For sometime I have had this overwhelming feeling of anxiety and depression when thinking about my current situation and about the future. Every time I would scroll through social media, I would see youtube stars, influencers all which seemed to have their life together; from collaborations with big brands, starting their own successful businesses, to buying their own home in big cities. All at the mere age of 18-21 they have accomplished what many of us have dreamed or seen in fantasy movies.
I couldn’t help but compare myself to their incredible careers. I would look at my life and say “I’m broke and nobody knows who I am”. People around me would constantly remind me that I had got into university and that I had to simply be patient and not compare my chapter 1 to another person’s chapter 10. But my thought was “everybody nowadays goes to university” and the thought of having to wait and be patient tortured me. In fact the thought gave me a horrible pain in my chest.
I remember at university often crying and putting myself down because I felt like a failure, like I was not worthy of success. I had even tried to force success by starting up a small business on Etsy. My idea was to become this “overnight success” and that my profits would be shooting through the roof. When in reality in the 4 months I ran my shop I had not got one sale even though I was getting some traffic to my page.
It wasn’t until I read this article that came on my facebook newsfeed by the tab (an online student run site) explaining this new, not yet medically recognised condition called “Millennial burnout”. According to them the following symptoms include:
– Over-expectation from society and social media
– A feeling where you feel like you’re not allowed to be tired
– Feeling like every aspect of your life needs to be perfect
– Feeling guilty for doing nothing
– Feeling like you always have to achieve something
– Small tasks seem daunting
– Being tired but unable to find rest or relax
– Pure emotional exhaustion
– Information overload
– Feelings of inadequacy
– Constantly comparing yourself to others
– Feeling like you have to answer emails, messages and calls immediately and never being able to switch off
– Performing well at uni or work, but your personal life seems to be falling apart
– Constantly setting yourself unattainable targets
All of a sudden I didn’t feel alone. I searched on google and found hundreds of other people telling their stories. Now the question was “what do I do to make this feeling go away?”.
I can’t sincerely say that I am fully cured of this feeling but I am on track. For anybody feeling these symptoms this is what I prescribe:
-Trust the process
Know that whatever your interests may be now or what ever you dream of is possible with a lot of hard work and persistence. You will always feel underwhelmed with yourself if you never fight for what you want. After all, all these internet sensations have had their fair share of hate, downfalls and have probably felt the same as you at some point.
-Breathe and take a step back
Don’t feel you always have to be doing something out of the ordinary just because the internet dictates it. It’s ok to be living a normal life and to be enjoying the little things now. Watch a film, splurge a bit (but not too much), go on holiday, do what makes you happy not what society says you need to be doing .
-Social media detox
I highly recommend turning your wifi or phone for even half a day to distance yourself from the fantasy realm which is social media. Go outside and see what people like you and me are up to and realise the pressure only exists if you convince yourself that what the minority are doing is what you should be achieving.
I hope this post has helped in some way, I have suffered this for sometime and I never want anybody to go through this alone.
I love each and everyone of you and know that you are worth it!
Sending lots of love,