I don’t always like talk about it but my mental health is something that I am cognizant of on a daily basis. I want to make sure that I’m taking the necessary steps to look after myself and my well being.
I think that all too often millennials are criticized in the media, and in life, for being so open about mental health struggles. In reality, I don’t think we’re the first generation to have struggles with mental health, I just think that we’re the first generation to be open and honest about it.
I’m 99% positive that my father struggles with severe anxiety and 100% positive that he never has, nor will he ever, admit to that. It’s just not something that his generation does. Nevertheless, I digress.
Some days, I get lucky and there’s not a lot going on. Those are the days when I find the most calm. Those are the days when I am most alright with the world around me. I don’t have to put on a happy face, I don’t have to pretend with anyone, I can just be me. I appreciate those days.
And please don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m miserable. I’m not. I could be happier though. Because of this, it just gets exhausting trying to be happy-go-lucky for people. I know they don’t want to see me actual mood, so I spend a lot of my time wearing a mask.
Recently I saw a video of a reporter asking Meghan Markle ‘are you okay? Meghan, stunned at the reporter said ‘Not many people actually ask me that’. While I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be a member of the British Royal Family, seeing her answer actually broke my heart a little bit because I know there are so many people in the world who are trying to hide their struggle and put on that mask to not be a burden to those around them.
It is so important that we find places and spaces where we can be honest, both with ourselves and with other humans. That we can find a common ground and admit that not everything is okay all of the time and that is okay.
Millennials are keenly aware of our identity, where we fit into society and the struggles that come with that. I don’t think that makes us whiners like society paints us out to be. Personally, I think that makes us stronger. If you’re willing to acknowledge your demons, you’re more likely to face them head on.
How am I? I’m doing okay today. It’s one of those good days where there aren’t many people around and there isn’t a ton going on. I don’t have to put on the mask, I can just be. I’ve been laying pretty low this week to try and rest/get healthy again, so I think another low-key day will be good for me. My thoughts are a little sporadic, but I am hanging in there.
It’s important to remember to be good to yourself. Remember to treat yourself. Remember to look after yourself. Self-care is about doing things to look after yourself long-term. It isn’t about instant or short-term gratification.
Whatever generation you’re a part of, be good to yourself today, and every day. You’re worth it and your well being depends on it.