By Brittany Newland
It’s no surprise today that the younger generation, millennials in particular, are more aware of mental health issues. You could even call this the “Millennial Mental Health Crisis.” Why is it an issue all of a sudden? Are we more aware because of all the information out there now? Is society finally talking about it? Is this a bad thing?
Millennials have been called the “burnout generation.” This is thought to be due to millennials suffering from a combination of low-level anxiety, fatigue and dread caused by a feeling that they should always be working. Luckily, millennials are learning about mental health at an earlier age. It’s out in the open on social media, celebrities are talking about it, and it’s becoming so mainstream that it has actually become a “normal” part of the millennial culture.
So how can we try to help? Here are seven mental health strategies we can start working on today.
1. FOCUS ON SELF-CARE
Self-care doesn’t mean spending a long day at the bar getting drunk with your friends. Self-care is helping you take care of yourself, staying fi t, healthy and energized—body, mind and spirit. Self-care could be developing a regular sleep routine, creating a healthy diet, taking lunch breaks, going for walks, any sort of physical fitness, time management, relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation, or even a bubble bath.
2. BETTER STRESS MANAGEMENT
Managing stress is key to a healthy mind and good physical health, as well. Relaxation techniques are especially important here. Yoga, meditation, tai chi and regular exercise are all ways you can stay feeling mentally sharp and ready for anything the day may bring.
3. SEEK HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT
You should never feel like you have to do everything yourself. It’s always OK to ask for help. When you have to be in charge of everything, all the weight is on your shoulders. Anything could be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Ask for help no matter what the issue. You’ll feel so much better and have more energy to tackle the next thing.
4. STRENGTHEN YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK
Get rid of toxic relationships and find people you can connect with through support. You need groups of people that value you and that you can find value in, as well. We all need support from our loved ones and friends. Knowing that you are not in this world alone is imperative to maintaining good mental health.
A great way to get things off of your mind and chest is to get it out on paper. Writing things down and saying it out loud makes you realize a lot more than scrambled thoughts inside your head. You will realize how much is really going on and will now be able to make space for other things, form strategies to answer problems and accomplish goals. Journaling answers questions you didn’t even know you had.
6. SAYING NO
Don’t over-commit yourself, or you will be stressed out beyond measure. It’s OK to say no to plans or to people. This is healthy. Never saying no is not healthy. You can’t do it all; you have to pick and choose where you want to share your energy. When you start saying no to the wrong things and start saying yes to the right things, you’ll wish you said no a lot sooner.
7. GRATITUDE LIST
Make a list of all of the things you are grateful for. When you focus on the positive, the more positive you will attract. We are all grateful for something in life. Once you start making a list, you will realize how much is actually going right in your world, and can start channeling your positivity in the right direction more and more as you become what you are attracted to. Make a list when you wake up or go to bed. This is the quickest way you can change your life for the better.