioral, and mental health disorders that have affected their academic and career goals. Journey Home creates an environment conducive to healing where teens can learn healthy coping skills while becoming more well-equipped to launch into adulthood. Students are encouraged to take college classes and receive additional academic support from mentors to help them stay on track and manage their stress.

If you think an independent living may be a positive next step for your anxious young adults, contact us at 801-444-0794.

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