The story below is a part of YMyHealth’s Making a Healthy Office Comeback series. As more millennials return to the office or transition to hybrid work schedules in 2022, we will be highlighting the concerns and health challenges Generation Y tells us they are facing and feature advice from millennial experts on how to maintain your healthy habits.
Which of these three things have you experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic? Stress, anxiety, or challenges to your work-life balance?
If you are millennial, it’s likely that you have experienced all three in some form multiple times by now. They also are the number one challenges that Generation Y—those of us between age 24 and 40—have sought fellow millennial Jason Phillips, LCSW, counsel for during the past two years of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
As a mental health therapist and life coach, he has helped many clients facing a variety of challenges during his 11 years of practice. But the pandemic has highlighted certain things that are really important to recognize and find healthy ways to handle them.
“When the pandemic first started, people had a bit of a hard time adjusting to work from home. People felt like they had to log in earlier and stay on later,” Phillips said. “That break from work and home was really blurry because people knew they were at home so they would start sending emails earlier and would schedule meetings later.”
He found that people felt like they could not step away from their computers without missing something. But this need to constantly be “on” or in today’s world “online,” really caused a disruption to his millennial clients daily functioning.
If there is one thing many of us have learned during these constantly changing times, it’s how important taking care of our mental health is. In fact, it’s as important as our physical health, Phillips points out.
Whether you are about to go on a hybrid schedule, full time in the office, or you are already there, here are Phillips takeaways on how millennials can maintain their mental health in their office environment—wherever it may be.
Communicate what your boundaries are to both your co-workers and family members.
Take the time to write down your thoughts and feelings on paper. Why? Because when you put thoughts on paper you can see them clearly, and it can help you get those feelings out even when you would prefer not to share them with anyone else.
Practice Good Self-Care
This includes making time to exercise and practice mindfulness or guided meditation. There is a huge connection between mental health and physical health, as Phillips points out. Exercise is known to help people manage anxiety and depression. And mindfulness practiced regularly can keep your baseline anxiety lower.
*Maintenance Should Be in Small Doses
Phillips main takeaway about how to maintain mental health is for millennials to do it in small doses. Setting boundaries, journaling, and practicing good self-care all encompass your mental health, but he does not want you doing it all in one day and overwhelming yourself. You can overdue it.
So, maintain your mental health in small doses and pace yourself, Phillips recommends.
To learn more about how you can maintain your mental health as a millennial in the face of everyday challenges, visit our Making a Healthy Office Comeback page.