Stop what your doing right now and think for a second; what are you stressed about? Work? School? Finances? Relationships? Most young adults stress daily over trivial matters, this isn’t something new or something weird. Millennials are even being dubbed as the “stress generation”. According to an article in the Huffington Post, 52% of Millennials are saying that their stress increases each year and more than 70% are saying they don’t get enough sleep. Both factors are detrimental to the success and growth of the economy and to each person individually.
We could blame corporate America for the stress they bring upon their employees; long hour work days, little to no lunch break, and nearly unattainable deadlines. We could also credit this stressed-out generation to higher education; unachievable expectations, the never-ending debt accrual, and no preparation for real life upon graduation. Or we could finally blame all this stress on social media; the longing desire to be like your old college roommate who just posted a picture of his newly bought home on Instagram...and he's only 25.
Stress isn’t a new feeling or a new concept, even Generation X is catching up by feeling stressed out as well. The difference between Millennials and every other generation is that we don’t know when to say “No”. “No” I can’t go the Christmas party because I can’t afford it. “No” I can’t hang out tonight because I have a mid-term to study for. “No” I can’t purchase a new vehicle because I’m up to my eyeballs in student loans. “No” I can’t buy that new Tarte eyeshadow pallet that my favorite makeup blogger is “in love with” because I can’t afford it.
Stress comes from setting unachievable goals and standards and then getting frustrated when you can’t reach them. In order to relieve the stress and learn to love your life here are a few tips that you should start implementing into your daily habits:
- Learn to say “No”. This is so important, yet so hard to do. I literally feel like the worst friend when I always say “No, I can’t hang out, I have homework to do”. The guilt covers me up like a sticky goo and I just feel horrible about myself. At which point I cave in and tell my friends that I can hang out. The end result is always stress and frustration because I now have 1. Spent money I didn’t have and 2. Either turned my homework in late or didn’t turn it in at all, resulting in a bad grade. I cannot emphasize enough how important is it to learn to say “no” to things that bring stress in your life. Try it on something small, like saying “no” to buying a coffee when you could just make one at home. It will become easier and you will learn to save money and learn how to be in control of your own life, which ends up with little to no stress.
- Surround Yourself With Encouraging people. Going back to my example of feeling bad about not hanging out with your friends, if someone would rather you put off school and chill with them instead of rescheduling and so you could do your homework, they are a bad friend and you don’t need them in your life. Believe it or not, there are people out there who pretend to care about you but really don’t. There are people that you consider your friend when they really aren’t. Being bound to these chains of "friendships" really puts a strain on your life and it truly sucks the energy out of you. You need to evaluate your circle of people and see who makes you a better person and who encourages you. Self-doubt and self-disappointment are directly related to stress.
- 3.Find an Outlet. Exercise is an amazing stress reliever. Whether it’s yoga, running outside, kickboxing, or crossfit, anything physical will help combat the stress in your life. You will feel better about yourself because you are taking care of your body and your mind. Take 30 minutes to an hour a day to think about nothing else but being physical. Yoga is the best stress reliever because it incorporates meditation which is a beautiful way to detox your body and mind.
While I recommend physical activity as an outlet, it’s not pertinent. If you really enjoy dancing or cooking or painting that works just as well. Immerse yourself in something you love doing, something that is therapeutic to you and clears your mind, mediate on the activity you are doing, relieve your stress.
Millennials, we are “too blessed to be stressed”, there is no reason for us to bring all this turmoil into our lives and ruin our bodies and our health. Going into the New Year I encourage everyone, not just millennials, to detoxify their life and de-stress their minds. It's not going to happen overnight, but taking the first step is the hardest part. Break those chains of toxic friendships and unhealthy habits. Make the New Year a New You.