Well, here we are again friends. Last time I spoke to you it was the beginning of May. Summer was on the horizon and I was hoping that days in California would be filled with sunshine, BBQ’s, pool parties and long days. And I guess they were- perhaps too much because now here we are three months later and many people are starting to wonder when our next milestone is. What’s the next thing we are trying to get to? Fall? Past flu season? The vaccine? The truth is no one really knows, and the uncertainty is starting to take a toll on everyone– the millennials especially.
If you are between the ages of 24-39, I’m talking to you. I see what you’re going through, what you’re worried about and how you are trying to deal with these unprecedented times (sorry, I know you’re tired of hearing that phrase).
I know all of this for a few reasons. You are my clients. You are my students. You are my friends and I am one of you and we are experiencing health shock.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health shocks as, “unpredictable illnesses that diminish health status.” Blue Cross Blue Shield recently deemed millennials to be experiencing health shocks as it pertains to mental illness and while we can’t blame COVID-19 for all of our problems, it is definitely exacerbating individuals’ symptoms.
Within the last six years (back when the world was more normal, remember?), we first started seeing a problem. ADHD, Anxiety, Major Depressive Disorder- those numbers were on the rise back then. Why? Well, I could go on a whole rant on how I feel like social media started us down this path but that’s not the point I’m trying to make.
What I want people to realize is that we- as a generation- have been struggling for quite some time. We have been dealt a tricky hand over the last two decades. From the ’92 Riots, to living through 9/11, the housing market crash of ’08 and now all of this, our generation has had to deal with the struggles of growing up while the world around us has suffered as well.
Throughout this time we’ve experienced symptoms of anxiety, depression, eating disorders, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, social phobias, fear of the unknown- you name it, we’ve dealt with it and all at rates higher than those of the generations before us.
Now, let’s just sprinkle a global pandemic on top of all that and you can imagine all that bubbles to the surface, herego a health shock. We are feeling and experiencing these symptoms in a way that is heightened. This is important for all of you to recognize and understand so that you can give yourself some grace for the emotions you might be experiencing right now.
Ahh, I can hear your sigh from here. Well done. Ok, so now what? Well, I think we have two options at this point. We can decide that we are the victim of circumstances, wave our white flags, and turn on the newest binge-worthy Netflix series or we can use this moment of worldy pause to get our lives together.
And I mean your whole life. I don’t just mean you start drinking more water and less wine during the week, but yes by all means please do that. I mean that you take a look around at where you’re at now and where you want to go. Are you on track? Are things in your way? Are those barriers real or imagined? Do you need some extra support? Maybe an accountability buddy or a therapist?
Now is your time to get intentional about your life. This is a time to turn off the cruise control and grab the steering wheel. While this group of us has had to deal with some hard times, we’ve lived through it before and we will live through this.
Often times anxiety, depression and eating disorders are merely the symptoms of a larger problem. Whether it is the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, an existential crisis we’re trying to avoid, or a larger systemic issue it is time that we phone a friend, stop trying to numb the feelings through aimless scrolling, and get real about our mental health and our future.
In doing this we are modeling such good stuff to the generations below us and let’s be real- we are our world’s best shot. Let’s not blow it.
Hi! My name is Marina. I am a twenty-something therapist living in a plugged-in world, with a pressure to do it all, all while trying to stay sane. I recognize that the twenties and entering in adulthood can be both a trying and exciting time. Because of that, I want to use both my clinical and real-life education to provide support for those out there that are trying to figure out how to make it in the real world.
In my practice, I love working with this demographic because of the amount of opportunities and possibilities available. I am fortunate to have the unique ability of being able to relate to individuals living in this decade on a real level and provide tangible support and tools. When I am not talking to someone in my office, I love talking to large groups of people, providing presentations at schools, community organizations, and businesses on topics ranging from teens and technology to work-life balance.
Additionally, I am an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology program
I am thrilled to learn more about the readers of The Daily Feels and help each other figure out this crazy and exciting time of life together!