Millennials are struggling more than other age groups with their mental health during the coronavirus pandemic. As a refresher, this is the age group born between 1981 and 1994/6, ages 25 to 40 years old. According to a 2019 report from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, major depression diagnoses are rising at a faster rate for millennials. A 47% increase since 2013 compared to any other age group. Additionally, they are not only more depressed than other age groups – they also struggle with the other side of the coin: anxiety. A 2018 survey from the American Psychiatry Association states that millennials are, “by and large the MOST anxious generation”.
I was honestly surprised by these facts. I kept thinking to myself, “Why THIS age group?” Although we don’t have concrete evidence as to why, here are some theories. Millennials are in their prime age of responsibility and phase of creating financial stability. This makes the economic and unemployment sting of the coronavirus all the more impactful. Additionally, millennials are less likely to take their mental health seriously and seek therapy or mental health resources. Instead, many millennials believe that, “This isn’t a big deal.” Or, “This isn’t impacting me that much“. Millennials, it is time to take your mental health seriously. The wellbeing of you, your loved ones, and our society counts on you taking this seriously.
Steps You Can Take to Work On Your Mental Health
Regardless of age, EVERY age group’s mental health has declined during 2020. Here are some steps you can take to address & work on your mental health:
- Make connecting to loved ones a priority. Whether virtually or (safely) in-person, it’s important that you connect with others. It’s also important to have emotionally safe people you can share your feelings with. This includes sharing both the good and the bad.
- Create a gratitude list. In the age of “what’s wrong in this world”, it’s important that we train our brain to not be cognitively biased towards the bad by also acknowledging what’s going well, what is safe/certain, and what we’ve enjoyed throughout the day.
- Take care of your body. The biochemicals in our body impact us bi-directionally (that means it impacts the signaling both TO and FROM our brain. Adding joyful movement and nourishing our bodies with micronutrients from fruits & veggies are simple ways to set up our physical environment for success when it comes to putting our brains and bodies in a space to recover from and prevent depression & anxiety.
- Create a routine. Set small, achievable goals in your daily life. Create a routine even if you are out of work or working from home where it’s easy to sleep-in, and stay up late. Creating structure gives our brain and body some structure and feelings of security during insecure times.
- Seek professional help. We all need help from time-to-time. Working with a therapist and counselor can help you process these stressful times. A therapist can also help you work through unresolved things you may not even know that are holding you back. In life, in your career, or in your relationships.
Local Resources for Mental Health Professionals or Therapists:
For local resources, connect with Soma Therapy at 316-201-6047 or contact us here. We are passionate about connecting you with a great fit in therapist within our practice or within our greater Wichita community.