Millennial Mental Health

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.

There are days…

There are days when I struggle to look at myself in the mirror.

There are days when I don’t believe that I’m worthy of anything I have in this life.

There are days when I just don’t feel capable of basic human function. Everything seems too difficult and too complicated for me to even comprehend.

There are days when I wonder what I did wrong to wind up this… scared, selfish and stupid.

There are days when I question everything.

Oh, there are days.

There are days when everything bothers me. People chewing. Rain falling. Wind gusting. It’s all annoying and there’s nothing I can do but just see it through.

There are days when it’s hard to zip my lips and to stay out of it.

There are days when I want to give up, run away, leave it all behind.

There are days when I am so out of touch with myself that I look back and I think ‘who the fuck was that person?’

Oh there are days.

The most important thing to remember through all of this? That without the bad days we cannot appreciate the good. That the good people in our lives, they’ll be there whether we’re in a good mood or a bad. Whether we’re easy to get along with or we couldn’t be trying harder to push them away.

We need to remember that these bad days remind us that we’re human. That struggle is real and that we shouldn’t diminish the value of it when it comes. Because struggle teaches us. It makes us stronger. It shows us what we’re truly capable.

There are days when it feels a though the world is crashing down around me. But those days, as with all things in life, they too shall pass…

Heightened Anxiety

Things just feel off today. Way off. I can’t put my finger on what it is. It’s just… wrong. I don’t want to go anywhere. I don’t want to do anything. I’m having a hard time talking to people. I’m just struggling. I don’t know what’s causing it today above any other day.

I’ve been hiding in my bedroom for the past four hours and I really don’t know that I can or want to leave it today. I just don’t know how to get past this right now.

May your comeback be stronger than your setback.

Simple. Concise. Powerful.

I’m not sure who the first person was to say this quote, but it was exactly what I needed to hear today. I’ve had a rough day. Well, if I really want to sell myself a pity party, I’ve had a rough year. Nevertheless, I digress.

As I sat across the table from a complete stranger today and listened to his sage wisdom of life, love and the pursuit of happiness, these words struck me.

‘May your comeback stronger than your setback,’ he said. ‘No one can escape setbacks in life. Even the most privileged, wealthiest, well off of individuals still have setbacks. One of the best things you can do for yourself is use that setback as a setup for one hell of a comeback.’

My god, one hell of a comeback it’s going to be. I need to keep fighting. And… I really need to stop feeling sorry for myself. Truth be told, it’s a pretty big flaw of mine that, almost at the snap of my fingers, I can go from a happy-go-lucky state of being to pretty down-and-out. And it’s once I hit that down-and-out state of being that I really stop fighting for my comeback.

I need a comeback. I deserve a comeback. I’m smart enough, talented enough and I can do this. I can and will do this.

At the end of the day,

all you can really do is put your best foot forward and your true self out there. If people don’t like that, that’s their loss. You are who you are for a reason and you should be damn proud of that. Don’t ever feel ashamed for who you are.

Enough with this ‘I don’t measure up’ talk. Enough with ‘I’m just not good enough’. It’s time that you looked yourself in the mirror and reminded yourself just how amazing you are. Because you are. Ignore the noise and focus on you.

If someone doesn’t want you, that’s a reflection of them, not of you. Your tribe is out there, and let me promise you this… they will appreciate you for exactly who you are and what you bring. Whether it be a job, a relationship, a friendship or a family, you deserve the very best and I don’t want you to ever settle for less.

The world you want is out there and it can be won. Anyone who tries to keep you from that doesn’t belong in your life and doesn’t deserve your time.

#WorldMentalHealthDay

You are good enough. You are strong enough.

You are worthy, beautiful and capable. You can and will defeat your demons and you will move those mountains that have been holding you back. So care.

Care about life. Care about everything and everyone and stop telling yourself to not. Most importantly, care about yourself.

Give a damn. Make sure that you know that you matter. Look after yourself. Believe in yourself. Say good things about yourself. Why? Because maybe if you hear it enough, you’ll stop doubting it. Wouldn’t it be nice to stop second-guessing yourself? Yeah, it would. So start reminding yourself of how fucking amazing you are. No more self-deprecation and no more negativity, just positivity and light.

Only you have the capability to see yourself through this darkness. While others can contribute to your happiness in small ways, no one can rescue from this sadness, anxiousness and despair but you. And trust me when I say this, you’re more than capable of rescuing yourself. So do it.

