We’re born from 1980 to the mid 1990s. We’re struggling to find grad jobs, pay back our student loans, leave home, let alone save for sky-rocketing house deposits. We’re flooded with options on what to do with our lives, no longer is a degree a career determiner. We’re better informed, more connected than ever, but also more frustrated. We’re promised the world, constantly comparing ourselves to others online, but this lifestyle remains unobtainable. Technology rules our world, but we never switch off. How does Generation Y survive?
Overcoming the challenges of Generation Y
Writing this, I suddenly feel connected with a whole generation of young adults who face similar struggles. We adapt well, Generation Y is nothing if not resilient. Yet, our ‘always-on’ culture and prolonged childhood, reliant on parents until well into our twenties, remains tiring. Our work-life balance is out of sync, while our devices are always perfectly in sync. We’re definitely not the first generation to face uncertainty, and many would say we have it pretty good (we do, really) but there are still challenges. What’s the antidote for always thinking about the future?
Mindfulness and Millennials: learning to be present
Mindfulness has become almost fashionable (adult colouring books and yoga, for example), but how many of us actually practise it? It’s described as a determination to focus on today, the here and now and what’s happening to us and around us. It’s a way to rethink how we react to our thoughts and emotions, just by becoming more aware of them. Why’s this important for us millennials? My parents were recently telling me how they know so many people who have always lived for tomorrow. Planning ahead, but forgetting to actually live. What if things don’t go the way we hope? The pressure to have life all figured out leaves us forgetting about the present, thinking that ‘tomorrow’ when we have a house, a new car, a new job will be better. It’s definitely good to have goals and dreams, but letting them make you incredibly impatient? Not a great idea. And I’m definitely guilty of this. A good way to start focusing on today is by keeping a gratitude journal or a ‘one line a day’ diary. This records what you got up to that day, what made you happy etc. You probably achieved more than you realised and gave yourself credit for…
Mindfulness and Millennials: learning to switch off
Another huge part of learning to be mindful is learning to unplug. Working in digital and becoming slightly blog-obsessed leaves little time that I’m not using my phone or checking social media. As a generation, we’ve grown up with technology and it’s exciting to see how much has changed over the past 10 ten years since the first iPhone was released. Yet, our culture has also changed. Not responded to an email or message for hours? There must be something wrong! We’re expected to be reachable at all times. Our brain receives less downtime to just daydream and think because we’re always looking to be entertained by a digital device. Tech is great, but the barrage of messages we receive everyday can also be stress-inducing. Knowing that it’s okay to go off-grid and enjoy a phone-free moment is pretty important to survival in the millennial hyper-connected world.
Can you relate to these challenges? I hope this highlights how we should live for today, not just tomorrow – life is just too short! Being more mindful could be the perfect antidote to our ‘always-on’ attitude. Why not give it a go?
with love, b.xo