Millennials, who are those born between 1981 and 1996, are burned out, lonely, and depressed. They’re also referred to as the “anxious generation.” And, 21 percent have seen or are currently seeing a counselor or therapist -- compared to just 15 percent of Gen X-ers and 8 percent of Baby Boomers.
Why is this the case for this generation?
While Millennials are facing greater financial difficulties than previous hours. Wages are stagnant and they’re longer hours. As such, they may not have the time or financial means to get help.
Additionally, thanks primarily to social media, they live in a fast-paced and competitive world. Speaking of social media, spending too much time on these platforms can cause unhappiness, anxiety, isolation, and poor self-esteem. It can even affect your sleep and memory.
There is a silver lining, however. Millennials are transparent about mental health issues and are helping to remove the stigma around therapy. Despite this Millenials are still facing a mental crisis that shouldn’t be ignored. But, until we have more solutions, there are simple ways that Millennials can take care of themselves. Will these techniques solve everything? Of course not. But, at least it’s a start -- even if it’s a slight improvement for someone’s mental health
1. Find ways to cope with depression.
This varies from person to person. For some, they may require medication or speaking with a therapist. But, there are also affordable and natural ways to cope with these feelings, such as:
Creating and sticking to a daily routine.
Being wary of rumination.
Taking care of your physical health -- getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising.
Visualizing happy memories.
Practicing mindfulness and gratitude.
Doing things that you enjoy, like spending time with friends, going to the movies, or making time for a hobby.
Challenging negative self-talk.
2. The power of “no.”
“Growing up, many people were taught that the use of the word ‘no’ had to be followed by a long explanation or excuse,” writes Elyse Fox, founder of Sad Girls Club, on Healthline. “I’ve learned that ‘no’ is a complete sentence and helps build boundaries in relationships.”
“Using the power of ‘no’ can help prevent you from burning out throughout the week,” explains Elyse. “You may need to say ‘no’ if you’re feeling overloaded at work or in your relationships.”
Before making a commitment, Elyse that you ask yourself “if that commitment is benefiting or subtracting from my mental health. Ultimately, it’s important to know and define your limitations.”
3. Get off social media and make real-life connections.
You don’t necessarily quit social media permanently. But, you should at least limit the time you spend on social media. You can do this by:
Turning off social media notifications on your phone. You should also consider uninstalling social media apps altogether.
Creating passwords that are harder to remember so that you can’t easily login.
Scheduling specific times to check your social media accounts.
Setting time limits on how long you’ll be on social media.
Becoming more present with your real-world activities. For example, when spending time with family or friends, give them all of your attention by not looking at your social media channels on your phone.
You should then use that extra time to develop or strengthen your real-life connections. If you don’t feel that you have family or close friends, you can meet new people by volunteering, taking classes, or just speaking to strangers during your commute.
4. Reel yourself back to the present.
Anxiety pulls you away from the present and makes you worry about the future. When you feel this way, ask yourself if you’re safe and what do you need to do right at this moment. Breathing exercises, positive self-talk, and focusing on something else like a funny video or goal-oriented activity can keep you in the present.
5. Look into debt consolidation or financial planning programs.
If you’re concerned about your financial situation, then look into debt consolidation or speak with a financial advisor. You should also check out 51 Good, Better, Best Money Tips from Millenial Money.
6. Don’t wait to seek help.
Finally, if you are struggling with your mental health, don’t neglect it. Find a therapist before it gets worse. If money is preventing you from doing this, there are plenty of free or low-cost options including:
Community mental health centers
Apps like Talksapce or telehealth
Also, check to see if there are therapists you accept your insurance or find if your work has an employee assistance program. Even if you have to pay-out-of-pocket, you still may be able to negotiate the price.