If You're Stressed and You Know It, Clap Your Hands! Jessica Tholmer

A recent study printed in TIME Magazine claims that the most stressed out generation is–drum roll–YOUNG ADULTS! Aww, thank you! Thank you so much! I was not expecting this, so I didn’t really prepare a speech, but I would like to thank my extremely expensive student loan bill. I mean, every month, it’s like, thanks, DSL! I totally had no interest in saving money for a trip to New York, I wanted to pay more money toward the education I almost forgot I have! Um, also super loud HOLLA to all of the jerks I have dated in the past three years. It has been really nice hearing you dudes continually tell me you love me too much (?) to date me (??) but then courting like…super fake blonde actresses who don’t even have full fringe instead because you clearly do not like real women, just the ones who pretend to be other people!

Ooh, and how embarrassing! I almost forgot to thank society for pressuring women to be a certain size so we can fit into printed jeans (is that what we like now?) without looking like an advertisement for a flower shop or a zoo on the side of the Goodyear blimp.

I am ready to hear your guys’ acceptance speeches.. Come on, young adults! Let’s hear it for the stress!

Okay but (semi) seriously, the report reads that young adults tend to be the most stressed out generation for a variety of what are, to a young adult, obvious reasons: financial problems, work issues, relationship angst, and little or no health care support. The piece that stood out to me most, as a kinda stubborn (ha! “kinda stubborn”) young adult, was the health care aspect of dealing with stress. Though a contributing factor to our generation ranking the highest in stress levels is the fact that many of us–far too many of us–do not have any health coverage at all, the other aspect is that those of us who are covered do not view stress as a mental health issue, therefore we are not focused on “curing” our issues. If you get sick, you go to the doctor, right? (At least I hear that’s a thing. See: aforementioned stubbornness.) And you go see the dentist if you have a toothache, or a cavity, or you are just a responsible young adult so you get your teeth cleaned or whatever people do when they go to the dentist every month. (Overachievers.) But what about if you cannot fall asleep at night because you think about how in debt you will be for what seems like the rest of time? Why not get that little issue checked out? Listen guys, and I am totally being hypocritical right now, but maybe us young adults should consider caring for our mental health as we care for our physical health.

Mike Hais, co-author of Millennial Momentum claims that us “millennials,” people ages 18 to 33 years old, have a harder time transitioning into adulthood as the generations before us because we are growing up during a much tougher time. Concerning our generation, Hais says that “they were sheltered in many ways, with a lot of high expectations for what they should achieve…Even though, in most instances, it’s not their fault — the economy collapsed just as many of them were getting out of college and coming of age — that does lead to a greater sense of stress.”

In no way would I ever feel comfortable claiming that my generation (I didn’t know we were called “millennials,” but I kinda dig it!) has it harder than every other generation, but I will say that with the wide range of options we are provided with, our lives seem a little more difficult to hone in on. We are told that we can be whatever we want to be from a very young age. Though I am incredibly grateful to have as many options as I do have for the rest of my life, it is incredibly stressful to be like…do I want to travel the world (and the seven seas), or do I want to go to grad school and further my education that I already pay too much for years and years after I graduated? Or do I want to promote within the company I already work for, or do I want to write like ten books and see if any of them get published? Do I want to move to a big city, or stay in a small one, or move in with my mom and never pay rent again?! DO I WANT TO BE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BECAUSE THAT ISN’T JUST A MAN’S JOB ANYMORE?

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  1. Jessica Tholmer! Great article, I really appreciate you using the source from Mike Hais, but disagreeing slightly with his claim that “us ‘millennials,’ people ages 18 to 33 years old, have a harder time transitioning into adulthood as the generations before us “, it’s refreshing that you analyze the source instead of using it for the blanket “shocker/victimizing” quality. I also really like your list of things to do to de-stress….but the getting dog thing can be tricky….I recently got a dog, and unless you have time to train really well right away it becomes a mess of pee on your rugs and a $$ pit of food/toys/vet care (and if we can’t afford our own health care, a dog–who sometimes thinks pens, a piece of glass that has food stuck on it, and panties are food — caring for that can be rough!). It can really bring things into perspective (oh she ate the remote? I didn’t really need to change the channel anyways, at least it wasn’t my shoes this time…..oh, she ate a fourth pair of shoes? Looks like I’m wearing moccasins for the next 3 months). Though I LOVE my dog, sometimes I wish she would be on the same care level of a cat.
    You are 100% correct that if you borrow a dog it can de-stres (both you and the dog owner who indeed would be super appreciative)

  2. Therapy is superb! I wish I could afford it on a regular basis, but it reached a point where the cost of therapy was contributing to the stress I was already experiencing about money. Now I meditate. Sometimes. With candles. I recommend buying candles, incense, or bath salts (not the drugs) and spending half an hour zoned out, once a week or so. (Not in front of the TV. Not on your computer. Not even with a good book–which is hard for me. In complete silence.) You might be surprised at the longevity of that kind of relaxation!

  3. “Spend ALL of your time on HelloGiggles.com, because here, we understand you. xoxoxo”

    That’s exactly why I’m here! When I ignore this site for too long I get depressed and I start to feel alone. Then I’m like, “Wait a minute! There’s this fantastic site with people who understand all these things I’m going through!” Then all is well again!

    Excellent article, Jess :)

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