Everyone is negatively affected by the coronavirus crisis, but we millennials have a specific set of challenges related to this new reality we find ourselves in. This is due to the following, amongst others:
Therefore, any changes in working conditions are likely to impact millennials more severely, even more time spent on social media can increase pressure, thereby creating or worsening mental health issues.
1. Working from home leads to a decrease in motivation and productivity. This is completely normal because your whole working environment has changed. You're far more likely to get distracted (especially if you have children who now have to stay at home with you) and you might not have an ideal practical set-up, leading to a mindset that isn't conducive to maximizing productivity.
2. Your routine has been disrupted and you have to create a new structure for your day-to-day life. It's becoming increasingly difficult to participate in the activities you're used to doing, like going to the gym, hanging out at a bar with friends, or visiting family.
3. The crisis may amplify existing mental and emotional issues. Anxiety, stress, imposter syndrome and other negative feelings and thought patterns will surface. The uncertainty of the COVID19 situation, like what'll happen to your career or to your future in general, has an increasingly negative effect on your mental and emotional well-being the longer it drags on.
Handwriting has several benefits over typing here: it has been proven that information is retained better when it is written down by hand than typed. In addition, people who write down their goals and tasks by hand are 33% more likely to achieve them.
Extra tip: don't just write down your work-related tasks, include everything from contacting that friend you've wanted to message for ages and cooking that recipe you just found.
Working from home already provides you with enough distractions without you adding to the mix with a phone that's constantly lighting up or vibrating (if you don't have your phone on silent, you're not a real millennial). The increased focus without all the notifications will also help improve your productivity.
And we mean everything! Scheduling both your work and private activities in your calendar has multiple benefits: it's easier to hold yourself accountable when there's a designated slot for a particular task, you can set clear boundaries between work and non-work time if your calendar is visible to your colleagues, it lends some structure to your day, and it can give you something to look forward to (if you add fun activities).
Goal-setting has been proven to improve self-confidence, motivation and feeling of autonomy. Additionally, reaching these goals will increase your overall happiness, which we all need more of right now.
Discover various goal-setting techniques and find out which one suits you best. Then start applying it!
Becoming more aware of the present and letting go of the past and the future has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress. Mindfulness can also improve your sleep. If you need guidance in building up your meditation practice, try an app like Calm, Headspace, or WakingUp.
Practicing gratitude daily releases happiness hormones and augments your self-esteem. Every day, write down the things you're grateful for right now. These could be things ranging from your family to a nice meal you ate. To take things a step further, you can practice daily gratitude with your partner or other loved ones. Every day at a set time, tell each other one thing that you're grateful for in the other. Schedule it in your calendar and make it a habit!
Learn and apply the tried and tested CTFAR (Circumstances - Thoughts - Feelings - Actions - Results) model. It'll help you challenge your negative thoughts. The model can give structure to your thoughts and bring more clarity. We cover the CTFAR model extensively in our Stress & Anxiety Management course.
The definition of Imposter Syndrome is: the persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one's own efforts or skills. Studies suggest that up to 70% of people experience the Imposter Syndrome to some extent. This may lead to or worsen anxiety and even cause depression.
The COVID-19 crisis may trigger the Imposter Syndrome due to working from home and not getting a full picture of how colleagues are doing. Another contributing factor may be the feeling of being unproductive and the inability to attain tangible work achievements.
Most of us are now working virtually, so creating something tangible can feel satisfying. Activities like knitting, drawing/coloring, making bracelets, and other crafts, can lower your cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and they can boost your attention during virtual meetings. If you're like me and you find it difficult to focus on a screen without doing something with your hands, this solution is for you!