I have been feeling really uneasy the past few days, and I couldn’t exactly put my finger on why. I’m on uni holidays, I can choose how I spend my days, there’s nothing obviously “stressful” going on in my life right now, why would I be feeling uptight or anxious?
But then it hit me.
It was my millennial anxiety.
Now before you ask what the hell is millennial anxiety and call me a hypochondriac (we are all guilty of a bit of doctor google) I’m going to come right out and make clear that I have completely made this condition up, and it does not formally exist, or exist at all (as far as I know lol).
(Also, I would like to add I am not trying to throw around the word anxiety lightly. I understand it is a serious condition that affects the lives of so many people, but in this case, I refer to “anxiety” as merely feeling anxious.)
But please, hear me out.
Being on holidays at the moment as I mentioned earlier, I’ve found that I’ve had a lot more down time, to relax, watch some Netflix series (guilty), work out and basically just spend my days according to how I feel. As opposed to a hectic weekly schedule where I struggle to find time to fit in those things. However not to my surprise, an added bonus to all this downtime, is much more aimless social media scrolling. Now here comes my point.
The more I scrolled, stalked and watched what everyone else on my feed was doing. I’m talking snap stories (so more so my closer friends), insta stories (more so people I look up to or admire) and Facebook updates etc. , The more I was absorbing and comparing myself to what everyone else was doing. Whilst I was, I guess, just sitting at home, not doing anything exciting, life-changing or dare I say it “insta-worthy.” Now we all get a bit of fo-mo every now and then, and don’t get me wrong, I love social media for the fact that it DOES allow us to see how everyone else is going, always motivating me with inspiration for how I want to live my life.
But with all this constant accidental comparison, I found I was feeling this subconscious anxiety that I should be doing something MORE right now.
That I shouldn’t be wasting my time doing whatever it was that I was doing.
I was questioning my life, and stressing that I should be out there doing something more to create the life I want and the life others would I guess, admire like I did theirs. I began feeling as though I was falling behind.
It sorta sounds crazy right?
But it was with these constant real-time updates of everyone else’s lives and days, that I felt like I was falling behind whilst everyone else seemed to be grinding away working towards their dreams.
And holy shit, it’s an exhausting way to feel and think I can tell you that.
But at the same time, it made me wonder…I can’t be the only one who feels like this?
It’s like this mild form of anxiety that isn’t very obvious, that I’m going to label millennial anxiety because it seems to be an issue of our generation. It’s that anxious feeling that comes about due to the overload and easy access we have to see, compare and judge ourselves based on what everyone else out there is doing 24/7.
Another aspect of this “millennial anxiety” I want to talk about, is the fact that we are constantly shown HIGHLIGHTS and the BEST aspects of not only other people’s lives, but other people’s business ventures e.g. starting their own t-shirt label, photography company, fitness program etc. (the list goes on)
We are a generation that sees what is possible more than ever, but forgets the crazy amounts of work, effort and time that is behind every Insta feed to get that person to where they are.
It was this realisation that I guess brought me back down to earth.
We put so much pressure on ourselves, to be always working towards this “ideal life” whatever that means for each individual, but seem to want it far quicker than it might actually take in reality. It’s this gap between where we want ourselves to be and where we are at this moment, where we don’t really know how to feel or how we SHOULD feel.
Writing this post, was I guess my way of further understanding the way I was feeling and why I felt like that. But now that I’ve become aware of it, I’ve decided this isn’t a very healthy way of living my life, or anyone else’s in my opinion! (that’s if I’m not alone here.)
Honestly, all I could hope for after writing this post, is for even just one other person out there to be woken up to why they might be feeling this way. Because simply becoming conscious of this “millennial anxiety”, has worked wonders for me already.
And hey, we are all doing the best we can. Let’s just try to enjoy life without these self-inflicted pressures that only make us less motivated, not more.
Love Court & Mim
Feature Image Cred: https://freyeephotography.com