So here we are, on a site called irritatedmillennials.com. This probably means that, like me, you are a millennial. I hate this. Firstly, I didn’t ask to be a millennial, I love Tamogochis, Keenan & Kel, Cool Runnings and avocado toast as much as the next 90’s kid but do we all have to be lumped into this category? Constantly shit on and stereotyped by baby boomers that left us with internships, 6 month contracts, ridiculous rent prices and 0 chance of getting a mortgage. This is all really stressful, that kind of thing can get to you and make you go bald and kill yourself etc. So let me (an average Joe) fuck you up with some knowledge (or coping mechanisms). That leads us onto the first step of our survival guide:
1: Accept the fact that you’re part of Generation Snowflake.
This is a hard one to grasp, firstly: you’re part of the so-called Generation Snowflake, we get offended at everything and have coined the terms: cultural appropriation, gender fluid and mansplaining. As the representatives of our generation keep reminding us: ‘Don’t let that define who you are’. You, the person reading this, are just another person. A cog in a wheel. You’re nothing special.
And that’s OK.
We have to come to terms with our mediocrity, most of us in our teens to 20’s have done fuck all with our lives and the sooner you’re honest with yourself and admit that then the sooner you can begin to let go of a bit of anxiety and begin working towards your goals (more on that later). Sure there are loads of cases of child prodigies and geniuses who were accomplished at whatever by the age of 18, there’s footballers that are on 70k a week and they’re 18 but fuck those guys. Now you feel slightly uncomfortable and unhappy with yourself we can keep going.
2: Set your goals.
‘Wow, thanks pal, set goals, how original’
Yeah I would’ve said the same thing before I started doing this but if you write down goals and leave them somewhere you can see them it gives you a little boost of motivation when you come across them. The main mistake people make when they set goals is that they reach for the stars.
For example, if your goal is to lose weight then you’ll write ‘I want to lose 10 kg/drop 2 dress sizes/fit into something by September’ then that’s great, you’ll go to the gym and make healthy choices for the first week. Then life will KO you with shit like injuries, gatherings that are filled with gorgeous food and plain ol’ commitments.
The trick is to set short term achievable goals and some long term goals. This stimulates the reward system in your brain and allows for those short motivational bursts to be more effective. So instead of the previous goal above, I’d say ‘I’m not going to have pizza for dinner this week, I’m going to go to the gym at least twice, I’m going to walk here instead of taking the bus tomorrow’ all really easy to achieve stuff but they’re all snowflakes in the snowball 😉
3: Practice mindfulness/meditation.
We live in a time where all the information in the world is a screen away, we’re attached to our phones, laptops and tablets. This can be overwhelming and let us get absorbed into all the petty bullshit that social media has to offer. As a little disconnect I like to sit in the dark, close my eyes and try to empty my head (not like that you sick bastard). There are plenty of apps out there that have mindfulness timers etc but set achievable goals like 3-5 minutes and try to work up to 15 at least 3 nights a week.
For those of you who have never emptied your head ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) then it’s quite simple, basically get a breathing pattern going and focus on it (I know this is hard for you fidget spinner, ADHD saps but this is what we’re practicing) and every time your mind wanders down the deep abyss of the cringiest time in your life (the one that tends to crop up when you’re about to fall asleep) then focus back in on your breathing and the pattern of it. This is difficult at first but trust me and practice it.
4: Get out of your comfort zone.
This is a major one, our generation is full of the anxiety riddled, headphones in, stare straight ahead type of people. If it’s something as simple as talking to someone in your school/course/job that’s quiet or joining a class in something, attempting a new language or simply having a cold shower (weird right?). I’m pulling this from the philosophical school of Stoicism (read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius or an abridged version that gives you the bulletpoints). Stoicism is defined as: “the endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint.”. Which sounds pretty rough and tumble but every Snowflaker should take it on board, when I use the term hardship then it’s the meaningless day to day bullshit that Snowflakers perceive as hardship whereas Malala is out in Pakistan getting shot in the face at the age of 15 but someone blocked you on snapchat. (Kate, add me back please) I’ll do a full article on Stoicism in the future if there’s interest.
Speaks for itself, it’s basically practicing mindfulness while being active. Push yourself to the limit on a treadmill or in any sport and you go to a part of your mind where bullshit literally doesn’t exist. The dopamine hit you get afterwards is also brilliant. Exercise can be anything, it doesn’t have to be competitive team competition or lifting massive weights in the gym, it can be walking your dog, going for a swim somewhere or a casual game of ultimate frisbee (don’t do this one, like how is this even real hahaha play a real sport hahaha).
Read books before bed, eat decent food, talk to your friends, allow people to drift away (people change and we can only form a certain number of meaningful connections, Dunbar’s number google it), be brutally honest with yourself and most of all: Enjoy life bitches.