What do you do when you’re not okay?
In this off-the-cuff episode, I speak honestly about my stress, and also about the stress we feel as a generation in our twenties. Your mental health is important.
Full transcript and show notes at tiredtwentiespod.com
Melissa: Hey, I've been working on an episode that was supposed to go out this week.
And this is not that episode.
Right now I am talking into my phone completely off the cuff, and you're not going to hear the episode that I originally wanted to publish this week. And that's because I'm not okay. I'm just, I’m just not okay.
I'm really stressed out right now about a lot of things that are going on in my life, work, personal things. And I have been working really hard to try to get this other episode out, but it's just not gonna happen this week.
I thought to myself at first, I'm really disappointed in myself, but then I had to kind of step back and think about all of the things that are going on with me this week. And how I'm working really hard to not have a meltdown.
And I just decided to record this, which is really, really weird for me because I'm really used to talking, or going off of a script.
And I wanted to record this because I think it's a good chance for me to talk about stress in our twenties. There's this study that I always go back to when I'm thinking about stress in young adulthood, and that is the American Psychological Association's Stress in America report. And I looked at it this morning because I haven't seen it in a while and they have a 2022 update.
And it has not changed from the last time that I've seen it in that young adults report the highest levels of stress. It was true in 2019 when I made a limited series podcast about Gen Z and stress and anxiety. And it's still true now.
Some of the reasons have definitely changed. A lot of the reasons that they listed as people being stressed were global uncertainty, economic stress and young adults reported the highest for that. COVID has changed relationships and a lot of people are feeling that those relationships are broken or different or they’re lonely.
And generally people report that their lives have forever changed.
I do think that our generation has a lot to deal with. Certainly we're all in this global pandemic, but there's also climate change and how we're supposed to save the world from climate change, even though we're just trying to figure ourselves out at the same time.
Housing costs and healthcare costs are just ginormous. And this is one of the time periods where I feel like there is a whole reconsidering of how we think about work. And that's led to a lot of people trying to find better jobs and situations for themselves, which I think is great. But I also think this is one of the hardest times to be able to find a job that you want.
I'm just, I'm just not okay right now.
I decided to record this because I wanted to remind other people that it's okay to not be okay. And you're not alone. I know so many people in my life right now that are feeling a very similar way to me for similar reasons, different reasons. I also think based on some studies that I have read that part of young adults reporting so much stress is because there is a lot to be stressed about.
And I also think another reason is because our generation is just so much more open about our mental health. So maybe part of that reporting is just because more of us decide to actually be open and report it.
And I feel like right now I'm in both of those camps, both of those reasons.
I'm stressed because of a lot of things. Um, but also I am here to report that stress and be open about it. When I'm stressed, there are periods where I do cry a lot. There are kind of unhealthy things that I do when I stress out.
Like I binge television. Sometimes people ask me, how have you seen so many shows? It's because every time that I'm stressed, I binge a TV show. Like it's bad.
Also when I'm stressed and I have a lot of anxiety, it's very hard for me to do things like I would just sit in front of whatever it is that I'm supposed to be doing. And I just can't do it. Like I just can't move. That's really hard.
I don't know how stress shows up in your life, but those are some of the ways that it shows up for me. It's raining outside and it kind of mirrors what I'm feeling inside.
I do think that even though I'm stressed right now, I've improved a lot in my stress.
It's so much better than it was before. And I think that's for a few different reasons. One of them is that I'm more open about my feelings, which is not easy for me. Honestly, doing this podcast and talking so much about myself, it's not easy for me.
Part of it is also because there are systems that I'm starting to create that help me feel less stressed. Part of that is getting out of my own environment. Most of the times when I've been stressed, I've been in my room alone in front of my computer.
And going outside, being with someone that I really care about, that does help me. Exercise does help me, but it's hard to motivate myself to exercise when I'm feeling stressed and anxious, so that's sometimes hard.
But when I'm able to do exercise, I feel so much better afterwards.
And yeah, I was disappointed that I wasn't going to be able to publish the episode that I wanted to publish this week. And then I had a conversation with one of my best friends, Olivia, and she reminded me about my episode, episode four of this podcast, “Let's end toxic hustle culture,” where I say that wanted this podcast to be a hobby and I wanted it to be something that I enjoyed and that it was okay for you to pursue something just for the joy of it. And it should be fun and it should be on your own terms.
And I really needed that reminder.
So thanks Olivia if you're listening to this. And so I said to myself, if I need an extra week or whatever to do this episode, then why am I not gonna give myself that? I'm just setting these really unrealistic expectations for myself in terms of what it is I'm able to accomplish in the amount of time that I have, cuz I have so much going on in work right now.
I have so much going on in my personal life right now. And I take a lot of time to do this podcast because I really care about it and I really love doing it, but that also means that this podcast is as much for me as it is for you.
And because of that, if it's not for me this week, then I shouldn't feel so much pressure to do it in the way that my mind is telling me that I should do it, publish every two weeks and do all this social media and whatever.
And that's why I'm doing this, which I'm really scared to publish. Cause I don't know how it's gonna turn out to be honest, I'm just talking completely freely.
But I think it was good for me to hear that. And honestly, a lot of the messages that I give to you in these podcasts are things that I need to hear myself.
Or things that I've learned along the way but sometimes these are always lessons that we have to keep relearning. And if you're listening to this and maybe you feel a similar way or you’ve felt a similar way in the past, I hope that you can find those things for yourself that help as well.
But I think one of the most important things to do is to acknowledge that stress.
It's to step back and say, Hey, I'm not okay. And why is that? Why am I feeling like that? There's this exercise that I learned about where you think about all of your thoughts as being in a river and all your thoughts are floating on this river and you see them, you see those thoughts, and then you slowly let them float away down the river.
And I think it's necessary sometimes to really process what it is that you are feeling. So then you can start to let it go.
And that's what I'm trying to do right now. I'm trying to let it go.
So I hope you give yourself permission to take that step back, acknowledge what you're feeling and be able to sit in that feeling a little bit, because sometimes I feel that if we are stressed and we ignore it, or we push it off, even if it's hard, we can’t not address it because then it's never truly gonna go away.
You're just gonna distract yourself and it's just gonna bubble up and bubble up until it gets to a point where it's gonna be really hard to take. It's gonna be really hard to manage.
So instead, take it, look at it, process it, sit in it, and then let's see how we can let it go.
I think our twenties are a time where we are constantly changing. We are constantly reassessing who we are and what we want to do.
It's also a really important part of our journey in life, where we can also establish healthy systems and boundaries, and ways of thinking for ourselves and lay ourselves a good foundation for the rest of our lives. And so I hope that we can all do that. And I hope that our generation is, and maybe we already are this generation that talks about things openly and helps each other.
So, if you're feeling this way like me right now, please feel free to reach out to me. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can DM me on any of my social media. If you know me personally, and you're my friend, you can text me.
I do feel a little bit better having recorded this. And I hope that if you aren't feeling so hot that you feel a bit better having listened to this. We are going through a lot right now and it's not easy. It's really not easy. So I'm proud of you. And I believe in you. And I believe in myself too. All right.
Talk to you later.