Being a Mentally Healthy Millennial
By Prisca Michael ~ Project Coordinator at Empower on 26 May 2020Health & Wellness
I believe we are more aware of mental health in our generation than ever before, It could be that we need it more or we are more interested in having a wholistic happy life. As millennials, we are in our 20s a time of discovering and building and yet we are bombarded with countless inspiration stories of how people our age or even half our age have made it in life, we are constantly presented with comparison criteria in form of #goals from #relationshipgoals #friendshipgoals #lifegoals #vacationgoals and if you decide to compare your life, now more than ever you can easily think your life sucks.
Usually in your 20s, you have recently graduated and you are either starting your career, a business or still searching for a job. You are somewhere but not there yet and you feel like there is still a lot to be done for you to achieve your dreams, at least that is how I feel. But in this Information Age, you have unlimited information, access to bits of people’s life all over the world through social media without forgetting millions of motivational quotes and video about finding your purpose, working on your passion and not giving up and it can be overwhelming sometimes. No wonder a survey by the American Psychiatry Association found that millennials are the most anxious generation.
I have personally battled with stress, anxiety, imposter syndrome and there are times I feel too overwhelmed to face life. Though not an expert on mental health here are few ways that have helped me stay sane in this often-crazy world;
Manage your expectations of yourself and others
I learnt the hard way that my 100% can be someone else’s 40% or 500% so when someone says, “I will give my all” it may not look like how I picture it in my head. Yes, you should have high standards for yourself and others but that does not mean that they will be met all the time. Be open to ask questions to get clarity on the level of commitment of others and have grace on yourself on days you are not performing your best.
Understand you will not always be happy
Sometimes life happens and people disappoint you, things don’t go your way and every ounce in you will get angry or sad. It is unrealistic to think that moments of being sad or lonely mean your whole life is like that. You cannot be happy always and not being happy momentary does not mean your while life is sad.
Do not compare yourself to others, seriously do not do it
I know you have heard this so many times to the point you are ignoring the message. With social media it is easy to compare ourselves to others even subconsciously as we are scrolling. Be aware of your thoughts and unfollow anyone who makes you think your life is bad when you look at their posts, I did that sometime back and I have never felt better. Two simple tricks that helped me with comparison;
One, as soon as you catch yourself comparing your life to others, quickly mention five things you love about your life. It is even effective if they are related with what you are comparing.
Two, when you are constantly comparing your success to someone else do a bit of research about their line of work, how they became successful and how many years it took them to be where they are. You will realize it took them a long time and hard work; hence you are not lacking, you need more time.
Cultivate meaningful relationships
You need friends to have fun, to talk to and to cry with if need be. It is important in this online era to be connected with people in real life. Make sure you can laugh till it hurts when you are with your friends, it helps.
Develop a let out for whenever you are feeling down.
I started writing as a way of expressing my feelings when I felt overwhelmed, some people paint, sing, exercise or even cry. You need a plan before life happens. Explore with different activities and decide which one helps to lift your spirit, then do more of that.
Find help if needed.
If you think you are at a brink of breakdown and your mental health is at risk, do not shy away from seeking professional help. It is 2020, there is no shame in having a therapist.
Remember to slow down, rest and take care of your mental health because we are in era of pressure from everywhere, be kinder to yourself.
By Prisca Michael ~ Project Coordinator at Empower