In a recent study conducted by the American Psychological Association, Millennials (born early 1980s through the early 1990s) average a stress level of 5.4 on a scale of 10, the second highest of all generations, only slightly eclipsed by Gen X (born early 1960s through the early 1980s) with an average of 5.6 (GOOD).
An infographic put out by Acura shows that over the past five years Gen Yers’ stress levels have increased by 52 percent. The most significant stressors are money (80%), work (72%) and relationships (63%), with the economy, family responsibilities and job stability coming in close range of one another as the next group of significant stressors. Family health issues, personal health issues and housing costs were reported being less-significant stressors, although all three were still in the high 40 percent range.
In dealing with stress at work, Millennials are coping through a variety of different outlets. According to the inforgraphic, most listen to music (60%) to soothe their worries away, while others play video games or surf the Internet (44%). Reading is not as popular (38%) as toying around with technology, neither are more spiritual practices like praying (26%) or practicing yoga and meditating (15%).
It doesn’t seem like much will change for Gen Y’ers in the near future as Baby Boomers continue to put off retirement in an attempt to regain what they lost during the height of the recession, and employers continue to be stingy with wages. So in the meantime, it’s up to us to figure out a way to cope with the many difficult situations we face during these crappy economic times. One full-proof method of de-stressing is to rely on good friends for support (and to enjoy a libation or three after work). Strong relationships are the key to pulling through any kind of crisis as they provide us with the well-needed moments of happiness and stability we all crave when things go sour.
Being almost Gen-Y’ers ourselves, wanted to help our fellow peers by providing some additional ways to de-stress and detox every day to maintain a healthy lifestyle (and your sanity).
Fit in fitness every day. Getting regular physical activity works wonders in coping with stress. Give your stress to the pavement or the treadmill and let it go from your body. Staying active in winter elevates your mood and reduces stress.
Enjoy natural sunlight, especially in the winter. It can be depressing to be stuck indoors during the shortened days of winter, but a brisk walk in the sunshine can be a real mood enhancer.
Keep up your journal every day. Self-monitoring your food, fitness, and emotional feelings is an excellent way to become more aware of your triggers and behavioral patterns.
Don’t deprive yourself of enjoying the foods you love, for this only leads to bingeing. Instead, plan to eat a small portion of the desired foods, eat it slowly, and savor every mouthful.
Relax. Give yourself 15 minutes each day of peace and quiet, a time to be reflective, meditate, or simply unwind. Soaking in a hot bubble bath can help release your troubles into thin air. Breaking free from family and friends, a breath of fresh air, or escaping to a quiet room will energize and empower you.
Be good to yourself. Have a list of motivational sayings that inspire and strengthen your resolve. Use affirmations daily to help you feel good about yourself .
Eat healthfully. Proper nutrition promotes health, well-being, and rejuvenation, which in turn enhances your resilience to stress.
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