Hey guys! Enjoy today’s guest post from my friend Mila! xoxox, Kayla
I think often we let life get in the way of taking care of ourselves. With school, school debt, work, or lack of work, we have so many stressors in our lives. You can read just about anywhere that our generation might be the most and anxious and stressed out generation yet, and if I look at just my own experience, I would say that’s pretty accurate.
I’ve always struggled with anxiety and depression, and as an “adult,” I have been in a pretty constant state of stress. When I was in college, I regularly stressed myself out to the point of illness; one year in particular, I managed to get 10 long lasting colds in a single year. When I worked abroad in Japan in 2015, I managed to stress myself to the point that I was losing hair. That was not cool, and was extremely scary (which, needless to say, didn’t help my stress at all).
I wish I could say that this is just me and that I’m just a crazy person, but looking at others in this generation that is not the case. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t read someone’s status update as something along the lines of “sick again, gonna go die in bed now,” or “just having a mental breakdown, don’t mind me.”
We need to take our mental health head on first, and find ways to re-focus our minds so it doesn’t affect our physical health.
It’s important to find ways that work for you to help you manage your stress and anxiety on a day to day basis. The following are some ways that have helped me personally manage mine:
Watch a cartoon from your childhood
Take a break from adulting for a bit, and watch a cartoon. It will take you back to a simpler time, when your worries included such things like a one page book report, where the other shoe to your gymnastics barbie was, and how were you going to get out of eating refried beans that legit look like dog food. Also, watching cartoons from your childhood will allow you to appreciate them on a whole new level. Remember all those jokes you didn’t understand as a kid? You can understand them now, and you get to see all the wildly inappropriate things kids shows got away with in the 90’s. I recommend Animaniacs.
Get a pet
If you don’t already have one, do yourself a favor and get one if you can. There is nothing like a furry friend to make your life so much better. I recently got a German Shepherd puppy, and that silly goober makes my day better every day. From silly antics to sleepy cuddles, he is a joy and I don’t know what I’d do without him. PS – there are seriously so many health benefits of having a dog. Just one more reason to convince your mom/dad/boyfriend to let you have one. If you need something lower maintenance than a dog, a cat is the way to go. The mostly self reliant cat is perfect for a person who isn’t home much during the day, but needs some snuggles occasionally. If I weren’t horribly allergic to cats, I would probably have 50.
Do a marathon
Haha, you probably thought I meant running. No. I mean movies and TV. I can’t tell you how much binge-watching movies and TV shows helped save my sanity in college and in Japan. It’s nice to turn off your brain for a while and just focus on a made up universe, rather than your own life and problems. This is especially beneficial when binge-watching with a friend and pizza. Or your friend, pizza.
Okay, also get some exercise
There is a reason why getting exercise is highly recommended for stress and anxiety; it works. While I haven’t kept up with running recently, when I was in college, I made a goal to do a couch-to-5k program. It felt great. Let me rephrase that: the running was boring and difficult (for me), but every time I hit a new time target, I felt amazing. In a world where I felt like I couldn’t control anything, accomplishing those small goals reassured me that I could achieve things when I set my mind to it. Recently I am more into hiking with my dog, and getting out of the house and hiking up the foothills helps clear my mind and helps to work out my stress. As much as I prefer being indoors, getting outdoors is really great for getting you out of a fog, and I recommend all my fellow indoor dwellers find an outdoor activity you enjoy and do it at least once or twice a week.
Tea: it’s like a hug in a cup. It’s warm, calming and good for the body and soul. And there are so many different kinds. I believe there is a tea out there for everyone, even the naysayers who claim all tea is disgusting. I will sit down with you and we will figure out the tea that’s right for you. My go-to is a hot or cold green tea, no additives. But a classic cuppa british tea with cream and sugar can hit the spot as well.
Managing your mental health can be challenging and often can feel overwhelming, making the issue worse. However, finding what works for you by trying new things will be worth the peace of mind it will bring you.
Mila is a writer with a BA in English Linguistics living in beautiful Boise, ID. Her ambitions include traveling the world, studying languages, and taking pictures of her dog, Baymax.
Books to help you deal with your twenties:
- 101 Secrets For Your Twenties
- Life After College
- The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter & How To Make The Most of Them
- Adulting: How To Become A Grown Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps
- All Groan Up: Searching For Self, Faith, and A Freaking Job!
Other stuff you might like:
- Generation Y Redefines Success
- How To Be Rich in Your Twenties
- The 5 Most Valuable Lessons Grad School Taught Me
- Pursue a Lifestyle, Not a Job
- Why It’s Okay to Be Excited About the Awesome Stuff You’re Doing
- Why We Need to Get Over Our Fear of Rejection
- Don’t Wait, Be Happy Now
- The 5 Best Investments You Can Make in College
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