Millennials are known as the slow moving, self-entitled, need-to-find-themselves generation who are so needy it prevents us from getting off our arses and working harder. Apparently we think we are special because growing up, our baby boomer parents kept telling us how wonderful we are. We apparently spend most of our time online or on some form of social media because we need instant gratification and recognition, and how many followers and likes we get are woven in tightly to our self-esteem. But Millennials were sold an image of what their lives would be like and unfortunately for most of us that image has to become a reality because we are a confused ridden bunch that seems to be under a lot more pressure than previous generations, despite being told we could do what we wanted, whenever we wanted. In this pressure filled environment it’s no wonder that the anxiety and depression levels among this generation are quite high. We are one of the most stressed out generations.
Now all the advice out there is going to probably tell you to change your lifestyle, do yoga and reduce time with technology. And that’s great and all, but it does not account for the fact that us Gen Y’s were practically born with a smart phone in our hands and probably rely on technology for even the most basic of things and the concept of doing something without it is sort of unknown to us. So I am offering a most realistic way to relax as a high strung millennial, tried and tested by myself, which really means fuck all other than I think they work, but they may not work for you. My ways of calming down are geared towards the people who don’t understand how to do anything without an instant connection to the internet. My advice also goes against everything else out there, but I think it is a much more realistic way for the generation who has serious FOMO and wants everything NOW to still feel plugged into the noisy world around while switching off a bit and learning to relax.
Alright, this seems like a stupid bit of advice but trust me. Most would argue that this type of TV watching is one of the reasons we are so anxious and wound up, and I don’t dispute that, however if you are careful with what you binge on then it may be of help. After a long day the last thing you should be doing is settling in to watch a heavy drama or documentary. You need to keep it light to distract yourself. Choose a comedy with short episodes of 20-30 mins and watch a few, not an entire series. You will get your fill of binging while not becoming so invested that you need to stay up all night to finish the series, your mood will be naturally lifted because laughter does that to you and watching shorter episodes means you won’t waste all of your free time watching TV.
Adult colouring books are not just a hip trend, they are actually proven to calm and relax people. Now these can be expensive but there are tons of free printable colouring sheets on the internet that you can choose from and for those of you who really can’t live without a phone, there are even apps that let you colour in a wide selection of swirly patterns and mandalas. Just make sure you have enough of a colour selection or you will end up like my sister who gets into a panic because she doesn’t have enough of a selection of colours.
Read a fucking Book:
Now it’s time to get a bit extreme, reading something other than a Buzzfeed article. I know it sounds like madness doesn’t it? You don’t even have to buy a physical book if you don’t want to, if eBooks are your thing go for it, just make sure that you are reading something longer than 1000 words and that doesn’t lead you onto an article on what Kim Kardashian’s bum is saying today. There are loads to choose from believe it or not a world of knowledge awaits. Try to pick something non-fiction if you really don’t think that you can relax enough to enjoy a fictional piece. If there is a topic that you have found of interest on social media, why not look for a book on the topic and actually learn something more rather than just taking the snippet of information you have seen at face value. You can escape a little bit from the world around you and learn something in the process. It’s also the most tried and tested way of falling to sleep, which I’m pretty sure this generation has problems with, even for those of you who aren’t willing to put down your phone when you can’t sleep, try downloaded an eBook app.
This is a much more advanced form of destressing and for most millennials the thought of being cut off can send you into orbit. Honestly though it is worth it. Start small, leave your phone/tablet/laptop in another room while you cook or clean then try taking a break from social media starting by turning off your notifications and eventually temporarily deleting your accounts. Don’t worry, it won’t be forever and you will honestly feel the better for it. You can find something to do that doesn’t involve having to update your Instagram or sending a tweet about it.
This is a brilliant way of trying to sort out all the shit in your head. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Use the same process as you would have in school, finding links between different thoughts until to reach some sort of conclusion. Even if it doesn’t amount to anything at all, just decluttering your thoughts will be of benefit to you. Just get yourself some coloured pens and start writing down whatever is in your head, from your weird and random ideas to anything that is bothering you at work or with friends. Check out this article by Red and Honey that gives a breakdown of how to use mind mapping to declutter your mind and destress http://redandhoney.com/use-mind-mapping-help-declutter-brain/.