Take those small steps, E-V-E-R-Y DAY. Celebrate those small victories when they come. Your confidence depends on it. Take advantage of help when given to you because… god damn, pushing people away hasn’t ever gotten you anywhere. And exercise. Exercise every day. Because if you want to take care of your mind, you need to take care of your whole body. Rescue yourself.

You have the power within you to make serious changes in your life. Stop fighting the things you cannot control and conquer the things you can. I know you’ve got the power, you know you’ve got the power, so don’t let those voices in your head win.

Take care of yourself, please. You’re too valuable not to.

The best things about unemployment

Photo from: healthland.time.com

Switching gears from my ‘worst of unemployment’ lists, I wanted to talk about the positives that have come with unemployment. Because the pendulum still does swing, and there is still good in this world, no matter how sad I might get sometimes.

Unemployment sucks, but here are a few reasons why it has is bonuses:

Getting rid of that soul-sucking boss. Honestly, my last boss was a misogynistic overgrown frat-boy who ran an office like it was a locker-room and treated women as though the only thing we brought to the table were short skirts and an ability to fetch coffee. He didn’t think that I was qualified to fill my roll, didn’t believe that I deserved the position and made it open in the office that he really didn’t like me. Leaving him behind was an incredible gift for my psyche.

Getting rid of that soul-sucking office. My last office was the equivalent of a men’s locker room. Women were rated based on their looks, told to wear short skirts to meetings and treated as though we brought no value to the office and it was ‘a gift’ they were even letting us live in the presence of the men who worked there. Time after time after time I really didn’t want to go to work. The job itself wasn’t bad, but the people – they were so… awful. They were the type of people who made me not want to get out of bed in the morning. The type of people who would take credit for my work and then publicly (and I mean in the newspaper) shame me if something didn’t get done on time. Leaving them behind took a big burden off my shoulders and my heart. And I can honestly say, there isn’t a soul in that office that I miss.

Being able to take more time for myself. Prior to unemployment all that I did was work. All the time. Monday through Friday I was at the office from 8:30 to 6:30, sometimes 7:30 or 8:30. I worked most weekends and I never really did anything for fun. Since being unemployed, I’ve been able to do the things I’ve always wanted to do that I never got a day off for. I’ve been to the Ice Magic Festival at Lake Louise, done the air bubbles walk of Abraham Lake, hiked the largest ancient inland rainforest on earth, spent some time in Niagara Falls and Toronto, taken more than 10,000 miles worth of roadtrips and so much more that I haven’t even shared on his blog. And you know what? It’s been a dream come true.

Helping my family. As much as I like to rag on my family for the things they do to frustrate me, I’m also really grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to help them this year. Let me tell you, driving someone to the cancer clinic every day, cleaning up puke in the middle of the night, is hard for any person to face. I commend my dad for looking after my mom to the extent that he did because he really stepped up and did an incredible job, but I’m also grateful that I was able to be here and to help. Because when it’s family, you do what you can do.

It’s allowed me more time to write. To create. To build this blog. To take credit for my own writing. To say what I want to say. I know that it sounds counter-intuitive, claiming that I get credit for my writing on a blog that’s nearly anonymous (I say nearly because three people now know who I am). When I was working, I was writing all of the time for my job. I was writing things that my boss would take credit for, I was writing things that people from other companies would take credit for. I was specifically supposed to write things as though they sounded like they were coming from other people and not me. On the off chance that I did get credit for an article that I put together, I was reprimanded for not giving the article to my boss before sending it out. Here, I can say what I want, when I want. I may not have a face on this blog, but I have a person. And I value the person I get to be here… spelling mistakes in all.

It builds your strength and resilience. Rejection after rejection after rejection sucks. It sucks so hard I often break down in tears because I just don’t know what else to do. I will say though, no matter how many rejections I’ve had this year, I’ve always kept trying and I have always kept going. When it seems like it’s the easiest thing in the world to just give up, I won’t. I’m not going to give up. I’m reminded that I have the strength to get through this and I will damn well get the life I want and deserve. I know this now more than ever. Even on my bad days a piece of me still knows this deep down.

There are pros and cons to everything in this life. And for me, its a consistent fault of mine that I’m not always able to see the good. Today, though, today I wanted to remind myself of what good has come from this.


If you’e interested, my unemployment journey is detailed here >

If you’re interested, my travel diaries, tips and thoughts are detailed here >