Self-Care - Millennial Edition
How to survive when it always feels like the world is ending.
Let's be real. Lately, every day feels like part II of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire." I'm serious. Take a look:
Donald Trump, paris agreement/ climate change, please impeach him/ Portland stabbings, London Bridge/ We're all going to drown in sewage
It can be hard to process or even enjoy life when you're staring your mortality in the face on a daily basis, and as millennials, with the world in our palms, this is what we often do.
Millennials are unique in that how we've grown up, and the world we've grown up in, is evolving faster that it ever has. That means how we take care of ourselves has to evolve too. Here are some tools for millennial self-care:
Turn off your phone once in a while.
I started turning my phone off on the weekends while I was working hard on a writing project, and it did wonders. By Sunday morning, the melancholy haze over my brain was gone and my ideas started to flow more freely. Disconnecting is essential. It's like leaving the smog of the city for the fresh mountain air—you're unaware of how the gunk weighs on you until it's gone. Try it just for an hour here or there while you're busy with something else, so that you can be wholly in the moment.
Surround yourself with positive people.
And kick the negative nellys to the curb. My friends and I ho and hum about all the crap that's going on, but they are some of the most supportive people I know. Pick good people who remind you that, at its core, the world is a beautiful place full of love and laughter. Get rid of the ones who make you doubt yourself and the ones who drag you into their negativity.
Do yoga. Be mindful. I know millennials don't have ownership of these things, but it feels like they've laid broad strokes over our generation. The world is crazy. Take time to breathe and to remind yourself that our control lies in ourselves and the positive interactions we create with others.
This may be a personal thing, but when the world feels like it might erupt into a nuclear war at any minute, I don't have a whole lot of interest in spending my last days on Earth behind some desk at a job that I hate. I'd rather write until my fingers fall off and see the world before it gets blasted to smithereens. Don't settle. Go for it. Go big. Do what you were put on this earth to do.
Get a hobby.
Get a hobby that's yours. It's fun to do things with other people, but have something that belongs exclusively to you. The me time will teach you a lot about yourself. I promise. Living on my own and writing for three months taught me more about myself than I'd learned in the past five years.
Balance your diet.
This is key for me, because I know [sugar + my anxiety = FREAK OUT]. You don't have to go vegan or gluten free or eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but you should try to eat healthy-ish most of the time. Find out what that means for you and run with it, because then you'll feel a hell of a lot less guilty for eating that entire pizza by yourself every once in a while.
Do you (again).
Find out what helps you recharge. What helps you feel relaxed? Reading, happy hour with your friends after work, golfing, running, painting, ten-hour netflix binges? Whatever it is that helps you wake up in the morning in a good place, do that. Do it often. Love this life as hard as you can.
We're adapters. We grew up in computer labs full of desktop computers and now we have computers in our hands. This world is changing faster than I think any of us can truly comprehend. Sometimes, we need to take a step back, shut off the world, and just be.